E-bikes don’t just help you on the climbs, the knock-on effects can be felt elsewhere too. Here are seven ways e-bikes can boost your relationship.
1. Imagine finishing a ride and having more energy than you started with – enough to play with the kids, cook dinner, and hold a conversation, all without drifting off half way through. It’s all possible because the free power from the motor means you never really push your cardiovascular system into the red (unless you want to). This means you can have a great ride, stay out for hours, drain a 500Wh battery or more, and head home energised instead of wiped.
This is even more important if you’ve reached a certain age because as you get older you need more time to recover. Properly bury yourself on a normal ride and you could be done for days.
2. There are a whole host of chemical messengers in your brain associated with happiness and confidence, that’ll have you feeling less anxious and stressed, and even reduce pain too. And guess what, mountain biking increases all of them, while you can ride for longer on an e-bike and get more of those natural highs. Endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid are all released when you link up a section of trail well, clear some jumps, or make it up a techie climb, and these can last up to 24 hours after your ride. The result – you’ll feel happy, relaxed and calm at home, all without resorting to narcotics.
3. Ever told your partner you’ll be back at midday, before pitching up sheepishly at dusk? Yup, that’ll be everyone then. Strangely enough, it happens much less on e-bikes because by the time you’ve rinsed a battery your arms and brain will be tired out and you’ll be ready for home. If you’re lucky enough to have two batteries or a 700Wh you’ll have had your fill of riding long before burning through it all.
Your speed is also more consistent, both climbing and descending, and if you do get caught out late it’s much faster to high tail it back to the car again. The upshot is you’re more likely to be home when you say you will. If this doesn’t sound like a good thing, you’re in big trouble.
4. You’ll look better. The best kept secret about e-bikes is they help you both to burn fat and build muscle, it’s like taking the gym bike for a ride. Because you’re not red-lining (see point 1) you’ll be tapping away at 60-70 per cent of your max heart rate, putting you squarely into the fat burning zone. Better yet, e-bikes take more strength to move around, at first this feels like an upper body workout but pretty quickly develops into a ripped core. Watch out though, beer doesn’t discriminate between e-bikers and regular riders.
5. You’ll (probably) crash less and (definitely) become a better rider. They take a bit of getting used to, but the extra weight inherent in an e-bike makes it more stable than a regular bike and gives it better suspension performance too. Add those two up and you’ll gain confidence in your riding leading to less crashing. The flip side is you may take that newfound confidence boost and ride harder and faster than ever before, bringing your crash levels right back to where you started from.
What we do know is that e-bikes make you a better rider – that’s because you get more descending time on them on any given ride, perhaps even twice as much. Do it the right way, practise your skills and session tricky bits of trail, and you really will improve.
6. Those chairlifts in the Alps, whisking you to the top of the descents… meh. You don’t need them anymore, you have an uplift service built right into your bike. This means you’ll spend less time away doing your own thing and have more time with your family. Again, if this sounds like a bad thing you need more counselling than this article can provide.
7. An e-bike is the key to getting your partner into riding, letting you spend more time together and share the world’s best hobby. That’s because e-bikes are the great leveller, less fit or powerful riders can keep up with those faster and stronger because the motor makes up that shortfall. Lighter riders might actually find themselves going further on a battery too, as there’s less weight draining the charge.