We’ve all experienced sitting in the car in a traffic jam and watching a cyclist zip past on their bike. But many of us feel unable to swap from four wheels to two; perhaps we have to carry heavy bags or travel a bit too far to rely on our legs getting us all the way there. However, help is at hand.
Electric bikes provide the perfect alternative to a car. You get all the plus points of cycling – the health benefits of exercise and the cost savings of not having to worry about petrol or parking – but it’s much easier to carry bags and go uphill without getting sweaty! More and more people in Southend are opting for an electric bike to help them get around town, so why not join them?
We’ve put together answers to the questions we get asked most about electric bikes, and if you want to know more you can pop into The Comfy Saddle at Southend Central station where one of the team will be delighted to help.
All you need to know about electric bikes
- How long does the battery last?
It depends on the bike but even a basic battery will last for around 35 miles, more than enough time to get to work and back. More expensive bikes offer ranges of 80-100 miles.
- Does it recharge the battery as you pedal?
No, electric bikes don’t recharge as you pedal, although some do charge while you brake.
- How long does it take to charge?
Electric bikes generally take between three and six hours to charge.
- Can you charge it with a normal socket?
Yes, all electric bikes charge using conventional plug sockets.
- How much will it cost?
Electric bikes can cost anything from around £500 to over £6000 if you get the latest models with cutting-edge technology.
- Can I get one through the Cycle 2 Work scheme?
Yes you can. Some organisations will restrict applications to £1000 but that’s still more than enough to get a really good quality electric bike.
- How fast will it go?
Electric bikes can only go 15.5 miles per hour under UK law, although many have the capability to go faster.
- Are they heavy?
They are a bit heavier than normal bicycles, with the average weight between 25-30kg.
- How can you stop it being stolen?
It’s important to protect your electric bike with a secure lock, so always check it’s been certified as ‘Sold Secure’ – we find the Gold D locks are best. And for additional peace of mind you can buy a GPS tracker.