In the final part of our series, three more first-time electric bike riders get to grips with life in an electric saddle and tell us more about their experience.
- Ben (20s, Digital Workplace Analyst)
- Daryl (50s, Retired)
- Georgia (20s, Social Media Executive)
Can you tell us a bit about your past cycling experience? How often do you cycle?
Ben: This was the first time I’ve cycled in a few months due to work and other commitments. I’ve had previous bike riding experience for charity events, but haven’t entered one of these events in a while now.
Daryl: I used to cycle a lot with my family and on my own, but not much in the last few years. Currently I cycle every month, but I’m hoping to increase that now I’ve got more time.
Georgia: My past cycling experience is limited. I owned many bikes growing up, but that seemed to stop as I became a teenager – rather than 2 wheels, it became 4 legs (horses!). The last time I cycled was in Switzerland when me and my partner did a European road trip. The saying, ‘it’s like riding a bike’ didn’t spring to mind as I test rode a push bike in a car park before going out on the roads. Safe to say, I was rusty – my balance wasn’t the best. As I’ve gotten older, I’m more wary of hurting myself compared to when I was younger!
Before you got on the e-bike, did you have any preconceptions about what the experience might be like?
Ben: Before getting the e-bike, I was interested to see how powerful it was. My initial thoughts were that the electronic boost wouldn’t be noticeable, but I was really surprised. I was also unclear on how much pedalling you needed to do and if the bike would just move on its own without having to do much work. Again, I was really surprised that the bike needs you to put in effort to make it work.
Daryl: I had imagined that e-bikes would be a perfect fit for my age group or someone needing a helping hand due to distance or hills. However, I’ve been using the bikes with my 26-year-old son and I’ve been surprised by how enjoyable they are for younger people also. The different modes on the bike mean that my son can be on touring mode, and I can be on sport mode to keep up with him, but we can enjoy a ride together at the same pace.
Georgia: I did! If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t sure how it worked. Would I need to pedal? Or would the power just push me along, like sitting on the back of a tandem. I’ve often heard comments like ‘riding an e-bike is cheating’ and I was also nervous about the speed of them – and again, breaking some bones!
What surprised you most about riding the e-bike?
Ben: The power of the bike, especially in sport mode. I couldn’t believe how much pace it added to the ride. I went on a ride with my dad and we cycled along a main road. Normally, on a mechanical bike, I’d be conscious of cars driving past me quite quickly as the road is 50mph, but having the extra speed made me feel like I could keep up with them. I was also surprised at how long the battery lasted!
Daryl: How easy it was to climb hills, battery life and the alternative programmes that the bike provided. Also, how universal the bikes were; they were something the whole family enjoyed using and I had expected them to be an old person’s gadget.
Georgia: How easy it was. I sat on the bike, started pedalling, clicked a button and off I went with that added boost! I liked that I could control the speed that I wanted to go, but also when I wanted to use the boost.
If you had an e-bike, what would you mainly use it for?
Ben: Commuting to and from work. The electric assist would really help with that.
Daryl: To increase how often I’m able to cycle and the number of places I can cycle to. I’d like to tour the Lake District and the additional support of an e-bike will let me cycle on terrain there that I’d never normally consider.
Georgia: Leisure riding. My family live in the countryside and there are lots of steep, uphill climbs!
What was it that made you want to try out an e-bike?
Ben: Over the last few months, I’ve seen more and more e-bikes on the road and I’ve always been curious to see how they work. Especially when you see people cycling up hills with relative ease!
Daryl: I watched some TV programmes with celebrities my age and over touring England on e-bikes and thought I’d like to do the same.
Georgia: I was curious, so when the opportunity came along I thought, I need to give this a go.
If you had to sum up what you enjoy about cycling in three words, what would they be?
Ben: Freedom, speed and fitness.
Daryl: Freedom, exercise and countryside.
Georgia: Nature, fitness and fun.
Based on this experience, would you consider buying an e-bike in the future?
Daryl: Definitely, if I can find one that’s affordable for me.
Finding the perfect e-bike for you
There are loads of e-bikes to choose from, including hybrid bikes (perfect for the everyday), mountain bikes (perfect for conquering those off-road tracks) and folding bikes (perfect for the commute).
Our Electric bike buyer’s guide offers some great tips and advice about how to narrow down the options to find your ideal ride, while also answering some of the key FAQs about what exactly makes a bike an e-bike and how they work.
Once you’ve found your perfect e-bike partner, we offer various finance options through Klara to help you spread the cost. You can find out more online at Halfords.com.