Is an e-bike right for you? Things to know before you go.
What is an e-bike?
As implied by name, e-bikes are powered by a rechargeable electric battery that supplies power to a motor that gives the bike a boost when you pedal. In the simplest of terms, the more you pedal, the more assistance the bike provides.
E-bikes provide greater access to bicycle touring for cyclists who are:
- Recovering from injuries (and have not fully regained previous fitness levels);
- New to bicycle touring, of varying abilities, or not as strong as they once were; and,
- Wishing to conquer more challenging tours.
On our European tours we offer two main types of pedal assist e-bikes: e-hybrid and e-road. In South America, we offer e-mountain bikes. All the e-bikes we offer use the same type of technology, but the maximum distance each bike can travel on a fully charged battery differs. Please note: e-bikes are currently not available on Expedition Tours. You can read about exact specifications on our bikes page.
Things to keep in mind when considering an E-Bike:
- E-bikes are much heavier than a regular bike and so handle a bit differently.
- E-hybrids and e-mountain bikes weigh almost twice as much as a regular bike – around 50-53 pounds. Riding these bikes requires strength and balance, particularly when mounting, dismounting, traveling at slow speeds and starting/stopping on a hill. If you have trouble with stability, handling or balance, these bikes are not recommended for you.
- E-road bikes weigh around 35-41 pounds and are generally easier to manage, however these bikes have a shorter range because they don’t have as powerful a battery (see exact specifications on our bikes page). We recommend e-road bikes for riders who would like a boost on hills, but are fine pedaling without power on flats and down hills. If you need power all day long, you will want to request an e-hybrid.
- When managed conservatively, the average range of a fully-charged e-hybrid or e-mountain battery pack is 120 km (75 miles). The range for e-road bikes is less at only 64 km (40 miles). The operating range depends on many factors such as the assistance level, gear switching behavior, pedal cadence, route profile, head wind, rider weight, and air temperature.
- If you have never ridden an e-bike, please try riding one for a full day over a variety of terrain before requesting one for your tour. E-bikes are widely available for rent.
- Due to their weight, e-bikes can be difficult to load and store on our vans. Ideally, you will ride your e-bike from start to finish each day.
- The E-bike drive automatically switches off if speeds exceed 25 km per hour (15 mph).
- Though E-bikes are quiet, the electric motor does produce a light but constant sound.
- We offer you instructions on at the bike fitting. It may take a day or so to reach maximum efficiency using the pedal assist. However, because these bikes are heavier, they require both strength and balance particularly when mounting, dismounting and traveling at slow speeds. If you have trouble with stability, handling or balance, these bikes are not recommended for you.
- Your tour leaders will brief you on best-management practices for riding an e-bike at your bike fitting. Keep in mind that it may take a day or so for you to reach maximum efficiency using the pedal assist.
- We love how e-bikes can create better access for people to travel by bike, but we do include an extra fee that is not included in the tour price. The purchase price, lifespan, transportation requirements and on-tour management of our e-bike fleet makes their overhead more costly and labor more intensive than for regular bikes. Refer to our bikes webpage for current rental fees.
If an e-bike sounds like a good option for you, contact tours@ExperiencePlus.com for details and availability.