E-bikes: yay or nay?

It appears that the era of the e-bike has firmly landed around the world, but are you ready to make the change?

Read on for our in-depth guide to e-bikes in Ireland to see whether an electronic bicycle would be a yay or nay for you!

What is an e-bike?

An e-bike has a similar frame to a traditional one but it features an inbuilt electronic motor and battery pack. The motor will provide you with assistance up to 25km per hour. By law, your e-bike should be propelled by pedal power, which means that it will only move when you are turning the pedals directly. Just like online betting, e-bikes are fast growing in popularity, both at home and further afield. In fact, more electronic bikes than traditional ones were sold in the Netherlands last year!


What are the e-bike benefits?

Fitness: Using an e-bike is an excellent way of improving your fitness, and whilst you may not burn quite as many calories, you will certainly be able to go the distance. Plus, with e-bikes, such health benefits are considered to be more accessible to those who were previously at risk of economic inactivity.

Sustainability: Reducing your carbon footprint as well as traffic congestion and overall emissions, e-bikes are a much more sustainable option. Not only are they better for the planet, but they are also cheaper to run with each charge costing just less than a euro.

Commute: Between 2011 and 2016, it was reported that there was a 43% increase in the number of people cycling to work, with figures expected to continue to rise. E-bikes are ideal for any urban commute, ensuring that you don’t get all hot and bothered before you start your day at work

However, although e-bikes may sound great so far, there are some other points you need to consider.


Laws and legislation

One of the biggest challenges with the e-bike global market is the differences in law and legislation around the world. Irish law states an e-bike must be pedal assist and it is capped at 25 km per hour speed limit. If the e-bike is a throttle type, in that you do not have to pedal to make it go, or it reaches speeds above this limit, it is classed as a vehicle so you will need an appropriate license as well as tax and insurance.



The amount that you spend on your new e-bike will mainly depend on your budget and your needs. E-bikes can seem expensive, especially when you look at some of the best brands. However, spending more at the beginning can mean reduced service costs later on. Moreover, some of the cheaper options do not have a replaceable battery, which may mean replacing the whole bike when it is no longer functional.



Some people are worried about the battery life on an e-bike and what to do if it runs out when you are out and about. However, with most e-bikes, you can still ride them like a traditional cycle- just without the power. Also, the range of e-bikes can vary immensely, with some lasting up to 5 hours/ 100 km per charge. However, it should also be noted that this can vary significantly from bike to bike, with riders weight, terrain, distance and even the weather potentially impacting upon the battery’s potential.


Is it worth the investment?

That is your decision! Although e-bikes can be a great way of getting about, there are some limitations and cost is certainly something you will need to consider. As always, the more you pay, the better the quality and with reduced maintenance costs and improved specs, you may end up saving money in the long run. If you prefer to try before you buy, there are currently two electric bike-sharing schemes in Dublin and some further afield.


March 30th 2020

Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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