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The Electric Revolution

July 03, 2020

The Electric Revolution

I'm not sure where the term electric revolution has come from, maybe I made it up or maybe I heard it somewhere. I'm not even sure it's anything tangible, it's more of a feeling about what's going on.

It's Ride Greens first blog post, so I think it's only fair to talk a little bit about us and why EVs?

Ride Green has been rattling around in my head for sometime, but not as a coherent idea, just as a jumble of awareness around the electric car market, yes, mainly Tesla. I've been following Tesla for the last couple of years and although they're making noises, electric cars still only account for 8% of the car market in the UK (at the time of writing). So to rival the internal combustion engine, there's still quite a way to go. At the same time, it feels like electric transport is the correct way to go and that everyone should be lining up to own one, but they're not and that needs to change. It wasn't until the coronavirus crisis that it became clearer to me. Like everyone in the UK we had been restricted to only essential trips, but on a particular day, early on in the 'lockdown', we ventured out on a 'round the houses' jaunt to the local shop for some essential supplies. As we turned the corner into the main road, rather than being met with cars, it was a scene of bustling bikes. Clusters of families with children tentatively zig zagging on and off the pavement, older couples enjoying the leisurely ride, odd teenagers trying their tricks and a few hardcore cyclists, grimacing in lycra. It was at that point where I had my 'A-ha' moment, not of the Alan Partridge type, but more of the Archimedes Eureka moment! I realised that I had to be part of this change.

Most of the bikes that day, if not all, were traditional pedal powered bikes. That’s not the point though, for a brief moment, I saw, we all saw, what the world could look like if we ditched the car to Ride Green! You might be asking what's the point of electric bikes then and it's a good question, but pedal bikes have been around for years and although we've seen an increase in bike usage, it hasn't really made a dent in the car market, no pun intended. Traditional pedal bikes alone can't do that, otherwise we'd be seeing more scenes like we had during the lockdown of 2020 back in 2019 or 2018. Electric bikes are different. They give the traditional Pedal bike a literal push! It's what pedal bikes are lacking, oomph! With an Electric Bike you can you start to bridge the gap between car and bike. My intention was to try and be a part of that change, by selling, promoting and encouraging the use of electric bikes, so we can see more scenes like I experienced during the UK lockdown.

 

What's so special about Electric Bikes?

If you've ever ridden a normal pedal bike and then tried an electric bike, you'll know what I'm talking about. I started a paper round back when I was 11 and due to my parents owning a Newsagents, I did that paper round for 8 years! In fact, I did multiple paper rounds, sometimes 3 in one day, I was the relief paper boy! I also cycled to and from school and took our dog for a walk, on my bike. I cycled so much, that going no-handed round corners and up pavements was like instinct. I had to go out in all weathers and I didn't get to choose my route, if I'd had access to an E-Bike or even better a Cargo E-Bike then I would of jumped at the chance. Now much older, I've still used a bike to get to and from work, in all weathers at 6am. The difference is, when you use an E-Bike it takes the edge off a trip like that, it makes enough of a difference. It literally stops me from considering the car at all.

For commuting, taking an E-Bike is now almost always preferable. You don't get stuck in traffic because you can use traditional bike paths and shortcuts, you don't get tired because you always have assistance and you actually enjoy the ride rather than constantly looking at the time or miles you have left. I also find that on the flat, I quickly hit the limit of 15.5 MPH anyway and therefore peddle without assistance for a considerable amount of the ride. I’m still exercising. That's just a couple of examples, take an older couple who might want to get back to cycling, but can't because of frailty or general fitness levels. It's not fun if you get on a traditional peddle bike at 65 and think it's great while you're on the flat, but suddenly find hills daunting and too challenging. The bike ends up in the garage collecting dust. Feel like you’re cheating? With an electric bike you can set the level of assistance. It's not like you won't get any exercise, you decide how much.

There are so many other use cases for electric bikes where typically a person would not consider cycling. Maybe you're overweight, but loved cycling when you were in shape, but you struggle with a traditional bike or no longer have the confidence to get out on it. Maybe you've got an injury that prevents you from putting pressure on your legs or back or heart! Maybe you're just lazy and can't be bothered, the weather has to be just right, but surprisingly it's never “quite right”, if an E-Bike gets you off your ass then surely that's a good thing. Like I mentioned earlier, Electric Bikes bridge the gap between car and bike. That's a good thing.

 

Aren't E-Bikes bad for the environment though?

Yes. Cows are bad for the environment too, but if they’re more environmentally friendly than E-Bikes, I doubt you’ll see people saddling up onto an Aberdeen Angus and riding off into the sunset! Everything has potential to be harmful to the environment, but that's not really the point. It's about the impact. A recent study showed that if we shifted to more E-Bike usage then transport emissions could be cut by as much as half. So yes, E-Bikes do carry an environmental cost, but the impact compared to cars is far less.

Traditional pedal bikes are very similar in construction to that of an Electric Bike, with the exception of the motor and battery. While I will agree that those extra components lead to mining rare earth metals and if not recycled correctly, lead to greater environmental impact, the flip side to that is that battery technology is evolving constantly, as too are recycling techniques. The same can't be said for the combustion engine, it's reached it's peak. This is where a lot of people stop from investing in EV's, they think that the environmental cost of an Electric Vehicle is the same as an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and while that might be debatable for cars, when you factor in all the production costs, accumulation of materials and refining, it's about the long term goal.

EV's are still in there infancy, the technology will get better, so will production, materials used and recycling of those materials. The long term goal is to reduce the usage of cars and to do that we have to start transitioning over to alternatives.

Where is this Electric Revolution?

Right here, right now. I might of said earlier that I'm not sure it's anything tangible, but that would be wrong. You can feel the electric revolution when you get on an Electric Bike, when you see a Tesla, when you decide to use your E-Bike instead of the car. It is something we can hold, something we can all be a part of. It might of taken a virus for us to have that epiphany, but we shouldn't let that moment be a memory, we need to make it a part of today. Get on your E-Bike, leave the car keys at home. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem and Ride Green.

 

<Shameless Plug Bit>

Which E-Bike is Best?

It depends on what your circumstances are. If you commute and want something robust for road use and occasional off-road, then a Hybrid or Trekking E-Bike will be best. Travelling on the City streets, then a traditional City bike. On and off the train a lot, but need to commute in between, a folding E-Bike. Off-road all the time or just like the MTB style, then an Electric Mountain Bike is for you.

What am I riding? I'm currently riding the RM from EcoBike, it's EcoBikes top end Hybrid, which comes in at a steal for only £1799.

EcoBike RM Hybrid Electric Bike

What do you want to ride?




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Size Guide

Electrice Bike (E-Bike) Sizing Guide

 

The Sizing for the below bikes are currently aligned to the EcoBike & GeoBike products, typically they come in 3 different frame sizes, 17, 19 and 20 Inches Frames.

With a step-through frame, exact sizing is less important because there is no impact when coming off the saddle.

For a cross barbike, riders need to take into consideration the frame size more, due to the impedance when coming off the saddle. Contact us if you need more info.

* 20" Frame can be suitable for a 5ft 7" rider to take advantage of the 29" Rims, which typically accompany this frame size.

 

EcoBike Folding E-Bike Size Guide

For folding E-Bikes, typical rider height is between 5ft to 6ft+ as seat and handle bar position is highly configurable.