I’m a big advocate of cycling for exercise, but I appreciate that some of you may be wary about getting out on a bike, especially if you’re considering using one as a healthier way to make your daily commute. There’s the fear of running out of energy halfway there, or arriving at work too exhausted to actually do any work, and, when the day’s work is done, there’s the thought of having to ride the thing home again.
Well, I’d like to offer a solution to your problem by introducing you to an electric bike.
A battery-powered electric bicycle gives you the best of both worlds, as it allows you to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise, but it also gives you the reassurance that there’s an electric motor there to help you if you should get to any tricky hills or run out of steam a bit on the way home.
Imagine the freedom you’ll have with your cycling if you don’t have to fear the trip home again. There won’t be that constant worry that you’re riding too far and won’t be able to make it back home. Perfect!
The electric bike I particularly want to introduce you to is the Gtech eBike.
Gtech is a British company, founded in 2001 by Nick Grey, based on his knowledge and experience from working as Head of Product Development for the VAX vacuum cleaner company. As you can imagine then, Nick knows a thing or two about electric motor technology, and this shows in the Gtech products, which have sold over 22 million units in 19 countries worldwide.
Now, you may think that an electric bike isn’t going to help you get fit, but the great thing about the Gtech eBike is that you can switch the motor assist completely off if you like, so you can just ride it like an ordinary bike.
The Gtech eBike isn’t about doing all the work for you, it’s about automatically giving you assistance when you need it, like if you start to slow down on hills, so that you can maintain a steady pace that will make your ride more satisfying. After all, if you have to keep stopping and resting often, like you may have to with a normal bike, you’re losing some of the benefits of endurance exercise.
A clever computer monitors your progress, and detects if you’re starting to slow down from your average speed, it then gives you a boost with the motor to keep you going. Of course, if you apply the brakes, then the bike will let you slow down.
There’s no throttle or other tricky controls to get to grips with, you just pedal if you want to go faster, and brake to slow down. It really is like riding a normal bike, but with the added benefits of electric motor assistance. The motor will help you up to 15 mph, but you can go faster using your own pedal-power if you wish.
One of the additional benefits of having an electric bike is that you don’t need to have gears. You just keep peddling at the same pace, regardless of whether you’re on a flat road or on a hill.
Of course, not having gears on a bike means that there’s less chance of the chain coming off, but the Gtech eBike takes it one step further. Instead of a traditional oily chain, the eBike uses a clean carbon belt, so you won’t ever get your hands dirty whilst out for a ride.
Personally, I think it’s on the looks front where the Gtech eBike really stands out though. It looks just like a normal bike, as the battery pack slots into a holder on the down-tube of the frame, making it look like a water bottle.
Gtech offer two frame versions for their electric bike, a 20 inch sports style, and a 17 inch “city bike” style with a dropped crossbar to make it easier to get on and off.
Both frame styles look really stylish, and not like the clunky “Boris Bikes” you might have seen around London. They’re constructed from aviation-grade aluminium, so they won’t rust, and the whole bike, complete with battery, only weighs about 16kg (35lbs).
If the battery life of an electric bike is of concern to you, let me put your mind at ease by telling you that the Gtech eBike can take you 30 miles on a single charge, and the removable battery only takes 3 hours to fully charge again.
That means that if you were to take the supplied mains charger with you in your bag for a mid-way recharge, you could complete a 60 mile round-trip on your electric bike in a single day. That’s pretty impressive!
Electric bikes can be a bit expensive when compared to traditional bicycles, but the Gtech eBike is one of the more affordable models on the market. When you take into account money that you can save on your daily commute, such as petrol bills and parking charges, or public transport fares, an electric bike soon recovers its cost.
And, of course, there’s also the benefit of getting fit and potentially changing your life. You can’t put a value on that!
Note: Home Gym Equipment UK is proud to promote Gtech products as an affiliate. For more information on what that means, please visit the Affiliate Disclosure Page.