As the sun starts to shine across the UK, more and more bikes are taking to streets and bike lanes.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that more and more cyclists saddle up each month. But in fact, there is only one sector where the market is growing – electric bikes.
One in three bike sales in the Netherlands is for an electronic bike and e-bikes account for 38.5% of bicycles sales in Germany.
They are not quite as widespread in the UK, but they are helping more and more Brits rediscover the joy of cycling.
They’re perfect commuter tools and they’re great for older cyclists that have trouble pedalling up hills.
They have dozens of advantages over regular bikes. You get to work faster, don’t get sweaty and have got nothing to worry about when you’re pedalling up steep hills.
The bikes are expensive, but they are beginning to come down in prices. There are lots of different types of e-bike but some of the basic commuter cycles have dipped below £1,000.
It seems like the e-bike revolution is just gaining momentum, but it is already facing down big threats from European legislators.
At the moment, most e-bike users don’t need a licence or insurance.
You can ride an electronic bike in England, Scotland and Wales as long as you’re 14 or over and the bike meets certain requirements.
‘Electrically assisted pedal cycles’ must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and the motor can’t propel the bike when it travels faster than 15.5mph and they don’t need to be taxed or insured.
This could be about to change.
A new EU proposal on the motor insurance directive could make it illegal to use an e-bike without third-party insurance or a government scheme in place that pays out if a rider crashes.
The popularity of e-bikes in the Netherlands has led to a spike in deaths. Of the 206 people who died on bikes in the Netherlands, a quarter were using e-bikes, most of them in their 60s.
But forcing e-cyclists to take out an insurance policy or get their bike taxed will lead to a big fall in their use. It will keep more cars on the morning commute and restrict the mobility of older bike riders.
Customise your e-bike with Hilltop Products
You can customise your e-bike, or any bike for that matter, using a few simple products from Hilltop Products online shop and a little know how.
If you have a road bike with down handlebars you can wrap them with special non-slip heat shrink material to give you more grip and control. This is particularly useful if you will be travelling at high speeds on your electrically assisted pedal bike.
As well as using heat shrink material and zip ties for mounting brake cables on your pushbike, you can also use them for mounting any wires and chargers that you need to get your bike in motion. Use lightweight zip ties to attach wires and chargers to your frame in the most aerodynamic way possible.