Electric Bikes: Do Women Trust Them or Not?


Easy E-Biking - woman riding city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Electric-assisted bicycles (or e-bikes) are on the rise! Do women trust this trend … wondering if e-bikes are useful? Let’s discuss!

Ultra-trendy (nearly 300 000 electric bikes were sold in France in 2017, a lot more than a year ago), the electric bike is not, as one might think (if you have not tried one yet), just “a lazy thing”! It does not move by itself. It is electrical assisted one, which means that you have to pedal to move … as on a traditional bicycle!

Simply, the electric bike offers a boost when you need it, allowing you to gain power and speed up when you need it most, or not slow down. Thanks to manual controls on the handlebars, controlling an e-bike as simple as changing gears (how to change gears on an e-bike? read in this post).

It then would take just a few seconds to go as fast as 25 km/hour or faster, with not much difficulty (how fast can e-bikes go? read in this post). Practical, playful, and above all – pleasant, an e-bike can really motivate to “get back in the saddle” and move more instead of taking a car or a bus!

If you happen to experience sore bottom while cycling – and many cyclists do, you are not the only one – check this post on how to avoid it.

The advantages of an electric bike

The electric assistance proves perfect when you have lots of weight to carry (or a child on the rack!). When we find ourselves facing the wind with the painful feeling of struggling to make it on time. Or when the distances are long (and we get tired less). And, again, e-bikes are precious, when going up the hill! (can e-bikes go up steep hills? read in this post).

So, we not only advance more easily (you need to continue to pedal, otherwise the e-bike will stop), but as a bonus, we avoid too much fatigue and do not sweat profusely (how not to sweat on an e-bike? read in this post).

This is very useful if we decide to commute to work, for example (read in this post how to select a commuter e-bike). E-biking to work helps stay fresh and cheerful! Moreover, you might have already seen businessmen in costumes on e-bikes, happy to no longer have to change when arriving at the office!

Not last to mention is that the electric assistance allows access to places where one would never have gone before (or while walking and pushing up a traditional bike). We can now climb without difficulty to mountain passes that would have remained inaccessible!

It is also ideal for long walks and hikes (even with a tent and a big backpack), because it is much less tiring while still doing a real physical activity. (can you get more fit on an e-bike? read in this post).

Not to forget that e-bikes are very useful in the city, even if you are not super trained and work within 15 km from your home. Now you can make this distance without much difficulty! (wonder what is the best way to picking an e-bike for urban trips? read tips on how to select one in this post).

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How to choose your electric bike?

Electric assistance levels:

The number of levels of electric assistance needs to be on average 3 or 4, with ideally an “economic” level where the assistance is moderate but long-lasting, and a “turbo” for fast acceleration and climbs. More on how to chose electric assistance levels on an e-bike – in this post.

Battery:

Be careful, as the autonomy of the battery is often indicated for an economical mode. So, you will need to know how long will the battery last if you are using maximum assistance level, in order not to be trapped on the road without any electric power left. More tips on what you need to know about an e-bike battery – in this post.

Ideally, you have to be able to do a hundred km (in eco) to not have to recharge. Here is a quick table to help you compare battery capacity, depending on the electric assistance mode used:

Electric assistanceTypical distance, milesTypical distance, km
Economy50-6080-100
Medium30-4050-60
Turbo15-2025-35

Even in the city, when the miles tend to go fast! It also makes sense to check the charging time. The battery should be charging fast enough, maximum for around 5-6 hours.

If you live in an apartment, you would prefer an e-bike model with a removable battery. This would allow you to take the battery with you and charge it at home, without having to take your e-bike upstairs.

Finally, we recommend choosing a lithium battery, which lasts much longer (5 years on average) and is lighter … but more expensive.

Motor:

For short rides, you can select a front-wheel motor. For longer and more intensive practice, it is preferred that the motor is located in the middle section of the electric bike, which helps to gain optimal balance while riding. If you want to learn more about the differences between e-bike motors, do not hesitate to read this post.

Equipment:

It is essential, just like additional options in a car! But equipment is the one that also makes a difference in price. Do not compromise on the brakes, and choose the disk ones. Disk breaks are the best ones so far, especially for frequent use. (Wondering what to take with you on an e-biking trip? read in this post).

Weight:

Most electric bikes are heavy (20 to 25 kg). This is not very important if you can store your e-bike (at work and at home) in a secure location on the ground floor, but be careful if you live on the 5th floor without an elevator! (how much do e-bikes weigh? read in this post).

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If you are looking for further tips on how to select ladies e-bike, take a look at this post with several examples of specific models, designed for women.

Women are e-biking faster

While women generally drive more slowly and cautiously than men, it’s not the same when they ride an electric bike. There, they do not hesitate to charge, a behavior that is not without danger.

According to information from the daily Het Laatste Nieuws, the Belgian Institute for Road Safety Vias and the FPS Mobility have asked more than ten thousand Belgians to record all their trips. The data reveal that among cyclists who enjoy conventional cycling, women are more cautious and drive more slowly. They average 14 km per hour while men reach 17 km per hour.

Surprisingly, the results are completely different for the electric bike. Men ride on average 18 km per hour and women 22 km per hour, 8 km per hour faster as compared if they cycled on a conventional bicycle.

However, this high speed is not without danger as it increases the braking distance. According to Okra, accidents often happen after launching from a standing position, as the electric assist quickly propels the bike forward. So the association advises to turn on the assistance only once the rider has already started pedaling. It also recommends keeping distance and balance. Electric bikes are generally heavier than traditional bicycles, which does affect how fast one can stop.

Women make quick decisions to buy their e-bikes

Asked by Het Laatste Nieuws, Ingrid Peeters, director of Okra Sport, a Flemish ASBL who organizes electric bike courses for seniors, puts this gap on the account of certain male pride. “Men are waiting longer to buy an electric bike because they want to ride for as long as possible without the help, they do not want to give in.”

Moreover, the survey reveals that while 57% of conventional bicycles are driven by a man, this figure drops to 46% for electric models.

And when they end up cracking on an electric bike, says Ingrid Peeters, they still want to continue to show off their muscle power and use electric assistance on a fairly low level.

Women would rather make fun of others and would not hesitate to trigger the maximum level of electric assistance. They say: “I have an electric bike, so I must use it”.

According to the figures of Vias, which were provided by Het Laatste Nieuws, Belgians travel by bike 5.2% of all the distance they travel. This figure has been increasing in recent years. Belgians use electric bikes for 20% of those kilometers.

This percentage, however, does show large differences between regions. In Wallonia, for example, there are fewer cyclists, but the share of e-bike users is higher (21%), mainly because of the greater distances and more hilly terrain. In Flanders, this share is 14% and in Brussels, it falls to 8%.

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