E-Bikes have been around for a few years now and they are becoming increasingly popular. When started riding mine at the beginning of 2015 I would only very rarely seen another person on an E-Bike in and around Oxford. Now, summer of 2016, I see one or two almost every single day and most of these are quite nice models. I fully expect that this time next year they will be an increasingly common sight.
In the Netherlands where the E-Bike market is a little more advanced the industry association RAI quoted the year on year ’14/’15 increase in E-Bike unit sales as being about 24%, making for about 20% of the whole Dutch bicycle market. The year on year growth ’14/’15 figure for the UK is quoted as being similar around 25% although a quick look around on the road would suggest E-Bikes have yet to account for 20% of new(wish) bikes on the road. In that regard we have a little catching up to do.
My own E-Bike is a Touring model with a pannier rack and mudguards, Haibike XDURO Trekking RX.
Because this particular model bike can carry significant loads and it is quite suitable for riding in wetter weather it in some ways feels like a car replacement and it has certainly ridden many miles that would otherwise have been ridden by car. I like it a lot but I have to admit that I also remain very happy with a more conventional totally human-powered drop bar bike (a GT Grade) which lacks the e-support but is lighter, more agile and somehow feels more “alive”. Also it can be recharged more easily and pleasantly.
If I could keep only one of the two bikes it would be a very hard decision to make as to which one to keep and which one should go. In reality I would probably keep the Haibike E-Bike as is so practical and it still brings much of the fun of cycling but I would really miss that GT Grade so I really will try to keep both for now.