It would seem that in the off-road & mountain bike market, eBikes are gradually starting to gain real traction (no pun intended). However, while the last couple of years have seen a large increase in cycling brands that feature a full on drop bar e-Road Bike in their line-up, they are seemingly yet to take off in the same way. Is there a genuine reason for this in regards to bike’s functionality or is this simply a case of the consumer being hesitant to accept a new technology?
One of more likely concerns a rider may have when contemplating the purchase of an e-bike specifically for road riding is the 15.5mph speed limit applied to these products in line with current e-Bike regulation. The impact that this has on the rider is that steep hills, heavy traffic & tighter roads are made an absolute breeze. With the ability to pick and choose the amount of required effort to get the bike up to speed it becomes much, much easier to focus on the road and any potential hazards around you. However longer flat sections where perhaps the user’s average speed increases to 18+mph are now far more laborious as they are met with the fact that they now have an un-powered 20kg bike underneath them. Therefore what becomes common is teetering around the bike’s 15.5mph cut off point for assistance to allow the maximum speed, without feeling the weight of the bike. So, on the positive is the fact that e-Road bikes have the ability to flatten out your ride, almost entirely eliminating daunting climbs, their added weight only improves downhill stability and confidence.
Therefore in conclusion, the benefits of a drop bar e-Road Bike are very apparent but also entirely dependent on the gradient and other speed limiting factors of your ride. Rider’s in flatter parts of the country may be interested in the utilization of a drop bar e-bike as a way of riding around an injury or other limiting condition. But unless the law is altered to accommodate a higher legal limit to these bikes, riders who wish to race along the flats are going to have stick to their carbon race bike.
However if you live in a hilly area and therefore are left feeling daunted by thought of riding your commute, then a Drop Bar eBike may be just the ticket.