E-bikes are tremendous enablers of physical activity and a more regular outdoor exercise program that is actually a whole lot of fun, no matter your age or physique or stamina level.
Here are some frequently asked questions that demonstrate how easy an e-Bike can make getting regular exercise:
1. What if I am 81 and not as able to balance as well as I used to when I was younger ? Will an e-Bike work for me ?
A: Most e-Bikes are a little bit heavier than a regular bike, but what helps one's balance is actually getting off from a dead stop, and peddling to provide the 'balance' that pedaling normally provides. There is a choice of immediate assist as soon as you start to pedal, or one can use a hand twist throttle that is right on the handle grip, to get that critical movement going and quickly achieve balance.
2. Do you have a Tri-cycle option that is electric assist, for those still concerned about strength or balance ?
A: Absolutely ! In fact, we've developed a fully integrated Schwinn Meridian TriCycle that has the leading electric conversion kit in the US, made by Dillenger. This e-Trike has all the attributes and functionality as a regular 2 wheeled e-Bike, providing the option of both pedal assist, and throttle for when you get tired and don't wish to pedal. In 2016, we will also be offering specific e-Trike Tours, so you can assemble a group of the young at heart, but physically not quite as able, to take advantage of the fun and freedom and exercise one can achieve by cycling. With 3 wheels, concerns about balance are readily addressed, and the 350 watt motor amply handles the weight of the Trike, and a rider up to 225 lbs.
3. Won't I be 'cheating' if I have an electric assist on the e-Bike, and not get adequate exercise ?
A: Well if you only use the motor, the answer is obvious. The e-Bike however is designed to allow you to pedal, use what strength or stamina you have, and gradually get back into shape, by selecting a lower level of assist, or even no assist when you get fully back into shape. Crucially though, it is there all the time, helping you up steeper hills, and actually encouraging you to bike longer, and more frequently, since you no longer have to worry about running out of breath.
Studies in Norway ( a big cycling population) have proven, that e-Bike riders/owners ride twice as frequently as they did previously when using an e-Bike, and also rode on trips that were at least twice as long. Personally, in my own experience, as someone approaching 55, it is so much more enjoyable to ride now on an e-bike, because I can see so many more interesting places, and go up to 65 miles, which previously were rides I would have never considered with a regular bike.
Below is an image of the Schwinn Meridian (sans electric kit), which has more than 1000 reviews on sites like Wal-Mart or Amazon averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars, and you can see more detail about the electric conversion kit at our e-Store if this is an option you wish to consider. And you'll get to try out our electric assist version, this spring via rental, and tours, to see for yourself, when our bike season resumes in April 2016.