If You Use An Electric Bicycle, Is That Cheating on Your Commute?

I used to own an electric kit for my bicycle, and I have to say, it was a blast to ride around! But the thing was, I felt like I was cheating on my bicycle commute. I mean, when you commute by bicycle, it supposed to be some sort of work. Or at least in my opinion, it is.

But wouldn’t an electric bike defeat the purpose of commuting by bicycle? Actually some may argue that the purpose of commuting by bike is to save money on gas, save the ozone layer, reduce green house gases and etc.

Sure those things are great reasons to commute by bicycle, but if you’re commuting for the first reason, to save money. Then a $400 electric bike kit negates that savings.

Let’s say your commuter bike cost you between $300-$500, then your electric kit from $200-$400, then that could potentially add up to $900! That doesn’t even include the costs of recharging your batteries everyday, or the cost to replace them if they go bad.

So if you ask me, are electric bikes like cheating on your commute? Maybe, but I think you’d be cheating on your wallet more than anything. A good non-electric commuter bike doesn’t cost that much, and every time you get on your bike to commute to work, school, the gym, grocery store, you automatically save money!


  1. Priscilla March 9, 2007 10:57 am 

    Well I think in comparison to a car, an electric bike is a better option but yah you miss out on some of the benefits of riding your bike.

  2. Keith March 12, 2007 9:56 pm 

    I’ll have to respecfully disagree on this one. If an electric assist makes you a more consistent rider, then it’s taking another car off the street.

    It’s true that an electric assist will cost more up front and will have ongoing maintenance costs that regular bicycles don’t experience. Keeping batteries charged is a very small expense. The batteries themselves will run down over time and need to be replaced.

    But, the cost per mile still pales in comparison to maintaining a car. Sure, you’d save even *more* if you were on a regular bike, but heck, you’re still saving quite a bit. You don’t save anything if “that hill is too steep”, “I’m too tired”, or “I have to pick up a load of groceries on the way home” – and you don’t ride at all.


  3. Han June 8, 2007 3:33 pm 

    I have to strongly disagree also. Look at the reason people ride rather than drive and viceversa . You can’t do both at the same time,you can ride or drive . Electric Assist brings the benefits of both and then some . If its just about getting a workout on the way to work ,we could run,time is an issue too. Been riding a bike for years now ,to the movies ,the store, work… the idea with the bike is to make you more efficient the idea with the Assist is to make a non-rider rider more, and a good rider a bionic rider. The argument about price are null with the rising cost of gas,insurance,registration,tickets, maintenance , repairs and so on and on ,not to mention the whole environment thing. Just get a ticket and see what I mean, 200 bucks easy,and now your insurance goes up! Besides I know most of you have bikes that cost in the 4 digits.
    For all the reason we ride and wish others would ,for all the reasons people leave the bike at home ,dread hills, arrive sweaty to the office ..the answer is ‘electric assist’ .

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