Most people can remember the first time they rode a bike. Back then, you probably didn’t have the option to use electric models — which are fast, energy-efficient and fun.
Today’s selection boasts endless possibilities for kids, so you may want to consider them for your family. However, you shouldn’t ignore the potential cons, either.
Here’s a quick overview to help you decide!
How Do Electric Bikes Work?
Also known as e-bikes, electric bikes have battery-powered electric motors built into the frame. These bikes ride at 28 miles per hour at a 30-mile range per charge, as the batteries often contain around 500 watts. That’s a figure that changes based on the e-bike you purchase, but you’ll find that number tends to be near the average.
Many e-bikes can propel themselves with the motor alone. That means you don’t need to pedal, and they feel more like a moped. However, you can look into options that use both the motor and the pedals, so the system operates together. It depends on the e-bike’s intended use.
Electric Bike Pros and Cons to Consider
Like almost everything in life, electric bikes come with various perks and disadvantages. Before you buy an e-bike for your child, you need to consider whether they’ll benefit. Keep in mind that each point will depend on your situation — and what you think will be best for your child.
Of course, e-bikes are much more eco-friendly than most other transportation methods. If you have to take your kid to and from school, you create harmful carbon emissions, and you waste valuable gas, as well. That’s not great for both you and the planet.
It’s better to choose an electric bike so your kid can get to class on their own, minus the environmental issues. Plus, the average American has a 51-minute long commute, so you can save time, too. This new device will even have benefits for you.
Con: Access to Electricity
However, you do need access to electricity. This problem may not arise when your kid only rides the bike a mile to and from school every day. If they forget to charge their bike, though, they’ll need to pedal manually. That isn’t easy when your route has hills or other challenging terrains.
Pro: Cheaper in the Long Run
Usually, e-bikes cost at least $500, even for kids, and that’s on the lower end. However, you’ll be able to save that much on the gas you previously used to take them to and from school. If you live in a city, your child won’t have to pay for public transportation any longer, either.
It’s also wise to consider the e-bike as a tool just like other smart fitness machines you can use to stay healthy. If your child has an easy way to exercise, you can prevent eventual health-related costs. That’s a considerable bonus down the line.
Unfortunately, some electric bikes are significantly heavier than regular bikes, which typically weigh no more than 25 pounds for kids models. This extra weight can be challenging for children to handle. It’s possible to find models with lighter parts, but you may have to compromise on the e-bike’s power.
Pro: Minimal Maintenance
Repairs are few and far between with e-bikes. It may seem like they’d need more repairs due to their added components, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know they’re really just like regular bikes, except with a battery and motor. Those parts should last for a few years before you need to replace them.
Con: Part Replacements
However, when you do need to replace the e-bike’s parts, they can be expensive. These materials can cost you several hundred dollars. If you use proper maintenance techniques, you should be able to prevent any unexpected repairs, which will ultimately save you money in the long run.
What’s the Verdict?
Should you get your kid an electric bike? It’s really up to you. These devices may seem expensive upfront, but you can save money in the long run when you purchase one for your child.
Plus, your kid will be able to exercise every day, and they’ll even become a bit more independent. That said, you should also consider the eventual maintenance costs, as well as the learning curve.