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525 A Street
Ashland, OR 97520

(541) 482-9500

Piccadilly Cycles provides complete sales and service of traditional and electric assist bicycles in Ashland, Oregon. We are an authorized dealer for Jamis, Breezer and Currie Tech Electric Bikes.

Blog Post

Our neighbor here in Ashland's railroad district, Christopher Briscoe, has always had a real taste for adventure. Yesterday - May 15th - he set off on yet another cross-country bike tour...

What is an Electric Bike?

Gus Janeway

The primary question I get asked when a new customer walks into Piccadilly Cycles is precisely, “What is an Electric Bike?”

The technical part of the question is fairly simple to answer.  An electric bike, or E-bike for short, is first and foremost a bicycle with a motor and battery attached to assist the rider when needed.  There is also a method for the rider to control the amount of assist the motor will deliver.  Some e-bikes will have a throttle or boost button but most of the bikes currently on the market do not have a throttle and thus need to be pedaled to get assist.  Granted this is a fairly simple explanation and there are many differences between motor types and performance.  Most of the batteries in the industry are a type of Lithium-ion and relatively similar to one another.

The more important question might be “What can an Electric Bike do for me?” This is a much more complex question than you would expect because an electric bike can be many things to different people.  To some an e-bike is a form of low impact transportation while others a source of freedom if driving a car, walking or riding a traditional bicycle are out of reach.  Still, many users find an electric bike can be a wonderful source of recreation to increase ones physical movement and quality of life. Believe it or not the user of an electric assist bicycle is still getting exercise, just at a lower intensity. This allows the user to ride more frequently and/or longer distances while also gaining strength.

There was a study completed in 2013 by Portland State University and OTREC (Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium) regarding electric bikes and their use.  The researchers found e-bike owners are far more likely to use their bikes than owners of traditional bicycles.  Some of the statistics from the study are as follows.

-       93% of E-bike owners use their e-bikes weekly or daily
-       75% ride to different destinations on their e-bikes than they did on their traditional bikes
-       6% of respondents had not ridden a bicycle as an adult, of those, 89% ride their e-bike daily or weekly.

Some of the main advantages to riding an e-bike;

-       FUN
-       Ride with less effort/help on hills
-       Health
-       Cheaper transportation
-       Increased speed/range
-       Car replacement/environmental
-       Allow to ride when otherwise couldn’t
-       Increased cargo capacity.

This post was an attempt to answer the question “What is an E-bike?”  I purposely kept the answer brief and simple.  I will get more detailed in future posts regarding batteries, motors, range, maintenance and so forth.