We Dare You! The Grand eBike Experiment

We Dare You! The Grand eBike Experiment

We Dare You! The Grand eBike Experiment

Normally when someone dares you to do something it’s frightening or gross. Well, you won’t find that Fear Factor challenge here, my friends! Dare yourself to make a positive change in your life using an ebike as the catalyst.

Cars and trucks are awesome. I love my Jeep Wrangler. I love being in the Jeep club, where apparently everytime you pass another Jeep you’re obligated to wave. I don’t always get a return wave, but whatever. I’m a big boy. 

We Dare You - Grand eBike Experiment

Why did I bring up cars in an ebike article? Gasoline powered vehicles will disappear just like the dinosaurs. It will probably take decades, but it’s gonna happen. The trend is leaning in the direction of doing away with the internal combustion engine for a cleaner, more efficient energy source. Yes, electric cars are becoming more and more popular, and that’s great! But we are an ebike dealership - hint, hint, nudge, nudge - so, with that said…

We dare you to get an ebike and ditch the car. 

Crazy, you say? Well, let’s explore how to replace your car with an ebike and why this dare is such a game-changer.

1. Time and Place

We understand this challenge isn’t accessible to everyone. If you live in an isolated rural environment or must use a main highway or freeway to commute, you’ll probably need to opt out until more bikeable infrastructure is available to you. 

Are you in a favorable “time” and “place" in your life to make this work? First, of course,  is the financial factor. Can you afford a high-quality ebike that has reliable access to parts and service with a solid customer service support system? Then comes the second factor: where you live. Somewhere like Portland, Oregon is a perfect example. Portland has had a long tradition of being a bike friendly city. As a Portland native, I biked all throughout my childhood well into high school and my early twenties. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 23. 

Hood River, Oregon is another perfect example and since Oregon E-Bikes is located in Hood River, it’s quite an appropriate plug, right? It’s easy to live and work in Hood River and commuting with an ebike is quite popular here. Many of my co-workers and customers do this year-round. Unfortunately, I fall into the “living in a rural area and have to commute via Hwy 14 and cross a bike- and pedestrian-free bridge” category, so I’m Jeeping it for now. 

Tern Quick Haul E-Cargo Bike

What kind of ebike is suitable for this life-changing adventure?

Cargo ebikes would be my first choice to replace a car, as they can haul somewhat similar loads. Many are rated up to 440 lbs. (that’s cargo, bike and rider) and brands such as Tern, Yuba, and Riese & Müller are a great place to start. A "front loader" is a bucket-like design that gives the rider the option to haul their precious cargo and passengers up front while a "longtail" or "midtail" carries them behind and out-of-sight - learn more about both styles here. Some brands, like Tern, give you the option to store your cargo ebike vertically, making it easy to store in the corner of an apartment or garage. Tern also offers an impressive array of commuting accessories for hauling kiddos, dogs, groceries and much more. 

My point is that depending on your situation in life and where you live this concept could definitely work. 

Now, let’s dive into some of my reasons why an ebike will always be a better option than a car.    

 Return on investment for an ebike vs car

2. Return on Investment

Buying an ebike is definitely an investment. 

Any manufacturer using the Bosch ebike system (motor, battery, and display unit) would be my first choice. They are the industry leader in ebike technology simply because of their unwavering dedication to their customers comfort and safety. This comes in the form of high-quality motors and batteries that give the consumer a wide range of power and torque options to fit their lifestyle needs. Another sometimes overlooked factor is Bosch’s commitment to stellar customer service, which is not always the case with other ebike manufacturers. There are more affordable ebikes out there, especially online, but there is a very good reason why they offer those ebikes at those price points. If you would like to read more about what’s behind that extremely affordable price tag and why, you can check out a recent blog post here

With that said, let’s dive into some of the perks you’ll enjoy after you have made the financial leap into a high-quality ebike.

Ebikes and exercise

3. Exercise 

Studies have shown that riding an ebike can be healthier than riding a regular-old boring bike as it allows you to go further and for longer. With different assist levels on pedal-assist ebikes, you can pick what kind of workout you’re in the mood for that day. If you feel like working harder, stay on the lowest setting. If you’re sore from the previous day’s workout, switch to the highest setting to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling ambitious and really want to put your body to the test, just turn off the ebike and you have a 50lb (sometimes more) regular bike. eMTB’s (electric mountain bikes) make the climbs a lot more fun, however, the different settings give the rider the choice of either arriving at the top of that mountain with a smile on their face or a look of medically-induced panic.

When it comes to the exercise factor of ebiking, you’ve got options!

Tern GSD Electric Cargo Bike

4. Commuting Expenses 

Tired of paying for parking everyday? Has the price of those new tires officially ruined your faith in humanity? Do increasing gas prices have you gripping the wheel more tightly than humanly possible?

Maybe, it’s just me. 

Regardless, we can all agree the cost of operating a gas-powered vehicle, or GPV, is going to continue to go up. I’m not a math guy, but I’m going to just put it out there that owning and operating an ebike is a lot more affordable (and will be in the long run) than owning a GPV. There, I said it!

You might be getting to the point where your GPV is becoming a beast of burden. Depending where you live, a GPV can be a major target for theft, catalytic converter theft or a good ol’ fashioned break-in. I once had someone smash in my window to steal a box of chocolates, and it was not Forrest Gump! If this is something that continues to happen on a regular basis, it might be the final shove you need to make that leap into the world of ebikes. 

If you think about it, these car-related headaches are actually doing you a favor by encouraging you to get back in shape, reduce your expenses, and save the environment. Winning!  You might even be able to sell that GPV to buy a high-quality ebike with quite a bit of money still left over. 

If you would like to read more about ebike cost analysis from a different perspective, we find this article to be very helpful! We love Tern! 

Another big factor is that parts and service is going to be WAY more affordable. Like the aforementioned new set of tires. The cost of new tubes, tires, or fixing a flat is hysterically more affordable than replacing those bald tires. Brakes, even. Ebikes have hydraulic brakes just like your car because they travel at higher speeds than a regular bike. The cost of new rotors, pads, and labor, is a downright knee-slapper compared to that of a car. Even though mid-drive pedal assist motors and batteries are not cheap if they break down, it’s nothing compared to the bill you’ll get from that auto mechanic with the greasy smile. Anyone who’s had to replace their transmission is nodding their head right now with wide eyes. Additionally, with the modern GPV becoming more like rolling computers, the issues can get complicated and expensive. Anyone out there lost their key fob before? Depending on the brand, it can be an expensive headache just to replace a “car key.”

Tern HSD E-Cargo Bike

5. The Environment

A return on an investment doesn’t necessarily have to be about money. If you are an environmentally conscious person, then this one might have a similar benefit as a monetary one. 

After a slow start, the ebike movement in the United States is starting to gain traction. Analysts estimate by 2030 ebike sales in the US will be well into the tens of millions of dollars. With more major cities taking steps to combat pollution some are starting to offer incentives that help with the cost of a brand new ebike. Getting more cars off the road is not only good for the environment, but it’s also safer for the population at large as it reduces car related accidents. This includes our furry friends as well! 

Of course, less cars certainly means less CO2 emissions. Some CO2 is released during the production of lithium-ion batteries, but not even close to the same ballpark as GPV’s. While on the subject of lithium-ion batteries, they can last up to 5 to 7 years leaving a substantially less carbon footprint than GPV’s. Additionally, they can be recycled which means they don’t end up in the landfill. Oregon E-bikes is proud to be part of Call2Recycle’s lithium-ion battery recycle program. 

One overlooked environmental aspect that recently entered my orbit was ebikes' potential role during a natural disaster. Let’s say when Portland gets the “big one” and the fuel infrastructure is severely damaged due to oil refineries set ablaze or fuel stations underground tanks being ripped open. Another factor would be the conditions of the roads and highways, or the condition of the cars, trucks, and emergency vehicles themselves. All these factors would disable GPV’s ability to be of use. Although it is a very good possibility that the electrical grid would be disabled, ebikes could be kept alive by generators or solar inverters enabling first responders or concerned citizens to get life-saving supplies to those in need. 

Are you looking for an overwhelming positive influence in your life that wants to dare you to live a healthier life, save money and nurture our beautiful planet? And no, it’s not your old friend from high school who’s decided to be a life-coach- it’s an ebike! After all, there is a very good reason why we here at Oregon E-bikes call them smile machines!  

Give us a call or come on down to shop, and let the adventure begin. We dare you!  

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