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How the e-Biken has risen
How the e-Biken has risen
As I pedaled up the steep hill on my way home, trying to make it to the top without falling over gasping for breath, a bike raced past me with a woman on it that must have been 30 years older than me. She wasn't struggling at all, she even smiled as she went past me. Although, as she passed, I saw what looked like a battery pack mounted to the frame. It gave me relief knowing that I had not been defeated so easily by someone much older than I, but I knew there was a new opponent in the race on the streets, the e-Bike.
The e-Bike concept has been around for almost a century. Some patents for electric powered bicycles appear as early as the late 1800's. People were always looking for a way to give bicycles a boost with some type of motor. Even though this concept was thought up long ago, the quest for a better electric bike has not been lost. Some of the latest inventions that have improved e-Bike technology include torque sensors, power controls, advanced batteries, and better hub motors, to name a few.
The history of electric bikes may date over a hundred years, but we have not given up on the technology. Inventors continue to develop new patents for the electric bike, improving on the original idea more and more. There are millions of electric bicycles sold in the USA and the numbers only continue to grow. Many more people are beginning to realize just how great the benefits of the electric bike are.
According to the Smithsonian, the United States falls short on e-Bike sales compared to the rest of the world. Back in 2012, approximately 25 million e-Bikes were sold in China while less than 100,000 were sold in the United States. Maybe communism is the answer (I don't think so), but why aren't these e-Bikes catching on over here? For one, electric bikes have the potential for a high price tag (usually between $1000 and $5000). Another, and possibly the biggest, reason behind lagging e-Bike sales could be the American ethos of hard work and independent striving that we hold so dear. Perhaps this ethos does not mesh well with the convenience of an e-Bike.
Despite these statistics, e-Bikes are still on the rise. Especially in locations that have a lot of tourists such as San Francisco where people can rent an e-Bike to take tours across the Golden Gate Bridge. These electric bikes may be a little pricey, but they have such an ease and convenience about them that intrigues people. This bikes are the future and, apparently, the future is now.