If you follow »the world in motion« regularly or just occasionally then you have noticed that electricity has gradually but certainly been entering every pore of our lives.
Automobile, motor biking and biking worlds are getting more and more dependent on electricity. Cars and motor bikes are avoiding petrol whereas bikes have just 'one', human drive. It is the hybrid vehicles which are driven by electricity and petrol, and it is the hybrid bikes where paddles are given a little bit of electricity, just enough that cycling gets easier when our strength get weaker. The emphasis in the entire automobile world is on hybrid vehicles. There is not a car manufacturer anymore who wouldn't have at least one such vehicle in their catalogues.
The biking world is rather smaller than the automobile one, but it is nevertheless as important, because there are at least three fairs a year, gathering together all those who mean something in this industry. In the last three seasons there was a stress on bikes powered by an electric battery. At the end of the last year it was very clear, the future has already come, it has come much faster than it was predicted. It will be interesting to follow who among »eco-conscious« car drivers will buy a new non-hybrid car in the following year or in two years’ time. If you drive a hybrid and you are eco-conscious you are trendy, the rest is history. And then, i.e. very soon, it won't be necessary to put the eco-conscious in inverted commas.
It is a little bit different with electric bikes. The trend of electrification is even faster. Producers of bikes and biking equipment surprised us with electric transmission ten years ago, now they don't surprise us at all if they offer more electric than ordinary bikes. If we consider some European and North American countries and Australia to be advanced in biking industry, then it is has to be written that in these countries it is already difficult to buy a classical, ordinary bike. Surprised? Even in the Netherlands, the number one country among countries with biking pedigree because of its plains, they notice that electric bikes are »galloping« in sales. City and mountain bikes that we are used to will apparently die out. Let's admit – there will still be those with classical drive but we are almost certain that they will only be bought in specialized shops.
Slovenia is no exception. We are not a cycling country, but apparently we are not immune to the world trends. The buyers of city bikes have already been thinking about having »paddles only«. The current obstacle in buying an electric bike is its higher price and the fear of theft. But the trends are showing that prices will reach their »normal« level this current year already, unfortunately, we will never be safe from thefts, that is for sure. And what is an acceptable price? The acceptable price is the price which we forget about as soon as we take a ride with the bike. And it is exactly what happens when, after we had paid around two thousand euros with a heavy heart, we take our first ride with the new electric bike. You have guessed correctly, a ride with an electric bike is really inspiring. My purpose is not to convince you to buy an electric bike, but to at least try it. If you buy one or not, the test ride will remain in your memory.
No need hiding, I will write about it. First, those who know that the first slope will represent a big problem. They would like to cycle, but they know well that they won't be able to manage any slopes, but there are no plains, are there? It could be for senior bikers, for the overweight ones, for beginners, everybody is afraid of slopes. And what takes the motivation away if not the fact that you are not able to cope the first slope?
And if you buy a city bike, why not the one with electric help? You won't train for Tour de France with a city bike. Why not buy a motor bike then? Because a bike is simple and you still have to paddle it and you will still burn those calories and your circulation will be better than if you were on a motor bike. If an electric city bike weren't so convenient, simple and inspiring, it wouldn't be so popular in the developed biking countries. The ones who say that riding an ordinary bike is too hard for them buy an electric bike. And they gain a lot. They wouldn't be able to paddle a mile with an ordinary bike, but they are able to paddle and paddle and paddle with an electric one. Now you tell me which is better? One needs to be aware that an electric bike does not move forward if you don't ride it. If you stop paddling, the bike will stop even if it had three batteries. The point is that electricity helps you to reach 29 km/h and then no more, it doesn't help you if you don't paddle. So, are you still a biker? Of course, you are and your heart »beats fast«, but your bike helps you when your legs cannot anymore. But if you are faster than 29 km/h, you are only on your »bike«.
A revolution among mountain bikes
Electric mountain bikes are those which sell best next to city bikes. The reasons are similar to those with city bikes, it is only the scenery where we ride that is different. The city bikes are for cities, the mountain bikes for are everything else but the cities. Why are electric mountain bikes so popular? Mainly because without a doubt, everybody is aware that mountain biking is very strenuous. You reach the top of Blegoš and you are exhausted for a week. With the help of an electric bike you can reach Blegoš and Lubnik as well as Križna gora in one ride. A little bit of fun, but there is a lot of truth in it. You have to paddle across all three hills and then when you see how many calories are wasted. You find out that an electric bike gives you no concession, but it is your personal trainer, a motivator, a »torturing« device with the help of which your life changes. Not long ago I met a seventy-year-old Austrian who had just cycled Tromeja, Višarje and Vršič … I complimented on his electric bike. He answered smiling that this wasn't his electric bike, but his … Viagra.