Sometimes it takes great ideas a little time to become trends. Mass media coverage will certainly help speed something along (hello, Consumer Electronics Show) but often times it takes a whole lot of people adopting the usage of the item (hello, Twitter) for something to really take off. Trends can also be slowed in their progression by the transfer and translation from culture-to-culture. Something that works for Americans may have no relevance any other place in the world and vice-versa. One great truth of global trends is that true solutions to shared problems transfer much easier across borders.
Electric bikes, until quite recently, have mostly been an Asian and European phenomenon. The thing about electric bikes is that they do provide real solutions to a lot of barriers people have about bicycles. The New York Times has even caught on to the growing amount of E-bikes being ridden in the US. If you are looking around, consider Trek's Ride+ line of electric bikes. Even if you're just curious, stop by one of our participating dealers for a test ride. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
Some quick advice for anybody looking at Electric Bikes.
1. Buy from a reputable source. There are numerous companies jumping into the electric game and with that brings a title wave of product with varying quality. Make sure your electric bike comes from a real company.
2. Buy from a place you can get service. If you have need a new part or need advice on how to change a tire, the kid who sells flat screen TVs will be hard pressed to help you.
3. Make sure you register the product with the manufacturer. You're making an investment, take the 30 seconds.
4. Wear your helmet. That's probably just a good rule all-together.
5. Consider an extra charger rather than an extra battery. If you're going to use your electric bike for a commuter or have a dedicated place you're going to be riding a lot, it makes sense to leave a charger there. Extra batteries are expensive and bulky.
6. Test ride! Test ride! Test ride! Different electric bikes utilize different electrical systems which react differently when engaged. If somebody won't let you test ride, walk away.
7. Know the law. Depending on which bike you settle on and where you live, there may be a need for you to carry your driver’s license with you or register the product with a local municipality. Different states treat electric bikes differently.
8. Check out Trek's Ride+ line for more information!