Can You Really Use a Cheap Ebike For Daily Commuting?February 21, 2023
Anyone who has tried one knows that e-bikes are fun and they have many uses above what a normal bicycle has. One of those uses that is growing all the time is the number of people using e-bikes for their daily commute. But can you really use a cheap (sub £1000) e-bike for that daily commute and get rid of the car? Well…not really and here is why…
Learning The E-bikes Limitations
The best place to start is by learning what a cheaper e-bike can’t do. But even this is not as easy to answer as you might think as it all depends on the type of e-bike you get. Some are not suitable for heavy rain, some of them you are not allowed to take on the train/bus if that is part of your daily commute and some of them are not suitable for various terrains. You need to understand the type of e-bike you need for that said commute. Do you have to use public transport to get to your commute start point? Then it needs to be a folding e-bike, do you want to travel off-road or over gravel/muddy surfaces? Then an e-MTB is what you need. Once you know the type of e-bike you need and the terrain it will be ridden over you will be in a better position to understand what it can’t do.
Waterproof is Necessarily Waterproof
So you know what sort of e-bike you need and it says on the website that it is “Water Resistant”, you should be good for that daily commute even in heavy rain right? Sadly not. There is a big difference to something being “Waterproof” to something that is “Water Resistant” and sadly even when e-bike manufacturers describe something as “Waterproof” it doesn’t necessarily mean that. It’s all about the e-bike’s IP rating this stands for an ‘ingress protection rating’ and if it doesn’t have an IP rating it most likely means it isn’t waterproof at all, under any conditions and this is often the case with cheaper Chinese e-bikes as they don’t have the budget to put it through the rating system.
You Can’t Carry Everything
How much do you need to take to work with you every day? Are there times when you need to carry larger, heavier things? Maybe a box of paperwork, that large product sample, that large poster you are testing for marketing, there are limitations on what you can carry even if you get yourself an e-cargo bike.
Look, we are not saying you shouldn’t commute to work on an e-bike as that is what this site is all about, promoting using them for commuting as well as leisure activities. But your e-bike might not be suitable for all weathers, for the routes you need to take, for the transport you need to use, or for the types of things you need to carry to work, they are not perfect for every situation.
Most of the time you will be able to use a cheap e-bike even when it is raining (always check the e-bike’s IP rating) and it will get you to work every day. But as with everything in life it has its limitations and knowing them is key to answering this question. So the answer is “Yes, it will…most of the time anyway”.