Are Electric Bikes Cheating?


It was suggested today by a Lycra clad cyclist when stopping at the shop that Electric Bikes are cheating.

Cheating what I ask?

“Well you should pedal and get some exercise”.

So I replied the following.

“Electric bikes are designed to reduce the barriers for entry to the cycling industry for the same reason as Gears were invented to help a cyclist get up a hill more efficiently or go faster on the straights. Are gears also cheating”?

This remark that Electric Bikes are cheating is as closed mind as any statements I have heard and could only be taking seriously by those cyclist that are true puritans and insists on riding as a 3 year old does on a trike whereby the pedal is connected to the wheel and the riders input is directly associated with the riders legs without the assistance of gearing.

Electric Assist bikes are just another step up from gearing and enable a wider proportion of society to cycle more often without being put off by hills, wind or extra weight being carried. It switches cycling and the cyclist mentality from being a sport to being a utility function whereby it is used to get around and not only to win time trials.

These same people that accuse electric cyclist of cheating then try and make their own little niche clubs increasing the barrier entry to not only riding sports bikes but dressing up like a right plonker just to ride a few miles everyday.

The Lycra fashion currently going on in the UK is making the non cyclist feel as though they cannot enter the marketplace without first spending £100’s of pounds on kit that is simply designed for those top sports cyclist that are shaving there legs to shave milli-seconds off performance.

There is nothing better then getting on an Electric Bike wearing ordinary clothes and passing someone dressed in Lycra that is not even racing but just trying to get to work struggling up hill and for what, just to say there are not cheating.

So I would like to ask the question not are Electric Bikes Cheating but do we you have to wear Lycra to cycle? This new clique is doing more harm for cycling as it is excluding many people that feel to participate they have to be as fit and dress like Bradley Wiggins.

If you are seriously racing I can see the point but for day to day use electric bikes means all riders can get around as fast as Bradley Wiggins but still dress ready for a normal days work or a night on the town.

Electric Bikes make cycling make sense to people with all levels of fitness and at the same time gradually improves fitness level as you can change the assistance level from zero to give a full 3:1 ratio of the input your legs are doing. Coupled with a good gearing system there is no hill you cannot climb on a daily basis.


3 thoughts on “Are Electric Bikes Cheating?

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  1. Well said!

    I have a lovely old Rayleigh Firefly that has seen me tackle many a long distant route, and not once have I succumbed to the lycra wearing fad. Neither do I want to cycle in a “gang” of “hard men” as they take over the entire road, riding 3 abreast with not a thought for any other road user.

    As for electric assist bikes, oh for one of those when tackling Greenhead Bank!!!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Sorry for the verrrrrry late reply. I received this T-shirt attending the first ever 24 hours electric motor bike with San Diego. We were the English crew that turned up to buy a bike.

      Great bike, place and people.


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