Cycling can be a great way to explore the countryside, and there are many reasons why choosing an E-bike might be the perfect option. Whether you’re riding with a partner or group at a different fitness level than yourself, feel more confident on an E-bike than on a road bike, or prefer to get the miles in with plenty of time to soak up the culture, there are a plethora of reasons why an E-bike might be the best bike choice for you.
E-bikes are a great way for groups of varied abilities to cycle together, for those not quite in bike shape, or for those who want to cycle longer days more easily. There’s no shame in choosing an E-bike – the electric assist is there to help, but it is still you who’s pedalling!
Below, we’ve collated a few FAQs and useful info to know we get about E-bikes to help you make your decision.
It may sound silly to mention this, but an electric bike is still a bike. For anyone used to riding a hybrid or road bike, an E-bike shouldn’t require a significant change. All E-bikes come fitted with an electric assist set in motion by pedalling. This gives you a boost with each cycle of your foot on the pedals.
As with any bike, you still control the speed with your feet – you just have any extra boost from the motor. As you pedal, the bike’s battery is charged. This means that no matter what level of speed the motor is set at, you’ll have to pedal. The good news is that pedalling has never been easier with the electric assist.
Depending on how much effort you want to put into your cycling, you can choose from four levels on your E-bike. Eco has the lowest assist and might be good when you start your day’s cycle and feel fresh.
Tour is the second level and is most cyclists’ go-to, great for cruising, small climbs and rolling terrain.
Sport is the next level – ideal for some steeper or longer climbs. As your legs start to tire, you might like to sneak in a bit of Sport level at the end of your cycle.
Turbo is the ultra-powerful level. This setting uses a lot of the battery, so it’s best used only on the biggest hills and the steepest climbs. Make sure you try at least once though as it’s pretty fun.
E-bikes are made for touring, not racing, so comfort is valued over speed, and saddles are wide and comfortable. You’ll be sitting fairly upright instead of at an angle as you would when riding a road bike. This makes it easier to cycle for longer while staying more comfortable. And, of course, the upright saddle position allows you more opportunities to soak up the stunning landscapes whipping by as you pedal onwards.
Though they are lighter than they used to be, E-bikes are not lightweight. The batteries add weight to the bikes, but the frames are heavier than a regular bike. The frames have to be sturdier to account for the added weight from the battery and the electric assist inside the metal frame.
At Wilderness Ireland, our bike rental includes a fleet of Trek Verve+ E-bikes, which weigh an average of about 20 kg/45.34 pounds. Don’t worry, your guide will be lifting the bike for you, but it’s still good to keep the added weight in mind when transporting the bike. When mounting and dismounting, it’s worth remembering that the E-bike has a heavier frame than the bike you may be used to; gravity isn’t always your friend.
Although it is unlikely, if you run out of battery power, you’ll have to pedal a heavier bike without the extra assist. It’s good to note how much charge is left on the screen.
Yes, your E-bike batteries need to be recharged daily, but you should get a full day of cycling on one charge. As long as you’re not on Turbo the whole time nor cycling for extended periods, you should be able to cruise by on Tour for your day’s ride.
The batteries need to be recharged in the evening, but cyclists on a Wilderness Ireland bike tour won’t have to worry about that as your guide will handle it for you. You might still like to keep an eye on the battery indicator on the screen and let your guide know if you’re concerned. There is also a support vehicle on all of our bike trips in case you need extra batteries, or to hop in and give the bike (and yourself!) a break. There will be plenty of breaks throughout the day too, including coffee stops, photo ops, and cultural visits.
The battery’s maximum speed assist is 25km/hr. The battery capacity varies depending on the model and your consumption, but if your average cycling speed is 20km/h and you are pedalling on Tour, your range is 70km. If you know your average speed and preferred level, you can estimate your range here.
Whether you choose to cycle through Ireland on an E-bike, road bike, or hybrid, your bike will come equipped with a Garmin bike computer showing each day’s route. This allows you to cycle at your own pace, stop to get that epic shot without feeling like you’re holding the others up, or power through an uphill at your own speed.
On a Wilderness bike trip, there will be plenty of coffee, tea and snack breaks and, of course, the support van will be on the road nearby, ready to give you a break when you need it. You’ll also have a guide on the road with you, ready to interpret the landscape, share local hidden spots, and regale you with Ireland’s history, myths and stories.
Whether you’re joining a small group bike tour or a self guided+ plus cycling trip, you can request an E-bike. Please do keep in mind that it’s first come, first served. We use Trek Verve+ E-bikes, a great balance of comfort, safety, battery life, and quality bike, perfect for winding Irish roads. You can learn more about bike rental, and see the Verve+ E-bike’s specs in detail, using the link below.
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