People started to look for ways to pass the time when the world began to shut down and shelter in place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They baked sourdough bread, tried indoor workouts and pulled old board games out of storage. At first, it seemed like staying at home was a chance to relax, but it quickly became tiring to remain inside.
Outdoor exercise is more popular than ever because the outdoors is the safest area to go without a mask. Some people work out in their driveways or apartment parking lots, but others take advantage of the sidewalks and streets. It led to a boom in biking, especially with e-bikes.
Read on to learn why electric bike popularity rose during the coronavirus. They continue to be a popular option for people around the world, allowing everyone to get used to a new normal.
1. Roads Are Safer
With most people staying at home, busy roads have become empty. It makes them safer for anyone wanting to run, walk or bike around their neighborhood. E-bikes can reach up to 20 mph without pedaling, which is why many people prefer to ride them on the streets instead of sidewalks. Without cars to look out for, biking is a safer option for those who want to move.
2. People Feel Stircrazy
Staying indoors and only leaving home to get groceries or go to essential jobs isn't easy. People have started to feel stir crazy and experience more stress symptoms, looking for relief outside of their indoor hobbies. Biking can help relieve these symptoms because exercise produces endorphins and heals nerve connections that get damaged after prolonged periods of stress.
3. Everyone Wants Exercise
As more people begin to exercise, e-bikes become a better option because they allow people to experiment with biking who may struggle with movement. Users can ride their electric bikes and pedal until they get tired, then use the electric gears to keep going even while they catch their breath. It gives people a chance to develop their strength and stamina without risking exhaustion or passing out by continuously peddling on a traditional bike.
4. E-Bikes Are Smaller
Mountain and city bikes often have large tires and gears that require large storage spaces. Those who don't have a garage usually skip buying a bike because they don't have a storage room, but e-bikes are smaller. They can fit in closets or inside cars so they're easy to transport or store, allowing more people to bike during their exercise routine.
5. Prices Have Dropped
As with any new technology, e-bikes were more expensive when they first debuted in the biking world. Over the last ten years, the cost for batteries alone has dropped to just over 87%, making electric bikes affordable for those with tight budgets. Given that 42.6 million people in the U.S. alone have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, affordability is one of the most significant factors driving people to choose their at-home workout equipment.
6. Long-term Maintenance Is Minimal
Any piece of equipment will require maintenance to function over time, including e-bikes. Compared to traditional bikes, they need less long-term maintenance because they have a simpler design. As long as users care for their battery, brake pads and tires, e-bikes will last longer than conventional bicycles.
7. Delivery Services Increase Demand
Even though going to the grocery store has always been allowed, many people still don't feel comfortable with it. They may be an at-risk individual because of their health conditions or want to reduce the chance of bringing the virus home to their families. Either way, food delivery services have seen a sharp increase in demand as people order their meals and groceries from home.
Instacart alone saw a 218% jump in app downloads during March, which led to more people getting hired to deliver the orders. Instead of using gas, these contractors started using e-bikes to get food from local businesses to nearby residential areas. It's a less expensive way to get around town, especially in cities where everything is a few blocks away.
Expect the Popularity to Continue
The world is months into the coronavirus pandemic, but it's not close to being over yet. Experts estimate that it will take somewhere between 12-18 months to develop a vaccine if everything goes well during trials.
E-bikes will continue to be popular as people stay home, exercise and order from food delivery services. They'll likely stick around even after the general public becomes vaccinated because everyone will be so used to the ease and simplicity of using electric bikes.
About the author
Kacey has many years of experience using and maintaining e-bikes, and enjoys long rides in the mountains. After making the switch from traditional bicycles, Kacey has never looked back and sees the continuing evolution of e-bikes as beneficial for the health of individuals and society as a whole.