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Your Guide to a Safer Bike Commute Part 2

There are so many benefits to riding an electric bike to work or school.

From increased health and less stress to saving money and doing your part for Mother Nature, the benefits of riding an electric bike to work are endless. But there is one downside to a bicycle commute — it can be risky. There are a lot of people out driving on the road, especially here in Portland, but you’ll be glad to know that there are many things you can do to make your bike commute safer. Check out part one of this series to learn about the safety tips we’ve already covered, and keep reading to learn more.

#5. Attempt to make eye contact.

When you’re on a bicycle, it’s vitally important that you don’t just assume that a driver will see you or that a motorist will give you the right of way (even if you are supposed to have it). Also, don’t assume that a motorist will obey a red light or a walk signal. Never take a motorist’s awareness for granted when you’re on a bike. If possible, try to make eye contact with the driver so that you know that they see you.

#6. Use hand signals when turning.

Making eye contact with drivers is ideal, but it’s not always possible. That’s why you should always use a hand signal when turning or changing lanes on your electric bike, even if you’ve made eye contact and you’re confident a driver sees you. But, even when you signal that you’re turning, don’t just assume that a driver will stop or slow down for you. Always keep your eyes open and make sure the coast is clear.

#7. Ride like you’re in a car.

Drivers are familiar with the patterns of other motorists on the road, so it’s in your best interest to ride your bike like you’re driving a car. What we mean by this is to always check and be aware of the traffic around you, make it a point to obey traffic laws and don’t weave in and out of traffic. Predictability equals more safety when you’re on the road.

#8. Make sure your bike is safe.

There are many aspects of your bicycle commute that are out of your control as far as safety is concerned, namely the behavior of motorists and other cyclists on the road. However, there is one big area that you have control over, and that’s the bike itself. It’s important that your bike is the right size for you, that it’s properly tuned up and adjusted, and that the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. At The eBike Store, not only do we offer a variety of electric bikes for sale, but we also provide tune-ups, maintenance and other services to keep your eBike in the best possible shape.

Riding an electric bike to work or school is a great way to get exercise, enjoy fresh air, reduce stress, save money and so much more, and we hope that this blog will help you enjoy a safer bike commute.

If you’re in the market for a high-quality eBike, there’s no better place to shop in Portland than The eBike Store. We offer a variety of eBike brands and types, including electric mountain bikes, electric road bikes and more. Shop with us today!

Your Guide to a Safer Bike Commute

An electric bike makes commuting anywhere and everywhere in Portland a breeze.

There are so many reasons to start commuting to work or school with an eBike. It’s much healthier for you, allows you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, saves money, reduces stress and more. The best part is that, with an electric bike rather than a standard bike, you won’t have to worry about showing up to work or school sweaty and disheveled, and you’ll get a little help getting up Portland’s biggest hills. The one downside to a bike commute is that it can be risky out on the road, but the good news is that there are lots of things you can do as a cyclist to stay safe.

#1. Always wear a helmet!

The number one thing you can do to keep yourself safe on an electric bicycle — or any bicycle — is to always wear a helmet. Just as you wear a seatbelt every time you get in the car, you should also wear a helmet every time you get on your bike because you never know when you’ll need it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of getting a head injury by a whopping 50 percent, so it’s well worth it.

#2. Use bike lights.

One of the biggest challenges for cyclists on the road is simply being visible to drivers. If you’re riding your eBike at night or under low-light conditions, the best way to be visible to drivers is to ensure that you have bike lights on both the front and back of your bicycle. Don’t settle for just any bike lights either; make sure that the lights you choose are bright enough to truly make you visible.

#3. Ride in the bike lane.

A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle, which means that the sidewalk is not an appropriate place for cyclists to ride. Many cyclists believe that the sidewalk is safer than riding in the bike lane, but that’s simply not true. For one, there’s likely to be a lot of other traffic in the sidewalk, including pedestrians and dogs, all of whom may probably aren’t expecting a bike. Additionally, drivers are expecting cyclists to be on the sidewalk, and if they’re pulling out of their driveway or parking lot, they may not see you if you’re on the sidewalk. Here in Portland, we’re lucky enough to live in a bike-friendly city that has plenty of bike lanes, and believe it or not, you’re better off using them.

#4. Keep your eyes in front of you.

While you should always check behind you before turning or crossing the street, for the most part, you should keep your eyes ahead of you, focused on where you want to travel. The vast majority of accidents involving cars and bicycles happen when drivers and cyclist cross each other’s path, most commonly when drivers turn in front of cyclists. Make it a point to watch the cars in front of you.

To find the perfect electric bike for your commute, shop with us at The eBike Store today. And to learn more tips for a safer bike commute, stay tuned for part two of this series.

The Top 5 Biking Destinations in Portland

Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.

In some cities, sidewalks are scarce and bike lanes are even scarcer, leaving cyclists to take their lives into their hands every time they get out on the road. However, Portland is not that city. In fact, Portland is among the top five most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. according to WalkScore.com. Regardless of if you’re heading to the office or out for a night on the town, there’s no better way to get there than with an electric bike from The eBike Store. Here is a list of the top five of the best destinations to bike to in Portland:

#1. The Oregon Zoo

Located just two miles southwest of downtown Portland, The Oregon Zoo is a quick, easy ride. With 215 species — including 28 species that are endangered or extinct — and more than 2,000 animals, you’ll be anything but bored at the zoo.

#2. The Portland Brewery Bike Tour

Nothing says Portland better than riding a bike and drinking a beer, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with the Portland Brewery Bike Tour. This three-hour tour will take you through downtown Portland, Northwest Portland and the Pearl District, and you’ll enjoy tasting beer from some of the best microbreweries in town, like Rogue and Lucky Lab.

#3. The Portland Japanese Garden

The Portland Japanese Garden is just a short bike ride away in the West Hills in Washington Park. It covers 12 acres and features eight stunning garden styles. You’ll also enjoy a traditional Japanese Tea House and an unmatched view of Mount Hood. The Japanese Garden is so incredible that even the former Ambassador of Japan, Nobuo Matsunaga, once said that it was, “…the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan.”

#4. A Portland Timbers Soccer Game

The U.S. isn’t known for being all that big into soccer, but if you’re hoping to experience an authentic, European-style soccer game, you won’t want to miss a Portland Timbers soccer game. Even better, Providence Park has been voted by Stadium Journey Magazine as the 11th best place to watch a sporting event in all of the U.S. But, don’t wait to buy your tickets! The Timbers have sold out every home game since they joined MLS in 2011!

#5. The Shanghai Tunnels Tour

Today, Portland is known as a generally safe, civilized city, but between the years of 1850 and 1941, parts of the city were so dangerous that Portland was known as the “forbidden city of the west.” Much of the illicit deeds done in Portland were done in the Portland Underground, otherwise called the Shanghai Tunnels. Tour the city’s dark past by attending a Shanghai Tunnel Tour, which starts at Hobo’s Restaurant, located near Skidmore Fountain in Old Town.

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Portland, and there’s no better way to get to any destination in the city than with an electric bike. At the eBike Store, we offer both ebike sales and rentals to help you get where you want to go. Check out our selection of ebikes online today!

Seven Ways to Protect Your Knees When Cycling

Cycling is one of the most beneficial and fulfilling hobbies you can do. Not only is it lower impact than running, it is highly aerobic, raising your heart rate without putting as much strain on your body as other exercises. However, as with all physical activity, it’s important that you take the proper precautions to protect your well-being. By following these tips, you can ensure you ride your eBike without ending up with knee pain at the end of the day. Want to learn more about electric bicycles? Want to give one a test ride? Come to The eBike Store in Portland to see what all the buzz is about!

-Keep Your Knees Straight

The number one way people end up with sore knees after a bike ride is if they aren’t making sure their form is right. When you pedal, you should do it in perfect circles, with your knees aligned and straight. When your knees wobble or move to the side — both inwards or outwards — it places increased stress on the cartilage within your knees. It causes the cartilage and your kneecap to rub together, which can damage them and become quite uncomfortable. If you keep your pedaling as straight and circular as possible, you’ll minimize that stress.

-Keep a Decent Speed

Maintaining a decent speed is important when riding, as it helps you to keep a fluid motion when pumping your knees and legs. Experts have reported that pedaling under 60 RPM (revolutions per minute) can be dangerous. The recommendation is to stay above 80 RPM if possible. You can maintain this speed by ensuring you are in the proper gear, as that will help you avoid going faster than you’re comfortable with. This makes the pedal assistance provided by an eBike especially helpful, as it will help you keep a steady speed without putting increased strain on your knees.

-Be Aware of Your “Float”

This entry is mostly focused on people who ride with clip-in pedals, but it can make a great deal of difference. The “float” of your foot position should match the natural angle of your feet and ankles. If your legs are angled too sharply, tension will radiate throughout your legs, which increases the pressure placed on your knees as you ride. It’s recommended to keep your float under 4.5 degrees for the best results.

-Move Back a Bit

While we touched on proper form a bit in discussing your knee positioning, where you sit on your bike has an impact on your knees as well. When you ride too closely to your handlebars, it puts your knees at a more aggressive angle, leading to increased strain and pain. Sit a bit further back on your seat, make sure your feet are firmly and properly planted on your pedals, and you should notice an immediate difference.

-Try Kinesio Tape

If your knees are extra sensitive, be it from old injuries or other afflictions, it might be worth your time to try kinesio or elastic therapeutic tape. It attaches to your muscles and joints, helping to maintain proper knee alignment. Instead of traditional athletic tape, which can hinder movement, kinesio tape mimics skin, which gives you a wider range of movement and has been clinically proven to reduce pain. By opening up your range of motion, it allows your muscles and joints to stay in position in a more comfortable way.

-Know Your Limits

When you’re out for a ride, it can be easy to get carried away. When you don’t understand your limits, you’re likely to push yourself too hard and end up injured. This mentality has been touted for many years, with a lot of athletes being praised for “pushing through the pain”. The problem with that mentality is that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. When you ignore those warning signs, you will exacerbate the problem, turning something small into a serious injury. If you’re feeling a serious pain, don’t try to tough it out. On an eBike, utilize the pedal assistance to take a break and rest your legs. Then, once the pain goes away, you’re free to start pedaling again.

-Stretch it Out

Whenever you’re going to be exercising or engaging in physical activity, it’s incredibly important to stretch before and after. This helps to loosen up your joints and muscles, preparing them for the activity. When joints and muscles haven’t been stretched, they will be tight and tense, making them more inclined to be injured. Some good stretches to do to prepare your legs for a bike ride include:

  • Lunging hip flexor stretch
  • Figure four stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Quad stretch
  • Kneeling quad stretch
  • Side lunge

You can see detailed instructions and pictures of these stretches here.

Starting to ride a bike is a fantastic way to get in shape and take control of your health. Your safety needs to be at the top of your list when starting to ride, so keep these tips in mind to avoid coming home with aching knees. Safety doesn’t start and end with your knees, though. It’s just as important to make sure you’re always wearing a helmet and that you know the rules of the road to ensure you are safe when riding around other cars and bicyclists. As you no doubt noted, many of the entries here brought up how an electric bike can help ease the strain on your knees. If you would like to learn more about electric bicycles, call The eBike Store today!

6 Financial Benefits of eBikes

Electric bikes have been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years and there are many reasons for it. One thing you might not know about is how much an eBike can save you. For that reason, today we’re going to look at six of the biggest financial benefits associated with getting an eBike. Need some help finding the perfect electric bicycle for your needs? Look no further than The eBike Store! Whether you peruse our online store or you stop by our brick and mortar location here in Portland, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

-Physical Health

You might not make the connection between your health and money, but they’re more intertwined than they appear. When you’re unhealthy, you end up spending a lot of time sick. Between missing work, doctors appointments, and medication, it can all add up. One of the reasons people get sick is because they have a lack of physical activity in their day-to-day lives. Most people commute to work in their car, and an increase in jobs spent at a desk in front of a computer adds to our increasingly sedentary lives. By trading your car for an eBike to commute, you’re getting the exercise you need to be healthy, saving you money in the long run. Another bonus? You’re not having to spend a bunch of money filling up your gas tank.

-The World is Your Gym

With how much exercise can improve your life, it can be an easy leap to make that you should just buy a gym membership. However, if you’ve ever had a membership, you know how expensive they are and how rarely they get used. With an eBike, the world becomes your gym. Not only will you get a great workout, you’ll do it out in nature, which is much nicer than being cooped up in a sweaty room with a bunch of strangers. With the added pedal assist feature of most eBikes, it also lets you take a break when you need to, which allows for longer, more fulfilling rides without getting too tired.

-Save Time

With the average American commute clocking in at 26 minutes and on the rise, the amount of time wasted traveling to work adds up. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money”, and that statement has only become truer in years since. Riding an eBike gives you a chance to bypass a lot of the problems that make your commute longer. Using the bike lane helps you avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic that’s so familiar to many daily drivers. With this extra time, some people have begun taking side jobs using their electric bike to make deliveries so they can get a bit of extra cash. That’s right. An eBike doesn’t just save you money, it can actually help you make money, too.

-Free Parking

Living in a big city can be truly wonderful, up until you have to look for parking. Not only do you have to park your car blocks away from where you want to go, you have to shell out for the parking machines. If you accidentally park somewhere you weren’t supposed to, or your meter runs out, you’re looking at a costly parking ticket. With an eBike, you never have to pay for parking again. All you need is a good bike lock and a sturdy bike rack and you’re all set. Saving cash without having to pay for parking adds up a lot!

-Affordable Upkeep

Cars are expensive, no matter how you look at it. Between spending a lot on it initially and how costly the repairs and upkeep get, you’re sure to be pouring a lot of your hard earned money into keeping it running. That doesn’t even factor in how much insurance and car payments are. An eBike has a lower upfront cost, which means even if you are making payments on it, they’ll be much less than what a car payment is. Additionally, it costs much less to keep your electric bike in good shape. Consider this — driving a car typically costs about 50 cents per mile, including gas, tires, and regular maintenance. In contrast, operating an eBike (including tires, battery replacement, maintenance, and electricity costs) comes out to just 18 cents per mile. While it might not seem like much, those cents stack up pretty quickly.

-Tax Incentives

With more and more emphasis being placed on reducing carbon footprints and adopting a green lifestyle, states have begun to offer tax credits to people who purchase eBikes. This is because eBikes help to reduce the overall pollution contributed by motor vehicles on a daily basis. It’s worth checking your state’s tax incentives to see if you can benefit from this new credit when tax season rolls around.

There are so many ways that an eBike can improve your life, but its financial benefits often get overlooked. We hope you’ve found this to be a valuable resource as you learn if an electric bike is right for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at The eBike Store. Our staff is passionate about electric bicycles and they have the knowledge to help you make an informed decision. We even offer eBike rentals here in Portland if you would like to give one a test drive to see for yourself. We hope to see you here soon!

6 Tips for Keeping Your eBike Safe and Secure

While electric bikes have gotten more affordable over the years since their introduction, their price still makes them an investment that needs to be protected. To take care of your eBike, you might need to think through security a bit more than a standard bike would require. With that said, we’ve gathered six tips to help you keep your eBike safe and secure. At The eBike Store, we offer a wide range of eBike accessories, from locks and baskets to bags and helmets. Either stop by our shop in Portland or peruse our selection online to find the perfect accessory for your electric bike!

-Park in Public

It might be tempting to park your bike out of sight, but this makes it an ideal target for thieves. When they see something out of the public eye, it emboldens them to take it, as they know there won’t be witnesses to see them do it. Instead, choose a public place to park your eBike to deter thieves. Breaking a bike lock takes time and is much more difficult to do when there are a lot of people around. Avoid leaving your electric bike parked somewhere overnight, because even if you chose a highly-populated area, there will be fewer people watching at night, and the thief will have the cover of darkness to hide their efforts
When choosing a place to lock your bike up, stick to secure items where you can make it as difficult as possible to steal. Obviously, a bike rack that is solidly attached to the concrete will be your best bet. While a tree, street sign, or street light can be good options, you need to make sure your eBike can’t be lifted over the thing you attached it to. Parking meters are a bad option for this reason. A solid fence can work, but don’t choose a chain-link fence since it can easily be cut by an enterprising thief.

-Be Respectful

When choosing a public place to lock up your bike, it’s important to be respectful of people who will be walking by. Some spots may look good at first, but your bike might cause too much congestion in a high-traffic area. When your eBike is in the way of pedestrians on a sidewalk, it will put it in danger of getting knocked over and damaged. This is especially important to keep in mind when you’re locking up multiple bikes, as they can take up a lot of space.

-Lock Your Helmet

One of the ways you can make your bike more secure is by routing your bike lock through the vents of your helmet. Not only does that make it more difficult to break, it also keeps your helmet safe when you can’t bring it with you. While most people haven’t had their helmet stolen, it’s a good safety measure when you’re in an area where the risk of theft is high. It’s doubtful many people would really want to steal a used helmet, but it’s still a good idea to protect yourself and your things when you can.

-Detach Accessories

If your eBike has detachable accessories, it’s a good idea to remove them when you lock your bike up. Items like lights and displays are often easy to remove and small enough you can throw them in a messenger bag or backpack to take with you. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for how to carry items with you while you ride. Some locks come with an attachment you can install on your bike for easy storage, while other people use cargo bags or baskets. These items are helpful because they give you an option for storage so you don’t have to worry about juggling them while you ride.

-Different Locks

While it is definitely possible to use the same lock for all eBike security needs, you can use different ones for different situations. Use a sturdy, strong bike lock when you’re going to be parking for an extended period of time (like at work) to ensure its security. A lighter bike lock is a great option for short trips like errands, because you won’t be locking it up long enough for someone to steal it. This also reduces the weight you’re carrying on your ride, making for a more enjoyable trip. You can even keep your heavier lock at work so you don’t have to worry about hauling it back and forth every day.

-Serial Numbers/GPS Tracking

Beyond your standard bike locks, there are other security measures you should take to protect yourself and your property. The first of which is recording your electric bike’s serial number, which may be located on your bike at the rear wheel mount, seat tube, under crank, or head tube. When you have this easily accessible, you can provide it to the police in the event your eBike was stolen to make tracking it down much easier. Additionally, many eBikes have begun to add GPS tracking as an added security measure. Most of these programs are accessible through a smartphone or computer and show you exactly where your bike is on a map. If your eBike doesn’t have this functionality, it might be worth it to invest in an accessory to make tracking your bike easier.

It’s important to take the proper steps to secure your property and we hope you’ve found this to be a helpful resource. If you’re looking for a new, heavy-duty bike lock or you just want to see what kind of storage options are out there, check out The eBike Store’s selection. We carry eBike accessories and gear that will fit all of your needs. You can find more online or in our Portland storefront. We hope to see you soon!

Introducing: Specialized

The eBike Store is proud to announce we are now an official dealer of Specialized electric bicycles. As one of the few shops offering these incredible eBikes, we wanted to take some time today to check out what makes Specialized eBikes so special. If you want to test out just how cool these ebikes are, swing by The eBike Store in Portland today to take a test ride or rent one for a day on the town!

 

-About Specialized

Back in 1974, Specialized started making bikes, and they’ve been on the bleeding edge of the biking industry ever since. Priding themselves on being a company “Made for riders, by riders”, they’ve consistently evolved and changed their bikes to meet the needs of their riders. From doubling-down on the carbon in the frame to constructing their own wind tunnel to optimize their designs, Specialized has never rested on their laurels or said that something was “good enough”. They made the first production mountain bike, pushed to make higher quality tires, and have given back to the community with their Specialized Foundation, with a focus on helping kids succeed in school with cycling. A few years ago they threw their hat in the ring for the budding electric bike industry and they’ve been turning heads and changing minds from day one.

The eBike Store will be offering the Specialized Turbo Vado and Turbo Como in a few different models. The Turbo Vado will be available in 2.0, 3.0, and 6.0 varieties, while the Como will be available in 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 models. Which one is the right one for you will come down to how many features you’re looking for. Entry level riders will likely get everything they need from the 2.0 models of each, but performance and perks come with each subsequent model. We’ll be taking a closer look at all of them in the coming weeks but in the meantime, come to The eBike Store today to take one for a test ride and see how great they are yourself!

5 eBike Maintenance Tips

To ensure your electric bike stays in good condition, it is important to perform maintenance on a regular basis. However, you may not be sure what the best maintenance is to do, or how often to do it. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the best eBike maintenance tips to help you get the most out of your eBike for longer. If you need electric bicycle maintenance in Portland, call The eBike Store! Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be more than happy to make sure your eBike is in tip-top shape so you can get back to riding.

-Battery Maintenance

Electric bikes use a battery that is very similar to the one in your cell phone or laptop, Lithium Ion, just on a larger scale. Within the battery are a group of cells, which have around 1,000 charge cycles, depending on the quality of the cells. What this means is the battery has 1,000 full charges before it starts to drain and die, like all batteries eventually will. As each cell’s charge is consumed, the battery will move onto the next one in the series. If you go for a ride and only use the first 10 cells in the battery, recharge, and then go for another ride repeating the process, you have still only used the first 10 cells in the battery. That means the rest of the cells within the battery are still unused and have not consumed any of their 1,000 charge cycles. To extend the life of your battery, charge it after every ride to keep as many cells in unused condition as possible.

-Drivetrain Maintenance

Just like standard bikes, an electric bike’s drivetrain needs to be properly lubricated and cleaned in order to keep operating optimally. If this is not done regularly, it will cause it to rust and wear down, which means it will need to be repaired or replaced. To clean the chain while it is still on the bike, follow these steps:

  • Clean out the links in the chain with an old toothbrush and some warm water.
  • After they’ve been cleaned, dry them off with an old, but clean, cloth.
  • Lube up the clean links with bicycle lubricant. Do not use WD-40 or other oils, only special bike lube.
  • Wipe off any excess lube with a clean dry rag or paper towel. Excess lube can attract dirt.

The derailleur gears will need to be tightened and adjusted around every year or so. Because this is a more difficult and intricate piece of maintenance, we recommend bringing your bike into The eBike Store so one of our experienced technicians can do that for you. This is done to ensure the bike can make a clean shift without any scraping or grating, which makes for a smoother ride.

-Tire and Inner Tube Maintenance

Keeping your tires fully inflated will ensure your bike runs well and as fast as you want it to, without requiring as much energy (human or electrical) as if they weren’t fully inflated. Your tires will have their proper PSI marked on its side, so be sure you aren’t over or underinflating it. Make sure the treads of the tire are in good shape and aren’t worn down, as worn down treads can result in reduced traction and make it easier for something sharp to puncture the tire. It is recommended to replace your tires after around 2,000 miles, depending on the road and riding conditions they’ve been put through.

-Brake Maintenance

Your brakes are incredibly important because you rely on them to keep you safe as you slow down and come to a stop. As such, keeping them maintained is not something you should neglect. Different types of brakes require different maintenance, which we will be getting into more detail with in the future. The main types of brakes you’ll find on an electric bike include:

  • Rim Brakes: Engaged using a lever, which pulls a cable connected to the brake pad, slowing you down.
  • Mechanical Disc Brakes: Brake is connected to a rotor that is attached to the wheel. Also engaged using a cable attached to the handlebars.
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes: A sealed tube with hydraulic brake fluid applies pressure to the pads and rotors.

-Motor Maintenance

Like brakes, different motors will require different maintenance, which we will be covering in further detail in a future article. Those types of motors include:

  • Gearless Hub Motors
  • Geared Hub Motors
  • Mid Drive Motors

Most motors will not require much maintenance, but it’s good to be aware of the differences.

For the best in electric bike maintenance, call The eBike Store in Portland today! We’ll be happy to help you get back on the road.

The Health Benefits of Riding an Electric Bicycle

Something we’ve touched on in the past, but haven’t gone into detail with, is how much you can improve your health when you start riding an eBike. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the many health benefits you stand to gain when you begin exercising with an electric bike. Whether you are a long-time bike rider or someone brand new to our favorite hobby, we know you’re going to love riding on one of our eBikes. If you would like to learn more about getting started, you can either visit us here in Portland or give us a call to talk with one of our exceptional and knowledgeable staff members.

Sustained Aerobic Exercise

Studies have shown that exercise can have a massive impact on your ability to fight off disease. This is especially true when it comes to aerobic cardiovascular exercise, as it increases your heart rate, pumping oxygen-infused blood throughout your body more efficiently. When that blood travels through your body, it is supplying your muscles and organs with the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly. That has the added benefit of strengthening your immune system, which makes you more prepared to battle against disease and illness. In fact, by increasing the amount you exercise, you can avoid things like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression.
Riding an electric bicycle is a fantastic way to improve your fitness, as it is an exercise that elevates your heart rate for an extended and sustained amount of time. With that boost to your cardiovascular system, the American Heart Association says you can help prevent heart disease and stroke, the number one and number five highest causes of death. Because bike riding can be too high impact for many people due to health issues or nagging injuries, an electric bike makes it more possible to do. The decreased impact on joints and assistance from the motor ensures more people than ever can get the two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week they need to stay healthy.

Riding More Often

With decreased impact on joints, you’re able to walk away after a long ride on an electric bike without the pain and soreness you’ll find with a standard bike. That naturally makes going for a ride much more enticing, because you know you’ll get the exercise you need without the painful side effects that typically follow. When you’re able to avoid that pain, you’re more likely to pick up your eBike to go for a ride. As you would expect, the more you ride, the more you can improve your health.
The assistance from the onboard motor will also make it easier than ever to go farther on your rides. Taking on steep inclines is no longer a task to dread, as you won’t have to strain yourself nearly as much to reach the top. Because you’re in control of when the motor assists you, this gives you the freedom to customize your riding experience and further improve your fitness.

Healthier Commute

While the average commute for most Americans is around 25 minutes, many others spend far more time in their cars. Sitting in traffic is just one of the many factors that is contributing to our increasingly stagnant lifestyles. By commuting on an eBike instead, you’re able to stay active as you make your way to and from work. Remember, it is recommended to get at least two-and-a-half hours of exercise a week. Even if you just ride your electric bike to work three days a week, you’ve already knocked out a big chunk of your weekly exercise goal, if not the whole thing. We know after a long day of work, it’s tough to convince yourself to work out. However, when you make exercise a part of your trip back home, all you have to do when you arrive is take a nice, hot shower. Additionally, an eBike’s motor will make your ride faster than on a standard bike, which means you don’t have to worry about adding a bunch of time onto your commute.

Strengthening Bones, Muscles, and Joints

An eBike is heavier than a standard bike, typically weighing in anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds, with the motor and its mechanisms accounting for that added weight. With that extra weight, an eBike has the added benefit of improving your strength throughout your body. Everything from steering to pedaling and balancing all provide a strengthening exercise that helps promote stronger and healthier muscles, bones, and joints. This helps to prevent joint and bone conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and chronic lower back pain. You’ll also notice a big increase in your body’s core strength, which is being constantly engaged as you balance while riding. When you take on a lower impact workout like riding an electric bike, you’re able to improve your bone strength and reduce your risk of osteoporotic fractures, making this a perfect exercise for seniors looking to stay active.

Seniors and People with Health Issues Can Keep Exercising

Not only does the low-impact nature of riding an eBike help prevent new injuries, it also helps facilitate exercise without aggravating existing injuries. For older people looking to work out while working around arthritis or other sore spots, an electric bike allows them to get the health benefits of cycling without bringing on extra pain. This goes for people that are working their way back to health after injuring themselves. By flipping on the motor for a little extra assistance, it allows riders to judge when they need to rest their body without stopping, which helps to avoid injuries that come from overexertion.
Beyond bone, muscle, or joint issues, this added exercise is also incredibly helpful for seniors looking to avoid illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease. Many seniors develop debilitating health problems as they get older and their risk of contracting these diseases increases exponentially when they aren’t getting enough physical activity. As people get older, they are more likely to forego exercise due to pain or other health issues making them feel unable to participate. However, many people (regardless of age) have noticed that working out actually helps them avoid chronic pain issues. That is due to the increase in blood flow carrying oxygen and other nutrients to parts of the body to help them stay healthy. When you are stagnant, your body is not able to pump blood to those pain areas, which prevents them from healing.
The adjusted design of an electric bicycle also makes it a perfect option for former bicyclists that had to give up the hobby due to carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, knee pain, or other issues. Not only do they allow for a more comfortable cruiser style position, most eBike motors can be engaged at a variety of levels, which allows the rider to determine exactly how much assistance they need to make up for sore knees or an aching back. This has made electric bikes a fantastic option for people going through physical therapy and rehabilitation, as they are in control over how intense the workout is. With a measured approach, eBikes allow for more people to keep riding for years to come.

While you may think we’re biased, and maybe we are, we’re consistently surprised by the new information that is being discovered regarding an eBike’s impact on health and fitness. All of these benefits also make an electric bike a perfect choice for someone with a loved one that is passionate about biking, as it allows a biking newbie to join in on a ride while keeping them up to speed with someone more experienced. With electric bikes suited for new bikers and old riders alike, The eBike Store is your go-to source for eBikes in Portland. Whether you stop by our store to check out our inventory, rent an eBike for an afternoon, or take one of our wonderful guided tours, we’d love to hear from you soon!

Tips for Safe Bike Riding

Riding a bike is one of the best ways that you can stay active, explore your surroundings, save money on gas, and reduce your carbon footprint. These benefits have led many communities to create a more bike-friendly environment that everyone can enjoy. While many strides have been made toward improving safety conditions for riders, there are still steps you need to take to ensure you can ride safely. We’ve gathered some of the best safety tips to help you ride without trouble. If you’re looking for a great way to get started with biking, call The eBike Store today!

-The Risks of Riding

Before we start talking about how to ride safely, it’s important we explain the risks, — when you understand the risks you’re better equipped to avoid them. One of the biggest risks stems from sharing the road with cars. While more bike paths are popping up everywhere, in most areas you will predominantly be riding your bike on the shoulder of the road in a bike lane. You have to trust that the drivers passing you understand how to share the road safely, but injuries can still happen.
In fact, in 2015, bicycles were connected to more injuries across all age groups than skateboards, trampolines, swimming pools, and playground equipment combined. There are nearly 80 million bike riders sharing the road with cars and trucks, so the importance of safety precautions can’t be overstated. We want you to enjoy our favorite hobby for years to come, so let’s get started with our safety tips.

-Helmets Save Lives

When bikers wear a helmet, they reduce their risk of a head injury by an estimated 60 percent and brain injury by 58 percent. Due to the nature of most bike accidents, the rider is often thrown off head first. With just skin and bone to protect the brain, it’s easy for serious injuries to occur. This makes it imperative for you to find a helmet that meets federal safety standards and fits you securely.

-Bike Safety Rules and Precautions

  • Learn the traffic laws. When you share the road, you share the laws. Understanding them will help to prevent accidents caused by misunderstandings.
  • Know what your bike is capable of. Riding a cruiser through a rocky mountain pass is a sure way to crash.
  • Ride single-file in the direction of traffic.
  • Be aware of opening car doors and other hazards as you ride.
  • Use the correct hand signals and take extra caution when at intersections or making turns.
  • Never try to hitch onto the back of a car.
  • Before you enter traffic, come to a complete stop, look left, right, left again, and over your shoulder to ensure you enter safely.
  • Always wear bright clothing and try to keep your riding to the daytime.
  • If night riding is a necessity, wear reflective clothing and add lights and reflectors to your bike. Reflectors should be located on the rear, front, pedals, and spokes.
  • Additional accessories like a horn, bell, or rear-view mirror are also recommended.

-In The Event Of An Accident

If you do get in an accident, there are some steps you need to follow to ensure you don’t get into a worse situation. The first thing you need to do is get off the road, which will ensure you don’t suffer further injury. When talking with the driver, get their phone number along with the numbers of anyone who saw the accident. If you are injured and cannot record this information, ask a bystander to help. If at all possible, take a picture of the license plate, as well as the vehicle and scene of the accident. Include photos of your bike and any injuries you sustained. Once you have this recorded, call 911 and wait for the police to arrive to file an accident report.
Write out the details of the accident to ensure you have a record of what happened, when, and why. Hold off on repairing your bike and don’t throw away any broken equipment until the accident has been resolved. Take note of any after effects that resulted from the crash, like a headache or muscle pain. Consult with a personal injury lawyer that specializes in bike-related accidents if you were injured. Most of all, learn from the accident and take caution when you start riding again.

We absolutely adore riding our electric bikes, but we still understand that it carries a level of risk we have to account for. Follow these tips and stay safe out there.

For your electric bicycle needs, check out The eBike Store! Whether you visit us here in Portland or you take a look at our online store, we’d love to have you. Happy riding!