Are e-bikes the future?

Bikes have become an hard to get commodity these days.
See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/nyregion/bike-shortage-coronavirus.html .

A few companies are betting on people’s willingness to buy fancy e-bikes.

Post-COVID, cities are opening more bike lanes.
More bike lanes means more bikes, means safer biking.

Another issue with fancy e-bikes is theft. All these companies provide anti-theft features with their bikes, including “find my bike” and “automatic lock”. They also bundle their offering with anti-theft insurance.

Surprisingly, countries with not-so-great weather (e.g. :netherlands:) are the #1 customer for such e-bikes.

Open questions

  • bike vs e-bike?
  • bike ownership, e.g. when you have CitiBike or Vélib?
  • bike vs scooter vs public transit?
  • safety?
  • theft?
  • city infrastructure to make bikes and e-bikes more attractive, e.g. protected bike lanes, parking for bikes, etc. ?
  • would you buy such a bike without test-riding it first?
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See also this Wired article about best e-bikes.

and this article about e-bike conversion kits.

And here is Wired section about e-bikes:
https://www.wired.com/tag/electric-bikes/

And another one.

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