Opinion: Electric bikes make cycling around the city so much easier

Aug 3 2018, 12:14 am

Written for Daily Hive by Cathy Luk, HUB Cycling’s Events Coordinator for their 20th Anniversary Celebration events. She has been a longtime East Van resident and believes that cycling is a fast, fun, healthy, and eco-friendly way to get around the city.

With the growing popularity of electric-assist bikes, most people have heard of them by now.

Electric-assist bikes, often referred to as e-bikes, have a pedal-assist motor that can be turned on while pedalling when you need that extra little help with longer distances, heavier loads, or hills.

In 2016, an estimated 35 million e-bikes were sold worldwide, with 300,000 units being sold locally in Canada. The availability of electric-assist bikes has been shown to further reduce single occupancy vehicle trips in cities – and this creates less traffic, less pollution, and happier people.

Which type of e-bike is right for you? 

With the growing popularity of e-bikes comes a wide range of bikes to choose from. Vancouver based e-bike shop Motorino recommends first understanding your needs.

For the daily commute

commuter bike motorino

Commuter bike (Motorino)

Commuter bikes are the most popular e-bike on the market. Some are equipped with storage racks in the front and rear of the bike for saddlebags, and are completely customizable to hold cargo as you prefer. Depending on your needs some are even equipped with adjustable handlebars for extra comfort.

For the multi-modal transportation type

Foldable e-bikes are great for small apartment living, using carshares, and multimodal transportation as they fold up very small and are easily stored. For easy transport, these bikes can fit in any carshare trunk, can be folded and brought onto the skytrain, and stored in any closet at your home.

For the big hauls

Cargo e-bikes can haul those big loads with ease – and can even hold up to two kids on the back! Most of the cargo bikes on the market have adjustable parts to help with storage of different loads, and can haul up to 300 to 400 lbs.

Sometimes three wheels are better than two. When you require a lot of storage to haul everything and anything, try an electric tricycle like E-trike. You’ll see them being used by food, dry cleaning, and other delivery services.

For the joy-ride

Cruiser e-bikes offer a more relaxed style riding with a vintage look. This bike has a rear rack for the versatility of day to day shopping and easy commuting. Cruisers may have limited power on hills because of the weight, type of tires, and general build of the bike. However, with a pedal-assist motor and five different speed settings, this should make any hill easy to conquer.


HUB Cycling, a registered charity that works to get more people cycling in Metro Vancouver, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018. #20ReasonsToBike is a HUB Cycling initiative sponsored by many local media partners, including The Daily Hive. Throughout 2018, HUB Cycling will be publishing articles showcasing the many reasons why more people cycling makes happier, healthier and more connected communities. For more information visit bikehub.ca or check out #HUB20.