Why people bought more ebikes during the pandemic than ever before

Walking and cycling gained a higher profile than ever in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Governments around the world encouraged individuals to go on foot or take their bikes where possible instead of using crowded public transport, and invested in widescale cycling infrastructure to help them do so.

In the UK, the link between obesity and poorer coronavirus outcomes and the country’s new obesity strategy led to doctors prescribing cycling to improve patients’ health.

While manufacturers and retailers reported a rise in bicycle sales and cycling in general during the pandemic, there remain many people who may not feel fit enough to cycle very far (or at all), have a long commute, or live in hilly places.

For these people, bicycles that provide electrical assistance for the rider when pedaling, known as electric bikes or e-bikes, have proved an attractive option because they make cycling easier. As a result, sales of e-bikes also boomed in 2020, with manufacturers struggling to keep up with the demand.

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The advantages of e-bikes

Requiring less effort to ride, e-bikes allow the user to carry more luggage than conventional cycles and are often used for utilitarian purposes such as shopping or commuting, as well as for recreation. E-bike owners have been found to cycle more frequently and for longer distances than conventional cyclists.