The History of the eBike – Electric Bike Facts - E Smart Way

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The History of the eBike – Electric Bike Facts

Posted by Tom Lee on

Welcome back to The eBike Store’s official blog space! We are Portland’s first all-electric bike shop, having been founded in 2009 by Wake Gregg. We have a passion for providing our Portland customers with a wide selection of electric bikes for rent and sale. We carry well-known, reliable eBike brands, in addition to providing dedicated customer service to help anyone who walks through our doors get the information they need!

In recent posts, we’ve tackled topics that include how to protect your knees when cycling, the top five biking destination in Portland,  reasons you should consider commuting with an eBike, and even exactly how you should be avoiding downtown Portland traffic with your electric bike! However, in today’s post, we’d like to take a step back from the Portland-specific posts in favor of highlighting the history of both the bicycle and the eBike. We’ll provide our readers with some interesting tidbits about the early beginnings of bikes, after which we’ll take a look at the storied (albeit more brief) tradition of the electric bicycle. Keep reading for a free history lesson from yours truly at The eBike Store!

201 Years Of Bicycles

You may be intrigued to learn that in 2017, humanity had the opportunity to celebrate two full centuries of life with bicycles. And while a 201st birthday doesn’t quite ignite the spirit of celebration the way a 200th birthday party might, there is still something to be said about the milestone.

Indeed, the “dandy horse,” or “running machine” as it was coined in some circles, was first invented by Karl Drais on June 12, 1817.  On that day, over 200 years ago, a crowd had formed on the smoothest road in Mannheim, Germany, to watch the Baron showcase his most recent breakthrough. This horseless, self-propelled vehicle, allowed him to complete a near 10-mile trip in 25 percent of the typical time it would take on foot.

Clearly, society has never been the same, thanks to Mr. Drais. Bicycles quickly became a much more economical choice when compared with the owning and upkeep of a horse. In fact, most bicycles would cost in the range of 20 pounds in late 19th-century England, whereas the purchase of a horse would likely cost 10 times as much — in the range of 2,000 pounds!

The bicycle is now comfortably the world’s most successful mode of transportation. In Germany alone, for example, there are some 81 million bicycles with only 45 million automobiles. The Bavarian’s neighbors, in the Netherlands, will be quick to tell you that their country is home to more bikes than people!

For his part, Drais’ innovation didn’t stop with running machines. The brilliant man invented the typewriter, a musical recording system for pianos, the periscope, and even a binary algorithm for the purpose of calculating square roots!

Introducing The eBike

Now that we’ve discussed the origin of the bicycle in a general sense, it’s time we talk about the pinnacle of bicycle evolution (as far as we are concerned) — the electric bicycle. Whether you call it an e-bike, an eBike, or an electric bike, one thing is for certain; the use of ebikes is steadily growing across North America and beyond! In fact, it’s pragmatic mode-of-use has caused it to have something of a boom in the past few decades, with over 120 million electric bicycles in use in only China!

Environmental Factors

People in Portland, and really, all over, are quickly discovering the amazing benefits of using an electric bike for both business and pleasure. Naturally, it requires less effort on the part of the rider to get from “A to B.” But there is much more appeal to the use of ebikes than simply not getting sweaty on the way into work. Perhaps chief among these benefits is that electric bikes don’t produce any dangerous emissions like vehicles with combustion engines do.

For many, this is reason enough to start using an electric as a primary mode of transportation. Even if we were to throw in the cost of consistent battery changes, e-bikes still blow away other kinds of vehicles from an energy-efficiency perspective. It’s six times more environmentally friendly as rail transit and almost 20 times more efficient than travel by car!

Another significant benefit of electric bicycles, which first appeared all the way back in the late 1800s, is that folks who have heart-related issues are often able to be mobile — without having to over-exert themselves, given the electric bike’s automatic propulsion.

Shop The eBike Store

Since the late 1990s, eBike’s have become outfitted with power controls and torque sensors — two features that no doubt contributed to the exponential growth the vertical has seen over the past few decades. If you are in Portland and you happen to be interested in renting or owning a premium eBike, The eBike Store is certainly worth your consideration. With top brands that include Raleigh, Stromer, Tern, Yuba, Gazelle, Benno, and more, we have the wide selection and affordable prices you are looking for! Browse the best deals of the year in our eBike-on-sale section today!




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