Why Do Some Cyclists Hate Electric Bikes So Much?

Why Do Some Cyclists Hate Electric Bikes So Much?

Electric bikes have exploded in popularity, and are a relatively new phenomenon that was inevitable – simply add an electric motor, and you have more power and versatility over any ride. However, as with any new invention, e-bikes have faced some criticism from purist cyclists who view the innovation with disdain for various reasons. Here are some reasons cyclists hate this new form of transportation and recreation:


E-Bikes on Non-Motorized Trails

There are people who do not like sharing the road with cyclists, regardless of whether an ebike is involved or not. This point of view often arises from the incorrect notion that public roads are for autos and not pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, motorcycles, and other modes of transportation.

E-bikes produce much more power than regular bikes, leading to soil erosion and other damage to forests. When cyclists on regular bikes see people taking their motorized bikes on trails, it understandably causes some anger and even prejudice. It’s as if they think that electric bikes are even more “evil” than cars, and certainly should not be allowed on bike routes.


Seen as Cheating 

Biking has become a popular way for people to exercise, an area that e-bikes suffer constant criticism from. Cyclists who prefer manual-powered bikes sometimes claim that riding an e-bike is ‘cheating.’ The idea stems from the assertion that biking is supposed to be a physical activity that you put muscle power into to receive transportation. When you throw any kind of motor onto that, you completely change the entire equation.

Bicycling competitions are one area that people can generally see eye to eye on. To compete fairly, you need to enter on equal terms with other contestants, or else it isn’t fair - electric motors in a race certainly aren’t fair. But it’s somewhat silly to just get mad when someone ‘beats you’ to the top of a trail or cuts you off on your daily commute.

A more tricky area is when cyclists claim e-bikes are taking the exercise out of bicycling. Bicycling is a physical activity, and using an electric motor to boost that workout is cheating yourself out of the health benefits of cycling regularly under manual power.


Good for Cycling as a Whole

It’s a touchy subject among purists, but rational people can probably understand that e-bikes aren’t ‘ruining’ cycling at all. If anything, you could argue that e-bikes are helping give cycling a new lease on life. With the new influx of cyclists attracted by e-bikes, there are bound to be some people interested in getting manual bikes for more strenuous exercise. (More details about HOVSCO ebike here.)

While early e-bikes were bulky beasts, newer models are slim and even hard to tell apart from traditional bikes unless you know what to look for. Batteries are only getting smaller over time due to new innovations, and sooner or later, there may even be a better alternative to e-bikes.

It can be easy to see e-bikes as replacing regular bikes, but demand for fun ways to exercise is never going out of style. Nobody wants e-bikes to replace bikes - they just want the versatility that e-bikes bring to their lives. Whether you commute, exercise, or compete, e-bikes for any set of needs are out there.


Don’t like being passed

If you put in a lot of miles on two wheels there is a good chance you will gain fitness and find yourself passing others on the road with little effort. It becomes a badge of honor to leave others in the dust. So when another cyclist passes you on a heavier bike with apparently less effort, you might find that disconcerting—or it might just be ego. In life there is always someone who is smarter, better looking, richer, and, yes, faster, than you. It is not about the bike or ebike, it just is.


Wish they had one

If someone razzes you about your ebike it might be because they are envious they do not have one yet. Who would not like to fly along the road, feel the wind in their face (if it is above freezing!), conquer hills with little effort, and get where they are going is less time with a smile on their face.


Some E-Bike Riders don’t respect other road users

Some e-bike riders act like they own the cycle paths. However, this certainly applies to other cyclists too, particularly those on expensive road bikes with the full cycling gear head to toe! Some behavior includes: not making space on the path for other pedestrians- cycling full speed in the middle of the path, they charge up behind people at high speed taking them by surprise, without using the bell, taking blind corners at high speed- which risks injury both to themselves and to pedestrians, not checking behind or to the side when turning off- which can lead to a collision with another rider to the side that they haven’t noticed. 



Ebikes are emission free, low impact to the environment, and operate silently. The ebike's low-speed electric motor provides a boost of power to climb hills, extend the range of trips where a bicycle can be used, allow bicycle users to bike more often and farther. They make too much sense and are here to stay. Please get rid of the prejudice and accept it. Ebikes are fun to ride and once everyone figures that out, the good times will roll. Remember to always be courteous and respectful to other road users, particularly if they are traveling slower than you. Happy riding!

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