Arriving to school dripping in sweat is reality for students living within a two mile radius of Krop and when walking or riding their bike is their only option. Electric bikes, or E-Bikes, have become more accessible and affordable over the years and are being demanded by children and younger riders.
In the past, bike companies targeted older audiences because they were the ones purchasing them. Today, manufacturers are releasing “junior” models. One is the 2016 Haibike HardFour RX; recommended for kids and teens over the age of eight. The controls are easy to use, the tires are all-terrain and it’s light enough to be picked up. The battery can be charged attached or detached from the bike and has a limited power that keeps the top speed around 12mph.
Using e-bikes is still considered exercise. A study done by University of Colorado Boulder shows regular e-bike usage can still give you a workout, improve your cardiovascular health and overall fitness levels. E-bikes can be found new for under $1,000 and vary in tech, design, and models. There are hybrid, cruisers, folding, tricycles, and electric variations.
According to Portland State University’s TREC Transportation Insight for Vibrant communities, “as of December 2015, at least 40 US states and Canadian provinces had a minimum operator age for e-bikes, typically 14 or 16 years of age.” Any e-bike that is pedal-driven and has a maximum speed of 20 mph can use any of the state’s bike lanes and sidewalks.