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3 reasons why you should try e-biking in the Alps

Today, mobility is probably the fastest changing aspect in our lives – and not only thanks to car sharing apps or the imminent self-drive car. The latest craze in the Alps is the electric bike, or e-bike. For those not in the know there are still some misconceptions surrounding the e-bike; you may still associate e-bikes with the seriously inefficient dynamo powering pedals of the 80s, you may think e-bikes are cheating or you may think they are just for retired people… if so you are wrong on all counts.

Everywhere in the Alps now you see them… people of all ages and fitnesses riding fast on their bicycles in a surprisingly effortless way, or even zooming their way uphill between traffic. Are they superheroes in disguise? No, just e-bike users!

Biking with Undiscovered Mountains

Go further see more: how e-xciting!

 Today, the joy of cycling in the Alps is within (way) easier reach for everybody. Thanks to the growing availability of this wonderful invention, your fitness and experience level does not matter any longer.

E-bikes are not motorbikes, and they’re not even mopeds, they’re just bicycles – but rather bicycles 2.0. They provide power on demand, as a complement to your pedalling speed and power. It’s up to you how much power you use so you can keep on pedalling or push boost when you get to a steep bit – it is entirely up to you how much you sweat.

This means you can now go those extra few kms or take in that extra mountain pass because you know that you have a little extra power boost available as a back up at any time. You can do double the distance for half the effort.

The only thing holding you back is the amount of power left in your battery, which you’ll need to recharge at some point. These go for quite some time so you can expect a full on day out but it is possible to take back up batteries if you are worried or planning a particularly long ride.

Then when you get back to your accommodation you just plug your bike in and it will be ready the next morning. Ready to take you to some more stunning altitude landscapes – effortlessly.

Enjoy cycling ‘en famille’ with mixed ability

Remember those cycling holidays with your slightly lazy teenagers and / or your less motivated husband or wife? Thanks to the e-bike, these frustrating memories will forever belong to the past. Now everybody can cycle along together, no matter how steep the slopes. The fitter ones can just cycle on eco or no power assistance whilst the less fit ones can be on turbo for the whole way. Everyone goes the same speed but not everyone is working out quite as hard.

ebiking over 60s

In the Southern French Alps, with hardcore mountain biking territory as well as famous road cyling cols like Col du Noyer ,  this new kind of biking is transforming the holiday of many of our clients. It doesn’t matter if they are first time bike tour travellers, multi generation families or serious bikers – they’re all part of the same adventure, and more importantly they experience the same amount of fun. Because who wants a boring holiday?

They look cool!

The batteries for e-bikes are getting smaller and smaller and sit on the main bike frame. The next wave of designs will incorporate the batteries fully into the frame but even now you can’t always tell if a bike is an e-bike or not. The suspicions about cyclists in the Tour de France using power assisted bikes is not as far fetched or impossible as some might think. Whilst of course this would be serious cheating, the point of interest for us is that e-bikes can and do look as cool as a professional bike.

So next time you see someone riding particularly fast up a hill, don’t assume they are a superfit human who spends their life training, they may just be a normal person enjoying the same pleasures without the pain.

Sally Guillaume is Director at Undiscovered Alps.

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Sally Guillaume

Sally is the owner and director of Undiscovered Mountains, who specialise in multi activity and adventure holidays in the Alps.

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One Comment

  1. You are right about the rise and rise of E-bikes. To be honest you have to be something of a masochist cyclist, with Tour de France pain in your DNA, to want to go cycling in alpine territory. You can use up a lot of energy just ascending a peak, free wheel down and then you’ve got to do it all over again.

    No longer do the physical limitations of your body restrict what you can do during a day, with an E-bike your range of exploration is so much greater.

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