Victorians contemplating a two-wheeled commute this spring have a new option that can help them ride further and more easily.
RACV’s e-bike program makes it easier to access the advantages of electric bikes through a pay-by-the-month plan starting at $80 a month, including a yearly service and RACV’s Bike Assist.
It has partnered with Avanti to offer two e-bike models, which give riders the fitness and convenience benefits of a pushbike, plus the ability to ride further and more easily with the flick of a switch.
Elizabeth Kim, RACV’s general manager mobility, says e-bikes have many advantages including removing the expense of a car, the crowding of public transport, and the physical exertion required on a standard bicycle.
“Compared to a regular bike, e-bikes let you ride further, help you get up hills, and get you to your destination with less sweat, so you probably won’t need to shower or change when you get there,” she says. “It works for the inner-urban commuter, and is a versatile and fun option for those keen on fitness, lifestyle and leisure.”
With the RACV e-bike package members can be confident that all their cycling needs are covered with Bike Assist (roadside assistance for bikes) and a concierge-managed yearly service. Find out more at racv.com.au/ebike
What it’s like on an e-bike
Jade Thrupp test-rode the Avanti Discovery on her first-ever e-bike ride.
I had a few pre-conceived ideas about riding an e-bike. Would it be like a mini motorbike? Would it propel me beyond my control or comfort zone? Would it take me to work or uni without sweat?
The bike has a display panel with manual, eco, normal and high settings. After some initial caution, I moved from manual up to eco, which became my favourite. It provided a boost rather than a persistent crutch. I could still feel the exertion, but it helped in that I could ride a little faster and for longer. This mode would be one for the naysayers who feel that e-bikes take the effort out of cycling.
With the normal setting I could tell I was being aided by the battery, but there was still a sense of physical exertion. And my fears of sudden propulsion from the high setting were unfounded. It just required less effort than previous settings. I could maintain a speed of 18km/h with relatively low input and going uphill felt like riding on the flat. It would be useful for hills, streamlining your commute or fulfilling a competitive streak by effortlessly passing other riders.
The e-bike battery charged up from a normal power socket at home, and had a range of up to 125 kilometres when fully charged.
Overall the e-bike saved me time and sweat on the way to work while allowing for more robust exercise on the way home. It’s healthy and affordable, and just that bit easier than a pushbike.