© Giant USA

The Trails Are Calling and E-Bikes Are the Answer

22 December 2022
Why E-Bike Adventures are on the Rise

E-Bikes are energy efficient and offer emission-free transportation. In all aspects, technology has improved our lives, whether that be through breakthroughs in medicine, renewable energy or new sporting ideas to keep us active (and living) longer. It’s true that we can look at E-Bikes as a sort of a transportation vehicle that is just like any other vehicle around us, but bicycles hold a certain charm, which combined with simplicity, efficiency, and adventure – it has no comparison at all.

If you’re looking for an epic way to offer a whole new type of experience, E-Bikes are the solution. No contamination, no noise, no barriers…just adventure alongside beautiful nature and scenery. Absorbing the absolute and colliding with the very air we breathe, feeling everything, admiring it all.

Chile Nativo Travel, a local tour operator in Southern Patagonia, has primarily offered trekking and horseback riding tours in Torres del Paine National Park - long-hailed as a mecca for hiking lovers. But recently, new ways to experience the seemingly limitless landscapes of Southern Patagonia have been getting a lot of buzz and many travelers have been looking to add to their experience in the eighth wonder of the world. That’s why Chile Nativo Travel decided to invest in E-Bikes to provide the perfect option for that higher calling to adventure.

They Boost Adrenaline and Adventure
E-Bikes allow clients to go longer, climb higher, and get more singletrack thrills throughout pristine landscapes. These full-suspension electric mountain bikes help boost performance along the most challenging terrain. Along with professional guides, groups can explore new routes with a powerful, versatile and highly capable E-Bike. That’s what adventure is all about.

©Giant USA

Most travelers are curious about E-Bikes capabilities. So for starters (and the obvious question) – How fast can an E-Bike go?
The first thing to remember is that even though E-Bikes have a motor, we are still talking about bicycles here. Also important to understand that they are not scooters. One of the most frequently asked questions concerning E-Bikes is their speed. In Europe, an E-Bike must have a motor with a maximum power of 250W, assisting the E-Bike to a maximum speed of 25 km/h. In the US, the rules are different. These E-Bike motors can have a max of 500W and assist up to 20MPH (32km/ph). If the pedal support still functions above these limitations, then the bike becomes a so-called speed pedelec (a type of low-powered electric bicycle where the rider’s pedaling is assisted by a small electric motor.)

Can the bike go faster than the motor supports?
E-Bikes can go as fast as you can pedal, but the motor stops supporting you when you reach the max speed limitation. With an E-Bike, you have the power to reach a speed that is suitable for your way of riding, whether that’s faster than the motor supports or at a speed that’s lower than the maximum motor support speed. This means it’s an ideal option for any rider – whether experienced or more leisure riders who aren’t looking for speed and agility.

Is riding an E-Bike physically challenging? Do clients need prior experience on an E-Bike?
The answer is that clients can decide if they want to challenge themselves with an E-Bike. There are several options to push themselves physically if they want to. For example, they can use the E-Bike without any support or in Eco mode and still feel their legs burn. They can ride farther and longer with an E-Bike and they are encouraged by the speed/fun factor.

If clients are used to riding regular bikes, then they’ll feel empowered to ride an E-Bike and reach their adventure limit. And… If they prefer, they can also empower themselves to simply have a good time and enjoy the ride without any sweat.

As a tour operator, are E-Bikes worth the investment?
The great thing about E-Bikes is that they level the biking adventure field. They allow less experienced pedalers to ride along with more professional riders. This means more equal opportunities for clients in E-Bike programs including more family adventures. E-Bikes can help save costs both short-term and long-term. On average, an E-Bike will cost anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000 and just like normal bikes, yearly maintenance is required which will cost about the same for a normal, high-end mountain bike. Batteries will need to be replaced anywhere from 2-5 years. But more importantly, E-Bikes give you an advantage to offer a new type of adventure. The rise in active travel has caused an increase in bike tours. And as tour operators, mainstreaming E-Bike adventures will continue to grow and expand bike trips to a host of new audiences and markets.

Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.