Text and images: Anu Kiiveri-Sahila
Follow Anu on Instagram: @anu.kiiveri
It’s raining and the wind blows in my face as I once again pedal home from the gym. The distance is about four kilometres per direction, but I hardly even notice any longer as I’m a happy owner of a new Tunturi E275 electric mountain bike.
Let’s rewind four years, when I first tried an electric mountain bike in Tenerife. I had my doubts because at the time I thought electric bikes were for people who were in poor physical condition or perhaps just lazy. Oh, how wrong I was! After pedalling for a few hours in Tenerife’s demanding terrain, I was sold. However, my own e-bike remained a dream until I finally got my hands on a Tunturi E275 electric mountain bike this autumn.
I’ve always been big on incidental exercise. I haven’t had my own car for years now, so where I go I’ve gone either on foot or by bike. Of course, the longer journeys I make by public transport or in my husband’s car. For a long time I wondered if an electric mountain bike would be the most suitable option for me. After all, I ride my bike both on asphalt and on dirt roads and trails. This ride seems to fit all of these conditions. I’m especially looking forward to winter weather in order to test how the bike holds up with snow.
So what is this bike like to ride? The ride is smooth and the bike sturdy. The saddle is comfortable and I haven’t needed padded cycling pants even on longer trips. It takes time to master using both the gears and the electric assistance in more demanding terrain. However, on roads using them is effortless and simple. The only small issue (that I have noticed in use) is finding a storage place for the bike that can be secured with a sturdy lock to a fixed object.
I’ve even blamed myself a little, wondering WHY I didn’t realise how handy an electric bike was much earlier. Or why I even considered a normal mountain bike instead of an e-bike. Below, I have listed the most important findings on why everyone who enjoys either incidental exercise and/or cycling should get an electric bike:
- Longer and more demanding rides. Thanks to electric assistance, I can make longer rides. If I used to pedal 20 kilometres, now I can even double that. The bike’s electric assistance is a great help if you go on a long ride, which turns out to be too long in relationship to your fitness. You still have to get home somehow, and luckily help is on hand. Similarly, I can also do more demanding rides. Before, a steep enough hill would sometimes force me to jump off the saddle. But not anymore: I switch to the lowest gear and use the boost function, and in that way I can pedal all the way up even the steepest hills.
- A lower threshold for getting started. Do you have a trip to the gym or another hobby? I do too. Often, exercising makes you so exhausted you really struggle to muster the energy to ride back home. Well, no longer. It feels absolutely WONDERFUL to make the return trip easier with using the “eco” or “trail” assistance. Your legs that you trained to exhaustion thank you and receive some welcome recovery on the way home. I feel that it’s easier to head out knowing that the return journey will be easier.
- You get to places faster. Are you often late or do you struggle with scheduling? I, too, am sometimes late. I’ll be doing chores at home and then suddenly realise that I’m in a hurry and need to get going. Before, it was a real workout getting to work, where there are no showers available. I no longer have to get myself all sweaty, while I will still get to work faster – thanks to my new electric mountain bike.
- Rapid improvements in fitness despite the electric assistance. I personally did not get my electric mountain bike to make WORKING OUT easier. In fact, I use the electric assistance quite sparingly. I keep the assistance “on reserve” as it were, for situations when my legs just run out of power. Such situations include steep climbs, a strong headwind or the end of a bike ride. One situation that I also consider requires electrical assistance, is working out with my husband Tommi, who is very fit. The fact is I cannot keep up with him without a little help.
- Starting a hobby after a long break. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where your fitness has declined, then here is a personal trainer for you. The electrical assistance is great because it helps exactly according to needs of each person. That is why an electric mountain bike is not only suitable for people with poor fitness or, on the other hand, avid athletes. It adapts to many situations and provides you the opportunity to get in shape, ranging from incidental exercise to fast-paced trail riding.