Experiences of electric bicycle users in the Sacramento, California area

The study asked e-bike users in the greater Sacramento area about the reasons why they chose to invest in an e-bike, the ways in which they use their e-bikes, positive and negative aspects of using e-bikes, and reactions from friends and family members.

In some parts of the world, electric bicycles (e-bikes) represent a significant share of daily travel, though they are still rare in the United States. The small size and maneuverability of e-bikes that are assets in cities in China may not be as important in the U.S., where cities are built to accommodate cars, but their potential as a substitute for cars makes them an important part of the discussion around sustainable transportation. In this study we conducted 27 interviews with e-bike users in the greater Sacramento area in which we asked participants about the reasons why they chose to invest in an e-bike, the ways in which they use their e-bikes, positive and negative aspects of using e-bikes, and reactions from friends and family members. Several important themes emerged from the interviews. The functional character- istics of e-bikes, particularly greater speed and acceleration than conventional bicycles with less exertion, contribute to several positive aspects of their use, including enabling more people to bicycle, more trips to be made by bicycle, and more fun for their users. The result, for these users, was an overall decrease in driving, with some users getting rid of their car altogether. Negative aspects cited by users include secu- rity concerns, safety concerns, unwieldiness, and range anxiety. Participants also discussed several mis- perceptions on the part of non-users that could inhibit their adoption. These results provide insights for the development of e-bike policy and guidance for future research.

Attached document published December 2013

More articles in this category

FAQ: Apps for Trail Management and Volunteers

posted May 19, 2021

Information on apps that can be used for trail management that would be suitable for volunteer-type organizations.

Pedal-Assist Mountain Bikes: A Pilot Study Comparison of the Exercise Response, Perceptions, and Beliefs of Experienced Mountain Bikers

posted Dec 22, 2020

This study aimed to compare conventional mountain bike and eMTB use. This was done by investigating 2 questions: (1) What proportion of exercise response is retained for an experienced mountain biker while using an eMTB when compared with a conventional mountain bike? and (2) What are the perceptions and beliefs of experienced mountain bikers toward eMTBs both before and after riding an eMTB?

Perceptions of Conflict Surrounding Future E-Bike Use on the Arizona Trail

posted Oct 27, 2020

On average, the majority of survey respondents disapprove of e-bikes being allowed on the trail. This remains true across the board for each of the major user groups; however, mountain bike rider respondents are less likely to disapprove of allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails and equestrian respondents are more likely to disapprove.

Trail Use and Management of Electric Mountain Bikes: Land Manager Survey Results

posted Aug 13, 2020

In order to better guide research into the range of potential social and environmental impacts and benefits related to the use of eMTBs on natural surface trails, IMBA and the BPSA are interested in what questions land managers have regarding this new use. The survey explicitly targeted land managers’ experiences and concerns regarding eMTB use on natural surface and/or singletrack trails – not paths or bikeways – although some land managers are responsible for both types of trail infrastructure.

253 views • posted 08/07/2020