An Interview With Chris Opie: eBikes Are Smile Machines
Whether you have been converted already or are still somewhat sceptical, you’ll know that ebikes have so many benefits when compared to regular bikes. There is a plethora of different kinds currently available, including Lapierre’s own superb range.
Our in-house designers have produced a stunning range of ebike models that are fit for all occasions, including the Overvolt eMTB range, eSensium eRoad bikes, eZesty eMTB, and the eUrban range that is the perfect companion to your daily commute.
We sat down with former British racing star and two-time world record holder Chris Opie to get the low-down on all things ebikes, and the benefits they have. We also found out which of Lapierre’s fabulous ebikes is Chris’s favourite.
The Health Benefits of ebikes
While cycling is always good for your physical health, there are major advantages that ebikes have over regular bikes in this sense. When recovering from an injury or illness, ebikes can be the perfect steppingstone as you make your way back towards full fitness. The main reason for this is that you can control the difficulty of your ride, facing less resistance from the pedals even when the terrain gets tougher.
Chris himself suffered from a concussion last year and said that riding his ebike was the perfect way to nurse himself back to full health.
“I used my ebike solely for over a month, so I had that ability to control the intensity of my ride. When you’re riding a regular bike, the terrain controls the intensity, but on an ebike you have that control.”
Exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, and this means that more people need to break free of the shackles of everyday life and get out onto the road, trails, and gravel tracks of the world. Chris believes that ebikes can help make this happen more than regular bikes can.
“By riding her Lapierre eSensium around the hilly terrain we live in, my wife has increased her endurance and cardio-vascular health after having children.”
While physical health benefits are one of the major reasons people get out on the bike, the mental health benefits are often even more important. According to Chris, who calls his ebike the ‘smile machine’, they strike the ultimate balance between input and output.
“As soon as you get on an ebike, you are getting more out than you are putting in. This makes you try harder for longer.”
eRoad Bikes and Bike Packing
Over this summer, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people taking on the challenge of bike packing. These long days in the saddle can be arduous and tough on the body. Taking an ebike on the journey can give you the extra boost you need to stay in the saddle for longer.
“eRoad bikes remove a limit for people,” said Chris. “By taking away that question of can I do it? A major hurdle is removed.”
The added versatility that ebikes offer is also a major benefit when looking to balance long-distance rides with the daily challenges of working life. Chris added that ebikes can also allow you expand your horizons, without being “pigeonholed into a certain discipline.”
Commuting on an ebike
The Lapierre eUrban is the pinnacle of everyday comfort and safety, with an electric assist that has been specifically designed for city usage. Commuting has never been more of an issue in cities around the world, with congestion, pollution, and heat just some of the factors making the switch to an ebike assisted commute so appealing.
Chris shared this view and stated that the main reason to commute on an ebike is the consistent journey times that they provide.
“I use mine for my commute, it is only short but it’s hilly and windy. The journey time is the same each day, whether I’m feeling tired or fresh.”
Comfort while onboard the bike is also something that Chris thinks is important when looking at which ebike is right for your commute.
“I think comfort is the whole idea of an ebike, they give you more comfort and accessibility than a road bike does for example.”
The Thrill of an eMTB
Commuting might well be a necessity, but it does not provide the experience that eMountain bikes can give you. In bringing you closer to the natural world, they can help you hit more lines and crest more climbs during your days on the trails. Chris is a big fan of eMTBs and was quick to point out how enjoyable they can be to ride.
“They are twice as fast when you come to go back uphill. You can do so many more runs in a bike park or go and do laps in your local woods.”
The power of Lapierre’s eMTBs will allow you to do all this and more, the Overvolt range is our most powerful set of eMTBs, while the eZesty offers a more lightweight option.
“They really have all the power you could ever want,” added Chris.
What to look out for when choosing an ebike
There are so many things to consider when thinking of which ebike is perfect for you. As well as knowing which Lapierre model suits the kind of rider you want to be, you will need to be careful to pick a bike that can take on the terrain that you will be focussing on.
Alongside these basic pointers, there are some more technical aspects that Chris said were vital to consider when making your decision.
“The things I would look out for would be torque output, battery life range, and a strong motor.”
While the technical aspects are important, some people are more concerned with the cosmetic components of the bike, something Chris was also keen to point out.
“I like the Lapierre models that have a removable battery, as it gives you the ability to have two bikes in one,” he said.
Chris’ Favourite ebike
Having tried and tested almost all of our ebike models, Chris was in for a tough decision when we put him on the spot, but in the end, there was one ebike that stood out.
“The lighter of Lapierre’s eMTBs, the eZesty, is my favourite. It’s a very good ebike that has all of the technical specifications you could need. It also has the two-in-one function I mentioned earlier. By using the blanking plate in place of the battery I can store things there for my children.”
If you began reading this piece believing that ebikes were simply a short-term moment of commercial hyperactivity, hopefully after finishing you now know of the bounty of benefits that ebikes can serve up.
Thanks go to Chris Opie for taking the time to share his expertise and give you all the crucial information you could possibly need about the many benefits of ebikes.