Hello Everyone. I’m Jane, I work at Strava, and I love e-bikes!
Today we’re going to talk about why e-bikes are so great, the best way to use Strava with an e-bike, and lastly, chat with Mona and Erika, both Strava employees and e-bike enthusiasts.
Before we jump into any of that - let’s talk statistics. According to statista.com, the global e-bike market in 2021 was worth more than $26 billion and is forecasted to roughly double by 2027.
E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
We’re also noticing that more Strava members are using e-bikes. The share of cyclists on Strava with an e-bike ride increased 26% in 2022 compared to 2021. Europe in particular, is embracing e-bikes.
So what’s the big deal? Well, e-bikes have a number of benefits.
Benefits of E-bikes:
*Convenient Commuting The pedal assist and increased speed makes e-bikes an excellent option for commuting or just helping you get outside to move your body.
*Customizable E-bikes can be designed and set up for a number of functions. Hauling cargo, transporting kids, participating in gravel or mountain bike rides - e-bikes can do it all.
*Improving Accessibility E-bikes allow cyclists of varied skill levels to be able to participate in cycling! The pedal assistance is easier on joints and muscles especially on hills or difficult terrain.
*Going the Distance With extended range, e-bikes offer cyclists the ability to experience more trails or hard to reach destinations, or push themselves harder. They provide a way for cyclists to continue doing the sport they love through all stages of life, from pregnancy, injury recovery, or just the need for a change of pace.
We welcome e-bikes and their owners on Strava. Here are some things to be aware of when you record and upload your e-bike rides to Strava:
E-bike rides have their own activity/sport type on Strava. You’ll want to ensure all your e-bike rides are categorized correctly.
One way to do this is to record with a device or app that supports recording in e-bike mode, since these will automatically sync to Strava as e-bike rides.
Recording with a device that doesn’t yet support e-bikes? No problem, simply record in “Ride” mode and change the activity/sport type to "E-Bike Ride" after the activity syncs to Strava.
Making sure your e-bike ride is set to the proper sport type ensures it matches with e-bike segments only, and will not appear on standard ride segment leaderboards.
Is your e-bike ride getting flagged before you have a chance to change the sport type? Do you sometimes get busy and forget to change your ride to "E-Bike"? Consider updating your privacy settingsso that your newly uploaded activities will be visible only to you.
This will give you time to go in and update the activity to an "E-Bike Ride" without worrying that it accidentally matches standard ride segment leaderboards. Once you've updated the sport type, you can then make your activity visible to Followers or to Everyone – or keep it set to just you.
What kind of apps and devices work best for e-bikes on Strava?
Many platforms – including Garmin, Wahoo, Apple Watch, Wear OS Watches, and the Strava app – allow you to record in e-bike mode.
Some e-bike brands have an app that you can use to monitor your bike and track your rides, as well as automatically sync those rides to your Strava account.
We are continuing to work to add integration for more e-bike brands that can record a wide variety of data like power, cadence and can connect to other sensors/devices.
Let’s chat with Mona, Strava employee and e-bike enthusiast!
Q: Hi Mona, what motivated you to get an e-bike?
I got my first e-bike during 2020 after my friend let me ride theirs, and it was suddenly like I had gotten back all my confidence in riding again for the first time since I was back in college! I felt safe enough to ride in bike lanes on the street and trails without feeling like I was getting in the way or worrying as much about cars trying to get around me. The biggest benefit is that it allows me as a disabled cyclist to be able to ride again with confidence, and it made riding accessible for me again and that was truly freeing!
Q: How much do you ride it?
During the summer and fall I try to get out for a ride every day while the trails are cleared from snow and ice.
Q: Do you use it when you might otherwise use a motor vehicle?
I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I can ride from my home to the office completely on bike trails. I will often commute on my bike in the summer and can get to the office faster than I would be able to drive during peak commuting hours.
Q: What about battery life?
I get about 40 miles with high pedal assist on a full charge.
Q: What’s the best thing about having an e-bike?
It allows me to move my body and get outside without having to feel self conscious that I am being too slow on the trails and on the street.
Especially working at Strava I am surrounded by a ton of super amazing cyclists, my e-bike allows me to join rides with my colleagues around town.
Thank you Mona for chatting with us!
Next up, meet Erika, Strava employee, Mom, and all round cycling fan.
What Motivated you to get an e-bike?
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I didn’t want to take time off the bike but let's be honest, it was getting more difficult to keep up with my husband and have the ride still be enjoyable. So I got my first e-mountain bike in 2017. I rode the bike all the way up to my due date and then was quickly back on the bike once I was cleared by the doctor. The e-bike was a great way to slowly ramp back up! Now we both have e-bikes and I added a road/gravel e-bike to the mix too, which I use to tow TWO kids or go on longer adventure rides. The e-mountain bike has been great for pushing me to my limits in the mountains and getting up those challenging climbs at altitude that I may miss out on under my own power.
How much do do you ride it?
Every time I’m with my kids, it is primarily on an e-bike. I'll ride an e-bike to the mail box or park. Anything local (within 10 miles) the e-bike is a great option.
Do you use it when you might otherwise use a motor vehicle?
When it was just the two of us, we used human power bikes for everything. Even for 25+ mile commutes. Now with kids, the e-bikes are a game changer. I’m hoping we have a cargo bike in the future but we don’t live in a huge cycling community, so the street safety is still a concern with little ones.
What about battery life?
Extended range is the way to go, otherwise we still get some good distance on our bikes:
E-MTB 5hrs (50-60 miles)
E-Road 4hr (80 miles) add another 50% if you have a range extender
What’s the best thing about having an e-bike?
I can go further and still have fun. And it didn’t mean I had to slow down during pre-and post pregnancy. And now it is all about getting to share the excitement for bikes with my girls. They love when we ride our ‘fast’ bikes.
If you have any additional questions for Mona or Erika, or want to share your own e-bike experiences or adventures, drop us a reply to this post. We would love to hear from you!
E-bike activities are not eligible for all challenges on Strava, but we do regularly host challenges where e-bike activities are eligible. For example this challenge which runs March 4-24, 2023. The best place to confirm eligible activity types is on the challenge pages themselves, in the eligibility rules and details.