Electric Bikes vs. Traditional Bikes: Which is Better for Family Riding?

Split picture of family riding traditional bike and family riding electric bikes
(Image via Unsplash/Pexels)

Are you planning a bike ride with your family but confused about whether to go for an electric bike or a traditional bike? With the increasing popularity of electric bikes, it’s natural to wonder which one is the better option for family riding. In this article, we will compare electric bikes and traditional bikes based on various parameters and help you decide which one is the best for your family.

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What are Electric Bikes?
  • What are Traditional Bikes?
  • Pros and Cons of Electric Bikes
  • Pros and Cons of Traditional Bikes
  • Performance Comparison
  • Safety Comparison
  • Cost Comparison
  • Environmental Impact Comparison
  • Which One is Better for Family Riding?
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Woman riding an Emerald electric bike

What Are Electric Bikes?

Electric bikes, also known as ebikes, come with an electric motor that assists in pedaling. The motor is powered by a battery that needs to be charged periodically. Ebikes are available in various styles and designs and offer a range of features such as pedal-assist mode, throttle mode, and different levels of assistance.

What Are Traditional Bikes?

Traditional bikes, also known as regular or analog bikes, are the standard bikes that have been in use for decades. They rely on pedaling to generate the power to move the bike forward. Traditional bikes are available in various styles and designs and come in a range of prices.

Pros And Cons Of Electric Bikes

Advantages of Electric Bikes

  1. Easier to ride: With the electric motor providing assistance, it’s easier to ride an ebike than a traditional bike. It’s especially useful for those who have physical limitations or health issues.
  2. Saves energy: Ebikes require less effort to pedal, making it less tiring to ride long distances. This feature is especially useful for family rides where kids might not have the stamina to ride for long periods.
  3. Eco-friendly: Ebikes are an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation as they emit fewer pollutants than traditional bikes.
  4. More versatile: Ebikes can be used in a range of terrains and weather conditions, making them more versatile than traditional bikes.

Disadvantages of Electric Bikes

  1. Expensive: Ebikes are more expensive than traditional bikes, and the price can vary depending on the features and specifications.
  2. Heavier: The battery and motor of ebikes make them heavier than traditional bikes, making them difficult to carry around or transport.
  3. Limited range: Ebikes can only go as far as the battery allows, which can be a limiting factor for longer rides.
  4. Maintenance: Ebikes require more maintenance than traditional bikes due to their complex parts and electrical components.

Pros And Cons Of Traditional Bikes

Advantages of Traditional Bikes

  1. Affordable: Traditional bikes are more affordable than ebikes and can be easily repaired or replaced if damaged.
  2. Lighter: Traditional bikes are lighter than ebikes, making them easier to carry around or transport.
  3. Exercise: Traditional bikes offer a good source of exercise as they require physical effort to pedal, which is good for overall health.
  4. Simple: Traditional bikes have simple mechanical parts, making them easier to maintain and fix should an issue arise.

Disadvantages Of Traditional Bikes

  1. Tiring: Traditional bikes require more effort to pedal, which can be tiring, especially for those with physical limitations.
  2. Weather-dependent: Traditional bikes are not suitable for all weather conditions, which can limit their usability.
  3. Limited speed: Traditional bikes have a limited speed, which can be a disadvantage if you need to cover long distances quickly.
  4. Not as versatile: Traditional bikes are not as versatile as ebikes, as they might not be suitable for all terrains or weather conditions.

Emerald Ebike parked in front of decorative wallPerformance Comparison

Speed and Range

Ebikes can reach up to 28 mph, depending on the model. They also offer a range of up to 60 miles on a single charge, which is more than enough for most family rides. On the other hand, traditional bikes have a limited range as they depend solely on the rider’s pedaling ability.

Pedaling Assistance

Ebikes come with different levels of pedaling assistance, making it easier to ride uphill or against strong winds. Traditional bikes require the rider to use their physical strength to pedal, making it more challenging to ride uphill or against strong winds.

Terrain Compatibility

Ebikes are suitable for a range of terrains, including hills and rough roads, making them more versatile than traditional bikes. Traditional bikes are more suitable for smooth and flat surfaces.

Safety Comparison

Both ebikes and traditional bikes are safe if proper safety measures are taken. Ebikes come with features such as headlights, taillights, and horns, making them more visible and audible to other road users. Traditional bikes, on the other hand, require the rider to use reflective clothing or accessories to make themselves more visible.

Cost Comparison

Upfront Cost

Ebikes are more expensive than traditional bikes, ranging from $500 to $5000 depending on the model and features. Traditional bikes, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $100 to $1000, depending on the brand and type.

Maintenance Cost

Ebikes require more maintenance than traditional bikes due to their electrical components. They also need to be charged periodically, which can add to the overall cost. Traditional bikes require less maintenance, and the cost of repairs is generally lower than that of ebikes.

Operating Cost

The operating cost of ebikes is lower than traditional bikes, as they consume less energy and require less physical effort to ride.

Environmental Impact Comparison

While both are environmentally friendly options, the traditional bike is more eco-friendly. The ebike produces next to no emissions, while the traditional bike produces no emissions at all. However, if the ebike replaces a car as a means of commuting, grocery runs, or other general transportation, the ebike would become the more environmentally friendly bike.

Man riding Emerald electric bike through neighborhood

Which One Is Better For Family Riding?

Both ebikes and traditional bikes have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to family riding. Ebikes are easier to ride and offer more versatility, making them suitable for family rides of all levels. However, they are more expensive and require more maintenance than traditional bikes. Traditional bikes, on the other hand, offer a good source of exercise and are more affordable, making them a good option for families on a budget. Ultimately, the choice between ebikes and traditional bikes comes down to personal preference and budget.


Are ebikes safe for kids?

Ebikes can be safe for kids, but it’s essential to choose the right model and follow proper safety precautions, such as wearing helmets and reflective clothing.

Do ebikes require a license?

Ebikes do not require a license in most states, as they are considered bicycles. However, it’s important to check with your local regulations to ensure compliance.

Are ebikes more expensive to insure than traditional bikes?

Ebikes can be more expensive to insure than traditional bikes, as they are more valuable and require specialized coverage.

Can traditional bikes be converted into ebikes?

Yes, traditional bikes can be converted into ebikes with the help of conversion kits, which can be an affordable alternative to purchasing a new ebike.

What should I consider when purchasing an ebike?

When purchasing an ebike, consider range, battery life, pedal assistance levels, and overall weight. It’s also important to ensure that the bike is suitable for your riding needs and abilities.

May we suggest checking out the EMERALD, the perfect ebike for getting around town, going on adventures, and reducing your carbon footprint—in style and at an affordable price.