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E-bikes for children: advantages and disadvantages

03 Sep 2021

Germany is in e-bike fever!
Last year, sales of electronically assisted bicycles rose more sharply than ever before compared to previous years: around two million units were sold over the counter in Germany.

It's no wonder that many parents are thinking about mobilizing their children electronically.
However, opinions differ when it comes to the question of whether e-bikes make sense for children. What is a gain in flexibility for some is expensive nonsense for others. We look at the advantages and disadvantages.

Children on e-bikes - allowed or not?
First of all, it is important to clarify a few terms in advance. When we talk colloquially about e-bikes, we usually mean the so-called pedelecs. The auxiliary motor only starts to support you when you pedal and you can reach a maximum speed of 25 km/h.
Since they are legally equivalent to bicycles, Pedelecs, in contrast to the faster S-Pedelecs and the “real” e-bikes (which can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h), can be ridden by children of all ages.

More flexibility, less frustration
A clear advantage of children's pedelecs is, on the one hand, the fun factor and, on the other hand, the flexibility that they offer families who love bicycles. You no longer have to limit yourself when planning your bike tours, but can expand your radius of action to your heart's content and cycle for as long and, above all, wherever you want. The situation where annoyed children constantly have to pant after their parents on steep inclines is a thing of the past with electronic support.
In this way, more demanding routes can also be completed - this ensures significantly less frustration for the kids.
In addition, children's Pedelecs are significantly lighter compared to those of adults (total weight around 15 kg), as they require less battery power and are often equipped with a rear wheel motor instead of a mid-motor. This makes handling easier for small cyclists.

Expensive purchase, short service life
Probably the biggest disadvantage of children's pedelecs: They are an investment compared to “normal” bikes, that's true.
Priced at around 1,500 euros, it is on a higher level and is not a cost-effective purchase, especially since children quickly outgrow their bike and can only use it for a short time.
However, if you consider that these bikes motivate children to ride more kilometers in everyday life, be it to school, to training or with their grandparents around the lake, it evens out again. The “normal” bike often sits unused in the basement because the child has less fun with it.
Furthermore, we can already see that a secondary market is opening up for these bicycles, so that the resale value will still be high even after 2-4 years, when the child has outgrown them.

There is also something to consider
On the one hand, the higher speed is fun, but on the other hand it also poses a higher risk of accidents if you are not yet able to correctly estimate the speed. Bicycle beginners in particular may find it a little more difficult here. Here we clearly recommend explaining the bike to the child, taking their first rides together and practicing starting, braking, turning and stopping. Of course, the child must get a good feeling for assisted driving.

Our conclusion
Pedelecs for children have an enormous fun factor and at the same time ensure that the little ones - provided they have the saddle strength - don't lose interest so quickly and stay on the ball, even on longer and more demanding routes. This means that both young and old from cycling-loving families get their money's worth - at least in terms of leisure time.

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