The first Welsh winner of the Tour de France Geraint Thomas has championed e-bikes in his latest coloumn for GQ magazine, saying they're a great option for beginners and those looking to build up their mileage.
The comments were part of a wider column (read it here) where Thomas gives general advice on buying your first bike. Here are G's comments on e-bikes in full...
"Electric bikes are a great way to get into cycling. It’s a lot easier. Obviously as a pro cyclist we wouldn’t use them, but when I was down in Nice I remember one of my mates’ girlfriends was on one. We were going up this climb and saw this other pro cyclist about 100 metres up the road and my friend's girlfriend just went off, past him, said a cheery, “Morning!” and basically cracked him mentally. It makes it a lot easier going uphill.
"But they are a lot heavier as well, so it’s good that you’ve got that extra boost for going up a hill. On flat roads, you don’t really need to have it on – and on some electric bikes you can adjust how much it helps. You can start it at 30-odd percent, then as it gets harder, crank it up. It’s a good way for people to start getting into it, because fitness is specific. For me, if I suddenly start running I can’t walk for three days. Even though I’m a professional cyclist it doesn’t mean I can just do any endurance sport straight away. So you need to get used to something. There’s no point in jumping on the road straight away and trying to do 50 miles. It’s step by step. And so I think for a first-timer an electric bike would certainly help."
He also stresses the importance of correct saddle height for a comfortable ride, and says cycling with others on quiet off-road paths is the best way to get started. On a sort of related note that no way reflects what Geraint has penned in his GQ column (we're sure he has the best of intentions with his advice) his team's bike sponsor Pinarello landed themselves in hot water with a rather more condescending way of trying to encourage e-bike uptake a year ago. A now-removed Instagram post to promote their Pinarello Nytro e-road bike included a photo of a 24-year-old named Emma, who they bizarrely quoted as saying: "I've always wanted to go cycling with my boyfriend but it seemed impossible. Now everything is possible"; cue hundreds of replies from males saying it's actually they who would need an e-bike to keep up with their super-fit female partners and vice versa!
Do you agree with G's advice? Let us know in the comments.