A post from earlier this year at the Mrgunsgear Channel on YouTube got into an unexpected topic: a fairly standard class 2/3 e-bike. Normally, the channel focuses on guns, political news, survival gear, more guns, more politics, and more guns. Did I mention guns? So, if one were to look at the world of e-bikes through the caricatured lens of partisan politics, one might assume that an electric bike would be something akin to blasphemy on such a channel.
But, that’s more of a 2013 view of the world (at best). The fact is that electric mobility, even the dreaded bicycle, has gone mainstream. Instead of looking for ways to avoid using an electric vehicle or casting it as part of some New World Otter conspiracy to emasculate the U.S. population, the politics have moved on and people of all backgrounds are now free to ride an e-bike, even if lattes at Starbucks are still off limits to basically everybody right now.
So, it makes sense to take a look at what he liked about the Aventon e-bike he was reviewing. (article continues after video)
The video does a pretty good service to viewers at first, explaining a lot of basic things about e-bikes to a crowd that might not be familiar with them. What an e-bike is, how it works, and how you use one were all covered in great detail. Given all of the coverage of e-bikes that we’ve done here, I’ll skip summarizing that because you probably already know. If not, feel free to watch or check out our other articles about e-bikes.
Like other videos about firearms and accessories, he then goes into how he’s accessorized the bike he rides. First off, he chose flat dark earth, which is a nice color for blending in during the common end of the world scenario. But, the bike also has a cute wicker basket on the front. He’s got another family member borrowing the bike, and they just strapped the basket on. This shows how normal e-bikes are and how they’re not some special bike that can’t be used for practical things. There are of course other baskets, racks, and other ways to carry cargo.
He gets into the “philosophy of use” next, explaining first that it’s very comfortable for him to ride around, even on trails. He has the biggest bike available, so women may need smaller frames. He gets into all of the other models that people can use for any other use case. He says that e-bikes are “smile machines” and that everyone loves riding them. He points out that another GunTuber added a wagon to another e-bike, giving it cargo capability for hunting.
If you look around YouTube, there are many other prepper channels reviewing and talking up e-bikes. Some of them are political, some are not. Some are even left-wing preppers who are concerned about the future for other reasons.
Speaking of hunting, the silent running is a big help. We’ve known about this for years, as many outdoor stores are selling them, but it’s a benefit worth repeating. He doesn’t get into details on what he means (because we know), but he says the quiet nature of the bike and independence from fossil fuels is useful in a bunch of different scenarios in a “declining country”. But, he sees that the ability to bypass traffic is useful (congestion).
He gets back into the lack of need for fuel. Even if gas isn’t available and the grid is down, being able to get around anyway makes it a great backup to regular vehicles. It can be charged on solar, giving independence from anything. He even mentions that he uses about 200 watts of solar to charge his bikes up off-grid. He points out that in Ukraine, e-bikes have been used for military fighting, and even the U.S. military is testing them.
He then suggests that covering reflectors and lights could make for an easy way to move around stealthily with other stealthy and quiet tools to “do what you need to do”. Agree with him or not, he’s right that an e-bike could easily be used for whatever that means (again, we all know).
He also gets into reliability. He says that the e-bikes have worked flawlessly in hundreds of miles, but recommends putting thread locker on the bolts to keep it from rattling apart in rougher riding.
The comments also tells us a lot. Even among the prepper fanbase, the bike is not only well-received, but many people mention that they already own an e-bike, too. Many people mentioned that they bought one specifically to deal with traffic and commuting and not for the end of the world, which further proves the point that e-bikes are taking bikes more mainstream.
Out of all the comments, there was only one bogus one about “straining the electric grid”, and that was probably a foreign troll of some kind. Nobody thinks that 120 watts of charging power will do that, and several people corrected it. Only a couple other people out of hundreds acted like the stereotypical 2013 “drill, baby, drill” guy.
There’s a “Halo Effect” Here
Even if you detest people like Mrgunsgear (I don’t), it’s important to take a couple of deep breaths and realize the good that’s happening here. People who would have never been interested in micromobility, cycling, and even bike commuting are seeing the value of it, and not just because they think the bike would be useful in a civil war or something. Aventon is actually pretty smart to be sending review units out to channels that don’t focus specifically on bikes, largely because that’s who needs to actually be buying bikes.
The more people from all backgrounds who consider serious use of bikes, the less urban congestion, pollution, and ICE dependency society will have. And when people charge them on solar power? That’s also fantastic. Not all readers will appreciate the motivations some people will have for the initial purchase, but I think we can all agree that this is a net positive for everyone involved.
Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba.
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