E-Biking Calgary And Canmore

4 min read
I am on record for not being an athletic person, or an overly active person. I like my daily walks with my dogs. I did a 5k (pretty poorly) many years ago. On a healthcare chart I would indicate I am not very active though, lol. You could definitely call me a lazy when it comes to physical activity/exercise. I *like* adventure. I’ve done ziplining. I’ve ice climbed. I’ve hiked mountains (sort of). I will push myself for certain adventures that require physical activity (“do it for the gram?” lol). But I’m also grumbly, sweating hard, sighing—a lot on adventures.

This is really just context to set up the topic of this blog post, and why I love e-biking so much. lol. Because, I love e-biking! 

I enjoy biking in general, though I don’t do it often. I would not describe myself as a regular or an avid cyclist, lol. But a casual, tourist cyclist, sure! I started biking on some of my travels because I realized it was such a fun way to explore the nooks and crannies of places you couldn’t necessarily get to from a car. Biking through neighbourhoods, down alleyways, in busy streets, gives you such a different perspective and experience than you’d get in that same neighbourhood inside your vehicle, 100%. 

But then I hit a steep hill and the fun ends (for a little while, as I struggle to get up the hill lol). 

Then I discovered electric biking!!!! Which is essentially where you ride a bike that has its own battery, and can give you an electric pedal assist, that makes it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to get up steep hills, bike much faster than you probably could before (and for much less effort/exertion), and for me, probably doubled maybe tripled my total biking distance on my trips. 

Over the years I’ve e-biked in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Calgary, Alberta, Vernon, B.C. and even as far away as Palma de Mallorca in Spain! 

Before e-bikes, maybe I could go 10 km round trip before getting too tired. Now put me on an e-bike and I’ll spend all day on that e-bike!!! (and e-bike battery life lasts that long too). 

E-bikes literally changed my bike life, lol, and now when we travel I always ask “are there e-bikes we can rent?” for at least one activity during the trip, because it’s so much fun, it’s so EASY, and it’s such an amazing way to explore!! 

There is no shame in getting pedal assist from an e-bike. There is no reason why you need to exhaust yourself biking. lol. I mean, I’m speaking from a very unathletic perspective, but don’t get me wrong. E-bikes can also be great if you are super active and athletic too—you can still push yourself hard on an e-bike and it can be a great work-out, but *if you’re like me* (hi welcome to my personal blog lol), and an e-bike exists, I could not recommend it more for at least one of your travel activities!!! 

Okay, so that was my long-ish preamble before getting into this Travel Guide: E-Biking Calgary and Canmore / Banff, Alberta! 

This summer (July 2020) I did two e-bike adventures in two of my favourite places in the province and thought I’d do a little summary / travel guide in case you wanted to replicate my e-biking rental experiences. 

Where to rent e-bikes in Canmore
In Canmore, Alberta, located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains just outside Banff National Park (and just about an hour from Calgary), my go-to spot to rent e-bikes is Rebound Cycle.

Rebound Cycle is a bike shop that offers all sorts of bike adventure services including guided biking tours, custom adventures, group rides, bike servicing, and of course e-bike rentals!

Their bikes are cruiser style (Devinci e-Griffin), that features a pedal assist motor that’ll make sure you get to the top of any hill or end of any ride quickly and a lot less sweaty than you’d be otherwise (that’s direct from their website and I like that description a lot!)

You shift and pedal just like a regular bike, and you decide how much electric assist you want!

UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 2022 – You can also rent e-bikes from Pedego Canmore! 

I love the Pedego brand (as I talk more about in the Calgary e-bike section below) and am thrilled there’s Pedego rentals in the Rocky Mountains now too. 

E-bike Rental Costs
A half day e-bike rental at Rebound Cycle is $45 and a full day is $75. If you rent from them, tell them you heard about them through me! I don’t get anything, just good feelings, lol.

E-bikes in general are pricier for rentals than regular bikes but like, understandably, because they are bike life-changing, have I stressed that enough yet? lol 

You’ll want to make sure you book your rental well in advance because e-bikes are getting more popular and they are more likely to be sold out on weekends! All rentals come with helmet and locks too.

UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 2022 – Pedego Canmore rental rates are $99/day. And it includes a throttle—which is basically an accelerator you hold down while you ride that propels you forward without even pedalling lol. You just have to ask for them to turn the throttle on! 

Where to E-Bike in Canmore, Alberta
The town itself is a lovely place to e-bike if you just want to stay close to town. You can e-bike through their cute downtown, you can weave in between forested neighbourhoods, or go along the popular Bow River and across the bridge, or get more adventurous and check out Policeman’s Creek which will give you a truly stunning view of the Three Sisters mountain range.

Check out some photos from a different e-bike adventure I did in Canmore in 2019 where we visited Policeman’s Creek!

E-Biking the Canmore to Banff (and back) Legacy Trail (and stops to make)
I was really excited for this trip because my friends James and Ashleigh (Canmore locals) wanted to take me along the Banff/Canmore Legacy Trail, which is a paved bike trail (I mean you can walk it too) that takes you to/from Canmore and Banff! 

The Legacy Trail was built for Banff National Park’s 125th anniversary back in 2010. It links Canmore to Banff (and from Banff you could bike on different trails to explore further into the park).

Roundtrip to/from Canmore and Banff, this trail is just over 50 km and on normal bikes would take about 3 hours round trip (add a few more hours for scenic stops and food along the way!) On e-bikes, it took just over an hour really one way.

There is some elevation on this trail but not a lot (however, be VERY careful coming back the Canmore direction as there is one steep hill around a bend that has seen its fair share of tumbles (me included).

The trail is VERY popular. During the weekend we went, there were more than 3,000 cyclists that used it on a Saturday (we used it on a Sunday and the counter was closer to 1,600). We saw riders of all ages and all skill levels on this pathway, some were taking it very slow while others were pushing themselves very hard. If people in front of you are too slow you can just go around them when it’s safe to do so. And there are a number of rest stops and picnic areas along the Legacy Trail!

The views as you ride along the trail are incredible. You think witnessing the mountains as you’re driving into Banff is something—being out biking with the giant mountains on all sides of you is something else—truly special (and makes you feel really, really small).