Back in 2016 I posted several times about cycling, but not since then.
Bicycles make a lot of sense for preppres for a few reasons:
First, regular cycling on a properly fitting bike is a good, low impact way to get cardio exercise.
Second, in the event of SHTF, a bike can provide a means of transportation that doesn't rely on external infrastructure. I.e, although you need to fuel yourself you don't need to fuel the bike. Also, they can be pretty stealthy, which could be good for local scouting or potentially a bugout.
Another use for a bike would be as a way to get home in a major emergency. For example, there are many adult sized bikes that fold up compactly and could be kept in your vehicle's trunk, to be used if you need to abandon your car or truck.
For what its worth, IMO the threat of an EMP rendering vehicle inoperable is so slim that it's not really worth considering. EMPs are a potential threat, but more towards infrastructure.
I've been riding two bikes lately.
The first is a one I got earlier this year. It's a Lectric XP folding e-bike. It's a v1.0. Lectric introduced their v2.0 last month.
I'd been considering an e-bike for awhile and was hoping that if we got two, it would be an activity that I could do with my wife. Unfortunately, she's since decided that she feels uncomfortable riding a bike, so that's out the window.
The battery is removeable and contained in the frame tube behind the logo. To get at it you need to fold the bike and then it slides right out.
It pretty well kitted out with, lights, fenders, and a nice rear cargo rack. Lectric also included panniers. I'd rate them as serviceable.
As shipped it's a Class 2 e-bike. I.e., it can be ridden with 5 levels of pedal assist or with a throttle. You can also pedal it with no assist, but with 20x4 tires and a weight of 65 lbs. doing so is more exercise than I want.
You can use the controller to change it to a Class 3 bike which would give you a top speed of 28 MPH vs. 21 MPH for Class 2s. This of course will decrease battery life. I'm leaving mine as a Class 2.
It's a 7 speed bike with a Shimano thumb shifter for the rear (and only) derailleur.
It has mechanical disk brakes. Some folks have swapped them out for hydraulics but they are working fine for me.
After my first shakedown run I decided to swap out the pedals and the saddle. I got some inexpensive pedals and a Cloud 9 comfort seat off Amazon. I've since put the stock saddle back on it and will just ride it with padded shorts. The Cloud 9 seat screwed up the bike's geometry for me. It felt too far forward even when pushed back all the way on its rails.
I also covered the gaudy "LECTRIC" logo with black duct tape. I wanted to reduce the chance of anyone giving me crap for riding an e-bike on the local bike paths.
I mostly ride it on pedal assist level 1 or 2, occasionally on 3. I find myself rarely using the throttle.
It's a folder but so far I'm not using that feature. It does lock up tightly. It feels as rigid as a solid frame. I've seen some comments by other owners on Facebook where the latch on their bike isn't tight. This is an adjustment issue.
The 4" knobby tires provide plenty of traction but are very noisy. I may change them out to 3" or 3.3" commuter tires with an inverted tread pattern to reduce noise and rolling resistance, which will increase the range. I may also replace the panniers with a rack mounted trunk.
My longest ride so far has been about 19 miles and I still had plenty of juice left for at least another 6 or 7 miles.
Lectric recently unveiled their v2.0 which now features 3" tires and suspension fork. IMO the narrower tires are an improvement, the suspension fork probably not so much. It adds complexity and I'm skeptical of the quality of a suspension fork at the Lectric's price point.
The other bike I've been riding is my 1999 Trek 820. It's an entry level mountain bike with no suspension. You can often find 1990s vintage mountain bikes at reasonable prices on Craigslist or at yard sales for very reasonable prices. Old mountain bikes like these are an excellent choice for preppers because they are simple and rugged, especially if you get one with no suspension.
Assuming the bike is in good shape, they can often be ridden with minimal restoration needed. I do recommend replacing the tires and tubes if they are original because rubber deteriorates with age. You might also want to replace the brake pads for the same reason.
Sometimes the saddle has cracked due to age and will need replacement.
These bikes generally came with wide knobby tires that provide excellent traction on or off road, but have a lot of rolling resistance and are noisy on pavement.
You can replace the tires with slicks or something with a less aggressive tread if you'll primarily be riding on pavement. Modern commuter tires often have an inverted tread pattern that rolls quickly and quietly but provides more traction off pavement than slicks.
When I dragged the Trek out of retirement several years ago I replaced the knobbies with Bontrager H2 semi-slicks. They are great for riding on asphalt but not so great off road. So, yesterday I replaced them with Serfas Drifters with an interesting inverted tread pattern.
My initial impression of the Drifters is favorable. I was only able to ride it up and down the block and around my back yard on grass, but they appear to roll quickly and quietly. In the very short grass test they seemed to grip well. I should be able to take the bike for a real ride this weekend, on which I hope to also test them on gravel.
I stuck with 1.5" wide tires since I will be on pavement probably 95% of the time. If I knew I'd ben on gravel more often I would have bought the 2" wide version.