Electric bikes have gotten a bad rap as promoters of laziness, in direct opposition to their un-motorized counterparts. The popular misconception could not be further from the truth. Electric bikes are not only a good source of exercise, but they get people exercising who are unable to ride a standard bicycle. That makes an electric bike a better choice for exercising than the typical cycle.
Bicycles with or without a motor are a fantastic tool for fitness, weight loss, endurance, and urban mobility. They can get used in different ways, but their outcomes are very similar. What truly sets them apart, aside from the bike components, are their users.
Are electric bikes good for exercise? This article will break down the myths and give you insight into how e-bikes work, the ways they can get used, and who can ride them.
What Is An Electric Bike?
Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, are a fun and easy way to get you out of the house, run errands, or get in a workout. If you’ve never seen one before, an e-bike is a bicycle with a small motor attached to it powered by electricity. The motor is what makes it more flexible than a “normal” bike.
If you need a little help to get up a steep hill, or you want to grab takeout from a local restaurant but don’t want to waste the gas, e-bikes are a good option. Whether it’s a leisurely ride through the park with a friend, a cost-effective day of errand running, or a challenging mountain bike trail, the e-bike is there to support you through all your biking endeavors.
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How Do E-Bikes Work?
These bikes are easy to own and operate. With a button press and pedal stroke, riders can effortlessly control the amount of power generated by the motor. Here is where many people get confused. The bike does not go on its own but provides an additional boost to your pedaling.
Most models have multiple assist levels, but typically there are five. Level one feels like someone is giving you a gentle push, while level five is like two horses helping to pull you along. The second level is where riders like to stay most of the time. Whatever your preference is, the pedal-assist can accommodate it.
Some electric bikes have a throttle, particularly those in the United States and Canada. If you need an extra bit of oomph or a break from pedaling but don’t want to stop the ride, using the throttle will keep you going. It engages the back wheel to spin automatically, making it feel like someone else is pedaling for you. A pedelec enables the rider to cover longer distances and explore steeper terrain with a decreased workload.
Just like the everyday bicycle, e-bikes need to get serviced. Even though they have a motor, they do not require as much maintenance as a car, and upkeep costs are significantly less. If you’re handy, you can find an expert to provide you with valuable tips for keeping your motorized bike in top form. Don’t worry if you’re not the hands-on type. There are professional servicemen at most well-respected bike shops.
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How Do You Exercise With An E-Bike?
There are numerous ways to use an electric bike to exercise. Here are a few ways to make the most out of your e-bike experience.
Using your commuter electric bike as a transportation option is probably the best way to utilize it for fitness. In the United States, the government recommends a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of more vigorous to intense exercise every week. It can be hard to accommodate that if your schedule is busy. That is why many people are looking into active transportation like cycling, walking, or riding an e-bike.
Using a pedal-assist bike to commute to work provides you with exercise twice a day for five days a week. That adds up to a significant amount of workouts quickly. Just 30 minutes commuting to work twice a day adds up to 5 hours of moderate level exercise a week. That is twice the recommended amount.
Mountain electric bikes give users aerobic activity that had previously been unattainable or limited for those with a lower level of cardiovascular fitness. Having a pedelec designed for mountain biking (eMTB) allows a greater number of people to reap the health benefits mountain biking provides.
City electric bikes have helped senior citizens get exercise and dramatically improve their health as they enabled riders to cover greater distances in less time. The e-bikes also removed the knee strain associated with traditional bicycles, making it easier to maintain a consistent heart rate regardless of the terrain. Some riders have become pain-free after taking up regular cycling for an extended period, boasting how they feel a decade younger.
Here is a list of some of the health benefits gained through e-bike use:
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Perceived exertion lessened
- Improved enjoyment
- Exceed biometric thresholds for cardio fitness
Studies comparing electric bikes with conventional bikes have shown that e-bike riders rode longer distances than traditional riders. The majority who used pedelecs attained the vigorous-intensity heart rate range. On average, the heart rates were 94% of the conventional riders. Also, riding an electric bike has been shown to burn 80% of the calories a regular bicycle rider burns.
Electric bikes get more people riding than a conventional one does. People can travel farther distances, ride longer, feel less fatigue, and have more fun in the process. But that doesn’t mean it’s a free ride. Users still have to pedal consistently, getting only a boost from the motor. Utilizing an e-bike is a fantastic way to build endurance, improve cardiovascular health, lose weight, and improve health in general.
Electric bikes aren’t cheating. They are a useful tool that gets more people riding and exercising for longer. Try one today!