Many people often complain about how riding an electric bike amounts to cheating. We think this is a misconception.
Cycling, especially mountain biking, is a great form of exercise that helps to promote a healthy lifestyle. But how much of a workout can you get when the battery and motor of the bike are seemingly doing most of the work for you?
A study conducted by researchers in Brigham Young University involved measuring the heart rates of 33 subjects (mostly between the ages of 18 and 65) when they rode both regular and electric bikes for 6-mile distances. Although most test subjects said they did not feel like they got a workout after riding an electric bike, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors indicated otherwise:
“The results were astonishing. Comparing the heart rates of riders on regular bikes and electric bikes, we found that trips made on electric bikes put participants in the “moderate to vigorous” heart rate zone, with heart rates averaging at 145bpm, which is just 9.9 heartbeats per minute lower than the average heart rate of someone cycling on a regular bicycle.”
The researchers also studied the attitudes of their test subjects towards e-bikes before and after riding, to understand how they would change in the face of new data. About 18 percent maintained that their preconceived notions about ebikes were confirmed, while the remaining participants admitted that the e-bike was much more than just a toy, and could actually provide a solid workout.
For many, the perception that exercise necessarily involves a lot of pain, sweat and tears prevents them from committing to a workout routine in the long-term.- E-bikes help people meet their fitness goals without making them feel like they’re working themselves to the bone, and are therefore a great option for anyone being held back by such fears. With this incredible contraption, we have a much better chance of getting people off their couches and into an active lifestyle.
A common misconception states that electric bikes are equivalent to mopeds or scooters, and are suitable for ‘lazy people’, but this is also not true. Depending on the class and design of the bike, most e-bikes have a pedal-assist function; this means they have a small electric motor that kicks into action when pedaling is detected. Simply put, you still have to pedal when riding an e-bike, and this takes effort. An e-bike just offers the perks of additional power and stability, making for longer and quicker trips, without diminishing the effect of providing excellent aerobic cardiovascular exercise.
If the above still hasn't convinced you that e-bikes aren't cheating, keep reading to find out the other advantages that e-bikes provide.
E-bikes make it easier to get around
Riding an e-bike is more convenient than riding a regular bike. With the power assistance an e-bike can provide its user, even the toughest of cycling trails no longer seem insurmountable. A sturdy unit with lockout suspension ensures you will never have to slog up hills again. Trips to the grocery store can be completed much quicker with an e-bike, cut short by about 25 to 40%. Although many people criticize e-bikes for making cycling feel effortless, it is precisely this trait that draws more people into the sport. And as we’ve mentioned above, all without compromising on the health benefits it offers.
As a matter of fact, many e-bike owners have reported reduced car usage as many trips can be completed with their e-bikes instead, which saves lots of fuel, and of course, helps them reduce their carbon footprint. The recent heat wave should be a grim reminder of the realities of global warming, and studies published about a rapidly increasing global temperature must spur us into action. On that front, e-bikes are extremely nature-friendly, not being powered by gas or fuel, and only requiring its battery to be charged for four to five hours at a time.
When faced with a long, arduous journey with plenty of steep hills, even fit, professional cyclists would reach for the car keys. So, if e-bikes can make the trip faster and safer, that can only be a good thing. For injured cyclists and older people who would love to get back into the sport but fear they do not have the physical means to, e-bikes are a great way to ensure you get a slow start, with the option to ramp up your workout by adjusting the pedal assist level and torque settings. The ease of transition will help ensure you do not lose interest in cycling.
Finally, commuters who are fed up with terrible traffic can use e-bikes to get to their destination without breaking a sweat. Office workers, particularly, who are stuck at desk jobs all day and just can’t find the time for daily gym sessions, may find it encouraging to cycle to the office in their work clothes without the fear of smelling like they’ve just finished a gym session.
People today often want the most straightforward way to catch all that fun, and e-bikes offer precisely that. Get an e-bike to experience the joy of riding a bike without feeling like you’re undertaking an endurance challenge.
E-bikes help people exercise more
People who consider e-bikes cheating make cycling all about exercising, but that’s far from the point.
Yes, the electric motor is there to assist you, but you can turn down the assistance levels or even completely switch it off if you want a challenge. Furthermore, it is proven that e-bikes have substantial health benefits because they make you more likely to cycle frequently, as opposed to cycling with regular bicycles, which may be too strenuous to keep up with in the long-run.
Research has proven e-bike riders invest just as much time and effort as regular cyclists, the primary difference being that the motor helps them move faster (and therefore further). They expend nearly the same amount of energy as manual riders, but they don’t feel like they exert as much force thanks to the perception that they are being aided by an electrically powered machine. As we’ve repeatedly emphasized, e-bikes are great for folks looking to exercise because you do not feel drained after riding one.
Some people begin to pant and sweat after just a short ride with a manual bike. Although riding a traditional bike can help one burn many calories, it sucks the fun right out of cycling. It makes people lose interest in the activity, which is just not a sustainable workout routine in the long-term. With e-bikes, you’ll go faster, feel the wind in your hair, and best of all, still look forward to riding it the next day.
We can’t stress this enough, but people that commute with e-bikes get to sneak in a workout and keep fit wherever they decide to go, which is far better than sitting in a car or on the couch all day.
E-bikes are cheating, you say. But cheating at what?
Going back to the title of this article, this should be the biggest question on your minds whenever someone says that an e-bike rider is cheating. What could they be cheating at?
Cycling is not always a competition, and where there is no competition, there could not be cheating involved. For many, it is a fun way to get around and spend ample time outdoors. It’s also a great way to bond with your family.
E-bikes do not give anyone an unfair advantage because nobody is cycling for a trophy except pro bikers. You are not in a race as you ride to the mall or to work, and e-bikes are accessible for everyone. When you ride an e-bike, you are simply on your bike, enjoying the fresh air and having fun. People fail to understand that when you ride your e-bike, you’re not harboring dreams of competing at the Olympics! It’s really a matter of choice and personal preference.
On that note, there are also plenty of e-bike races if you want to compete with other people on the same level. Suffice to say, e-bikes are brilliant because they eliminate the daily barriers that make people lose interest in cycling, like the dread of a steep climb or fatigue.
If you were once curious about getting an e-bike, we’re here to tell you that getting an e-bike is indeed one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. It’s affordable and an excellent medium to keep you healthy while you’re enjoying yourself. So get on an e-bike, and we promise you that you’ll never want to get off again!