E-bikes aren’t cheating- reports finally show that they provide a great workout.
Any new technology always has critics, and e-bikes have come under scrutiny regarding their ability to actually provide the rider health benefits. But a new report out this week has proven for this notion to be false- e-bikes can provide the workout, fitness challenge and take as much effort as standard bikes.
33 subjects aged between 18 and 65 were recruited by researchers from Brigham Young University to cover a six mile course through countryside on both regular mountain and electric bikes. The results were very interesting. By comparing heart rates they discovered that riding an e-bike does require substantial effort. In fact, it requires almost as much physical exertion as riding a traditional mountain bike, quashing the well-held belief that e-bikes are the ‘easy’ option!
“(E-bikes are) an excellent form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, even for experienced mountain bikers who regularly engage in this fitness activity.”Report-Bingham Young University
By using both forms of cycling the study concluded “placed the vast majority of participants in the vigorous-intensity heart rate zone”. One of the more surprising stat average heart rate of a test subject riding an e-bike was 93.6 percent of those riding conventional bikes. The report also revealed that e-bikes are an “excellent form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, even for experienced mountain bikers who regularly engage in this fitness activity.”
Perceptions of e-bikes were also changed and challenged during the study- many subjects changed their perceptions on electric bikes and their ability to provide a workout, and their previous belief that e-bikes were a ‘fad’.
There were still difficulties with the speed element of e-bikes compared to pedal bikes, in regards to cycle paths and safety. It may still be the case that current cyclists find electric bikes as a nuisance and do not sit well alongside them. But the overall takeaway from the report is that once a cyclist uses an e-bike, they recognise the benefits and enjoy the ride. A positive affirmation once again that e-bikes truly have the power to go the distance!