Most people think of riding electric bikes as relaxing, comfortable, and effortless. Some cyclists may even argue that it's a cheat, which is incorrect. While regular bikes surely make you burn more calories per hour than e-bikes do, it's much easier to get and stay fit with an e-bike.
Research has shown that the average heart rate during electric bike use is about 94% of the average heart rate during regular bike use. This means you can get almost the same intensity of exercise with e-bikes as you would on regular bikes.
This article will show you how to get the most out of your electric bike in terms of exercising/working out.
Ebikes Vs. Regular Bikes
Here are some perks e-bikes have over regular bikes.
You can ride further with electric bikes
If you've ever ridden more than 100km on a regular bike, you'd know about the severe leg sores and exhaustion that are involved. The situation gets worse if you cycle on coarse or hilly terrain. However, with e-bikes, you can easily ride 100km or more with little or no side effects. Just charge your bike to full capacity, and you're good to go.
E-bikes are more friendly for the knees and hip
One problem elderly and overweight people have when riding bikes is the strain it causes to their knee and hip joints. It is one major reason why this set of people mostly skip cycling. E-bikes, however, cancel out this problem: They allow you to pedal much easier, removing the strain on your hip and knee joints.
E-bikes keep you exercising
Due to the pains and leg sores most people get from riding regular bikes, they usually skip days or stop the exercise altogether. With electric bikes, it's easier to stick to your exercise routine for days or even weeks, as you won't feel very sore after a workout session. The thrill and ease that come with riding e-bikes also make it more enjoyable, so you may keep riding for longer than you usually do on a mountain bike.
Ride More Frequently
Cycling is one of the best aerobic exercises you can do to burn fat. It is one of the few exercises that involve all your major muscle groups. The number of calories you burn while cycling will depend on your weight, cycling speed, and cycling time. It is estimated that the average person will burn about 450 to 750 calories per hour of cycling. If you want to get fit through cycling, you'll have to cycle for about 30-40 minutes a day, at least 3-5 days a week. With e-bikes, you can kick this frequency up a notch for better results, say, 1 hour daily. After all, the electric drive system reduces stress and strain, so you'll work less and have a faster muscle recovery time.
Explore The Unknown
Another key tip to staying fit with e-bikes is traveling long distances. If you'd normally go 10km on a mountain bike, then go 50km on an electric bike. E-bikes help extend your workout duration so you don't tire out as easily as you would, even on recovery days.
You can take advantage of this to explore unknown places and travel far distances that you'd normally only go in a car. An e-bike can be a healthier replacement for your car; you get to burn a few calories while still enjoying quick and comfortable transportation. Take note of your bike's motor power and torque, though, as they'll determine how far you can go in a single ride.
Reduce The Pedal Assist Level
Another way you can burn calories while riding e-bikes is by reducing the pedal assist level.
What Is The Pedal Assist Level?
Pedaling is the basic movement that anyone must do to ride a bike. E-bikes, however, have a special feature that allows you to reduce the amount of effort you put into pedaling. The pedal assist level is the level of assistance you get from the bike while pedaling. In other words, it controls how hard you pedal.
The lower the level of pedal assistance, the harder you'll pedal. There are some special bikes that can do all the pedaling work for you: these, however, aren't really considered e-bikes.
Why Use Pedal Assist Level?
Pedaling is what makes you exert energy while cycling. The pedal assist feature, when used, allows you to pedal for much longer without feeling tired. In other words, it allows you to adjust the intensity of your exercise without reducing your speed.
How To Get Good Exercises With Pedal Assist
Although e-bikes provide pedal assist, if you want to stay fit, you'll have to do some of the pedaling yourself. Riding an e-bike that does all the pedaling work will do you no good. You won't burn off any calories on these kinds of bikes as it's more or less like sitting in a cab.
If you're looking to get a real workout, then set your bike to a very low pedal assist level. This way, you exert power while riding. Note that this is not ideal for long-distance cycling as you'll tire out easily. However, if you feel tired after a ride, it's proof that you truly had a workout.
The pedal assist level comes in handy for folks who want a real HIIT (high-intensity interval training) on e-bikes. Set your bike at a very low pedal assist level and pedal quickly for a few minutes (at least until you get tired). Then, increase the pedal assist level to the maximum to give your legs a rest and slow down your heart rate. You can repeat the process as many times as you like.
There is a common misconception that electric bikes are more like scooters than bicycles. However, the only significant difference between e-bikes and regular bikes is the electric drive system. With electric bikes, you can increase your riding time, covering long distances. At the end of the day, you burn more calories than you would've from a shorter ride on regular bikes. The key thing here is to work together with your bike rather than letting it do all the work.