Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Shifty
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby Shifty » 9 Sep 2019, 8:57am

I think there are a lot of people on here that haven’t ever had a day on an e-bike?
I know that the e-mtb is great for fitness and weight loss.
After running last year two trail marathons and this year two 50k plus trail runs this year, no one can argue that I’m not pretty fit. I use an e-mtb. I can get onto the trails quicker and get 40k + cycling instead of 20k. I use eco mode and use it to train on heart rate. I average 125 bpm compared to 140 bpm when I’m training. But my normal training runs were an hour max. So I’m expending more energy, having fun too.
I think using it in the mountains would be awesome you could cover a lot of terrain. Last longer in the day and keep fit.
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rbrian
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby rbrian » 11 Sep 2019, 9:54pm

I bought an ebike this week. I'm trying to get my work to take back the stinking diesel van I'm provided with to carry a laptop and a small bag of tools. For the last few months, I've been leaving it on the yard, cycling in on a Brompton, then leaving it wherever I happen to finish and cycling home. The vast majority of days I travel less than 15 miles, easy enough to cycle, but I can't carry enough on the Brompton. I need a compact bike to store in my living room, and I saw a Tern Vektron S10 with a £700 discount, so I went for it.

I took it for a long ride yesterday - well long for me. I haven't cycled more than 20 miles in a day since I was a teenager, but I had the day free, except for a presentation in the afternoon 30 miles away. I wouldn't have tried that on my Brompton, I'd probably have taken the bus, but I rode my electric bike on NCN route 1, which takes a very winding route from Aberdeen to Stonehaven, and I'd covered 48 miles by the time I reached Johnshaven, with a 20mph headwind the entire way. I was worried about battery life, so had it off most of the time, occasionally using Eco mode. On the way back I used the battery much more, but couldn't face going all that way in the dark, so I got the train back from Stonehaven - but that's much further than I would have gone with an ordinary bike, and my Galaxy Watch congratulated me on my most active day ever (well, in the 11 months since I've had it).
Cynic? No, an optimist tempered by experience.

Grandad
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby Grandad » 21 Sep 2019, 10:51pm

Since reporting on my first ride on the Orbea
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=132519#p1393752
I've done 2 more. Both 53 miles plus 4 and 5 miles using the motor.

Went out on the Spa Audax today and over 41 miles found myself using higher gears and riding considerably faster.(But not taking in any severe hills - save them for the Orbea!)

Oldjohnw
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby Oldjohnw » 22 Sep 2019, 8:44am

I've now done 4000km in my ebike. That is 4000 km that I would not have done. Some pure pleasure and some when otherwise I would have used the car.

I've had 5 cycle/camping trips from Yorkshire to Hadrians Cycleway to Scotland. I've lost 10kg in weight.

What's not to like?
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Cunobelin
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Sep 2019, 9:51am

The question is flawed

Do Racing bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists?

The answer is that it all depends upon the cyclist. There are those who get dressed up, ride to the cafe and back, and those who will do s 30-mile loop to the same cafe. A utility cyclist will get the same exercise as the former, but far less than the latter.

The real question is whether the individual gets more exercise than they did before the bike was purchased.

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horizon
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby horizon » 22 Sep 2019, 10:50am

I'm not even sure that the question is even relevant or that it matters (in its original form it was probably a bit of journalistic fun). The problem for me is comparing e-bikes to unpowered bikes in the first place. They are different and have different roles and implications. The only fly in the ointment is that, perhaps for the first time, we have a powered machine that sits in the same class as an unpowered bicycle (it goes on trains, it is allowed on cyclepaths, they are used on club runs, you don't legally need a helmet etc etc). Perhaps it is this overlap that causes the problem, not e-bikes per se.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

kwackers
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby kwackers » 22 Sep 2019, 11:33am

horizon wrote:we have a powered machine that sits in the same class as an unpowered bicycle (it goes on trains, it is allowed on cyclepaths, they are used on club runs, you don't legally need a helmet etc etc). Perhaps it is this overlap that causes the problem, not e-bikes per se.

Out of interest which if any of the above things you mention actually makes a difference and why do you think that?
(I'm considering only legal e-bikes here, illegal ones are obviously illegal).

Even unpowered bikes are powered. That they rely on muscle doesn't really change that - and some use unfairly powerful muscles to boot! :lol:

As a thought experiment, what if we made a motor that used muscle? Such a thing is technically possible, you could run it on glucose.

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horizon
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby horizon » 23 Sep 2019, 11:49am

kwackers wrote:
horizon wrote:we have a powered machine that sits in the same class as an unpowered bicycle (it goes on trains, it is allowed on cyclepaths, they are used on club runs, you don't legally need a helmet etc etc). Perhaps it is this overlap that causes the problem, not e-bikes per se.

Out of interest which if any of the above things you mention actually makes a difference and why do you think that?


Having thought about it, the problem is differentiation. Twenty five years ago, there was no e-bike as we know it today (with pedal assist) and an even shorter period of time AFAIK in which lithium-ion batteries have been available. Before this time a bike with a motor was a motorbike. In my view that's an incredibly important distinction. Almost always, to ride a bicycle meant to undertake physical effort whereas a motorbike, even if strenuous to ride, mitigated if not eliminated in practical terms this exertion.

Around this difference in operation has built up a huge body of social, medical and personal beliefs and ideas: cycling is good for you, cycling is healthy, cycling doesn't pollute, cycling gets your lungs going and your limbs moving and your blood circulating, cycling lets you lose weight. And then another raft of ideas: cycling involves challenge, hills are there to be climbed, exertion is to be applauded, difficulties are to be overcome through human physical endeavour, there is pride to be had in getting there under one's own steam - well done! And so on. And then another: cycling can be competitive, you must beat the other rider, you must go faster but always through the energy of your own muscles and sweat. The use of low gears might give rise to derision but generally, cycling is recognised for the value of its physical effort. The social envelope that surrounds cycling is important for the internal messaging that allows a cyclist to persevere in the face of difficulty and shouldn't IMV be underestimated or dismissed: these forum pages are littered with such sentiments - tough equals good.

There is another body of thought around the practicality and environmental friendliness of bicycles and cycling and the effect on our cities and towns, both in terms of safety and convenience and indeed pollution and traffic management. But I don't think that e-bikes cross that boundary in the way they do with physical exertion.

The distinction between a powered motorbike and a bicycle was until now pretty well comprenhesive: motorbikes are smelly and dirty, large and heavy, motorbikes belong out of doors, motorbikes require helmets and insurance and cannot be ridden by children; motorbikes cannot be taken by train and motorbikes don't require undue physical exertion. A motorbike is a motor vehcle and a bicycle is not. On a motorbike, an engine is always in use, on a bicycle never.

This also meant that if you took your bicycle on the back of your car or on the train, once it was off, it was still a bicycle and the exertion began again.

And then came the electric bicycle with power assist and a light(ish) battery and motor. Suddenly, the line and distinction has been blurred: you can get exercise on a powered bicycle, they are still relatively light and unpolluting, they are still practical and convenient, you don't need a helmet, they do go on trains, you do still have to pedal uphill but, like motorbikes, they mitigate the worst exertion and the steeper hills. In fact, someone riding an electric bike is little different from someone riding a bike with low gears, taking it on a train and freewheeling down hills. And indeed at first glance you might not realise it was an electric bike.

And yet, as I have said above, there is a difference and the problem is how we perceive and manage that difference. The internal messaging of the person struggling up a hill being overtaken by an electric bike might change from "Aren't I doing well!" to "I wish I had such bike and didn't have to make this effort!". In other words, e-bikes threaten the cultural and psychological underpinning of the physical exertion that we are told we require for good health. Of course, this is not the e-bike owner's problem: they cannot control how others think or feel nor have any responsibility to do so. But it may go some way to explaining why there is a reaction amongst cyclists to ebikes.

No-one (AFAIK) has claimed that LED lights make cycling too easy or that low gears are a bad thing (though some might!). But neither have these and other technological changes so profoundly challenged our understanding of what a bicycle is as distinct from a motorbike or unsettled the memes that underpin the effort required in riding a bicycle.

Does that answer your question?
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

ossie
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby ossie » 23 Sep 2019, 9:00pm

horizon wrote: The internal messaging of the person struggling up a hill being overtaken by an electric bike might change from "Aren't I doing well!" to "I wish I had such bike and didn't have to make this effort!". In other words, e-bikes threaten the cultural and psychological underpinning of the physical exertion that we are told we require for good health. Of course, this is not the e-bike owner's problem: they cannot control how others think or feel nor have any responsibility to do so. But it may go some way to explaining why there is a reaction amongst cyclists to ebikes.



I recall getting 'scalped' by an elderly couple on e bikes somewhere in Southern Germany in 2015 when touring. I jokingly said 'are you powered by electric' ....his response was an angry no. Clearly they were but there was that 'thing', almost unwritten sense of betrayal at least thats how I felt at the time. Perhaps he was a cyclist in his youth and on the defensive.

Since then e bike usage has exploded and if you are a long distance tourer on the EV routes then expect to get every man, woman and their dogs whizzing past you as if you are some sort of inconvenience. It can get slightly depressing and leaves you doubting your ability. You are now relegated to the bottom of the food chain, seriously not that touring is a fast hobby by its nature.

I had a bizarre conversation with a friend who has owned an E bike in MTB form. In casual conversation I enquired how it might benefit me as long distance tourer. His reply was that he would lose any respect for my accomplishments - I felt that was a slightly selfish point of view.
Last edited by ossie on 23 Sep 2019, 10:02pm, edited 2 times in total.

reohn2
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Sep 2019, 9:18pm

ossie wrote:
horizon wrote: The internal messaging of the person struggling up a hill being overtaken by an electric bike might change from "Aren't I doing well!" to "I wish I had such bike and didn't have to make this effort!". In other words, e-bikes threaten the cultural and psychological underpinning of the physical exertion that we are told we require for good health. Of course, this is not the e-bike owner's problem: they cannot control how others think or feel nor have any responsibility to do so. But it may go some way to explaining why there is a reaction amongst cyclists to ebikes.



I recall getting 'scalped' by an elderly couple on e bikes somewhere in Southern Germany in 2015 when touring. I jokingly said 'are you powered by electric' ....his response was an angry no. Clearly they were but there was that 'thing', almost unwritten sense of betrayal at least thats how I felt at the time. Perhaps he was a cyclist in his youth and on the defensive.

Since then e bike usage has exploded and if you are a long distance tourer on the EV routes then expect to get every man, woman and their dogs whizzing past you as if you are some sort of inconvenience. It can get slightly depressing and leaves you doubting your ability. You are now relegated to the bottom of the food chain, seriously not that touring is a fast hobby by its nature.

I had a bizarre conversation with a friend who has owned an E bike in MTB form. In casual conversation I enquired how it might benefit me as long distance tourer. His reply was that he would lose any respect for my accomplishments - I felt that was a slightly selfish point of view.

If you've ever spent sometime of your life off the bike and been using a car exclusively for transort,you maybe aware of a feeling of being slow and a wish to go faster as the motors are doing.After sometime you come to realise that that's not what it's all about,only when that stage is reached can you then truly divorce yourself from that speed longing and appreciate the bike for it's own worth.
Some may say in that case e-biking is cheating or not real cycling,that IMO is a personal negative assumption based on prejudice a sort of inverted snobbery.
The e-bike is merely a helpmate for whatever reason the rider wants or needs it to be,the snobbery begins when the e-bike rider begins thinking that s/he is a better traveller than the unassisted cyclist,in the same way some motorists believe they're better than the cyclist.

There is no better or worse only differences.
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ossie
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby ossie » 23 Sep 2019, 10:14pm

reohn2 wrote:the snobbery begins when the e-bike rider begins thinking that s/he is a better traveller than the unassisted cyclist,in the same way some motorists believe they're better than the cyclist.

There is no better or worse only differences.


I certainly had the feeling that as a fully loaded tourer I was an inconvenience to the masses passing me, as were several other 'normal cyclists' left in the E bike wake. I've no issues with E bikes as I've stated on other threads but until you've experienced waves of them progressing past you with a degree of expectation , without doubt there is an 'us and them' situation developing. Some of the cycling bordered on arrogance but I guess thats a typical human response that manifests itself in the motoring world as well.

Imagine the fast lane motoring scenario when the person behind flashes you to get past , this time its a couple of 80 year olds on an E bike with a bell.

reohn2
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Sep 2019, 10:28pm

ossie wrote:
reohn2 wrote:the snobbery begins when the e-bike rider begins thinking that s/he is a better traveller than the unassisted cyclist,in the same way some motorists believe they're better than the cyclist.

There is no better or worse only differences.


I certainly had the feeling that as a fully loaded tourer I was an inconvenience to the masses passing me, as were several other 'normal cyclists' left in the E bike wake. I've no issues with E bikes as I've stated on other threads but until you've experienced waves of them progressing past you with a degree of expectation , without doubt there is an 'us and them' situation developing. Some of the cycling bordered on arrogance but I guess thats a typical human response that manifests itself in the motoring world as well.

Imagine the fast lane motoring scenario when the person behind flashes you to get past , this time its a couple of 80 year olds on an E bike with a bell.

Very threatening :mrgreen: :wink:
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BlackPanther
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby BlackPanther » 24 Sep 2019, 6:29pm

Having commuted 25 miles daily for 10 years, I’ve noticed that;

No matter what bike, be it a mountain bike, hybrid, road bike, recumbent, trike, velomobile, or eBike, I’ve always ridden in to work steadily so as not to break sweat. Then, home bound I ride like a bat out of hell to get a workout. Thusly (is thusly a word?) I always get home wrecked. Only difference is the time it takes. That said, my commutes are reasonably flat, so I guess anyone dealing with massive hills may ridden more often?
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby landsurfer » 24 Sep 2019, 6:43pm

I have recently done a group ride that involved cyclists on pedal power and e-bikes ... it was good fun, we all had a great time.
On a number of the serious climbs, 5000 ft on 2 on of the 3 days, one of the e-bike riders was cool, non-plussed and chatty at the top of each of the marked climbs.
The purely pedal powered and partial assisted riders / walkers ( yes that steep :lol: ) where sweating bags of jelly ... ok not all of them ..but most. :)

So ... No ... E-bike riders do not get more exercise than regular cyclists in my experience. Just my experience.

But it was a key part of our ride to have our E-bike comrades with us ... respect ...
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Grandad
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Re: Do E-bike riders get more exercise than regular cyclists ?

Postby Grandad » 24 Sep 2019, 8:07pm

Reads as though you don't see partially assisted motorised bikes as e-bikes :?: