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Posted by Gregory Maassen on January 22, 2022 - Latest revision January 22, 2022  Reading time: minutes remaining

You Are Never Too Young To E-Bike – Why E-Biking Is Not For Cheaters

We often hear analog cyclists say that they are not ready to e-bike because they are too healthy, young, and vital to embrace modern cycling technology. Some think e-biking is cheating.

E-biking is an excellent sport that can be easily tailored to the cyclist's expectations, performance levels, and biking experience. You can make an e-bike workout and cycling adventure as hard or easy as you want it to be. You can use the "Eco Mode" of an e-bike on a hill and burn serious amounts of calories.

E-biking is an excellent healthy alternative to couch surfing.

e-bike lovers

Washington DC

E-biking is an excellent workout

E-biking can be more demanding than regular cycling if you want it to be. Most e-bikes don't have a throttle, and you need to pedal to propel class 1 and 3 e-bikes. Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle, but you don't need to use one. Intelligent top athletes use e-bikes to train for long-distance analog cycling.

Read more about e-bike classes

  • Class 1 electric bicycle shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
  • Class 2 electric bicycle shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
  • Class 3 electric bicycle shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

You can make it as hard as you want and get a more strenuous workout on an e-bike as they are heavier than regular bikes.

You can lose weight by e-biking

E-bike computers and cycling apps can indicate how many calories you burn while e-biking, and it is more than you would expect. For example, you burn some 250 calories per hour e-biking if you weigh 188 lbs and cycle in flat terrain, and this is roughly 45% of regular cycling. It is perfectly OK to burn fewer calories.

E-bikers often burn more calories as headwinds, hills, the average user power input, cadence, and maximum speed vary. For example, many e-bikers burn around 300-330 calories per hour.

A line graph showing calories burned while e-biking E-bike Lovers

This image (click to enlarge) shows an example of a typical e-bike ride. The e-biker burned 642 calories in just over two hours, e-biking 25.83 miles in some hilly terrain. The cyclist took it relatively easy that day as the cadence was 52 RPM, and the average speed was 12.6 MPH.

Are you cheating with an e-bike?

So, does e-biking make you a cheater? Not really, as e-bikers tend to cycle longer distances and for more extended periods, possibly burning the same calories as, or even more, than regular cyclists who bike shorter distances. And why should you be called a cheater if you exercise regardless of your energy output?

E-biking is healthy for the mind and body and opens worlds of new possibilities. You can cycle farther and longer, burn calories, navigate the hills more pleasantly and save money by not owning a (second) car to run errands.

e-bike lovers

Washington DC

Any healthy exercise is good exercise. E-biking is not different from cycling, and it is a healthy, low-impact sport that is easy on the joints as it provides less stress on weight-bearing joints like your knees.

E-biking is also good for your mental health

In a landmark study by Tim Jones et al. (2019), the researchers followed 100 older adults (aged 50-83) for eight weeks. The regular cyclists and e-bikers cycled at least three times a week for thirty minutes for each cycle ride.

The study concluded: "As e-bike participants benefitted as much (if not more) than pedal cyclists, this suggests that it is not just the physical component of the activity but a number of different aspects of cycling that can improve cognition and mental health, e.g., engagement with the outdoor environment, independence, and mobility." In other words, e-cycling is healthy for your brain as well.

Conclusion

E-biking is healthy for the mind and body and opens worlds of new possibilities. You can cycle farther and longer, burn calories, navigate the hills more pleasantly and save money by not owning a (second) car to run errands.

After an e-bike ride, you feel refreshed. E-biking is an excellent healthy alternative to couch surfing. You meet new friends on the trail, and your cognitive functions improve. If you call this cheating, what could be wrong with that?


Dr. Gregory F. Maassen

Gregory discovered e-biking after 20 years of overseas work as project manager for the World Bank and USAID. He writes about e-mobility and e-biking in the DMV area, and loves the outdoors (white water kayaking, hiking and biking). He lives with his wife, Janet in Washington DC.


Favorite e-bike: Riese & Muller Super Charger Class 1 touring e-bike.


Dr. Gregory F. Maassen

FOUNDER E-BIKE LOVERS


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