Contrary to popular belief, electric bikes (e-bikes) offer a surprising amount of exercise, surpassing traditional pedal bikes on average. This revelation, supported by numerous scientific studies, challenges the skepticism often harbored by conventional cyclists and sheds light on the health benefits associated with e-bike riding.

Studies consistently demonstrate that individuals who ride e-bikes engage in more physical activity than their pedal bike counterparts. Despite initial resistance from traditional cyclists, this finding transcends national boundaries and cultural differences, pointing to a universal trend.

The explanation for this unexpected outcome becomes clear when breaking down the reasons behind it. E-bike riders, equipped with a motor and battery for assistance, tend to cover more ground. Research indicates that e-bike riders not only spend longer hours on their bikes but also accumulate significantly more miles. Despite the pedal assist, they remain actively engaged in pedaling, often surpassing the efforts of traditional cyclists.

One key factor contributing to increased exercise is the alleviation of challenges like hill climbs and tough starts provided by the electric motor. Studies reveal that when the physical strain is reduced, riders are inclined to embark on lengthier journeys. A 2019 study involving over 10,000 adults across seven countries found higher Metabolic Equivalent Task minutes per week for electric bike riders compared to their pedal bike counterparts.

Moreover, the perceived enjoyment of e-bikes plays a pivotal role in the extended rides. E-bike riders consistently report a higher level of enjoyment, leading to more time spent pedaling and exercising. A 2021 study highlighted positive perceptions, with participants finding e-bike riding “easier” and “fun.”

While throttle-enabled e-bikes may not yield the same health benefits as pedal assist e-bikes, the outdoor advantages are still measurable. Electric bike riders exhibit more consistent riding patterns, with many incorporating e-bikes into their daily routines for commuting or errands.

E-bike riders also demonstrate a willingness to tackle challenging terrains that pedal bike riders might avoid. The assistance of the motor allows them to navigate demanding climbs independently, contributing to increased exercise levels. Even on nature trails, e-bike riders often seek out more technical terrain, further enhancing their overall exercise experience.

In conclusion, the outdated notion that electric bikes lack exercise benefits has been debunked by scientific studies and firsthand experiences. Riders find e-bikes engaging, spending more time on them due to the sheer enjoyment of cruising around. Whether on an e-bike or a traditional pedal bike, the two-wheeled experience proves to be an enjoyable and effective way to have fun while staying active.

By Impact Lab