E-bike versus pedal bike

If you are a committed bike rider, you may well feel like e-bikes are just not for you but they can have their advantages.

Fitness gains

Electric bikes will improve your fitness, though not as much as your ordinary pedal bike. A researcher from the University of Bristol compared the findings of 17 global studies into the fitness benefits of exercise bikes and concluded, e-cycling “provided physical activity of at least moderate intensity, which was lower than the intensity elicited during conventional cycling, but higher than that during walking.” If it’s a choice between e-cycling or not cycling at all, the e-Bike wins.

Ride sweat free

If you would like to commute to work by bike but are put off by the lack of shower or changing facilities an e-bike may be the answer. With a little bit of help from the motor you can travel further and faster without working up a sweat, making cycling in your sensible, smart office clothes a legitimate option. You can now purchase an e-bike on the Ride to Work scheme, so no excuses not to give cycle commuting a go.

Ride more often

With an e-bike taking some of the load you may feel more inclined to ride your bike for journeys you’d normally use a car or public transport for. You know you won’t be arriving sweaty or exhausted so can increase the number of times and types of place you are willing to ride to. With the motor giving you a few more watts you can carry heavier loads, so hauling home the weekly shop or picking up heavy parcels is 100% an option. The more often you jump on a bike in a week, even an e-bike, the fitter you will get.

Still think it is not for you?

There may come a time when an e-bike saves your cycling hobby. You may well be super fit and fast enough to not need an e-bike now, after all they only offer assistance up to 15.5mph or 250 watts and you can probably do that on your own, but injury, illness or even plain old ageing might change your opinion.

We spoke to a couple of cyclists who shared their stories of how e-bikes had reinvigorated their cycling. One of those cyclists, 79 year old Roy Barnes, said: “I stopped going out with my cycling club because I couldn’t keep up and finished rides exhausted. With my e-bike I can ride with the youngsters comfortably and I feel like I have got my social life back.”

Likewise, some illnesses can sap your energy and if you rely on riding your bike to work, or even for work, this can be a big problem. John Sutcliffe, a cycle guide from the Lake District, suffered Lyme Disease caused by a tick bite and as a cycle guide he needed to be able to ride his bike. He explained that by switching to an e-bike he could continue to perform his job on tough routes day in and day out. John said “I didn’t have the strength to do it, so without an electric bike I wouldn’t have had the option to continue working.”

Do you ride an e-bike or a pedal bike – would you consider switching?