In our cycling practice we have contact with people across a broad athletic spectrum. They are not all ultra lean road cyclists. Many are gravitating to e-bikes for a variety of reasons. We want to share some research you may find interesting.
We will be referring to an e-bike as a pedal assist bicycle with a top speed of 20 mph. The rider has to pedal, however pedaling is made easier with an internal motor the rider controls by adding levels of assistance, from a great deal to very little. They are a legitimate bicycle, they offer real exercise benefits, and they are fun. You won’t believe how much fun until you try one. They will put a smile on your face!
Many traditional cyclists have wrongly assumed e-bikes did not offer real exercise benefits. Many studies have proven their worth from a cardiovascular and health perspective. Without getting into the details, a recent study of people on mountain bikes over a six mile rolling course compared the level of exercise benefit between traditional bikes and those on e-bikes. Surprisingly, the e-bike riders got about 94% of the benefits as those on the traditional bicycle.
While getting great cardio benefits, e-bike users “perceive” they are not working nearly as hard. This lowers the barrier to those wanting to get exercise who would not otherwise consider a bicycle. Since they don’t feel like they are working as hard, many e-bike users ride more often and they ride for longer distances which is a double benefit.
A bike shop owner friend in Bradenton sold an e-bike to a gentleman in his 80’s who could barely get into and out of the car as a passenger. It transformed his life. He began to ride and slowly increased how far he could go. He came back and added a basket to the bike and began using it to run to the store and other errands. His strength and fitness improvement was dramatic. It also brought him joy and a sense of independence. An endurance cycling friend in Venice rides his road bike 50 miles every morning and then spends several hours each afternoon on his e-bike, simply because it is so much fun.
New e-bike models come out weekly. They are in all price ranges. To get started, try them at several dealers. Jim believes they are a terrific option for someone who wants to exercise but would do more of it if they had a way to get the benefits they need while having fun. Bingo!
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