To go to work or for a ride, electric bicycles become more and more popular. While e-bikes help their riders be less tired, above all they are of great help to stay in shape or to get back on the saddle (again) after a health problem.
The sales figures for electric bikes in many countries reflect the enthusiasm for this relatively new type of transportation. For example, in France sales of electric bicycles grew more than 90% in one year. More than 255,000 e-bikes were sold in 2017. This was an exceptional year, also due to the ecological bonus from the government.
Are e-bikes making their riders lazy? Not at all! E-bike motor is there to support the cycling effort with a level of electric assistance determined by the rider, but not to replace it (although, with a throttle e-bike one can ride just as on an electric motorcycle).
Excellent for the heart, muscles and even morale, e-cycling is a complete sport. With electric assistance, it becomes accessible to everyone for casual riding, shopping, moving around, taking you kids or cargo with you and more… And if you’re still hesitating, here are the recommendations from fitness pros.
E-bikes for more sport
“Riding an e-bike helps keep your muscles strong. It stimulates the buttocks, quadriceps, and calves, which do most of the work on a bike. E-cycling also stimulates the torso and arms, which play a sheathing role so that the legs’ propulsion actions are effective,” says Daniel Jacob, an expert on the health commission at the French Cycling Federation.
The boost given by electric assistance thus makes it possible to be more sporty, to reach the recommended 30 minutes of activity per day to stay healthy. It also helps leave the car in the garage for certain journeys, or to dare take a slightly longer walk. An excellent way to fight against sedentary lifestyles, even during illness.
Can I use an e-bike to get fit or for weight loss? Find out more in this post.
Stimulate your heart gently with an e-bike ride
Pedaling makes the heart more healthy. With training, the heart starts to beat slower, so it gets tired less while pushing more blood to all organs.
“The electric bicycle is ideal for those who have never done any sport or need to get back in shape after a long break. The e-cycling activity becomes an easy and excellent training for the cardiovascular system,” explains Constance Debouzy, a cardiologist at the Lyon University Hospital.
“There’s no need to tire yourself out,” she adds. The heart starts to train as soon as you reach the threshold of breathlessness. At this stage, we don’t take any cardiac risks.”
Are electric bikes good for cardio exercise? Take a look at this post to learn more.
Can I ride an e-bike with cardiac issues? This post may help with the question.
E-cycling is ideal for joints
On a bike, joints are placed in their axis, without experiencing any shocks. “In the event of osteoarthritis, the bicycle makes it possible to re-muscle and regain joint range of motion, particularly at hip level and even after the installation of a prosthesis,” says Professor Bernard Cortet, a rheumatologist at Lille University Hospital.
He reminds us that a sedentary lifestyle increases body stiffness and could lead to osteoarthritis. “Think about having your bike adjusted to your morphology by a professional,” says Dr. Yves Yau, a doctor at the French Cyclotourism Federation. This would help avoid any problem related to posture and seating position.”
Can I ride an e-bike with knee problems or arthritis? Read this post to find out.
Is it possible to ride an e-bike after a hip replacement surgery? Take a look at this post to learn more.
E-bikes, what is essential to know?
With their motor, battery and puncture-proof tires, e-bikes are inevitably a little heavier than their traditional counterparts: around 22 kg for a city e-bike and around 13 kg for a road e-bike.
How much does an e-bike weigh? We review several e-bike types in this post.
What is e-bike weight limit? How much can e-bikes carry? Find out in this post.
Many countries, local and city governments have introduced aid programs to help purchase electric bikes.
How to recover the money invested in an e-bike? This post could give some hints.
Examples of financial aid programs available for e-bike – find out in this post.
Getting equipped with an e-bike: 4 points to watch out for
E-bike motor quality
E-bike motor can be placed at the rear wheel, at the front wheel or, even better, on the crankset. If this is the case, the center of gravity is then lower and the e-bike is more stable. E-bike motor follows its rider’s pedaling efforts and accompanies those efforts. Legs remain the accelerator. So, the motor does not propel the bicycle by itself, it rather responds to the pedaling power.
What is the difference between e-bike motors? This post could help shed some light.
Among the most renowned e-bike motor brands: Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic, and Shimano.
E-bike battery life
Life of an e-bike battery varies according to the degree of assistance required: from 40 to 80 km for an average road speed of 20 km/hr. Think carefully about your immediate and future needs. As you get used to your e-bike, your trips are likely to become more and more ambitious.
How far can electric bike go? What is e-bike range? Learn more in this post.
E-bike motor torque
Motor torque is its strength. The greater the weight to be moved, the more torque is required. The usual torque is between 40 and 60 newtons. To choose motor power, you have to take into account the weight of the rider, the nature of the terrain, e-bike usual load, to name just a few core influencing factors.
How much would an e-bike cost?
The entry-level price for an e-bike is around 600 euros. And the lifespan of such models will be often limited by that of the battery. Indeed, a quality battery would cost between 500 and 700 euros alone.
Count between 2000 and 3000 euros for an urban e-bike, 2500 euros for a mountain e-bike and up to 5000 euros for a road e-bike.