The Electric Bike Replaces the Car and the Gym

Easy E-Biking - Babboe Cargo electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
Photo credit Babboe e-bikes

Yes, the electric bike is well suited both for your muscles and your heart. And, for the same amount of effort, it allows you to go further.

“Do you get around by bike? Good for you, sport! Oh, it’s an electric bike? Lazy.”

Which owner of an e-bike has not already had this type of reflection, sometimes embellished with the “e-bike batteries pollute” statement?

A few years ago, I would have answered that an e-bike replaces the car, not the gym. However, I have since changed my mind; an e-bike can replace both well.

Riding an electrically assisted bike indeed makes you sweat a little less than riding a muscle bike, but the critics of this mode of transportation often ignore two things. On the one hand, it is possible to adjust the assistance to compensate for the extra weight of the machine to provide, if desired, the same effort as with a muscle bike. 

Read also: Should I buy a mechanical or an electric bicycle? Not so simple… What is the ideal electric bike? Must have features for any e-bike.

On the other hand, and this is perhaps the most interesting argument, with an e-bike, you can go further and faster for the same effort. In other words, you will burn the same number of calories by riding 50 kilometers (30 miles) with maximum assistance as by riding 20 kilometers (15 miles) on a mechanical bike. 

Or, on the contrary, you will get half as tired for the same distance, which is one of the best reasons why more and more of our fellow riders are opting for an e-bike instead of a car to get to work.

And having that motor with pedal assist has some advantages. Let’s take a look at some of them.

E-bike is suitable for your physical health

Some may think it’s not exercised because electric bike requires less effort. However, a study by Brigham Young University published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that people who use electric bikes get almost as much exercise as those who ride mountain bikes without feeling like they’ve done a hard workout. 

Easy E-Biking - Babboe Cargo electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
Photo credit Babboe e-bikes

In reality, even with pedal assist, riders still have to pedal, allowing them to burn calories without burning out. It’s also a great “gentle” cardiovascular exercise that can help build endurance and muscle.

Read also: Can I use e-bike to get fit or for weight loss? And, Are e-bikes good for cardio exercise

And then the e-bike allows thousands of people to switch to cycling, which they would never have done with a muscle bike. So, for this reason alone, the approach is virtuous.

E-bikes are good for your mental health

Electric bikes make cycling more accessible, and people are more likely to take up cycling because it’s easier, getting roughly the same workout with less effort. In addition, for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, electric bicycles allow them to move and be in nature. 

This exercise, change of scenery, and fresh air help improve mood, reduce stress, promote better sleep and increase productivity. I have personally experienced this daily for the past six years, both for cycling and for walking on the weekend. 

In fact, in most cases, if I don’t have anything cumbersome or anyone to carry, I take my e-bike for all trips shorter than about 15/20 kilometers (10-15 miles), and even in the city, it’s a pleasure, which makes me happy every time I ride it. 

Read also: Top 10 mental benefits of riding an electric bike. And, Can riding an e-bike improve mental health.

It’s silly, but it’s true: it puts you in a good mood (well, ok, except when an aggressive 19-ton truck almost turns you into a steak tartare).

The e-bike is faster than the car

The trip to my workplace takes me exactly (in identical “normal” traffic conditions) 45 minutes by public transport, 40 minutes by foot (which I also do regularly because I love to walk), 30 minutes by car (including the time it takes to get to the parking lot and to park at my destination) and… 18 minutes by e-bike. 

Easy E-Biking - cycling pathway, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

The electric bike is perfect for getting to work a few miles away and running quick errands. A figure: according to a TomTom study, the average car speed in a big city, like Paris, for example, during the day is 13.1 km/h (8 mph). On my e-bike, my onboard computer indicates an average cumulative speed of 21 km/h (15 mph)…

Read also: How far can e-bikes go? What is e-bike range on a single charge? And, How fast are e-bikes?

The e-bike is as safe as the muscle bike

Remember that an e-bike is not a dragster but a lightly assisted bike with deactivated assistance beyond 25 km/h (15.5 mph). And if you want to go faster, good luck dealing with the weight and friction. 

So an e-bike is not faster than a mechanical one; it allows you to get to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) quicker and maintain a better average speed. In that, it is not more dangerous than a mechanical one. The risks are simply different. E-bikes are generally safer than regular bikes because you can accelerate to get out of the way faster and ride at higher speeds, being better inserted in traffic if you are not on a bike path. 

They are also more stable because they are heavier, not to mention the extra safety features that some are equipped with (turn signals, brake lights, reinforced brakes…). The only drawback is that the design and weight of some e-bikes make them less maneuverable and perhaps more challenging to control in difficult conditions (narrow passages, steep hills…)

Read also: Are electric bikes dangerous? What are e-bike risks? And, How safe are electric bikes?

The e-bike is easier to ride

Pedal assist gives cyclists a boost. It helps with hills, slopes, and rough terrain, making for a smoother ride and reducing stress on joints. You can also ride with more power and precision than a regular bike. 

And it allows people to ride a bike who otherwise wouldn’t be able to use a traditional bicycle because of their physical condition. Plus, you can go on longer rides without getting physically exhausted.

Read also: How to use an electric bike? A brief intro. And, How to ride an electric bike? With a few tips.

The e-bike allows you to travel further and discover new places

Even without being a mountain bike, an e-bike will enable you to ride farther. An analysis of health and transportation data in seven European cities found that cyclists using an electric bike took longer trips than cyclists without a motor. As a result, E-bike riders (ahem…) achieved a similar fitness gain as pedal cyclists. 

Easy E-Biking - Bike trail, forest, park, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Range varies significantly from e-bike to e-bike, and you can also install a second battery to increase it. That allows you to visit more remote locations, while the assistance will help you climb hills and venture into terrain you might not have been able to reach before. 

In the context of a ride and discovery spread over a few days, for example, it is very easy, even for a not particularly sporty person, to ride 50 to 70 kilometers (30 to 50 miles) a day without getting exhausted. 

Make sure you have a good saddle and a padded seat for the first few days because this part of the body is often the weakest link in a long-distance cycling tour.

In conclusion

Fast, good for health and morale, practical, and not polluting, the e-bike concentrates advantages for the muscles and the air we breathe. A lazy thing? Maybe, but a lazy person in shape goes far!

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