There is a common misconception regarding electric bikes – that they do all of the hard work for you! Whilst it is true that they do complement the pedaling power of the cyclist, as well as providing assistance wherever needed, it is important to note that they are not the same as a motorbike or scooter.
Because electric bikes reduce the level of effort required when compared to a regular bicycle, they offer the perfect way to bridge the gap between no cycling and cycling on a regular bike. Health experts universally agree that even modest amounts of regular exercise are far more beneficial than no exercise at all and as such, these bikes are ideal for helping people of all ages to enhance their fitness. Even seemingly mundane tasks such as going to work, college or the shops on an electric bike can help to provide significant benefits to the health of the rider.
There is a strong school of thought that even believes that riding an electric bike can prove to offer better exercise than a regular bike due to the fact that e-bike owners tend to use their bike more. Riding an electric bike is often so exhilarating that it does not actually feel like you are exercising, which makes people far more likely to stick with it.
Getting on an e-bike can often yield very similar health benefits to undertaking a specific training programme. A combination of cycling for ½ hr per day and a calorie controlled diet can achieve weight loss comparable to that achieved by doing three aerobic classes a week. As well as being positive in regards to physical health, cycling is also proven to positively impact emotional health as well – improving levels of well-being, self-confidence and tolerance to stress while reducing tiredness, difficulties with sleep and a range of medical symptoms.
With an electric bike, you can put in as much, or as little, effort as your feel comfortable with. The more you do, the less the bike does and vice versa. Imagine the benefits when you reach the bottom of that daunting hill on your way to work, just turn up the power and you can cruise your way up to the top. Even better, because you will not have to make a big effort, you will not arrive at work all hot, sweaty and bothered.
Because e-bikes are such high-utility, low-impact methods of transportation, they are being utilised more and more by people to take short trips which would formerly have been completed in a car. Replacing the high impact of a single passenger car with the low impact of an e bike will make a positive difference for both the individual and environment.
Riding an electric bike is good for the environment in a surprising number of ways. As well as offering no pollution, they also make no noise. Using an electric bike also often means that there is one less car on the road, meaning less traffic and less pollution.
Whilst electric bikes obviously consume a small amount of energy, that consumption is still significantly less than even the greenest car or motorbike – the only CO2 emitted when the bike is in use will be from the cyclist’s lungs and there are no fumes emitted from an exhaust pipe. If you get your power from a green supplier, or even generate your own with a wind turbine or solar panels, an electric bike is truly sustainable.
Jonathon Monk is an enthusiastic cyclist and works for Cycling Made Easy. Cycling Made Easy are the regional stockists for SCOTT and can give advice and guidance plus accompanied test rides to make sure that customers feel comfortable and can experience E-Bikes first-hand before looking to buy.Do Electric Bikes Make You Fitter? by Margaret