E-bikes and weight loss - a case study


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An inspiring story of one man's journey to better health and fitness. ;)

While keyboard warriors have long debated whether or not electric bicycles provide a good workout, the science is conclusive: e-bikes can provide just as effective of a workout as pedal bicycles, and sometimes more. But you don’t have to tell Jon Treffert, a medical devices software developer from Knoxville, Tennessee. He already knows it. Jon had enjoyed cycling as a grad student 30 years ago, but gave it up after school. Fast forward 3 decades later and Jon was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Weighing 270 lb (122 kg) at the time, that diagnosis was the wake-up call he needed to change his lifestyle. Along with focusing on a healthier diet, Jon decided to get back into cycling. But hilly Knoxville was a tall order for someone who hadn’t cycled in three decades. So Jon opted for an accessible, comfortable e-bike from the company Day6 Bikes and began putting on the miles. As time went on, he began increasing his rides and pushing harder.

As Jon explained:

Five months into my journey I reached a milestone of 1,000 miles [1,600 km]. I was riding primarily from home with a typical distance of 30 miles [48 km] and an elevation gain of 2,000 feet [600 m] at a brisker pace of 15.6 mph [25 km/h]. Just over a year into his e-biking journey, Jon had covered over 3,300 miles (5,310 km). But Jon didn’t stop there. He kept riding, and now three years later he is back to his high school of weight of 165 lb (75 kg).


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I am certain my eBike has health benefits. My legs and it seems even my knees have strengthened. I ride a lot in PAS 0 and 1 using my high gear (7 on a 7speed). I am considering a used gravel /mtb for bikepacking since NC and FL are not eBike friendly on actual mtb shared access trails (bike/hike/horse).


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I've lost 10lbs in the past three months since adding a BBS02B to my old bike.
I'm riding further and more often even when my bad knee and carpal tunnel are flaring up as I know I have some electrons to help get me home.


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There is no question it’s a better workout for me. I’m pedaling far more consistently, keep my heart rate almost as high as with my analog bike, can go many more places for longer periods of time. My doctor was very pleased at a recent physical/blood test and said whatever I’m doing, keep doing it!


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I agree FlatSix911. I had to return from a 25 km ride in our nearby Provincial Park this morning to take a 10 a.m. call from my doctor after blood tests. The tests were good, diabetes risk levels well controlled, and she was blown away that I am riding 30-40 km a day. So I went out for another 25 km ride. Good for mental health? You bet.


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I sent this article to my wife... she sent it back to me highlighting the "healthier eating" parts.

I thought ebiking gave me an excuse to eat pizza... err... carb-load.


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Hahaha, my wife pointed out I'd have lost more than 10 pounds if I wasn't also snacking on mini powdered donuts. Sadly I just found Little Debbies Turtle Brownies the other day. I'm not a brownie person, but oh my, this will be my downfall in winter...