How Much Cardio Can You Get From Electric Bikes?

Bud in Denver

New Member
Speaking of cardio, I ride Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain Natl Park almost everyday during the summer and my heart rate is generally 120's to 130. That's average speed uphill for 24 miles about 17mph (which isn't too bad for 77)
 

kahuna40

Member
Speaking of cardio, I ride Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain Natl Park almost everyday during the summer and my heart rate is generally 120's to 130. That's average speed uphill for 24 miles about 17mph (which isn't too bad for 77)
We just did trail ridge road for the first time! That has to be the most amazing ride on a bicycle. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I would love to ride my e bike there, wow.
 

AzDave

Member
Region
USA
So I'm coming from a Specialized Roubaix to a Specialized Creo and my workouts 'feel' more intense to me. I say feel because I wasn't using a heart rate monitor as much before because it's a recent addition to my workouts. I'm age 53 and lately my BPM has been mid 130's on 30-40 mile rides. My high BPM has been high 160's to 170 😳 so to me these are solid workouts. I'm always sweaty when I get home pretty much.

I feel like I'm more mentally engaged in my rides. I feel addicted to speed at times...I attack hills better...make more traffic lights which keeps me moving...actually having more fun even with headwinds. I feel like I could ride my bike everyday even though I don't. A lot of people are concentrating on what ebikes bikes do for the body (which is totally valid) but I contend its impact on the mind is just as compelling. The sense of adventure and "I can do anything with my bike" is powerful.

My gf and I are constantly seeking different routes and vacations centered around our ebikes. Plus with us both having ebikes now its more of an equalizer. She can hang with me on the flats and I can hang with her on the hills 👍
 

voidedwarranty

Active Member
I'm still young by the standards of this forum, (sorry everyone) but recently I have been told by my doctor that it's time to kick the fried foods and get some exercise before I head down a bad road filled with heart attacks and stents. I already had the ebike but used it mainly for fun and only once or twice a week.

Well now I use it almost exclusively to exercise 5 nights a week. Bought a Fitbit to keep track of my heart to make sure I'm getting proper workouts.

Just came back from a 10.4 mile ride. All PAS1, average speed 16.5mph. Average BPM 153. Peak BPM 178. Burn rate 15.4 cal/min. Total calorie burn 584. Total time 38 mins.

The ebike is the best thing in my eyes. And may just keep me from the grim future I was headed for. I've lost 20 lbs in 1 1/2 months already.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The ebike is the best thing in my eyes. And may just keep me from the grim future I was headed for. I've lost 20 lbs in 1 1/2 months already.

it’s amazing how easy it is to burn calories when you’re also doing something fun! and of course with most ebikes you can push yourself as hard as you want, and if you hit the wall, just turn up the motor! i think that allows every ride to be at an optimal cardio level without fear of getting “stuck” without enough biological power/energy left!
 

voidedwarranty

Active Member
it’s amazing how easy it is to burn calories when you’re also doing something fun! and of course with most ebikes you can push yourself as hard as you want, and if you hit the wall, just turn up the motor! i think that allows every ride to be at an optimal cardio level without fear of getting “stuck” without enough biological power/energy left!
Very true. And in the most extreme cases of exhaustion, you can always throttle home (if you have one). I have opened up several family members and co-workers to this thinking towards ebikes.
 

AzDave

Member
Region
USA
it’s amazing how easy it is to burn calories when you’re also doing something fun! and of course with most ebikes you can push yourself as hard as you want, and if you hit the wall, just turn up the motor! i think that allows every ride to be at an optimal cardio level without fear of getting “stuck” without enough biological power/energy left!

Right. There are many factors like that...for instance maybe instead of stopping to rest as much one justs up the power. Things like that keep people moving and enjoying instead of feeling defeated. The fun factor you said is the magic ingredient to all this I believe. Fun keeps enthusiasm at a higher level.
 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
how much cardio do you get?

all depends on how you ride it. I am living proof.

3-2020 I weighted 430lbs. I also have a replacement hip and knee as the result of a motorcycle accident 20 years ago.

Covid hit and I started working from home, and eating at home. no more 16 work days and fast/quick food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I started to have time for me, exercise, proper diet, I decided to take advantage of my forced vacation, yes I was still working; I was one of the lucky ones, but no more 1.25 hour driving commute, that left time in the morning and evening to exercise, no more eat on the move. Wife was cooking me good food, I decided to join a weight loss program to get a handle on what and how much to eat.

at 430lbs there were no bikes out there that would hold my weight, I needed to drop at least 60lbs for the best one I could afford that could hold my weight at 360lbs. I knew a couldn't do a regular bike and that I wouldn't stick to it if it was a struggle, so I went for an e-bike. I ordered the bike in July 2020, received it 9-2020. I was 365lbs by then.

I was also back to work at the office, so I decided to try cycling to work I had done a couple of 5-10 mile runs on the e-bike, and though I was tired I felt good. so I set off at 7am hoping to get the 25 miles to the office by 10am, figured I would have to rest a few times.

115 minutes later I was there, no stops.

Since 10-2020 I have used my e-bike to commute to work 4 times a week, I drive in on Monday, take my weeks worth of lunches and clothes, bring home a lunch container and the work clothes each day in my pannier, 50 miles a day round trip. I get ~40miles or so (now) out of a battery charge so I have a charger at work to be sure it is topped up for the journey home.

When I started I was always in PAS5 but I pedaled, I did not throttle except to start from lights, or to help get up an incline, otherwise I was moving my legs.

today I do the same 25 miles in 68 minutes, in PAS1, throttle is disconnected (unplugged) so I am not tempted to use it, but can in an emergency (like when I bent the cranks in a fall 3 weeks ago).

I am addicted to riding, I now have a e-tandem for myself and the wife, since Covid killed my teens ability to take drivers education last year I got her a matching e-bike to mine so she can scoot around until she can get her license.

I cycle to/from work 4 days a week, 200 miles a week. Wife/Kid and I do 60 miles on Saturday and Sunday as well, so I put in 320+ miles a week.

Today (16 months later) I weigh 220lbs,. I am now on the hunt for a carbon road bike (no power). to feed my addiction.


what you get out of it is all a matter of what you put into it. I started on an e-bike because I knew I couldn't commute on a regular bike at my weight, I needed the help, I am now past that need I believe, I can ride a pedal only bike and maintain a 14-15mph pace for at least 10-15 miles, however I will continue to use an e-bike for the work commute, as timing is an issue and I know my average speed on the e-bike, even in PAS1 is several MPH higher than I would achieve on a pedal only.

something else that amazed me, my cycle commute is 25 miles, 4 miles longer than my drive commute, this is due to forcibly using only bike trails and roads with Class 1 or Class 2 bike lanes. but my cycle commute takes me 15 minutes less than my Monday morning drive which is all highway based. My average speed on the bike is 22mph, my average speed in the car is 17mph.

oh yeah and since 10-2020 I have 8,300 on my bike and tandem (just ticked off 1,900 on the tandem this past weekend) combined and only put 2,100 on my car in the same time frame, and 1,000 of that was 2 round trips from L.A. to Phoenix.

me in 3-2020 and me Today, My e-bike has everything to do with this transformation.
This was June 2021,

it is now September 2021, I have 13,440 miles on my bikes as of today (counting total mileage of all the bikes I use). and I am down to 191lbs.

new before and after pix. size 64 down to a size 36 in 17 months.

IMG_0119 (002) - Copy.jpgbefore-After.jpg
 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
Congratulations! I cannot get below 198 lbs. Started from 236.
the last 20lbs have been tough, a lot tougher than the first 200+

I can tell you what I have done is started a intermittent fasting. not 100% as I need to maintain hydration so I still drink my BCAA and water, but I have gone to 1 day fasting 1 day off for 2 weeks, then back to my normal diet for two weeks then back to the fasting. This is all being managed and regulated by my dietician and weigh loss Dr. however, so if you take on something like this make sure you clear it with your specialist first. I will see a 3-4 weight loss over that 2 week period.

some of it is being offset with mass gain though, I started weight lifting and resistance training again, and I am already seeing the results of that, muscle memory is a great thing. in the 90s and early 2000s before my motorcycle accident I was a amateur body builder, so I have the muscle memory and it is coming back.
 
Region
USA
@mjeds, you're living proof that ebikes can be the right tool for building better health. Until I read what you just shared, I was having second thoughts about getting one, wondering if I was just going to get lazy using it (if it ever comes!). Your story is inspiring. Now gonna read this entire thread on cardio health.
 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
@mjeds, you're living proof that ebikes can be the right tool for building better health. Until I read what you just shared, I was having second thoughts about getting one, wondering if I was just going to get lazy using it (if it ever comes!). Your story is inspiring. Now gonna read this entire thread on cardio health.
as I said it is all about what you put into it. there is a mental aspect and will power that you need to establish.

I chose an e-bike as I said because I knew if it was a struggle I would give up, the electric power helped me power through the difficulty and as I started seeing results I got more and more motivated.

I recently borrowed a carbon fiber road bike from a friend and used it this past weekend, to my surprise I was able to maintain an average of 19mph, I cycled my normal route I do on the weekends and it only took me 11 minutes longer on the road bike than it does on my e-bike using pas1 or 2. and I wasn't as winded or tired as I thought I would be, 36 miles in just over 3 hours with a 30 minute rest break.. average speed of 19.7mph. all flat.
 

AzDave

Member
Region
USA
Congratulations! I cannot get below 198 lbs. Started from 236.
Stefan we are pretty close...I went from 230 to my crazy insane weight of 173 back to 190 and have been stable since. With my low weight I wasn't eating much...was in rough times.

Plus you have to remember muscle weighs more than fat! 😉