The e-bike under exercising myth.

TomWilcox

Member
The e-bike under exercising myth.

Each person’s thighs are made up of a unique combination of type I slow twitch (endurance) and type II fast twitch (fast cadence sprinting) muscle fibers. While it is true that you can do different training exercises to strengthen either fast or slow twitch fibers, you cannot actually change your genetic makeup. Which is why, over time, cyclists either consciously or unconsciously, find their most efficient cycling pace. Cyclists with more slow twitch fibers might settle into a cadence at 68-75 rpm with a 30-40% torque (pushing strength) while other cyclists with more fast twitch fibers find they can ride for miles at a 95 rpm with only 15% torque.

Luckily road bikes have many gears, and so a rider using a slower cadence in a higher gear can be riding just as fast as a rider with a faster cadence in a lower gear. Sprinters and swimmers are not so lucky.

A commonly perceived myth from those who don’t ride e-bikes is that you get less exercise because the electric motor is applying the torque for you. But those who ride e-bikes often refute that concept, commenting that the exercise effort is just the same - which is true.

No matter whether you ride assisted or not, you tend to ride at your individual best riding efficiency, as determined by your genetic makeup. You have trained yourself to ride at your own best mix of cadence and power. It often amazes me that I can ride 20 miles and my times will vary less than a minute, regardless of how I randomly hit the traffic lights. Your body learns how to ride most efficiently for the expended effort. Unless you deliberately change the way you ride, the exercise effort is the same. Calories burned are the same. Aerobic endurance and muscle strengthening is the same.

So, what do you gain from an e-bike then? In a word, speed. You go faster for the same effort exerted. If your ride is hilly and you find yourself bumping up into tour mode (no one admits using sport mode) you can do an unassisted one hour ride in 50 minutes with the same effort on an e-bike. If your ride is flat and you sit in ecco mode, your hour ride will take you 55 minutes with the same effort.

Apple’s new watch has some VO2 estimation, and the new Bosch Nyon display has power and energy displays that will allow quantitative verification of this concept, but enough anecdotal comments from the e-bike community should suffice for now.

Don’t fall for the myth propagated by those who haven’t converted. Its the same ride. But if you ride your e-bike somewhere instead of not riding at all, then your’e 100% better off, and you can’t do better than that.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
So, what do you gain from an e-bike then? In a word, speed. You go faster for the same effort exerted. If your ride is hilly and you find yourself bumping up into tour mode (no one admits using sport mode) you can do an unassisted one hour ride in 50 minutes with the same effort on an e-bike. If your ride is flat and you sit in ecco mode, your hour ride will take you 55 minutes with the same effort.
As the well-known motto reads: "With e-bike, you ride faster, farther and more often". A good read Tom, thank you.

Using higher assistance modes... Well, I ride in the max assistance mode of my speed e-bike (Turbo) after I have made 50 miles in Eco and want to get the last 25 miles home fast. Or, when I need to do some chores such as grocery shopping fast :) I don't go beyond PAS 2/5 on my e-MTB (no need to unless it is a steep climb). The longer my experience with e-bikes is, the stronger I get. Body-mass reduction is the fact for me, too.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
here is a great day and a more normal good day for me. though a 152 average is more normal I find I get the same workout when I am feeling a bit sick and when I am feeling ok. I guess that's how hard I can push on the pedals. the problem on my bosch his if I want a really good workout the high one I actually loose 2mph average because I only use eco and off. in tour I need to keep the speed close to 25 to get my power to about 200 and 26 or so to get that in turbo.
but I see plenty of people on fat tie bikes hardly peddling at all. so that makes all e bikes bad (G)
 

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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
I don't know what I get from riding an ebike. But I do know that I wouldn't be riding AT ALL if I wasn't riding an ebike.
That is exactly my case. I would not have considered a conventional bike at all, even though it turns out that I can ride my Como just fine without boost for the short rides. I wanted to be sure I could get home before going very far.😋
 

Mulezen

Well-Known Member
The e-bike under exercising myth.

Each person’s thighs are made up of a unique combination of type I slow twitch (endurance) and type II fast twitch (fast cadence sprinting) muscle fibers. While it is true that you can do different training exercises to strengthen either fast or slow twitch fibers, you cannot actually change your genetic makeup. Which is why, over time, cyclists either consciously or unconsciously, find their most efficient cycling pace. Cyclists with more slow twitch fibers might settle into a cadence at 68-75 rpm with a 30-40% torque (pushing strength) while other cyclists with more fast twitch fibers find they can ride for miles at a 95 rpm with only 15% torque.

Luckily road bikes have many gears, and so a rider using a slower cadence in a higher gear can be riding just as fast as a rider with a faster cadence in a lower gear. Sprinters and swimmers are not so lucky.

A commonly perceived myth from those who don’t ride e-bikes is that you get less exercise because the electric motor is applying the torque for you. But those who ride e-bikes often refute that concept, commenting that the exercise effort is just the same - which is true.

No matter whether you ride assisted or not, you tend to ride at your individual best riding efficiency, as determined by your genetic makeup. You have trained yourself to ride at your own best mix of cadence and power. It often amazes me that I can ride 20 miles and my times will vary less than a minute, regardless of how I randomly hit the traffic lights. Your body learns how to ride most efficiently for the expended effort. Unless you deliberately change the way you ride, the exercise effort is the same. Calories burned are the same. Aerobic endurance and muscle strengthening is the same.

So, what do you gain from an e-bike then? In a word, speed. You go faster for the same effort exerted. If your ride is hilly and you find yourself bumping up into tour mode (no one admits using sport mode) you can do an unassisted one hour ride in 50 minutes with the same effort on an e-bike. If your ride is flat and you sit in ecco mode, your hour ride will take you 55 minutes with the same effort.

Apple’s new watch has some VO2 estimation, and the new Bosch Nyon display has power and energy displays that will allow quantitative verification of this concept, but enough anecdotal comments from the e-bike community should suffice for now.

Don’t fall for the myth propagated by those who haven’t converted. Its the same ride. But if you ride your e-bike somewhere instead of not riding at all, then your’e 100% better off, and you can’t do better than that.
Articles posted in another thread speak to scientific benefits of eBikes(94%) compared to acoustic. The fact that people were riding further was another plus.
 

rdowns

Well-Known Member
@TomWilcox You explained well what I have been trying to describe to non riders. You are still doing the same amount of work, it's just easier, somehow. I find I work hard to get up my steep hills but because I have help and I can go a little faster I am not worn out afterwards. And I definitely ride more and farther. I take on hills that I know will be hard because I know I can do them with assist . i don't mind to work for it and my bike puts them in my reach. It opens a lot of doors and when i am done I just feel invigorated not exhausted. I always feel like I can go further.
 

Luto

Member
I would agree. I run about 200 watts at about 80 rpm, according to the Bosch indicator. I am not sure if that is much or anything. But I can say, the first 3/4th mile out of my house is on gravel and up hill. I really appreciate the eco assist while I warm up. Otherwise I think might just turn around! And I do describe to my old biking buddy, the thing hauls-a$$. Going 10-12 up hills is pretty awesome. Flats I cruise along at 14-16. At those speeds on gravel, you get there pretty fast. I would love a feature where I could turn off the assist and have 0 resistance.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
I posted in another thread that I could get 100 miles range on a 500 WHr battery, since I use no assist over 75% of the time. Replies centered around "who cares", we bought our e-bikes for fun, not for fitness. Well, for me, I've been cycling for about 55 years, almost always for fitness. I purposely purchased and e-bike that is relatively easy to pedal with no assist, so I'm still in it for fitness. At 70 ish, I hate hills, so I sold all my traditional bikes and purchased an e-bike. It has extended my "fitness" riding for, hopefully, another 10 years. Otherwise, I would no longer be cycling. Hills ... now I just smile, but on the flats, I see how fast I can go with no pedal assist. :)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I don't know what I get from riding an ebike. But I do know that I wouldn't be riding AT ALL if I wasn't riding an ebike.
Oh, how true. I gave my traditional bike to a friend because I was not capable to do any longer trips with it. Since I bought my first electric bike, I've ridden for thousands of kilometres in one year. Actually, it was 6121 km over the first e-bike year with the average of 49 km per ride. Two longest rides were 75 miles, two 70-milers, and 5 metric centuries: something I wouldn't even consider on acoustic bike even when I was healthy. (My best "acoustic" year involved 719 km of rides).

Viva e-bikes!

P.S. I had a talk with a road cyclist who I met on a mountain road ride (we made friends during steep climbs). The guy was very well aware what e-cycling was about. He pointed out three great facts about e-bikes:
  • E-bikes are ridden by people who otherwise wouldn't cycle;
  • It is often the wife who gets e-bike first to be able to ride together with her husband. The hubby cannot match his wife so he buys an e-bike for himself;
  • Once the e-bike has been purchased, its owner rides it often to justify the expense made :)
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
I spent most of the month of September fighting significant headwinds on my normal workout route of 26+ miles. This route also includes a 1027 foot elevation gain that includes 8 hills. I promise you that, without my ebike, I would probably never have been able to make this route once a week, let alone 3 times a week which is my new normal. My knees would likely be suffering too.
I wanted an ebike for years but seriously never appreciated how much I would get out of it. It’s been a really great addition to my life! I never think about or feel the need to justify the spend. I figure the exercise and fresh air I’m getting is worth way more than the cost of the Allant+7!
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jim6b

Active Member
Thought I was keeping up conditioning on the ebike, but no. Got back on the road bike and hills I could climb when a got on the ebike a year and a half ago are beyond me by a good margin today. And that's with 6,300 miles. 350/month and about the same number of hours as on the road bike. There's the rub, I was putting in the time on the road bike.

Will I go back to a road bike, not likely, but am looking for a less powerful ebike.
 

TomWilcox

Member
Gorgeous pictures of the midwest. Thank you for sharing. California is burning. Texas is drowning. Its calming to see that there are still quiet peaceful places on this planet.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Gorgeous pictures of the midwest. Thank you for sharing. California is burning. Texas is drowning. Its calming to see that there are still quiet peaceful places on this planet.
Yes it’s been a good enough year here. We are in a drought but nothing compared to the Pacific coast. I’d love to see the gulf and west coast be able to balance out their precipitation levels.
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GuruUno

Well-Known Member
I posted in another thread that I could get 100 miles range on a 500 WHr battery, since I use no assist over 75% of the time. Replies centered around "who cares", we bought our e-bikes for fun, not for fitness. Well, for me, I've been cycling for about 55 years, almost always for fitness. I purposely purchased and e-bike that is relatively easy to pedal with no assist, so I'm still in it for fitness. At 70 ish, I hate hills, so I sold all my traditional bikes and purchased an e-bike. It has extended my "fitness" riding for, hopefully, another 10 years. Otherwise, I would no longer be cycling. Hills ... now I just smile, but on the flats, I see how fast I can go with no pedal assist. :)

re: "I purposely purchased and e-bike that is relatively easy to pedal with no assist"
Which bike is that? As most are 48-54 lbs., how 'easy' can it really be?
I know that as an example, my Super Commuter +8S I did 17 miles, but it was flat and minimal hills or inclines.
I tried on the Vado 5.0, could only do about 10 mile with no assist before I pooped out.
 

Ready

Member
I don't care much about how fast I'm going, but I do know my heart rate zones are often in zone 4 and 5.
 

Luto

Member
I did do 20 miles with no power on yesterday with some hills. After the initial shock, I was surprised a lot of time I thought I had the power on, but did not. I think the only difference was going slower up hills and shifting more on hills to keep cadence up. Work out was pretty similar if not a bit longer.