Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

'The Surprising Health Benefits of an Electric Bike'

Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.

'The Surprising Health Benefits of an Electric Bike'

Reply

Old 07-06-16, 04:17 PM
  #1  
RandomTroll
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
'The Surprising Health Benefits of an Electric Bike'

Gretchen Reynolds makes the case for bicycles with electrical-assist motors: that some who wouldn't have used them, for exercise or commuting, would and would get more exercise than they would otherwise. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/0...ectric-bike-2/
RandomTroll is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-16, 06:16 PM
  #2  
tds101 
Grumpy old man,...
 
tds101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mastic Beach, NY
Posts: 2,613

Bikes: 7+,...

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 467 Post(s)
Informative article,... thanks.
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
tds101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-16, 04:06 PM
  #3  
Dunbar
Senior Member
 
Dunbar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,079

Bikes: Roubaix SL4 Expert , Cervelo S2

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
This is the advantage of pedal assist. The rider is probably still burning about as many calories as they would walking and potentially more if they turn down the assist level. Acceleration also takes a fair bit of energy from the rider on my Cross Current and maintaining 28mph requires at least 100 watts input from the rider IME. Not everybody who rides an electric bike wants to coast along without pedaling using the throttle.

Last edited by Dunbar; 07-08-16 at 04:11 PM.
Dunbar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-16, 07:34 PM
  #4  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,595

Bikes: 27 speed oryx with over 39,000Km on it, 11,000Km with a BionX assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Ah, Yea, No Shiitye... Problem here is that most people who buy E-Bikes... IMO seem to be just people who want to get around the laws, or ride around on a seemingly regular bicycle without putting in any/much effort...

The people who actually "wants" to use an E-Bike to get "started" or continue riding a bicycle and actually pedal, without the downside of failing to make it up most hills, is few and far between.. As I see it...
350htrr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-16, 07:48 PM
  #5  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,572
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 790 Post(s)
The only person I know with a e-bike is a colleague who recently bought one to commute 20 mi to work. He has quite a few bills and is a big guy. Starting out at that distance can be daunting but the e-bike allows him to average 20 mph to work. He's still drenched when he arrives so he's definitely working hard.
On a good day I can avg a little over 20 mph but I'd buy an ebike if I could cut my commute from 60 to 45 min.
gregf83 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-16, 08:11 PM
  #6  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,595

Bikes: 27 speed oryx with over 39,000Km on it, 11,000Km with a BionX assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Yea, there are some people like that out there...
350htrr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-16, 09:22 PM
  #7  
tattoogunman
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I've had my e-bike for about two months now and enjoy it. Once school starts up again next month, it will be my commuter to get to/from home (about 20 or so miles round trip). I've been doing 10 - 20 mile rides in the meantime and I always keep it in the lowest pedal assist level and I still end up soak and wet, sore, etc. I was in law enforcement for 20 years and sustained any number of injuries. My biggest issue is that I have a bad knee and trying to ride on a regular bicycle just killed me. With the electric assist, I can do my rides and while I still end up with pain, it's not nearly as bad as it would be if I was on a normal bicycle. I have a throttle on mine, but I don't use it. I've even gotten to the point where I will start off my ride with the system off and then as my knee starts to protest, I'll switch the motor on. So for me it was a medical/fitness element and not just to "cheat" per se. I can't run anymore and even walking hurts my knee - so I needed to find something.
tattoogunman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 08:20 AM
  #8  
Robert C
Senior Member
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Salt lake, UT
Posts: 2,044

Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
On a good day I can avg a little over 20 mph but I'd buy an ebike if I could cut my commute from 60 to 45 min.
Frankly, I cannot see how people average over 20.

I think we are calculating average differently. About a year ago I rented a car and stayed off the carriageway; but in very light traffic. I was typically going between 35mph and 45mph. I "Averaged" 27mph. On long driving trips where I am setting the cruise control to 70mph and leaving it there (think Kansas to Texas) I am typically averaging about 55-60.

Back to bicycles. when I am riding in environments where I am almost never riding below 20mph my average is typically 13-14. Based on an experiment, to average 20 I would need to be "going" between 30-35mph.

The fastest commuter I ever met "averages" 17mph. He is moving. I have only seen him under 20mph on one long grade (his commute is close to mine). He seldom slows for stop signs and lights and is a terror on the MUP section he uses. He will reroute for any delay (where I will wait for a train to clear, he will immediately turn and go down a few blocks in order to keep moving)I have talked to him in the downtown area, off the bikes (which is how I know his average speed), and he seems like a nice guy; but frankly he rides like a jerk.

I feel people are calculating average differently than I do, or over much shorter stretches.

Originally Posted by tattoogunman View Post
I've had my e-bike for about two months now and enjoy it. Once school starts up again next month, it will be my commuter to get to/from home (about 20 or so miles round trip). I've been doing 10 - 20 mile rides in the meantime and I always keep it in the lowest pedal assist level and I still end up soak and wet, sore, etc. I was in law enforcement for 20 years and sustained any number of injuries. My biggest issue is that I have a bad knee and trying to ride on a regular bicycle just killed me. With the electric assist, I can do my rides and while I still end up with pain, it's not nearly as bad as it would be if I was on a normal bicycle. I have a throttle on mine, but I don't use it. I've even gotten to the point where I will start off my ride with the system off and then as my knee starts to protest, I'll switch the motor on. So for me it was a medical/fitness element and not just to "cheat" per se. I can't run anymore and even walking hurts my knee - so I needed to find something.
I am now a teacher and so I am also "off" my commute (but I am riding my "non-e" recumbent over 150mi per week through the summer). I understand the knee issues. I have a knee problem and have to keep up a pretty high cadence. For me it is the wind. There is nothing uncommon about riding to work in a 15-25 mph headwind. Frankly it was taking the joy out of commuting on my bike.

In addition to days my knee is hurting after walking all day I can still make it home pain free. Having an e-bike has allowed me to continue to live car-free; 3-4 times a year I will rent a car. Last month I had to rent a u-haul Pick-Up for a day. However, generally, I still come out ahead, exercise and financial.

As you observe, e-bikes are not a "cheat" (unless one enters then in a "no e-bikes" race category). It is about picking the right tool for the job at hand.

I definitely get more exercise, overall, using bicycles for my transportation, be they e-bikes while commuting or push-bikes for other use. The de-riders who claim otherwise have most likely both, not used e-bikes extensively or considered the reality that the alternative is not a push-bike, walking, or some other burdensome contraption (like a road going elliptical). The alternative is to do the "normal" thing and drive. The key is that the de-riders have very little experience with e-bikes and think they are operated like mopeds or automobiles.

As the article pointed out, e-bikes do provide extensive exercise. Is it optimal exercise, no; but then, so what!

It is still exercise and a better way of getting to work. What I found interesting in the letters section of the article, which a not dominated by cyclists, is that the concern raised, repeatedly, was not a concern about less than maximum exercise (still annoyed by an overly snarky thread, that was eventually closed, over in touring). The concern raised in the letters was the old chestnut about cycling safety. This concern can best be addressed by less cars and more cyclists. E-bikes, as a part of the transportation solution, really are a win for just about everyone.

Last edited by Robert C; 07-09-16 at 08:32 AM.
Robert C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 08:55 AM
  #9  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,572
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 790 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
Frankly, I cannot see how people average over 20.
Depends on your route. Mine is relatively flat without many stops. Typical ride as shown below was 59:54 of moving time and 1:00:53 of elapsed time so I'm riding most of the time.

gregf83 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 09:01 AM
  #10  
Robert C
Senior Member
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Salt lake, UT
Posts: 2,044

Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Depends on your route. Mine is relatively flat without many stops. Typical ride as shown below was 59:54 of moving time and 1:00:53 of elapsed time so I'm riding most of the time.

To ask, are you on a highway shoulder for that long stretch?
Robert C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 09:18 AM
  #11  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,572
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 790 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
To ask, are you on a highway shoulder for that long stretch?
Yes, so I can go for about 30 min with no breaks. I have to slow down to cross a bridge.
gregf83 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 02:04 PM
  #12  
tattoogunman
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I think I've only been averaging like 10 to 12 miles per hour or so, but I'm not trying to go fast either. My bike is rated at 20mph, but I haven't gotten it up that high yet and probably won't unless I'm on a downhill or something
tattoogunman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-16, 03:50 PM
  #13  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,595

Bikes: 27 speed oryx with over 39,000Km on it, 11,000Km with a BionX assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 865 Post(s)
Anyone who can average 20MPH does not need an E-Bike, it would actually slow him down, well, a legal E-Bike would anyways...
350htrr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-16, 10:19 PM
  #14  
Dunbar
Senior Member
 
Dunbar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,079

Bikes: Roubaix SL4 Expert , Cervelo S2

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Yes, so I can go for about 30 min with no breaks. I have to slow down to cross a bridge.
To be fair though, Strava 'crops' out any zero mph periods of the ride when it calculates average moving speed (the number displayed on your screenshot.) My Cross Current can cruise at 25-28mph so I would definitely be faster on it than my road bike. And I wouldn't arrive drenched in sweat.
Dunbar is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service