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E-Bikes 101: Chapter 3 - What Will You Be Using Your Bike For?

One of the greatest factors you'll need to consider when choosing an e-bike is what you'll be using the bike for. Do you want to get fit, or is your goal to become less reliant on a car to get around – or both? In this chapter, we'll answer your questions about e-bike uses and the benefits of riding an e-bike. If you're still not sure if an e-bike is right for you, contact our team, and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

Using an Electric Bike to Get Fit

E-bikes get riders where they need to go faster than traditional bikes, increase convenience and decrease physical fatigue. Plus, riding an e-bike is just plain fun! You can still pedal an e-bike, so that means you still get exercise and can improve your health. E-bikes simply assist you as you bike, but they don't take over completely, and you can always pedal faster or turn the power off when you want to increase your heart rate.

More people want to bike, and e-bikes eliminate many of the common complaints people have about riding traditional bikes. According to a PeopleForBikes survey, half of American adults want to ride bikes more often. Many people don't ride bikes as much as they'd like to because they don't have access to biking infrastructure. Another reason people avoid biking is comfort. People don't want to arrive at work sweaty and tired, but e-bikes can help workers comfortably commute and get fit at the same time. E-bikes remove other obstacles that have prevented people from biking in the past, such as helping riders go longer and faster without putting extra stress on their joints.

Riding an e-bike is a great way to get started on a fitness plan. Most of all, using an electric bike motivates people to get fit. For example, according to a National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) survey, out of 6.6% of adults who did not traditionally ride as an adult, almost 94% ride weekly or daily with an e-bike.

Even if you regularly ride bikes or are in excellent shape, you'll ride longer with an e-bike and reap the health benefits. The majority of all respondents in the NITC survey, including adults who regularly rode bikes before purchasing an e-bike, ride more than they did with a standard bike because an e-bike is fun. Also, fit individuals can ride as they recover from the prior day's workout. Use your e-bike as a means of transportation, and combine your power with the bike's power, and you're bound to see results.

Is Riding an Electric Bike Good Exercise?

Although an e-bike provides some assistance, regularly riding an e-bike provides an effective workout, especially for those who are otherwise sedentary.

A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found evidence that e-cycling provides the physical activity of at least moderate intensity, which is lower than conventional cycling but higher than walking.

A University of Colorado study found that e-bike riders experienced improved cardiovascular health after just a month of riding 40 minutes a day, three days a week. Therefore, e-bikes can improve cardiorespiratory fitness.

E-bikes provide a pleasurable way to exercise too, so riders look forward to getting outside and going for a ride. Motivation is key to sticking to an exercise routine. With an e-bike, you can easily replace driving with cycling, and fit in exercise throughout the day where you wouldn't have exercised in the past.

Ultimately, you control your bike workout and can adjust assist levels to increase or decrease intensity to help you reach specific goals.

Does Riding an Electric Bike Help You Lose Weight?

Exercising and healthy eating are the two critical components of weight loss and weight maintenance, but only about 23% of American adults get the recommended aerobic activity they need. A couple of reasons people avoid exercising include:

  • Not enjoying exercising
  • Pushing too hard too fast and giving up as a result

E-bikes eliminate both of these reasons not to exercise. Unlike stationary bikes and treadmills, which can make exercise feel like a drag, e-bikes offer a fun and motivating way to burn calories.

To make the most of an e-bike as part of a weight-loss plan, you can use a heart rate monitor to measure how hard you're working. Strive to work at 70% to 75% of your max heart rate for rides. As fitness levels improve, you'll be able to get farther in less time and burn more calories.

How does an e-bike compare to other forms of exercise? Riding an e-bike still gets your heart rate up about as much as brisk walking. Moderate-paced to brisk walking burns from 324 to 371 calories per hour. You can burn even more calories if you carry a load on your e-bike, or adjust the settings to require more effort. Generally, if you cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day, you'll lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Considering how much fun it is to ride an e-bike, it shouldn't be hard to get the exercise you need to follow through with your weight loss plan.

Using an Electric Bike to Commute

According to the NITC survey, one of the top reasons people buy e-bikes is to replace car trips. There are tons of benefits to commuting to work by e-bike, such as saving money on car-related expenses, improving health, avoiding traffic, decreasing stress, avoiding parking hassles and decreasing emissions.

Imagine the beauty and freedom of whooshing past motorists stuck in the morning jam, and being able to find a parking space the moment you arrive. And, if you're not in the mood to hit the gym after a long day of work, there's no need to feel like you sabotage your health. When you use an e-bike to commute to and from work, you can relax at the end of the day knowing you already did your health a favor — no gym membership required.

If you already commute to work by bike, switching to an e-bike will get you there faster, and you'll arrive cool, collected, and ready to let your talents shine.

What Is the Best Electric Bike for Commuting?

The best e-bike for commuting depends on your needs.

To choose the best e-bike for your commute, consider the following factors:

  • The length of your commute: The length of your commute will help you determine your comfort, speed and battery range requirements. For example, if your workplace is only 3 miles from where you live, you can be a lot more flexible with the type of e-bike you choose because you don't have to go very far. On the other hand, if you need to ride 9 miles to work every day, you'll want something that's designed for speed, comfort and efficiency. Consider a Class 3 electric bike with a 52-volt (V) battery because this type of e-bike will go up to 28 mph, with a 40-plus mile riding range, and will help you get to work on time without any anxiety about running out of battery charge.
  • The climate: What is the weather typically like where you live and work? Do you see a lot of precipitation where you live? If it rains a lot in your city, for example, you may want to choose a bike with wider tires rather than a typical commuter bike with large narrow tires. Make sure to consider how your e-bike will handle the weather where you live.
  • Brake requirements: Will you need to do some heavy braking during your commute, or do you plan on cruising quiet back streets to get to work? If you need stopping power, precise braking and brakes that perform well in wet weather, aim to choose a commuter e-bike with a quality hydraulics brake system.
  • Topography: Consider the land features of your commute, and what you'll need to bike through every day. If you live in a hilly area, for example, and want a basic e-bike that'll reduce your effort as you go up hills, you should be fine with a Class 1 bike.
  • Battery range requirements: Consider how many miles you'll be traveling to and from work to choose an e-bike with the right range — or how far you can ride on one battery charge. Our CrossCurrent X, for example, is a Class 3 e-bike with a range of up to 100 mph.

Lastly, consider if you want your e-bike to include space for a laptop, bag or groceries. If so, look for an e-bike that comes equipped with a rack for additional storage capacity.

How Much Faster Is an Electric Bike?

The average cycling speed on a traditional bike for city riding is 11 to 12 mph. With an e-bike, you can go almost twice as fast with less effort because you can hit 20 or 28 mph before the pedal assist stops.

What Are the Benefits of Riding an Electric Bike?

There are tons of reasons e-bikes are growing in popularity, and will likely continue to replace cars and traditional bikes. Here are some of the benefits of being an e-bike owner and reasons to feel good about enjoying your new ride:

  • Greater control and cycling power: With an e-bike, you don't give up any of the control you had with a traditional bike, but you do increase your power. You get to choose when or when not to use the pedal assist or throttle. You get to go up hills with an extra boost and without exhaustion. E-bikes put you in complete control of your biking experience.
  • Time-saving speed: E-bikes provide the boost you need when you're running short on time or want to experience more of a rush.
  • A more enjoyable ride: Long rides can be rough even for the fittest individuals. An e-bike reduces the fatigue resulting from riding harder and longer and lets you make the most of your bike ride.
  • Can increase fitness: E-bike owners look forward to riding and are more likely to bike and get the exercise they need. Whether you need to get or stay fit, an e-bike is a fun way to stay on track.
  • Can ride in hilly areas: Hilly terrain does not need to keep you from biking when you own an e-bike. As an e-bike owner, you can zip up and down hills and still enjoy the physical and mental benefits of biking.
  • Can bike without breaking a sweat: Going to work, a job interview or an important meeting? With an e-bike, there's no need to pack an extra set of clothes. The pedal assist will allow you to reach your destination on time without breaking a sweat.
  • Save money on car expenses: Cars and car-related costs are financially draining. With an e-bike, you can take a break from the headache of maintaining a car and save money for other things you want to enjoy in life.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: The typical vehicle contributes an estimated 6 to 9 tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year. One way to drastically reduce your carbon footprint is to bike more often. Riding an e-bike, which does not emit any gases, is a fun and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Skip rush hour traffic: Have you considered quitting your job just to avoid rush hour traffic? Before you call it quits and move somewhere else, try commuting to work on an e-bike and get ready to kiss rush hour traffic good-bye.
  • Makes biking accessible to those who couldn't bike before: If certain medical conditions have prevented you from biking in the past, consider an e-bike to reduce the stress traditional biking puts on the body. E-bikes make biking possible for individuals with joint issues or who need to ease into a fitness plan.
  • There are e-bikes available to meet your needs: E-bikes are available in many shapes and forms, just like traditional bikes. So, if you think all e-bikes are designed just for experienced cyclists, think again. We offer bikes to suit everyone from the off-roading adventure seeker to the casual cruiser. Just reach out to us, and we'll help you find what you need.
  • They're quiet: Are you envisioning a loud bike zipping around a quiet neighborhood, waking up the neighbors? E-bikes are not to be confused with motorcycles and sports cars, even though they're fun to ride at full speed. E-bikes are quiet, and won't disturb the peace of your community or your blissful ride.