Ebikes Are 21% More Fun and 13% More Efficient Says Study

A new study from the latest issue of the Journal of Transport & Health has some interesting insights to share on the differences between ebikes and the pedal bikes of old.

Electric bike in the mountains
Battery-powered bikes have been subject to an ever-growing number of scientific studies as of late

If you’re stuck on whether you should buy an electric bike or a standard pedal bike, then the study we’re about to touch on could be the deciding factor.

The study is titled “It’s electric! Measuring energy expenditure and perceptual differences between bicycles and electric-assist bicycles,” and it recently featured in the latest issue of the Journal of Transport & Health.

To contextualise the results of this study (as we’ve already given the results away in the title), we should first outline some key details of the study.

Participants first underwent a bicycle maximal fitness test, later followed by a body composition assessment. They were then provided with a pedal bike and an ebike to perform two one-hour cycles around a park circuit.

Heart rates, as well as the speed of both two-wheelers, were recorded throughout. Perceived exertion levels were reported at four intervals during the ride.

At the end of each ride, participants were asked about how enjoyable the ride was and how difficult it was.

T-tests were used during this study to compare the exertion levels of all the riders. It should come as no surprise that riders on pedal bikes exerted a lot more energy in comparison, resulting in a much higher average heart rate.

Here are the average results from the heart monitors:

  • Pedal Bike Riders: 69.6%
  • Ebike Riders: 61.5%

Enjoyment was measured on a 1 to 5 Likert scale, with electric bikes (4.6) beating pedal bikes (3.8) by quite a wide margin.

We should point out that the results of this study, while interesting, should be weighted with the limits of the study itself. For example, only 15 participants were asked to take part.

We also weren’t given any information on the type of electric bike used by the participants, not to mention its power level. And another thing, the study only monitored heart rate data in its findings.

All that said, as owners and users of electric bikes ourselves, it’s difficult not to agree that ebikes make life a hell of a lot easier compared to the pedal bikes of old.

They require a lot less energy from the rider when traversing flat land, hills, and even, off-road terrain via an electric mountain bike or any other type of rugged transporter.

This study is one of several scientific studies on electric bikes in the past few years that go against common misconceptions that ebikes are the lazy cyclist’s option.

We’ve actually come across some studies that show electric bikes offer even more exercise due to riders being able to cycle longer distances.

Has this study helped you decide? Or will you be looking at more research before you get to that point? Either way, we want your opinions on this study, and your opinions on electric bikes overall!

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