E-Bikes let anyone get out there and enjoy riding a bike. We’re all about just having fun while riding, as well as helping your commute and cutting down on car use. But does riding an electric bike help you lose weight, and do they burn as many calories as regular bikes?
Does Riding An Electric Bike Help You Lose Weight?
Absolutely, riding an electric bike is a great way of losing weight and has been proven to work for people of all ages. If you’ve struggled to lose weight, riding an E-Bike gives you a way to get outside and push yourself at your own pace.
You can start out riding comfortably by using throttle or a high assist setting. This makes cycling feel like a light walk. As you feel able to, you can then drop down the assist levels and do more of the pedaling yourself.
If you’ve very motivated to work hard, but then found yourself burning out fast at the gym or with a home routine – this could be what works for you. It’s easy to start, but hard to quit because it’s fun to ride a bike around.
All doctors will tell you that any exercise is better than none. The real key in exercising to lose weight is the consistency. As you ride more you’ll find your body gets better at the motions and you are able to work harder naturally over time.
Don’t believe us? Check out these great reasons for trying it out and some real-life examples below.
Health Benefits Of Riding An Electric Bike
- Easy on the joints
- You can increase or decrease resistance on the fly
- Increase your workout over time
- Easy to use, just get on and go
- Can replace short car journeys – adding a little extra exercise time to your weekly routine
- Open to all ages
- Gets you outside!
- Investing in a good E-Bike makes you want to work for it
People That Have Lost Weight Using E-Bikes
There are some great stories of people using a new electric bike to lose weight. These are people who’ve struggled with other exercise and diet plans, but found that an electric bike made it easy for them to lose weight by consistently riding.
Jon’s Story – Losing 100lbs & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With An E-Bike
Jon Treffert is a software developer living in Tennessee. In 2017 at the age of 60, he went to a regular physical with his doctor and was shocked to find himself weighing over 270lbs. His doctor also told him he had type-2 diabetes and put him on two medications to manage it.
Thirty years ago as a young man, Jon was a keen cyclist for fun and commuting. He decided to look for a new way of getting out, even with his reduced mobility and health. He also the challenges of his house being on a steep grade and living in a very hilly area.
He found the Day6 Patriot electric bike and decided to make an investment. He found that the rear lumbar back support was very helpful to start. Everything else on his E-Bike (throttle, pedal assist, onboard display, good motor and battery) which was fairly new at the time, is now standard on most E-Bikes.
He found riding was now simply to start. He could get out on the road with minimal effort and take things at his own pace. Soon, his enthusiasm grew and he found himself out on the road regularly. He started off with a few leisure rides, then decided to start commuting to his workplace.
After five months he had clocked up over 1,000 miles and lost 30lbs! He didn’t stop there, and continued to enjoy riding and bettering his health. Months later he was down another 14lbs and decided to start changing his diet to include healthier food and some intermittent fasting.
Then, just over a year later Jon was down to 184lbs, having lost 93 lbs! With another doctor’s appointment, he found he was now not in the Obese range of weight and could come off of the diabetes medication.
Three years after starting his journey he now weighs 165 lbs – back to what he was in high school. Jon is still riding his E-Bike, clocking up rides of 15 to 30 miles pretty regularly. You can watch some of his journey here and see how he’s doing here.
Alanna Lost 10lbs With An E-Bike
After feeling the effects of lockdown on her health and fitness habits, Alanna wanted to lose some weight. Using her sixthreezero electric bike she started a good habit of cycling regularly, as well as eating healthier.
For the first few rides Alanna took it easy, using a higher level of pedal assist. Previously she’d been a runner and found that her knees were taking a bit of a beating. She found the E-Bike was very low-impact and didn’t experience any discomfort while riding.
Alanna started with a simple routine of 30 minutes of riding three times a week, aiming to increase distance and amount of rides over time. She was able to lose 10 lbs in six weeks and says she loved the journey, enjoying it the entire time!
Do You Burn Calories Riding An Electric Bike?
Yes, riding an electric bike definitely burns calories. While it won’t burn as much as someone going the same speed on a pedal-only bike, it’s also probably not possible for someone trying to lose weight to actually ride that fast.
A small, informal study done by Rad Power Bikes did a test ride with people of different weights, each using different levels of assist from level 1 to 5. They all did the same distance, wearing heart rate monitors to figure out calories burnt.
They found that while pedal assist levels did make a difference (more assistance meant fewer calories burned), it was actually rider weight that made the most difference. That means heavier cyclists burn more calories even with higher levels of assistance.
This is something we already know with most exercise. Essentially any extra weight you have adds resistance, making it harder to do standard workouts. That means the electric bike can even things out.
So riding an electric bike offers you some help to make the exercise not as hard to physically complete but still burning just as many calories as someone lighter. Then as you get lighter, you can change the assist levels to match.
Have we convinced you to try E-Biking for weight loss? Great!
Check out some helpful articles before you buy
– How Much Is An Electric Bike?
– The 6 Best Electric Bikes For Heavy Riders
– Safest Electric Bike Helmets
– Best Electric Bike Rack With Ramp
Do You Burn Less Calories Riding An Electric Bike?
Yes, sort of… If two people of the same weight rode the same bike at the same speed but one had electric assistance, that one would burn fewer calories. But if the person on the E-Bike were heavier than the one on a pedal bike, they could still burn the same amount of calories!
A small study compared E-Bikers on two different assist levels vs a standard bike, using the same distance. On average E-Bike riders burned 344 to 422 calories per hour of riding, whereas standard bicycle riders burned 505. That’s around 20-47% reduction, but E-Bikes completed the course around 20% faster.
So while you might burn fewer calories riding an electric bike, if you find it too hard to go for a bike ride, E-Biking offers you a way to get out there. Remember, any exercise is better than none.
Is An Electric Bike Still Good Exercise?
Heck yes! Electric bikes are great exercise for all ages, even if your joints aren’t great or you have limited mobility. Exercising on an E-Bike gives you the health advantages of being on a bike but with less strain.
Getting outside, seeing the sights, being aware of your surroundings, and feeling the wind in your hair – they’re all the same on an E-Bike. You can go faster or take it slow depending on what type type of day you feel like having.
You can get fit riding an electric bike alone without loads more exercise or dieting. But of course, a healthy diet will be a bit boost.
Can You Get Fit Riding An Electric Bike?
Yes, riding an electric bike is a great way of getting fit or staying active. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Replacing a couple of short drives a week with a bike ride will help. Taking a nice ride at the weekend also gives you the bonus of getting outside.
Best Electric Bike For Exercise?
There is no one best electric bike for exercise or losing weight. However, we’ve just published a really in-depth article on the best electric bike for heavy riders. It has some great suggestions for people who are trying to lose weight using an electric bike.
Really, the best E-Bike for exercise is the one you will actually use. Having a bike that’s easy to ride, comfortable, and feels safe are probably the first things to look for. Something like the Cerana from Buzz bikes is a good all-rounder that’s comfy, has a low step-thru, and nice big tires.