An electric bike is basically a motorized bicycle. E-bikes are motorized since they’re fitted with a battery-powered motor for pedal assist. When pedalling, the motor engages the pedal and gives you an additional push so that you don’t have to wear yourself out when riding on tough terrain.
Most veteran cyclists consider an e-bike as a cheating bike. They argue that the pedal assistance doesn’t encourage the rider to put in more effort when cycling. Therefore, the electric bike can’t help you keep fit. However, the belief has been debunked by studies that have shown that, indeed, you can still stay fit by using an e-bike—especially if it’s a fat tire electric bike.
What Is A Fat Tire Electric Bike?
Besides having a motor, electric bikes can also come with fat tires. These tires are thicker than a regular mountain fat tire bike.
Fat tires help enhance the control and balance of the bike during cycling. This, therefore, gives the e-bike the advantage of conquering more challenging off-road terrains. These are the best routes to help you push your fitness goals since it requires more energy to cycle to the top of a steep hill than cruising on a tarmac road.
Additionally, fat tires are generally hard to ride on since they weigh 15% heavier than regular tires. The added weight requires you to exert more energy, which engages your muscles and helps you get fit.
Now that you have no doubt as to how an electric bike can help you boost your fitness level, below are more tips on how to make the most out of it:
1. Limit Motor Assistance
The harder you pedal, the more you engage your muscles, and the more cardiovascular exercise you do when cycling. Therefore, despite the bicycle having motor assistance, you want to make sure you put in as much effort as possible. You can do that by limiting motor assistance.
Ideally, electric bikes have three levels of pedal assistance—minimum, medium, and maximum. The maximum level gives you the greatest assistance, while the minimum level gives you the least push. Therefore, if you’re a guru at cycling, you can do well with minimum help. In fact, the motor assistance should just act as a boost to tackle a steep hill or rough terrain that would wear you down on a regular bike.
For people who have led sedentary lives and are now looking to get fit, it’s recommended that you start with maximum motor assistance. This will give you the confidence you need to cycle on rough terrains. As you start to master your cycling skills, you can lower the motor assistance to engage more of your strength and muscles.
2. Ride Longer
One of the most significant advantages of using an e-bike is that it allows you to ride for a long time. When you are cycling on pedal assistance, you aren’t using a lot of energy. This means that you can ride for a longer distance and time.
Studies have shown that a person can burn 597 calories using a regular mountain bike on a 5.5-mile loop. When the same person rides an e-bike, they can burn 369 calories. However, the study also observed that the person on an e-bike could ride for more than an hour. Therefore, eventually, if they do at least two rounds, they can match or even surpass the calories burned from that of a regular bike.
So, use the e-bike to explore places that you wouldn’t on a normal bike. Specifically, target rough terrains that will require more effort. If it gets too much, remember that you can always choose to switch to maximum pedal assistance.
3. Maintain A Fast Pace
It takes more energy to maintain a fast pace when you’re cycling. The more energy you put in, the more muscles you engage and the more calories you can burn.
To maintain a fast pace, you should press the pedal harder. When you press the pedal harder, you turn the bike quicker; hence it picks up the pace. Pedalling harder requires more energy and effort. Therefore, you can burn more calories, tone your muscles, and ultimately stay fit using your e-bike.
Using an electric bike can still help you stay fit. All you have to do is master the power assistance and limit it. You’ll also need to take advantage of the security of having motor assistance and try out more prolonged cycling and rougher terrains. These techniques help you put in more effort in cycling and hence burn more calories.
Last but not least, always try to maintain a fast pace while riding your e-bike. The faster the bike, the more energy is used. Ultimately, the trick is to constantly challenge yourself and aim for more adventurous trails!