Electric bikes are the perfect hybrid between motorbikes and traditional pedal bikes.
They allow you the freedom to ride at your own speed with a nice little boost from the motor when you need it. How much do electric bikes actually help you when it comes to pedaling?
The good news about electric bikes is that they allow you to set the pace, so you don’t have to worry about losing control when riding.
Here are some important things to note when starting your journey with an electric bike:
Here’s How An Electric Bike Will Help You Pedal:
An electric pedal bike works with you to move the bike forward. However, it is very much a team effort. When you pedal, the cycle signals the motor to speed up. You still get to set the limitations, which are great for beginners.
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How Much Effort Does it Take to Ride an Electric Bike?
Our bodies measure our energy by using the MET system, which stands for Metabolic Equivalent.
A MET is the single amount of energy you use by just sitting still. Each MET is a multiplication of when your body is at rest. For example, standing up requires at least 1 MET, while walking briskly could take 3 or 4 METs.
Cycling is one of the highest ways to increase your MET usage. People who bike regularly use over 4,000 METs a week, which is a great deal of energy.
Using an electric bike takes almost 50% of the effort away, so by that scale, you are only using 2,000 METS per week, which is a huge energy reduction for your body.
While using an electric bike does reduce the amount of energy you use, studies show that people who use an electric bike are actually increasing their energy usage because an electric bike has replaced common everyday errands that you may have completed with a car in the past.
So, instead of driving, e-bike users rely more on their electric cycle, which is increasing their overall energy use and is doing some major favors to their health.
Can You Adjust How Much the Electric Bike will Help?
One of the best parts about using an electric bike is that they are specially designed to give you a hand to keep the bike in motion.
Even better, you can adjust certain settings to customize your riding experience.
Depending on the type of e-bike you use, most of these adjustments can be made with the bike’s throttle system.
How to Adjust it:
First, you want to adjust your pedal assist settings. These are there settings that control how much the motor will help you to pedal.
If you need a bit of a break, turn up this setting to allow the motor to take off most of the pedaling work. If you want more control over your speed, turn this setting down.
The throttle for an e-bike is located on the handlebars, and every time you turn the throttle, you are signaling the motor to speed up.
This is great for any on-the-go adjustments you want to make while you are on the road. Using the throttle to control the motor means that you won’t have to stop mid-ride to adjust your assist settings.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you are planning on using pedal assist the majority of the time, you want to make sure that your e-bike battery is fully charged.
Using the assist system 100% of the time will drain the battery faster. You certainly don’t want to be left with a dead battery in the middle of a trail.
What Does it Feel Like to Ride an Electric Bike?
With some e-bikes, the rider can feel propulsion when riding once the throttle engages the motor.
This is the thrust of the bike engaging the pedal-assist system. More professional e-bikes have a pretty extensive shock and suspension system, which helps to reduce the feeling of propulsion.
Some riders find the thrusting movement slightly jarring when they first start riding. So, if you worry about getting thrown off by the different ways an e-bike feels, it is suggested that you start slow.
Starting with the lowest setting on the pedal assist can help ease you into the feeling of using an e-bike.
Once your body has adjusted to how the thrusting feels, you can start to increase the pedal assist until you find the grove that is right for you.
Can You Use Electric Bikes Without Pedaling Yourself?
As mentioned, the throttle is the best way to control how much energy you use versus how much the bike will do the work for you.
When the throttle is at the highest setting, you will no longer need to pedal because the motor will be fully engaged and will be running 100% on the pedal assist.
Using full throttle does come along with some dangers to consider. All e-bikes max out at 20 MPH, which is the average speed for experienced riders.
Riders who are new to e-bikes or don’t have a lot of miles under their belt can easily lose control when they are not pedaling along with the throttle.
So, to keep yourself safe, it is recommended to work with the pedal-assist system and not rely on it 100% to move you along.