Ebikes are sometimes so easy to ride that it may feel like cheating.
You may have heard hardcore cyclists suggest something similar as you pass them near the top of a punishing hill on your way home. (Or, more likely, through social media.)
There is no need to worry about electric bike riders. They don't have to think twice about how to reduce their daily commute time, conquer major hills, or arrive less sweat soaked.
Since we're an ebike company, here are five ways you can silence naysayers, skeptics, and critics when prompted.
1. Ebikes actually provide a serious workout
Taking a spin on an ebike provides a similar workout to riding a regular bike, according to new research.
How is that possible? If you're not sweating through your clothes or huffing and puffing your way down the trail, then you're not really exercising, are you?
Several studies indicate yes.
Recently, researchers at Brigham Young University had 33 amateur cyclists go through a six-mile loop on ebikes with pedal assistance as well as conventional bikes.
In the study, riders assigned to ebikes had an average heart rate of 145 beats per minute, just 10 beats less than conventional cyclists, and falling well within the "vigorous intensity zone."
BYU Professor Benjamin Crookston said those who used ebikes still had elevated heart rates and enjoyed their experience. This is a game changer for those who find biking difficult. Now more people will be able to benefit from this form of exercise."
2. It’s not cheating when you make your own rules
Our riders chart their own course, whether they're outdoor enthusiasts, artists, or even rockstars.
People like Tina Still, a former truck driver with a zest for life on wheels, or Blair Hebert, a swing musician who transformed himself at age 60.
At the end of the day, you have to choose the mode of transportation that helps you get the most out of life. That choice does not diminish anyone else's ride in any way.
3. Conventional bikes aren’t for everyone. And that’s OK
We recently heard from rider Alden Kent, who lives in Okatie, South Carolina.
Kent recently had open-heart surgery and used our bikes to lower his resting pulse rate to pre-surgery levels, which is pretty impressive.
Nevertheless, some cyclists couldn't keep their jabs to themselves.
Kent told us that a few people have stopped him to say he was cheating by riding a power-assist bike. "They don't know that I am 70 years old and 7 months removed from open-heart surgery, where one heart valve was replaced and another was repaired."
"I wouldn't be riding a bike without ebike.". "The hills would make my heart rate too high," he said.
Kent is one of thousands of people who are getting back into biking with ebikes. It highlights one of the best things about ebikes: they're accessible to all.
4. Longer rides are possible with ebikes
We hear from a lot of our riders that pedal assist gives them the confidence they need to go on longer rides (and we do mean long).
According to a study published in the journal Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, they're not alone.
According to its data, physical activity levels were similar among ebike users and conventional cyclists, but ebike users had an edge when it came to distance. An ebike trip averaged 9.4 kilometers, about 1 kilometer more than a non-electric bike trip.
The study also concluded that ebike riders cover significantly more ground per day -- an average of eight kilometers compared to 5.3 kilometers for traditional cyclists.
5. It's a pointless argument
It may frustrate some cyclists to see ebikes whizzing by on trails, but they are failing to understand the bigger picture.
Ebikes are becoming more popular. Not just butts on couches, but also in cars.
It's good for everyone, especially when you consider that cars emit about 404 grams of pollutants per mile. Thus, ebikes play an important role in giving us all cleaner air and, frankly, more pleasant rides for all.
Additionally, whether you ride an electric bike or a conventional one, we can all agree that the U.S. cycling infrastructure is woefully inadequate.
Despite some improvement, not a single American city made it onto Copenhagenize's 2019 ranking system, one of the most recognizable in the cycling community.
If more people are not cycling, bike trails will never become more comfortable for anyone.