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E-bikes & fitness: More power through motivation.

E-bikes and fitness: Health benefits of riding a Speed Pedelec
June 03, 2020


Does riding a Speed Pedelec and e-bike have the effects of exercise? Absolutely, say scientists!

Everyone needs exercise – that much is clear: Exercise keeps you in shape, it prevents illness and it usually brightens your mood. The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. This is not inconsiderable when you work all day, but according to the WHO these don’t have to be strenuous workouts that take you to your breaking point. Moderate exercise such as cycling is wonderfully suited for this. Benefits for commuters: If you switch out your car for a bicycle, you can achieve the prescribed amount by riding 30 minutes daily. But how does this work when riding an e-bike or Speed Pedelec? Against all expectations: quite well!

Does an e-bike promote health?

Does riding an e-bike count as sport exercise? You actively pedal on a Pedelec, but the technology steps in as soon as the load gets too high. Some European scientists have focused on this question in recent years for this reason and have produced some interesting results. Straight to the point: Riding an e-bike contributes quite a lot to one’s health and delivers respectable physical and fitness-related benefits. Incidentally, a key role is played here by the motivation that stems from riding.

1. Your heart rate when riding an e-bike is almost as high as when riding a bicycle.

Strong heart: The heart rate when riding an e-bike is almost as high as when riding a bicycle.

One person who was interested in this was Professor Uwe Tegtbur from the Hannover Medical School (MHH). He is currently examining the health effects of riding a Pedelec. The study is still ongoing, but Tegtbur was able to present his initial findings from a preliminary study with 101 probands in 2016: According to this, the heart rate of Pedelec riders was only ten beats slower than that of cyclists.

The e-bike technology helps to pedal but most probands still selected a mode that challenged them. This movement has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, on blood pressure and on the health of the vessels: The oxygen consumption of the blood is improved, meaning that the heart works better. According to Dr. Günther Reichle, a lung specialist, riding an e-bike can thereby lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent.

1. Your heart rate when riding an e-bike is almost as high as when riding a bicycle.

Strong heart: The heart rate when riding an e-bike is almost as high as when riding a bicycle.


One person who was interested in this was Professor Uwe Tegtbur from the Hannover Medical School (MHH). He is currently examining the health effects of riding a Pedelec. The study is still ongoing, but Tegtbur was able to present his initial findings from a preliminary study with 101 probands in 2016: According to this, the heart rate of Pedelec riders was only ten beats slower than that of cyclists.

The e-bike technology helps to pedal but most probands still selected a mode that challenged them. This movement has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, on blood pressure and on the health of the vessels: The oxygen consumption of the blood is improved, meaning that the heart works better. According to Dr. Günther Reichle, a lung specialist, riding an e-bike can thereby lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent.

2. More kilometers with the e-bike: Muscle development and physical fitness.

Fit through motivation: More kilometers on the e-bike.


This may fall within the “moderate” range of exercise, but Tegtbur noticed something even more crucial: Owners of Pedelecs use them up to 60 percent more than a bicycle. Because encountering headwind and hills on your journey is much less daunting with technical support – this means that getting on your Pedelec is less of a hurdle than getting on your bike. As a result, these riders also leave their cars at home more frequently for their commute, as additionally shown by a European survey (1). The energy that e-bike riders acutely saved compared to cyclists they then made up again through more frequent and faster riding, longer rides and greater elevation gain covered. This regular usage has an effective exercise effect and is ideal for developing one’s physical fitness and muscles. Extra miles can be covered particularly quickly with a Speed Pedelec – at speeds of up to 45 km/h, daily commutes of over 30 kilometers are easily achieved, even by those new to cycling.

2. More kilometers with the e-bike: Muscle development and physical fitness.

Fit through motivation: More kilometers on the e-bike.

This may fall within the “moderate” range of exercise, but Tegtbur noticed something even more crucial: Owners of Pedelecs use them up to 60 percent more than a bicycle. Because encountering headwind and hills on your journey is much less daunting with technical support – this means that getting on your Pedelec is less of a hurdle than getting on your bike. As a result, these riders also leave their cars at home more frequently for their commute, as additionally shown by a European survey (1). The energy that e-bike riders acutely saved compared to cyclists they then made up again through more frequent and faster riding, longer rides and greater elevation gain covered. This regular usage has an effective exercise effect and is ideal for developing one’s physical fitness and muscles. Extra miles can be covered particularly quickly with a Speed Pedelec – at speeds of up to 45 km/h, daily commutes of over 30 kilometers are easily achieved, even by those new to cycling.

3. Riding an e-bike and burning fat.

E-biking and fat burning: Around 300 calories per hour.


This side benefit is obvious: Exercise from riding an e-bike boosts your metabolism, and your fat and glucose metabolism in particular improve – which supports the breakdown of body fat and has a positive effect on your blood sugar levels. Sports scientists assume a consumption of 300 calories per hour when riding an e-bike. For comparison: You achieve about 300 – 400 calories on a bicycle at a speed of 15 – 20 km/h. Riding with the faster S-Pedelec promises an even greater calorie consumption as this enables average speeds of 35 – 40 km/h. More muscle mass also increases your body’s metabolic rate and helps it to burn more calories.

3. Riding an e-bike and burning fat

E-biking and fat burning: Around 300 calories per hour.


This side benefit is obvious: Exercise from riding an e-bike boosts your metabolism, and your fat and glucose metabolism in particular improve – which supports the breakdown of body fat and has a positive effect on your blood sugar levels. Sports scientists assume a consumption of 300 calories per hour when riding an e-bike. For comparison: You achieve about 300 – 400 calories on a bicycle at a speed of 15 – 20 km/h. Riding with the faster S-Pedelec promises an even greater calorie consumption as this enables average speeds of 35 – 40 km/h. More muscle mass also increases your body’s metabolic rate and helps it to burn more calories.

4. Stress relief: Riding an e-bike calms your mind.

Stress reduction: Riding an e-bike calms your mind.


If you look at these results, the e-bike can do quite a lot for commuters’ health in particular: You do not have to worry about showing up to your first meeting covered in sweat, but still manage to get exercise before and after work. You also get out in the fresh air while traveling and free your mind: No e-mails, no calls – your ride on the Pedelec is an effective time-out that turns your commute into quality time. The moderate exertion when riding an e-bike lowers your adrenaline level, you are more relaxed and more resistant to stress.

4. Stress relief: Riding an e-bike calms your mind.

Stress reduction: Riding an e-bike calms your mind.


If you look at these results, the e-bike can do quite a lot for commuters’ health in particular: You do not have to worry about showing up to your first meeting covered in sweat, but still manage to get exercise before and after work. You also get out in the fresh air while traveling and free your mind: No e-mails, no calls – your ride on the Pedelec is an effective time-out that turns your commute into quality time. The moderate exertion when riding an e-bike lowers your adrenaline level, you are more relaxed and more resistant to stress.

5. E-bike: Fresh air is healthy.

Riding an e-bike: Healthy by fresh air.


An e-bike also has other health benefits: Exercise in fresh air provides the brain with more oxygen, helping it to age more slowly and making it more efficient (2). Your body also secretes happiness hormones – endorphins. Your vitamin D production is stimulated by the sunlight, which strengthens your immune system and bones and also has a positive effect on your mood.

You also feel better for another reason: Time savings. This results not only from the time that you save from not going to the gym, but also during the commute itself: Depending on the route you take, you reach your goal more quickly on an e-bike or S-Pedelec than with a car or public transportation as you eliminate the problems of traffic jams and the hunt for a parking space or intermediate stops and delays.

Whether for a 30-minute commute or an additional sporty weekend tour – there is no upper limit on the training effect. The Stromer community impressively proved how sporty e-bike riding can be last year – with a world record!

5. E-bike: Fresh air is healthy.

Riding an e-bike: Healthy by fresh air.


An e-bike also has other health benefits: Exercise in fresh air provides the brain with more oxygen, helping it to age more slowly and making it more efficient2. Your body also secretes happiness hormones – endorphins. Your vitamin D production is stimulated by the sunlight, which strengthens your immune system and bones and also has a positive effect on your mood.

You also feel better for another reason: Time savings. This results not only from the time that you save from not going to the gym, but also during the commute itself: Depending on the route you take, you reach your goal more quickly on an e-bike or S-Pedelec than with a car or public transportation as you eliminate the problems of traffic jams and the hunt for a parking space or intermediate stops and delays.

Whether for a 30-minute commute or an additional sporty weekend tour – there is no upper limit on the training effect. The Stromer community impressively proved how sporty e-bike riding can be last year – with a world record!

  1. Science Direct, Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists, online survey in seven European countries, 2019.
  2. University of British Columbia and University of Iowa, Aerobic exercise promotes executive functions and impacts functional neural activity among older adults with vascular cognitive impairment, published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2018.


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