Hourbike is adding e-bikes to our current and future bike share schemes. Here we take a look at 10 great reasons to ride an e-bike.
Our exclusive UK partnership with Fifteen enables us to include the best shared e-bike on the market into our bike share schemes. This means our bike share schemes can be used by more people of all ages, making journeys quicker, easier and more convenient.
So is riding an e-bike as good as riding a conventional pedal bike? We’ve investigated the benefits of riding an e-bike – both for you and for all of us. Some of the results may surprise you.
Riding an e-bike is good for you
1. Ride an e-bike to improve your fitness
You are still exercising when you ride an e-bike. Just because the bike is electrically assisted doesn’t mean that you are not working out. You still use muscles, increase your heart rate and take a form of aerobic exercise on an e-bike, and any form of exercise is good for you.
A study into the use of pedal assisted mountain bikes found that their rider’s hearts can be working at a level very similar to those on conventional bikes. In fact, they were at 90% plus of the heart rate of the pedal bike riders.
2. Good for your heart health
A 2017 study of over 264,000 people over 5 years by researchers at the University of Glasgow found that cycling to work significantly reduced the risk of heart disease. This is the equivalent to cycling around 30 miles per week.
According to the BMJ, cycling to work reduces your risk of developing heart disease by 46%, with a 52% lower risk of dying from the condition. The same report which published those findings suggested that as well as improving heart health, cycling to work may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Health and Well Being website UPMC stated that regular cyclists had 15% less heart attacks than non-cyclists, and even low amounts of cycling, like using an e-bike, were linked to lower rates of heart disease.
3. Helps you lose weight
Not only does any form of cycling burn calories which helps you to lose weight, but Sports Science research has shown that cycling to work, for example, (typically a journey of 5 miles and 30 minutes cycling) raises your metabolism even after you have finished cycling.
You burn more calories over the same amount of time cycling as opposed to walking, but are less likely to get muscle strains and sprains. This makes exercising on an e-bike particularly good for older people.
Riding an e-bike can improve your physical & mental health
4. Good for your physical health
In addition to the health benefits above, regular cycling has also been shown to help prevent diabetes and boost your immune system.
A 2018 report from Diabetes UK examined whether the use of e-bikes could benefit people with type 2 diabetes. In conclusion they stated: “There was evidence that e-cycling was acceptable, could increase fitness and elicited a heart rate that may lead to improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors in this population. Electric bicycles have potential as a health-improving intervention in people with Type 2 diabetes.”
Also, earlier this year, researchers commissioned by The Reader’s Digest found that as little as 20 minutes exercise can have anti-inflammatory benefits that boost your immune system.
5. Ride an e-bike to improve your mental health
A 2019 study on the effects of cycling on cognitive function and well-being found that “riding an electric bike for recreation or basic transportation will improve brain function.”
In addition, a recent report from CycleBoom involving a research team from 4 UK universities also found that “cycle training, together with an 8-week programme for older people keen to re-engage with cycling, can have a positive effect on cognitive processes and wellbeing and also perceived physical health. This may not be simply to do with increased physical exercise (and therefore increased cerebral blood flow) but also the opportunity cycling provides for older people to engage with the outdoor environment.” Read the report in full here.
They also noted that currently cycling accounts for only 1% of all UK journeys by those aged 65 or over, compared to 23% in The Netherlands, 15% in Denmark and 9% in Germany.
British Cycling has found 5 ways cycling can improve your mental health, including reduced anxiety and stress, as well as getting a better night’s sleep after some exercise. It’s cheaper than joining a gym as well as having the benefits of exercising outdoors and in the fresh air.
Ride an e-bike for a better way to travel
6. Go further and faster more easily by e-bike
An e-bike is a great way to travel. It is a means of active and sustainable travel and has many other benefits, even compared to a normal pedal bike.
For example, it’s easier to keep up with the group you’re riding with, and easier going uphill. This is especially good for family cycling, or mixed ability groups with older cyclists. It also encourages you to discover more new places by e-bike as it is easier to cycle over a longer range.
It’s a quicker way to travel, obviously compared to walking, but often compared to a car in urban or busy areas. An e-bike helps you to stay cool and fresh on your commute to work or college, but still brings all the benefits of regular, moderate exercise.
It’s a safer way of cycling, as you can start from junctions more quickly and easily and get up to the speed of the traffic.
Ride an e-bike to get around the city faster & more easily
7. Save money on transport costs
You can also save money on your transport costs, the daily commute or the high cost of fuel or running a car for shorter journeys. If you can do without your car completely, you save the cost of the car, as well as insurance and maintenance.
Good for all of us!
8. Good for the environment
The UK is committed to getting to Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, so taking more journeys, especially short local journeys to work, the shops, city centre, the gym or college for example, will help us all to achieve that target.
9. Reduces pollution and congestion
That means that e-bikes have benefits for the environment, as well as helping to ease road congestion and parking in busy areas.
In addition, there will be a reduction in noise pollution, and other stealth pollutants like car tyre dust which harms our marine life.
10. Riding an e-bike helps our NHS
A result of us all cycling and using e-bikes more would make more of us healthier for longer in our lives. This in itself would ease the burden on the NHS and help our “tax pounds” to go further.
If you don’t own an e-bike, don’t worry, you can still enjoy all the benefits of travelling by e-bike. Just find your local bikeshare scheme, jump on an e-bike and leave the car behind on those short journeys every day.