eBike Fitness Training

Doomanic

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#1
Saw this on Arsebook and thought I'd share;

 

Taffyteg

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#2
Saw this on Arsebook and thought I'd share;

Great video and I totally agree with what they were saying. I saw a guy in South Wales on the weekend, similar build to me blowing out of his a**e every time they got to a steep climb and he was getting off and walking. He wasn't enjoying himself and even worse he was probably pushing his heart rate too high and basically not getting much fitness benefit from the ride. I on the other hand was controlling my HR using ECO (off) and trail (50%) modes and enjoying myself.
 

Kernow

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#3
Good video I would agree with all they say now I’ve had my ebike for a while . I wouldn’t have believed it before I had an ebike .
but I think you can still be lazy if you want to be , but your battery won’t last long ?
 

Tucker

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#4
aerobic-png.3813
old-mans-png.3814


2 rides above from yesterday, one is mine and the other is my old mans who is a die hard roadie, now he's told me numerous occasions that ebiking is cheating, due to you not working hard on a ride, if you look at our heart rates, mine is an Average of 140 which is my aerobic threshold and his was 120bpm which is his Aerobic threshold, so we equally worked as hard as each other, thus totally disproving the notion that you cant work on a ebike.

like they say ebikes are a perfect training tool and enables you to keep it in certain training zones.
 

Kernow

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#5
Tucker Iam quite a keen roadie , I did over 3k miles on my roadie last year , and avoided buying ebike , I was thinking same as your dad , that I would lose my fitness etc and ebikes were the devils work .
Well my roadie took a back seat through the winter when I got my ebike , my first roadie ride was in April , I went out and did a usual 40 mile ride thinking I may have a hard time , I was amazed to see my strava results were as good as ever and I had actually improved on a couple of my personal bests .
I do ride in eco a lot and try to get a decent workout , and Iam sure I could have just boosted and taken it easy and lost fitness
However if I was new to cycling whatever I did would have had a positive effect from doing nothing , and most decent off road does require quite an effort even on an ebike , but as in the video I keep my heart rate on more if a level now instead of the constant spikes of mega effort climbing and sprinting .
 
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Al Boneta

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#6
After I got my first Levo, I dropped 35lbs in 4 months. I can’t make that claim with any other bike I’ve ever owned
 
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#7
I know we are all e-bike fans here (me included) so don't shoot the messenger.

Of course getting fit on e-bikes is possible and I myself have lost a few pounds already from just a few weeks of cycling. The thing is, this is also possible on exercise bikes, standard MTB's or roadies, so a lot of e-bike comparisons tend to be a little rose tinted in my opinion.

I don't really track my heart rate (next on the to do list) but I do know that my peak heart rate on an e-bike is no where near what it used to be and that makes my exercise more enjoyable. Does it make me fitter or leaner than without an e-bike, short answer probably not.
 
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#8
Tucker Iam quite a keen roadie , I did over 3k miles on my roadie last year , and avoided buying ebike , I was thinking same as your dad , that I would lose my fitness etc and bikes were the devils work .
Well my roadie took a back seat through the winter when I got my ebike , my first roadie ride was in April , I went out and did a usual 40 mile ride thinking I may have a hard time , I was amazed to see my strava results were as good as ever and I had actually improved on a couple of my personal bests .
I do ride in eco a lot and try to get a decent workout , and Iam sure I could have just boosted and taken it easy and lost fitness
However if I was new to cycling whatever I did would have had a positive effect from doing nothing , and most decent off road does require quite an effort even on an ebike , but as in the video I keep my heart rate on more if a level now instead of the constant spikes of mega effort climbing and sprinting .
Hi Kernow,

As a roadie, do you think an e-road bike is worth it, or is the 25kph limit just too restrictive (to everyone else, sorry about talking roadie).

M
 

Gary

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#9
Of course getting fit on e-bikes is possible and I myself have lost a few pounds already from just a few weeks of cycling. The thing is, this is also possible on exercise bikes, standard MTB's or roadies, so a lot of e-bike comparisons tend to be a little rose tinted in my opinion.
Massively.!
If I wanted to get properly fit again I wouldn't choose an Ebike to do it on. I'd be out on my roadbike following a properly structured training plan.
 
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Kernow

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#10
Hi Kernow,

As a roadie, do you think an e-road bike is worth it, or is the 25kph limit just too restrictive (to everyone else, sorry about talking roadie).

M
That’s a hard question to answer , it depends on what your expectations of road biking are , and how far you ride etc . I think it depends on your age fitness etc and how many hills you have to climb to get out for a good ride. I ve not ridden a proper road ebike , just what would be called tourers or hybrids .
my stepdad is a fairly fit 70 yr old , and it’s very hilly round here so normal bikes are a bit limiting for him with the time he has to get out
, he comes out with me on his hybrid road ebike , and I ride my roadie , the restriction is a problem because he can’t keep up on the flat or downhill as the roadie easily cruises above the ebike limit ,and being a bosch it just hits a wall on the limiter , up hills he is ahead and waiting for me at the top , so the mix of bikes doesn’t make for the best rideout together but without it we probably Wouldnt get out together , plus as you get into the roadbike and do longer rides battery range would become the restriction on distance rather than fitness .

Getting fitter depends where you starting from surely , Iam not mega fit and Iam overweight but I’ve kept up cycling etc so I have what I think is my cycling / walking fitness and stamina , I couldn’t go running I would die i think , but if I went off cycle touring for a few weeks like I did last year my fitness would come up quite quickly . Another person my age and wieght who hasn’t been doing any excercise for a while , would possibly find cycling too hard to stick at and get fit , I think that’s where the ebike is the answer , it makes riding fun instead of tough which makes you do more rather than less , not everyone can or wants to beast themself to get fit or maintain fitness , I couldn’t stick at an excercise bike or spin class without losing the will to live .
 

EddieJ

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#11
Some very interesting and open minded opinions above. :)

Just a few ramblings...

The first thing that I think of when ebikes are mentioned is the sale pitch given by seemingly all manufacturers, which goes along the lines of "Arrive at work sweat free and relaxed" A statement that if taken in the literal sense, would mean that zero effort is required, which probably does nothing to promote ebikes as a fitness and exercise device.

My second thought is one that Kernow stated. "you can still be lazy if you want to be , but your battery won’t last long" Those few words often spring to mind when I read comments from eMTB owners riding at the maximum power setting everywhere. Okay, they could be traveling at a faster pace and pedaling at a higher cadence as well, but that isn't how I perceive their riding to be. I perceive it as just wanting an easy life.

Without doubt, a pedelec of any from can be a brilliant aid to gaining fitness, but it is very subjective to how it is being used, although even on the highest power settings with least pedal resistance, you arguably must be getting some form of fitness benefit, and deffinately more than you would sitting in front of a television etc for an evening.

I have no idea what my heart rate is when riding either an assisted or non assisted bike, but I do know that for me there is only two points of relevance, and it isn't fitness based. My two points are mental attitude and rhythm or pattern of breathing. If I head out and get either of those two wrong, then I'm not going anywhere, and it is all too easy to blame that on fitness.

It probably took me a good two years to sort my breathing out, but with that one aspect achieved, the leap forward in what I could achieve was massive. It takes me about three miles on an unassisted bike to settle into things, but once at that point all is good.
Last night I was out with my regular riding buddy, riding my unassisted Giant XCT Advanced plus with its 11-42 casssete and 32t front chain ring and just felt unstoppable. I had a really tough and physical day at work, and really didn't want to go out, but weirdly even the first climb from my house felt effortless, and I was away. I was being smooth with my pedal cadence, breathing properly, and just had the right mental attitude.
My fitness has been pretty up and down though this year, but that has been due to chronic knee pain and swelling. Thankfully though, I took up a low impact fitness class (Kangoo Jumps) that has helped sustain and increase my fitness, kept weight in check, not that I have ever suffered with that, but most importantly of all, has trained me to breath properly, back to that one again.
 

mark.ai

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#12
I've been riding on the road for a few years and recently started EMTB as well. I hadn't compared my stats between the two yet, but just did for my last rides on each ... and it's interesting!

I'm surprised by how similar the average and max heart rates are to be honest. There does look a difference in the zones though - I suspect on the road (gravel) bike I'm pushing harder on the hills and then resting more afterwards. Whereas the EMTB really lets me keep going at a more constant pace the whole time. On that EMTB ride I started off in eco, then switched to trail mode, and then used boost up the last killer hill before home :)

EMTB ride stats:
compare-emtb-png.3882

Road ride stats:
compare-road-png.3883
 

Gary

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#13
Please post the elevation graphs and stats for both rides so we can compare apples to apples.

I've been road roadbikes longer than mtbs have been around and mtbing all my adult life. They're both cycling but quite different as excercise activities.
Mtb ridden properly works a lot more of the bodies muscle groups at a higher intensity, especially core and upperbody muscles , Road more cardio and legs based with quite a small amount of core/arm work.
(working different muscle groups yeilds different HR data).
What an Emtb electric pedalling assist does is reduce the HR and pedal power spiking you need to do to get to the same places on a normal mtb. Hence the HR data is closer to road cycling data.

For recovery/cardio rides the roadbike is still the better option for me as I simply can't ride a bike anywhere without playing/messing about.
I also find flat Emtb rides dull as hell but really enjoy them on the roadbike.
 

Tucker

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#14
So below is my Ebike HR
ebike-hr-png.3895

This is a ride from my non Ebike over roughly the same terrain/distance (both done on my local off-piste, steep climbs with steep descents, every offpiste ride on my non emtb would look very similar to this.
mtb-heart-rate-png.3896
its interesting stuff, but fairly straightforward to understand and you can see the difference between the E and the normal, the benefits of the Ebike are clear it enables you to train in zones more effectively by use of the different assist settings. like i say both done on my local trails, just taken in a few different runs here and there but all involve the same climbs to get back to the top and around the same distance. You can see from the ebike ride i am able to keep my heart rate at a much more controlled state and in my optimal training zone z3/z4, compared to the mountain bike you can see I had to work very hard and at my max to make it up the steep climbs and spent over 50% of my ride in zone5 (maximum HR Zone).

I have always been very Fit, i work in the fitness and professional sports industry, been riding on and off since i was 3! and i am 33 now. When considering buying an ebike one of the main drivers for me getting one was that i would be able to have a much more controlled workout when i ride. I now have the option to always ride the fun stuff and train in different ways on it, i can do interval training/ i can do steady state workouts as above example shows, i can go out for a complete recovery ride. all on my steep trails, whereas previously on the normal mtb i would have to ride something different such as, road rides, much flatter rides to do try and get the same experience. Which is why i think the ebike is far superior to the standard MTB for training potential, that's not factoring in the extra weight you have to hustle around when descending which should be another added benefit.

i am making a transition back to my Normal trail Rig this weekend as i need to get it ready for Ard Moors Enduro, so will be interesting to see the benefits of moving/ wrestling a much heavier bike around these past 4months will have had when I go back to my 12kg 160 trail beast. :unsure:
 

Gary

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#15
I'd agree with all of that but my roadbike is still the better option purely for fitness training for me.
Your Enduro bike is going to feel super light. After around a month of riding my Ebike every day I rode my DH bike on an uplift day. It felt like it was far too light at first. It's 35lb.
 

mark.ai

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#16
Wow you are really pushing zone 5 there @Tucker on your non ebike, impressive :)
(Also interesting to see the rests after each climb on your non ebike, whereas hardly any on the ebike, which make sense!)

And here is the extra graph data from my rides if you are interested @Gary (not sure who you wanted them from)

EMTB ride graphs:

graphs-emtb-png.3900

Road ride graphs:

graphs-road-png.3901

Pretty different terrain really, but still interesting to see the heart rate stats are not too dissimilar.
 
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Gary

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#17
Yeah. The difference in elevation/terrain is pretty much as I'd have expected.
Thanks.
 
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