Weight gain from EMTB

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
245
348
Tasmania
How anyone can get fatter or out of shape doing physical activity baffles me. It's kind of like saying women don't find you attractive and it's their fault...no, maybe you're just friggin ugly. But, shouldn't physical exercise help you no matter what you are doing? Blaming an e-bike for you pushing maximum density seems a bit of a stretch. Especially when there is that handy, dandy little button to lower the assist.
Yep, it all comes down to self-control.
If you sat on the couch all day and then bought and Ebike, which you then rode two three times a week at reasonable length ride, you should definitely lose weight.
If you rode and normal bike two of three times a week and then bought and Ebike, and you rode that the same amount, but in boost the whole time, I would think that you would gain some weight.
It's not brain science or rocket surgery, if you put in some more effort, you burn more calories, if you don't put in the effort, you won't. Same goes for food intake. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you will put on weight.
I put on a few kg last year as I was busy with renovations so wasn't able to get out and ride as much. Now I'm riding more again, I'm losing that weight (as well as gaining muscle and fitness).
 

Kingerz

Active member
Jul 11, 2021
198
171
Australia
I did a quick search on this and didnt find much. Be honest, how many of you have gained a decent amount of weight going from an analog to an eeb? Ive been riding regularly (analog) for a little over two years. In the last year, Ive really stepped it up to averaging 4x a week, about 50ish miles, and 6000 ft +. This is a mix of enduro/dh, xc, and a little gravel mixed in. I also hit the gym about 3x a week. In pretty good shape and fairly strong for my age. Rides usually end with a big meal (bar food) and occasionally a few IPAs. With all the riding I did, it was easy to burn off the calories and then some.

I picked up an emtb this past november. I still get out about 4x a week, but most of my rides are on the emtb. The bad part is, Im still eating/drinking the same post ride. In 3 months, Ive gained 10 lbs!

Yes, the emtb does provide a decent workout, but no where near an analog, especially on the tough climbs which my local trails are full of. I’m talking climbs where your lungs are exploding and you curse the day you ever stepped foot on a bike. I miss the feeling of coming back from a ride completely drained. I love the hell out of the ebike, as nothing comes close in producing the smiles per hour (sph) for me. However, I think Im going to have to suck it up (literally) and take out the old pedal bikes a couple times per week.

How many of you have gained a sizable amount of weight? How much? Are you adding the analog back in the mix? Do you not care? Is a hotdog a sandwich?
I lost a lot, from 67kg to 61kg from riding emtb so much this summer. This is fine for my gender and height btw. I just ride so much more often and further because it's fun.
 

gaba

Active member
Dec 31, 2018
112
128
California
I guess if you were fat and lazy before you got an ebike it would help you lose weight. If you were routinely climbing 2500-3000 vertical feet on a regular rides 3-4 times a week, I think that would be pretty difficult to replicate on an ebike. That was us. I can no longer eat whatever I want unless I add weights and regular rides. Ebiking does not give you the same workout. Period. There is a transition point when you alternate legs on every pedal stroke that when you’re climbing steeps on a regular bike is almost like restarting your bike from a stopped position every pedal stroke. The motor on an ebike does not stop instantly and “helps” through this transition whether eco or not. I don’t have 4 hours to devote to riding 3-4 times a week. If I need a great sweat an hour to 90 min of climbing on a regular bike is where it’s at.
 

Twindaddy

Active member
Nov 29, 2022
71
114
Chino Hills
I guess if you were fat and lazy before you got an ebike it would help you lose weight. If you were routinely climbing 2500-3000 vertical feet on a regular rides 3-4 times a week, I think that would be pretty difficult to replicate on an ebike. That was us. I can no longer eat whatever I want unless I add weights and regular rides. Ebiking does not give you the same workout. Period. There is a transition point when you alternate legs on every pedal stroke that when you’re climbing steeps on a regular bike is almost like restarting your bike from a stopped position every pedal stroke. The motor on an ebike does not stop instantly and “helps” through this transition whether eco or not. I don’t have 4 hours to devote to riding 3-4 times a week. If I need a great sweat an hour to 90 min of climbing on a regular bike is where it’s at.
Exactly gaba. Im putting the analog bikes back in the mix. Obviously intensity matters, its just not that easy trying to gauge how much work you are actually putting in with the various assist levels. With an analog bike, there is no guess work.
 

Pauliemon

Active member
Sep 14, 2020
211
310
Northern California, USA
"I bought a ebike to train on", said no one ever. 99.9% bought a ebike for fun. Let's us ride faster longer. Will it help you lose weight, yes. It helps my 5'11", 170lb body stay fit.
 

Pazman

Member
Dec 8, 2022
87
97
Uk
I brought an E-bike to get fit and lose some weight , I’ve been riding it for 10 weeks now 3 times a week and I’ve lost 28 pounds.
Riding an Ebike was very hard work for me in the beginning as i was unfit and over weigh, as im now getting fitter I’ve dropped the power level down from emtb mode to trail or eco as to keep my rides as hard as possible .
your were very fit when you started out on an e-bike ,if you use a higher power mode and take in the same amount of calories as riding an analog bike you will gain weight .
 
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Pauliemon

Active member
Sep 14, 2020
211
310
Northern California, USA
That's awesome Pazman! When I got a ebike it was to keep up with my riding buddies. They were all on analog bikes. I noticed it was getting harder for me to complete all the climbs. A trip to the doc was in order. I found out I had a heart condition. The doctor told me "don't let your HR get over 140bpm". I thought "I'm done!". I was seriously bummed. I considered ebikes "cheating" before. I sure don't now.

There are lots of people out there that have day jobs and a family. Kind of hard for them to ride 3 or 4 times a week. Lots of older folks (that's me) riding them for various reasons. Then there's a whole segment that rides them because they're a blast! We all ride for fitness and fun. Lazy people ride the e sofa.
 

Bman

Member
Mar 12, 2021
13
8
Dallas, TX
Exactly gaba. Im putting the analog bikes back in the mix. Obviously intensity matters, its just not that easy trying to gauge how much work you are actually putting in with the various assist levels. With an analog bike, there is no guess work.
Heart rate monitor or power meter does that for you, no guessing needed.
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
245
348
Tasmania
Heart rate monitor or power meter does that for you, no guessing needed.
Yes, without a heart rate monitor or power meter it's all guesswork, regardless on the type of bike.
It's not rocket surgery to say that if I do the exact same ride on an Ebike, as on a normal bike, you won't get the same amount of exercise. But it's incorrect to say you can't get the same amount of exercise on an Ebike. You just need to ride with less assistance and with more intensity or distance.
It's the same reply I give for people who say that Ebikes are cheating. A normal bike with gears is cheating, a normal bike with wheels is cheating, if you ran the same distance that you rode would get more exercise.
The main reason we ride is that it's easier on the body than running and more enjoyable. If it was purely about fitness, you would throw you bike away and just run.
Ebikes are no different, we ride them because they are fun and the exercise we get out of them is an added benefit.
 
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Addryn

New Member
Feb 3, 2023
6
2
USA
Interesting thread, I didn't even think about it. I am currently in a calorie deficit and ebike hasn't made me gain weight. Probably, you just have decreased physical activity and / or you have begun to eat more, to which the refusal of a regular bike was added.
 

rzr

Active member
Sep 26, 2022
344
217
bcn
As other mentioned, calories in/out ...
however, you can gain weight from muscles, they weight more than fat for example (for the same volume).

If you want to control and compare your activities, use some sports tracker (garmin or smth cheaper) with HR monitor (chest strap). it'll give you info about burnt calories... (so you can compare different activities)
 

A06

Member
Mar 9, 2023
106
85
Corona, CA
Lost weight also. Before eMtb I would find excuses not to ride in winter and would only go to Big Bear (Chairlift) in summer.

What's odd is I can spend 4 hrs. at the pump track get completely smoked and go back the next day for more.

Tell me we are taking anolog bikes to the Luge (short but fun fast flow with a horribly miserable climb) and I will develop a mysterious illness.
 

JP-NZ

E*POWAH Elite
Feb 17, 2022
1,028
776
Christchurch - New Zealand
I've switched my commuting back to my Amish Hardtail. Adding commuter tyres definitely made a massive improvement. Now its actually faster than my ebike because I can cycle well above the 32kph limit on roads and paths.

Bonus its also much better strength & training wise
 
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Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
245
348
Tasmania
I've switched my commuting back to my Amish Hardtail. Adding commuter tyres definitely made a massive improvement. Now its actually faster than my ebike because I can cycle well above the 32kph limit on roads and paths.

Bonus its also much better strength wise
But adding commuter tyres gives you less of a workout :LOL:

A guy I know gives me shit for using my Levo SL to commute to work on, stating that because it's an Ebike I won't get any fitness. I still run MTB tyres and it 25km each way and relatively flat so I'm over the Australian 25kph cut-out most of the time. He rides his gravel bike a similar distance but actually gets it easier because better rolling resistance and lighter weight.
There's a lot of anti Ebikers out there calling you lazy that ride ultra light bikes. If you really wanted to ride for ultimate fitness you would buy some (insert your national retail chain) "mountain bike" with steel frame that weighs a ton, crappy suspension that just adds more weight, V-brakes that constantly drag and 26" wheels and ride that everywhere.;)
 

Alexbn921

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2021
545
506
East Bay CA
ebike simply cannot burn the calories that pedaling an anolog would. I think we can all agree that calories burned per hour on a ebike cannot match that of an anlaog.
100% False.
It's 100% the rider. You either ride hard or you do not. The bike has nothing to do with it. Indoor, road, MTB, bmx, Ebike...... The human doing the activity determines the workout.
 

Twindaddy

Active member
Nov 29, 2022
71
114
Chino Hills
100% False.
It's 100% the rider. You either ride hard or you do not. The bike has nothing to do with it. Indoor, road, MTB, bmx, Ebike...... The human doing the activity determines the workout.

Nope, not buying it. You mean to tell me if you put an emtb and an analog mtb on the same trail for 2 hrs, that the eeb can burn as many calories as the analog? You cant believe this. Im not talking about with the motor off because thats just dumb. Its illogical to put in the “same effort” when there is pedal assist.

Look, I love my ebike as much as anyone here. But the workout isnt the same. Yes, you can still maintain weight or even lose weight (switching from an analog to an eeb) with an ebike IF YOU:

1. Cut calories
2. Eat healthier
3. Workout more
4. Ride longer
5. Etc, etc, etc

But 1-5 above are all in additions to the previous, which is just riding an analog.
 

The Hodge

Mystic Meg
Subscriber
Sep 9, 2020
3,679
7,437
North West Northumberland
I really wish I had kept the article in MBR magazine ..going back a good few years ..
It has been scientifically proven that you can burn as many calories on an ebike as a normal bike ..because within the same time frame you will ride further ie more laps ..put in turbo and ride hard for two hours and you will probably burn more calories than on a normal bike ..surely that has got to make sense to you Twindaddy ?
 

dobbyhasfriends

🌹Old Bloke 🎸
Subscriber
Sep 19, 2019
3,208
4,568
Llandovery, Wales
I made this, just looking for any excuse to post !

ebike queue.jpg
 

Alexbn921

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2021
545
506
East Bay CA
Nope, not buying it. You mean to tell me if you put an emtb and an analog mtb on the same trail for 2 hrs, that the eeb can burn as many calories as the analog? You cant believe this. Im not talking about with the motor off because thats just dumb. Its illogical to put in the “same effort” when there is pedal assist.

Look, I love my ebike as much as anyone here. But the workout isnt the same. Yes, you can still maintain weight or even lose weight (switching from an analog to an eeb) with an ebike IF YOU:

1. Cut calories
2. Eat healthier
3. Workout more
4. Ride longer
5. Etc, etc, etc

But 1-5 above are all in additions to the previous, which is just riding an analog.
I have a power meter on my road bike and ebike. I can go out on either and average 250watts for the same time. I burn more calories on the MTB from my upper body.

I can go out and do 2 hours, 15 miles and 3000 feet on the MTB or 2 hours 30 miles and 6k miles on my ebike both with the same calorie burn. I simply push on the pedals the same. it's not hard to understand.

What you are saying is that YOU can't push on the pedals the same. Look inward and figure out why.


Calorie = workout rate X time. It doesn't care how the work is done.
 

EMTBSEAN

Well-known member
Subscriber
Feb 20, 2020
849
578
Sheffield
Personally I lost over six and a half stone so I was fit enough to ride a bike but over the last four/five months I’ve put on 3 stone not because of going from an analog bike to an eeb but because of the medication I’m on for my back, biggest side effect of Gabapentine is weight gain, alongside all the other stuff I’m on won’t help either 😫
 
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Twindaddy

Active member
Nov 29, 2022
71
114
Chino Hills
I have a power meter on my road bike and ebike. I can go out on either and average 250watts for the same time. I burn more calories on the MTB from my upper body.

I can go out and do 2 hours, 15 miles and 3000 feet on the MTB or 2 hours 30 miles and 6k miles on my ebike both with the same calorie burn. I simply push on the pedals the same. it's not hard to understand.

What you are saying is that YOU can't push on the pedals the same. Look inward and figure out why.


Calorie = workout rate X time. It doesn't care how the work is done.

Ok..maybe I need to get a power meter so I can take actual measurements. I do use a heart rate monitor. I get upwards of 160+ regularly on the mtb and never on the eeb, even on eco., even on steep climbs with a lot of effort, or as much effort is possible with the assist.

Are you all riding on eco and cranking the living crap out of the bikes? Im really curious. Believe me, I prefer to stay on the ebike as much as possible.
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
245
348
Tasmania
Nope, not buying it. You mean to tell me if you put an emtb and an analog mtb on the same trail for 2 hrs, that the eeb can burn as many calories as the analog? You cant believe this. Im not talking about with the motor off because thats just dumb. Its illogical to put in the “same effort” when there is pedal assist.

Look, I love my ebike as much as anyone here. But the workout isnt the same. Yes, you can still maintain weight or even lose weight (switching from an analog to an eeb) with an ebike IF YOU:

1. Cut calories
2. Eat healthier
3. Workout more
4. Ride longer
5. Etc, etc, etc

But 1-5 above are all in additions to the previous, which is just riding an analog.
I agree that if all things were equal, same weight bike, same rolling resistance, same time and same distance, you would burn more calories on the bike that didn't have a motor assisting you. You would also burn more calories if you ran that same distance than you would on a normal bike. A bike is just a form of mechanical assistance, same as the motor on and Ebike.
I think that the point that other are making is that in the real world you are likely to do more distance in that same timeframe or have more motivation to ride more often because it's more enjoyable and you can do more challenging rides that weren't possible on a normal bike. If you want to be lazy, you can do that on any bike, just the same as if you wanted to push yourself physically, there's no reason why you can't do that on an Ebike.
Just remember that Motorcross is one of the most physical sports around and there's no pedalling at all. A motor does not automatically equal no exercise.
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
245
348
Tasmania
Ok..maybe I need to get a power meter so I can take actual measurements. I do use a heart rate monitor. I get upwards of 160+ regularly on the mtb and never on the eeb, even on eco., even on steep climbs with a lot of effort, or as much effort is possible with the assist.

Are you all riding on eco and cranking the living crap out of the bikes? Im really curious. Believe me, I prefer to stay on the ebike as much as possible.
I tend to ride in either eco or trail, and hardly ever in Turbo. I use my ebike as a way to ride further and longer that I can on my normal bike. Not everyone of course does this so it's down to the individual.
 

Alexbn921

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2021
545
506
East Bay CA
I ride mostly eco just to get the most drops/distance out of a battery. But, I always use all the battery no matter what.
I'm not really training for anything right now, so I just ride for fun. If I want to hammer I can drain a battery in an hour and average 160+ hr.

Epic ride 1 battery
1679004811799.png

Normal ride
1679004989022.png

Hard 1 hour
1679004957596.png
 

Twindaddy

Active member
Nov 29, 2022
71
114
Chino Hills

rod9301

Member
Oct 10, 2020
145
76
US
Nope, not buying it. You mean to tell me if you put an emtb and an analog mtb on the same trail for 2 hrs, that the eeb can burn as many calories as the analog? You cant believe this. Im not talking about with the motor off because thats just dumb. Its illogical to put in the “same effort” when there is pedal assist.

Look, I love my ebike as much as anyone here. But the workout isnt the same. Yes, you can still maintain weight or even lose weight (switching from an analog to an eeb) with an ebike IF YOU:

1. Cut calories
2. Eat healthier
3. Workout more
4. Ride longer
5. Etc, etc, etc

But 1-5 above are all in additions to the previous, which is just riding an analog.
Actually, almost any sport will burn almost the same calories an hour if done at similar intensity. It's your capacity to do aerobic stuff
 

rod9301

Member
Oct 10, 2020
145
76
US
I agree that if all things were equal, same weight bike, same rolling resistance, same time and same distance, you would burn more calories on the bike that didn't have a motor assisting you. You would also burn more calories if you ran that same distance than you would on a normal bike. A bike is just a form of mechanical assistance, same as the motor on and Ebike.
I think that the point that other are making is that in the real world you are likely to do more distance in that same timeframe or have more motivation to ride more often because it's more enjoyable and you can do more challenging rides that weren't possible on a normal bike. If you want to be lazy, you can do that on any bike, just the same as if you wanted to push yourself physically, there's no reason why you can't do that on an Ebike.
Just remember that Motorcross is one of the most physical sports around and there's no pedalling at all. A motor does not automatically equal no exercise.
It's either same time or same distance. On an e bike you will ride more distance in an hour, but burn the same calories
 

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