The rise of electric bikes in Australia


How Many Calories are Burned Cycling on an Electric Bike?


I was amazed to see how many calories are burned cycling on a regular bike. I have often wondered about burning calories on an electric bike, because I sometimes use a regular bike and sometimes use an electric bike (I prefer the electric bike for very hilly routes and very long rides).

 

Well, I recently met a brilliant bike engineer – Jeremy Wensel. He has proved that you can burn almost as many calories on an electric bike as on a regular bike.


bikes run on fat


VOLT's very efficient electric bikes don’t LOOK like electric bikes. As you can see, the small, light battery is cunningly concealed within the foldable frame. The motor in the rear hub is so small that most people would not notice it. The frames are built to be super strong but lightweight.


Keeping your heart rate under control with an electric bike


calories-burned-cycling

Jeremy took the VOLT Mate electric bike on two one-hour rides over moderately hilly terrain. On the first ride he used throttle assist for the tougher parts. This first graph produced by his heart rate monitor. shows the one-hour ride WITH throttle assist. As you can see, Jeremy was able to keep his heart rate under 140 (the red zone starts at 140).


Calories-burned-cycling

A few days later Jeremy did the same bike ride on the same electric bike, but without throttle assist. As you can see, his heart rate went well above 140 – sometimes even as high as 170 beats per minute. Fortunately as a heart disease patient, he survived this test with flying colours.


Testing calories burned cycling on electric bikes


Jeremy’s heart rate monitor supplied some very interesting information about calories burned on the two bike rides. This graph shows both bike rides, with the number of calories burned on both rides.


calories-burned-cycling

Notice that when Jeremy used the throttle assist, he burned up 444 calories during the one-hour bike ride. When he did the bike ride without throttle assist, he burned up 552 calories during the one-hour bike ride. This shows that using the electric bike resulted in burning only 20% less calories. Burning 440 calories in an hour is a big deal – done regularly, this kind of calorie burn could result in significant weight loss.


I find this exciting for two reasons:

  1. It shows that even heart disease patients can use electric bikes to keep on cycling, while still following their doctor’s orders about keeping their heart rate fairly low.
  2. It shows that many calories are burned cycling on an electric bike.