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Month: February 2020

The best e-mountain bike trails in Europe

More and more people are swapping the city break for a trip into the mountains. Away from the chaos and smog of the city, you can breathe in the fresh air and get some well-needed headspace. Taking to the highlands doesn’t mean putting your feet up though – there are lots of activities to do. Mountain-biking is an ever-popular choice for those looking to escape the city, and it’s been made more accessible with the arrival of electric mountain bikes. To help you with your next getaway, here are our top European trails for your electric mountain bike

 

Lairig Ghru, Scotland 

  • Difficulty level: Hard 
  • Length: 7 miles 
  • Estimated time: 1 hour 15 mins 
  • Maximum altitude: 484 metres 

This might be a relatively short ride, but it’s one that’ll test the ability of even the most experienced rider. This single-tracked route will see you skirt fern-covered hills and bound down some steep pine forest declines, before arriving in the same place you started – the hamlet of Coylumbridge. Be aware though, you may have to hike-and-bike in places as the terrain can get too tricky to ride across! 

 

Find the GPS map of the Lairig Ghru route here.

 

Dolomites Loop, Italy 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 35 miles 
  • Estimated time: 6 hours 
  • Maximum altitude: 2141 metres 

The Dolomites are a haven for mountain bikers, with hundreds of different routes crisscrossing craggy outcrops, alpine forests, and verdant mountain meadows. This particular route, circling from the small village of Pozza di Fassa, encompasses all of these, along with some challenging inclines (up to 29%) – only experienced riders should attempt this one. 

 

Find the GPS map of the Dolomites Loop route here.

 

Boadella Reservoir Loop, Spain 

  • Difficulty level: Intermediate 
  • Length: 17 miles 
  • Estimated time: 2 hours 30 minutes 
  • Maximum altitude: 373 metres 

This more accessible ebike route circles the Boadella reservoir in Catalonia, providing spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. A gentle road, with only one section of moderate incline, wind around the lush mountains, providing the perfect viewpoint from which to look down on crystalline waters of the lake and reservoir.

 

Find the GPS of the Boadella Reservoir Loop here

 

Mittenwald Loop, Germany 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 40 miles 
  • Estimated time: 7 hours 
  • Maximum altitude: 1791 metres 

Known for its painted houses and world-renowned violins, Mittenwald epitomises the German region of Bavaria. With three climbs, this route is mainly single-tracked and passes through forested valleys, meadows, and streams. 

 

Find the GPS of the Mittenwald Loop here.

 

Grande Traversée du Massif Central, France 

  • Difficulty level: Expert 
  • Length: 870 miles
  • Estimated time: 8/9 days 
  • Maximum altitude: 1,567 metres 

For those that really want to put their ebikes to the test, there’s the famous French route, the Grande Traversée du Massif Central. Stretching all the way from Avallon in the centre of the country to Cap D’Agde on the French Riviera, this mammoth trail cuts through 5 national parks and passes lakes, mountains, and even volcanoes. If you’re not up to the entire tour, you can take on individual sections which are equally enjoyable – check out the trail’s official website to see what suits you. 

 

Europe is full of great tracks and trails to test out your electric mountain bike. With a little help from an electric motor, you can scale all but the most demanding mountain routes – leaving you with enough energy to enjoy the rest of your break. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, FuroSystems’ Sierra electric mountain bike is the ideal companion for Europe’s best trails – with a light frame, powerful motor, and a high density battery, you’ll be racing up mountains as fast as you can bomb down them. 

 

How much exercise do you get on an electric bike?

There’s a pervading idea that riding ebikes somehow makes you lazy or you’re getting a “free ride” when compared with riding a traditional bike. We can understand why, since ebikes offer motorised assistance, but once you try one yourself, you’ll realise it’s far from riding a slimmed-down motorbike. In this article, we explain how much exercise you can get on an electric bike because they’re electric, not in spite of it. 

 

How electric bikes work

 

It’s important to begin by clarifying that electric bikes (at least, those which are legal to ride in the UK) require the rider to pedal before the electric motor is activated. Many people wrongly assume that electric bikes work without the need for pedalling, working as a kind of motorbike (often called “twist and go” bikes). 

 

Since this is the case, it’s physically impossible to get a “free ride” from using an electric bike and they are, by design, a form of exercise – even though they have a motor. 

 

Ebike riding habits

 

There have been a number of studies conducted around this topic as many have wondered about the physical effects (and potential downsides) to riding electric bikes instead of traditional bikes. One, in particular, followed more than 10,000 adults in several countries across Europe and found that ebike riders, on average, did more exercise than traditional bike riders on a weekly basis. 

 

The primary reason for this is those who ride ebikes tend to use them more than traditional cyclists use their bikes. The study also found that ebike riders tend to travel longer distances than their purely pedal-powered friends. So while the intensity of each journey is (rather obviously) lower, ebikes offer a viable form of exercise – especially for those who have swapped their car or a bus for an ebike. 

 

Electric bikes are also more accessible than traditional bikes, enabling more people to experience the health benefits of cycling when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to without the electric motor. They offer a middle ground between cycling and driving, and are the perfect option for commuters who wish to be more active but don’t want to arrive at the office all sweaty and flustered. 

 

What the science says

 

Our look into the relationship between electric bikes and exercise wouldn’t be complete unless we looked at the direct effects of riding one on the body. A recent study investigated the effect of riding an ebike on the average rider’s heart rate compared with riding a traditional bike. The assumption going into the study was that there would be a marked difference between the two forms of exercise, but in fact, the opposite was true. 

 

The majority of the participants reached the “vigorous-intensity” heart rate region – which is 70-85% of a person’s maximum heart rate. Moreover, on average, the ebike riders’ heart rates were 94% that of the traditional bike riders. As a result, the study concluded that riding electric bikes is an “excellent form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise”. 

 

Additionally, some reports suggest that riding an electric bike burns approximately 80% of the calories of a traditional bike for a given journey. So while you aren’t reaching the full calorie-burning potential that cycling has to offer, it’s far from being a “free ride”. 

 

The bottom line is, electric bikes offer a fantastic form of exercise. They open up cycling to a wider range of people and tend to be used more often than traditional bikes by their owners. Enjoy a fantastic workout or a leisurely ride around town – with electric bikes, you have the choice thanks to their motorised assistance. Our Furo X, for example, is guaranteed to get your blood pumping and show you a good time. In our books, the best form of exercise is that which you do regularly, and if you’re having fun, then you’ll continue to cycle more often. 

 

If you have any questions about exercising on an ebike or about ebikes in general, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. 

Top 5 ebike routes in the UK

The first thing you’ll want to do after buying an electric bike, especially an electric mountain bike, is find some great routes on which to ride it. Here, we’ve compiled a list of five excellent ebike routes and trails for riders of all experience levels. They vary in scenery, incline, difficulty, and length, but we’re confident that we’ve included something for everyone. 

 

Bristol to Bath – 13 miles (21km)

We’ll start off with a more gentle ebike route, and one that takes you on an outing and allows you to travel beyond the confines of a single lap. It begins in Bristol and ends in Bath (or vice versa if you’d prefer), offering extremely pleasant scenery and cycling conditions. It’s a route for ebikers of all skill levels and ages thanks to it being largely flat, tarmacked, and free from traffic. You’ll pass through a number of villages and towns too, should you wish to stop off for refreshments during your 13-mile journey. This ebike trail is unique in that it allows you to be a cultured tourist and an adventurer at the same time. 

 

The Camel Trail: Cornwall – 18 miles (29km)

Here’s a longer but still relatively leisurely route. So-called because it follows the Camel Estuary and Camel Valley, the Camel Trail takes you through beautiful scenery that’s both inland and coastal. The route predominantly takes place on a disused and resurfaced railway track, meaning the road is very smooth and there are no sharp twists or turns. It’s an excellent route for getting used to riding your ebike for long periods of time. Plus, the route ends at the historic town of Bodmin, located by the enchanting Bodmin moor, home of the mythical Beast of Bodmin. Better yet, once you’ve finished, you can treat yourself to a world-famous Cornish pasty! 

 

The Gower Peninsula: South Wales – 28 miles (45km)

Here’s a largely coastal route that circumnavigates virtually the entire Gower Peninsula in South Wales. It’s certainly a challenging route, but well worth the effort. You’ll ride through a myriad of terrains including woodlands, coastal cliffs and dunes, rocky passes and steep hills. The centrepiece of this ebike trail is the Cefn Bryn, an ancient ridge dotted with sheep and wild ponies that stretches for five miles. This route also offers a lot of choice; there are many pathways that criss-cross through the peninsula, and whichever you choose to follow is sure to offer an unforgettable experience. One thing to note is, due to the popularity of this route, it can be rather crowded at times during the summer months. 

 

Epping Forest: London – 12 miles (19km)

London’s ancient woodland provides an idyllic escape for all bikers that’s worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby capital. While there’s no set route through the forest, there are many pathways to choose from, and you can improvise your course as you go along. The forest is 12 miles (19km) in length, so you can cycle from one end to the other for a more moderate ride, or make a loop of the entire forest if you’d like to make a whole day of it! Since the forest is only approximately 2.5 miles (4km) wide, you won’t have to worry about getting lost and ending up far from civilisation. We’d recommend tackling this route during the warmer months of the year as winter tends to make this dense forest incredibly slippery. 

 

The Long Gap: Brecon Beacons National Park – 22 miles (35km) 

Arguably the most gruelling of the ebike routes on this list, The Long Gap in Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales, is iconic in the world of cycling. It’s home to Pen y Fan, the highest point in south Wales at 886m, as well as being set in some of the most stunning countryside you can find in the UK. Once you reach the namesake Long Gap, you’ll likely want to stop for a moment and take it all in. It’s a valley that divides two mountains, almost perfectly symmetrical it looks like it was designed precisely for mountain bikers. With over 1000m of climbing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to appreciate the wondrous scenery you find yourself in (and experience a tough workout!). It’s a difficult route but we think it’s worth the sore thighs. 

 

We hope that with our guide, you can find the perfect ebike route for you. If you’ve been inspired and would like to jump onto the trails, then our very own e-mountain bike, the Sierra, is the best bike for the job. With its powerful motor, 55km+ range and SR Suntour XCM suspension system, you can cycle comfortably on any of these routes without any problems. If you have any questions about our range of ebikes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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