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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. 

Electric Bikes vs Motorcycles: 5 Differences

With electric bikes becoming more and more popular, they naturally invite comparison between them and motorcycles, both electric and petrol, and it’s understandable. There are powered bikes that are often used for commuting and whizzing around cities. If you own a motorbike already, is it worth investing in an electric bike? In this article, we discuss the major differences between electric bikes and motorcycles in a range of areas.

Before we start, it’s important to establish the key difference between electric bikes and motorcycles: the way you ride them. With electric bikes, you pedal just like a traditional pushbike, and then the electric motor provides you with assistance. With motorcycles, there’s no pedalling involved, and all movement is controlled by the throttle. The differences don’t end there.

 

 

1. Legal requirements

Electric bikes and motorcycles are treated very differently in the eyes of the law. motorcycles, whether electric or petrol, are liable for road tax, insurance, and must be registered with the DVLA. Riders of motorcycles must also have a driver’s licence to be able to legally drive the vehicle. With electric bikes, no such restrictions apply. You do not need a driver’s licence, the bike doesn’t need to be registered or insured, and you don’t need to pay tax. In the eyes of the law, electric bikes are generally treated the same as traditional pedal bikes.

The clothing riders must wear differs between motorcycles and electric bikes too. Motorcycle riders are required by law to wear a crash helmet at all times, and it’s advisable to wear more protective clothing. The higher speeds that motorcycles are capable of come with a higher risk of injury. When riding electric bikes, you do not need to wear a crash helmet (although wearing a helmet of some kind is strongly advised). You also don’t need to carry around cumbersome motorcycle outfits. Electric bikes give you the freedom to wear whatever you want, within reason.

That being said, wearing protective clothing is recommended, especially if you’re going to be taking your electric bike onto busy roads. Read more about the legality of electric bikes in our dedicated article here.

 

 

2. Speed

It should come as no surprise, but electric bikes cannot compete with motorcycles (electric or petrol) when it comes to speed. The primary factor is regulation that limits the speed at which electric bikes will provide the rider with assistance: electric bikes are required by law to stop providing power when the bike reaches a speed of 15.5mph (25kph).

Motorcycles, on the other hand, do not face such limitations and are legally allowed to reach much higher speeds. If you’re a speed demon, then a motorcycle, either electric or petrol, may be best for you. However, as you’ll see in the next section, being able to travel faster doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll reach your destination sooner.

 

 

3. Commuting 

Electric bikes make for a perfect commuter vehicle. They’re light, fast, reliable, and not subject to train delays!

In a city, the added speed capabilities of a motorcycle are irrelevant because of rush hour traffic and traffic lights. Electric bikes share the advantage that motorcycles have over cars in that they’re able to sidle down the side of traffic. However, electric bikes have the added benefit of being able to use them in cycle lanes and in certain parks around cities. You have more travel options with an electric bike. Motorcycles are restricted to roads. Therefore, in reality, the faster vehicle isn’t necessarily the fastest method of commuting.

Furthermore, electric bikes have a number of other practical advantages over motorcycles. For instance, there’s no need for a parking space, and many offices have space for bikes to be locked away safely. Also, some electric bikes, such as our very our Furo X and eTura, can be folded. Folding electric bikes are even more versatile since you can carry them onto trains and buses, and you can even take them into coffee shops or store them under your desk at work. Every base is covered!

 

 

4. Maintenance

Electric bikes come with far fewer maintenance needs than traditional motorcycles. There’s no oil or cooling system to take care of, and there are fewer parts overall, meaning there’s less to maintain. Additionally, running costs are minimal in comparison to petrol and electric motorcycles. You don’t need to buy any fuel, and you don’t need to charge the bike either. Electric bikes are ready to use at all times – there’s no preparation or forethought needed. When the mood takes you, you can hop on and be on your way!

 

 

5. Exercise 

By virtue of needing to pedal in order to move, electric bikes are far better from an exercise perspective. Of course, electric bikes offer a huge amount of assistance to the rider, which makes them so enjoyable and accessible, but there’s still an element of rider input beyond twisting a throttle. For people who find traditional cycling very taxing – especially in a city – electric bikes offer an accessible form of exercise that motorcycles simply can’t.

While we may be a little biased, in many cases, electric bikes are the more versatile form of transport. They can be used in more places and by more people than motorcycles, and that’s a huge plus in a world that’s constantly looking for new and improved modes of personal transport. If you’ve been thinking about investing in an electric bike, check out our eTura, the lightest folding electric bike you can buy, or our ever-popular Furo X, the electric bike that started it all.

UK Law: Are electric bikes legal?

Are electric bikes legal? Do you need a licence to ride one? Do they need to be insured? Do ebikes get taxed? These are all valid and very common questions that we receive. Many people want to buy an electric bike, but they’re worried about the legality of them. Unfortunately, these aren’t simple “yes” or “no” questions, but in this article, we hope to clear up any uncertainty.

Most electric bikes, such as our eTura and Furo X, are officially classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) in the eyes of the government. EAPCs are legal to ride in England, Wales, and Scotland for anybody over the age of 14. Of course, being legal to use in public isn’t the same as being legal to ride without a licence or insurance – cars are legal to use on public highways for those over 17 years old, but you must have a licence, pay road tax, and be insured. In the case of EAPCs, however, you do not need a licence, to pay tax, or be insured.

You can ride electric bikes anywhere you would ride a regular pedal bike. This means they can be ridden on public highways but not pavements and must follow driving customs and road signs at all times. Riders of EAPCs must also obey the highway code and use front and rear lights when riding between sunset and sunrise. Failure to follow these rules and customs can result in serious fines.

 

 

What qualifies as an EAPC?

In order for an electric bike to qualify as an EAPC, it must meet certain criteria. Unsurprisingly, it must have pedals and the pedals must be in use for the electric motor to activate and provide assistance. If the electric motor can be activated without pedalling, for example with a throttle or switch (often called “twist & go”), then the vehicle is not an EAPC.

EAPCs must clearly display either the maximum speed of the vehicle or the battery’s voltage, and they must also display either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor. The power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts, and must not provide assistance when the bike is travelling at more than 25kpm (15.5mph). EAPCs may have two or more wheels, so it’s possible to have an electronically-assisted tricycle. If an electric bike does not fit these criteria, then different rules may apply to it.

 

furo x EAPC bike

 

 

Electric Bikes that are not EAPCs

An electric bike that is faster than the above specifications, i.e. it provides assistance when travelling faster than 25kph (15.5mph) then it is classed as a moped or motorcycle in the eyes on the UK government. This means it must be registered, taxed, insured, and you must have a driving licence to ride one. You’re also legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet when riding one on public roads.

If the electric bike’s motor can be activated without pedalling, it also fails to meet the EAPC standard. For instance, an electric scooter is classed as a Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV) and is therefore illegal for use on public highways and pavements in the UK. PLEVs are, however, legal in many other countries in Europe and some states in America (hence their popularity in Paris, Madrid, and San Francisco).

 

 

Exceptions to the rule

There are some bikes with a “twist & go” throttle that are exceptions to this rule. Some electric bikes, including our entire range, have a throttle that is limited to speeds of 6kph (3.7mph); the reason for this throttle is to help those who struggle to begin cycling – it helps them get going. Once 6kph is reached, the throttle will cut out unless the rider starts pedalling. These vehicles are classed as EAPCs and are fully legal to ride without a licence, tax, and insurance.

The laws surrounding personal transport can be confusing and are often changed to meet new demands and cater to new transport trends. We hope that the UK follows other countries around the world and legalises the use of PLEVs so that our electric scooter – the Fuze – can be enjoyed beyond just private land. The good news is that all of our electric bikes – the eTura, the Furo X, and the Sierra – are legal to use in the UK and Europe as if they were normal pedal bikes. Our electric bikes are capable of reaching higher speeds than the legal limit for public roads and can be modified if you wish to ride on private land or in countries with more liberal restrictions.

New addition to the FuroSystems family: the lightest and most compact electric folding bike in the world

After a year of research, design and development effort, it is with great pleasure that we would like to announce the launch of the FuroSystems eTura.Weighing in at 12kgs fully equipped, it is one of lightest electric bikes in the world with no compromise on power, range or fun. Its removable battery delivers over 315Wh of energy, while its motor is rated at a continuous 200W with a power boost of up to 400W when sensing the need for acceleration or climbing thanks to a clever integrated power controller.

Its onboard computer is seemless and intuitive while its low weight and small size make it perfect to disappear under your desk or in small cupboards.

We are proud of this one and invite you to have a look at its features and benefit from a significant 30% pre-order launch discount.

Discover the eTura here

Furo X Delivered Earlier than Planned!

After the delays encountered in delivering our previous Furo X batch, mainly due to a factory change and unexpected delays at customs, thank you Brexit, we worked very hard to make sure this wouldn’t happen again, and positively surprise our next customers. We are very happy to announce that this was a success and the following batch was delivered one month early and is now sold out. Next orders will be delivered early July, and as we re-enter this short pre-order phase, a 22% discount is now offered on the Furo X.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!
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