“Nearly all” participants emerged from study feeling positive about e-bikes
A recent study has concluded that an e-bike is a viable option for active travel that can both benefit health and also reduce congestion and pollution. According to researchers at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, e-bikes may also help overcome barriers to active travel.
Cycling Industry News reports that researchers tracked 30 riders during three outdoor three-mile bike rides which simulated what they considered a ‘typical commute’.
Participants completed the rides at their own pace on a regular bike and then on a 2017 iZip Model E3 Vibe Plus at two different assist levels.
As this was a US study, the bike provided assistance up to 20mph. The lower level provided 125–175W of assistance and the higher one in the range of 200–250W.
The heart rate and oxygen consumption of the riders were monitored throughout and afterwards they provided their ratings of perceived exertion.
Unsurprisingly, the e-bike trips were completed with less effort. They were also quicker: 11m21s and 12m28s versus 14m25s.
However, the researchers state that while heart-rate and oxygen consumption were lower for the e-bike, they were nevertheless, “indicative of being at or near ‘moderate intensity,’ suggesting that e-bike use may still benefit health-related fitness.”
In addition to this, “nearly all” participants emerged from the study feeling positive about e-bikes.
The authors concluded: “Positive perceptions toward e-bike riding occurred in most participants, and qualitative analyses included perceptions of commuting with an e-bike as “easier” and “fun,” among other positive terms.
“Together, these results imply that e-bikes are viable options for active transportation that can benefit individual health and reduce congestion and pollution from gas-powered vehicles.”
“It’s not that most people can’t cycle more than three or so miles on a standard bike,” explained the firm’s director. “It’s just a lot easier, a lot less sweaty, and a lot more people are willing to do it on an e-bike.”