eBike v Manual Comparison

Since I got the new eBike last week, I’ve been comparing it to my old bicycle that doesn’t have the nifty peddle-assist. Many people are asking how different they are and how I like the new one, so I thought I’d share that here.

The bottom line is that I much prefer the new bike, but I will acknowledge that head-to-head it’s not the same workout. You are basically trading some degree of fitness for ride enjoyment and that’s a good trade for me.

To figure out exactly how different they are, I rode the same ‘double loop’ around our local lake and neighborhood on both bikes with my Apple Watch in ‘Outdoor Cycling’ mode to measure the difference …

eBike Performance vs Regular Bike:

+35% Faster (13.6 v 10.1 mph).

7 Minutes Faster over 4.3 miles

83 Less ‘Active Calories’

90% heart rate (119 v 132 bpm)

Weighs 14 pounds more (48# v 34#)

Not surprisingly, the eBike doesn’t deliver the same amount of exercise as the manual-crank bike. This ‘course’ has some hills (one big one!) and my heart rate was lower on the eBike, although still close to 120 bpm and well above my in my Apple Watch’s ‘exercise threshold’ of about 100 bpm.

You can also see the difference in calories burned. The pedal bike burned more than 80 extra calories on this short ride. Still, some of that difference is because the eBike was 7 minutes faster. I probably would have burned close to the same amount of butter if I had ridden the same length of time.

The eBike is certainly much faster. I felt like I had to purposely slow down at times and was glad I was wearing a helmet. I peaked out at 20 mph a few times. I wonder if the Apple Watch GPS measured the rides exactly right as it also had the two identical rides 0.04 miles different with a bigger difference in elevation change (43’).

Felt Verza e30 – Electric Assist:

Giant Cypress DX – Manual Bike:

Still, I had to air up the tires on my manual-crank bike in order to do this comparison. I had only used it twice this year, even though we are already in August. The difference in workout intensity is a bit of a moot point if you don’t use the bike. I only used it a handful of times the last few years either.

I’m hopeful the new battery-boosted bike will increase the bike riding I do and add to this summer/fall’s fun. So far, I’ve been using it a lot!

Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com

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