eBike Fitness: How To Work Harder On Your Electric Bike

Hi Richard here from eBike Sussex, I often get told that “eBikes are cheating” and that “they aren’t for me, I need the exercise” or “I’ll get one when I’m older.” Well it always makes me smile because in my opinion, eBikes are far from cheating, they give exceptional exercise if you demand it of yourself and the bike, and they are definitely for all ages (our Haibike models start from 8 years and up!).

So why is it that I don’t think they’re cheating? My family business have sold standard bicycles since 1948, you may expect me to be a purist, someone that doesn’t believe in electric bikes. Well you would be mistaken! I have been cycling ebikes since 2013 and would not go back to a conventional bicycle, they just aren’t as fun or healthy in my opinion. Here are the ways you can make yourself fitter than the rest with your ebike:

  1. Ride above the maximum assistance speed of 15mph

    Sounds a little crazy right? Well if you exceed the 15mph speed limit of the motor the power will cut and any speed beyond that is purely your own pedal power. Added to this is an eBike that is around 10kg heavier than a conventional bicycle. It’s a bit like running with bricks in your backpack! This is my favourite way to burn calories. I clock the calories burned on my Bosch Nyon, via the fitness app screen. It shows if you are maintaining fitness, improving, or overreaching yourself. Know your limits! I have lost two stone in 3 months eBiking, so I personally find it a brilliant work out tool.

2. You will ride your eBike more often than a conventional bicycle

In our experience, our eBike customers clock up more miles and ride in more adverse weather conditions than our run of the mill cyclists. That is partly due to the fun of riding an eBike. Even on a windy and rainy day it gives you a buzz every time you push down on the pedals and battle into those headwinds. You can also see more in a shorter timeframe, this makes exercise much more interesting as the views can change much quicker, especially on climbs. The ‘new bike feeling’ you get with a standard bike can die a death at week six. Whereas the eBike smile feeling you will get keeps coming every time you pedal. This is to do with the power being proportional to your efforts. It literally tricks you into exercising more as you ride harder and up steeper hills for longer and can achieve it more often. Win, win.

3. You can vary the power assistance the bike gives you in many ways

That’s right, you can pedal harder if you want more power from the motor, but that does actually exercise you more too! The more pressure you apply, the faster you go! You can also have the motor assistance percentage lower, for example 50% assistance instead of 300%. It all burns calories! I personally prefer Turbo mode on my Bosch eMTB but I try and push past the 15mph mark so I am burning more calories. This works for me and my heart rate peaks whenever I ride this way. I will ride for around 2 1/2 hours max and I always feel like I’ve accomplished a good exercise routine by the end of the ride. On top of that I’ve been outside on some of the highest hills in Sussex getting fresh air and awesome views! My Bosch Nyon is compatible with Smart Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors like the Polar H7. A great piece of kit with a reliable chest strap fit that rarely slips. You can also buy a custom ride mode feature on Bosch Nyon for £4.00 and change the assistance levels to be much lower than before (or much higher in my case!). The cut off speed can also be tweaked, this will give you even more ways to ride the bike.

4. A heavier bike makes for a better full body workout

The heavier weight of an electric bike (I’m talking eMTB here) means you get a better full body workout off-road because the bike is heavier to control. The day after a long off-road ride I often feel a burn in my arms, shoulders and chest just like you would expect after a weight session at the gym. This is another reason we sell many eMTB’s to people with motor cross and enduro backgrounds, they are used to the extra weight and appreciate it as an additional exercise tool.


Thanks for reading my article,


eBike Sussex

Electric Bike Specialists