Power-assisted bicycles good for the heart?

There is some evidence that using an electric bike in power-assist mode is a useful form of exercise. Power-assisted cycling allows the rider to stay in a zone of useful aerobic exercise for extended periods of time; pedalling a normal bike brings a higher heart rate, but this cannot be maintained by many riders and may even be harmful (or off-putting) for those who are less healthy.

The research was carried out by the Institute for Transport Studies at the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University in Australia. Geoff Rose offered the following information on the research:

“The research involved fitting an individual with a heart rate monitor and comparing the readings when a standard course was ridden on a conventional and electric power assisted bicycle. The data for the journey on the E-bike highlighted that the peak heart rate was consistently lower than when on the conventional bike but still in the zone where there was cardiovascular benefit.”

Electric cycling may be ‘cheating’ but it keeps your heart healthy and beating! Clearly, more research needs to be carried out on this.