In any bike race, equipping your bike with a small electric motor is called mechanical doping, and is considered cheating. But for the rest of us, an electrified bicycle might be a way to make exercise both tolerable and practical.
Exercise is necessary in our lives, as we all know by now. People who are physically active are much less likely than sedentary people to develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, depression, disabilities in old age, or to die prematurely.
But statistics show that, despite its benefits, a majority of us never exercise. When researchers ask why, most people offer the same two excuses — they don’t have time to fit exercise into their lives or they aren’t fit enough to undertake exercise.
RILU e-Bikes are addressing those concerns. The motors of their electric bikes shore up your pedaling as needed—or, with some models, such as the E-Glider 7 and the Q-F7T, do the pedaling for you—making climbing hills or riding for long distances less taxing and daunting than the same ride on a standard bicycle.
In the process, they could make cycling a palatable alternative to commuting by car, allowing people with jammed daily schedules to work out while getting to and from work.
In an experiment, which was published last month in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, decided to see what would happen if they gave a group of out-of-shape men and women zippy electric bikes and suggested that they begin riding to work.
The researchers wanted to determine whether these bikes — even with the added assistance of a motor — would provide a meaningful workout for people who previously had not been exercising much. The researchers first brought their 20 sedentary volunteers into the lab to check their body composition, aerobic fitness, blood sugar control, blood pressure and cholesterol profiles. Then they provided each with an electric bicycle, heart rate monitor, GPS device, instructions on the use of all of this equipment, and asked each volunteer to don the monitors and ride his or her new bike to and from work at least three times a week for the next month, spending at least 40 minutes in the saddle on those days.
The volunteers were directed to choose whatever speed and effort felt comfortable for them.
A month later, the volunteers returned to the lab to repeat the original tests and turn over heart rate and GPS data. All of them had ridden at least the prescribed minimum of 40 minutes three times per week and in fact, according to their monitor data, most had ridden more than required, several about 50 percent more.
The riders also had ridden with some intensity. Their heart rates averaged about 75 percent of each person’s maximum, meaning that even with the motor assist, they were getting a moderate workout, comparable to brisk walking or an easy jog.
Perhaps most important, the riders of those electric bicycles were healthier and more fit now, with significantly greater aerobic fitness, better blood sugar control, and, as a group, a trend toward less body fat.
They also reported finding the riding to “be a blast,” said William Byrnes, the study’s senior author and director of the university’s Applied Exercise Science Laboratory. “It’s exercise that is fun.”Several participants have bought electric bikes since the study ended, he said. He also rides an electric bike to and from campus.
But for the many other people who currently do not exercise or have never considered bike commuting, there is much to be said for knowing that, if needed, you can get a little help pedaling up that next hill on a RILU e-Bike electrically assisted bicycle.
RILU e-Bikes are available from authorized dealers like North Fitzroy Cycles, covering all areas north and north-east of Melbourne, including Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Brunswick, Clifton Hill, Northcote and Preston. An even wider range of electric bikes are available from the Electric Bike Superstore in Malvern East, which within easy reach of Caulfield, Prahran, St Kilda, Toorak, Hawthorn, Glen Iris, Ashburton, Ashwood, Carnegie, Murrumbeena and Chadstone. Covering the north-central part of Victoria with the supply of RILU e-Bikes is Majors Sports and Cycles in Eaglehawk, a suburb of Bendigo. Majors’ store is also within easy reach from towns like Shepparton, Castlemaine, Echuca, Maryborough, Elmore and Heathcote. Hendry Cycles in Geelong and Ocean Grove covers the south-west of Victoria with RILU e-Bikes. They cover the whole Bellarine Peninsula, including towns like Queenscliff, Portarlington and towns along the Great Ocean Road, like Anglesea and Torquay, etc. If you are looking for RILU e-Bikes on the Mornington Peninsula, Freewheeling Cycles at Rosebud is waiting for you to take a test ride. Freewheling Cycles covers all towns from Frankston to Sorrento, from Dromana to Flinders and from Mornington to Cranbourne. Finally, RILU e-Bikes are available from Bike Edge in Wodonga, covering the north-east of Victoria and the south-west of New South Wales, including the major towns of Albury, Corowa, Rutherglen, Wangaratta and Beachworth. Of course, RILU e-Bikes are also sold from its main base at Maribyrnong, covering all western suburbs of Melbourne, including, Footscray, Williamstown, Flemington, Kensignton, Ascot Vale, Essendon, Avondale Hights, Sunshine, Altona, etc.