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I did a completely unscientific test not long ago. Rode up and down a big hill on my normal bike, then an e-bike. First ride had a max heart rate of 180, average 161. On the e-bike max was 160 and average 127. I don't know enough about exercise, but I'd have to ride much faster or much longer on the e-bike to get the same workout.
NB. I deliberately rode the e-bike at the same speed as my normal bike.

I understand though. I'm pretty much limited to weekends, but notice a difference if I can squeeze in a midweek ride for a couple of weeks.
Over a bigger dataset, the difference for me is typically about 20-25 bpm average. That said, in one of the early eMTB races I did, my HR profile was exactly the same as it would be for an XC race or a cyclocross race. It's all just a question of how much ya wanna hurt.
 

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We have seen a similar dynamic change in our group.

I’ve notice about 2 of the 3 e-riders have kept the post beer rider quantity the same as before and have packed on the pounds over the last 6 months despite riding 2x the distance.
 

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I did a completely unscientific test not long ago. Rode up and down a big hill on my normal bike, then an e-bike. First ride had a max heart rate of 180, average 161. On the e-bike max was 160 and average 127. I don't know enough about exercise, but I'd have to ride much faster or much longer on the e-bike to get the same workout.
NB. I deliberately rode the e-bike at the same speed as my normal bike.

I understand though. I'm pretty much limited to weekends, but notice a difference if I can squeeze in a midweek ride for a couple of weeks.
That's why for me the ebike is a BETTER workout, or at least it used to be. Like I said in my post, 90 minutes on a regular bike was about all I could handle. On the ebike, I could do 4 hours (I have a spare battery) of bike time, and my heart rate would average in somewhere Zone 4 (80-90% MHR). I never really ride my ebike on the high assist levels. I usually just use ECO for 90% of the ride, and hit the BASIC power level for the last little bit when I'm starting to get a little tired. On a regular bike, I'd redline my heart rate on several occasions, which limited my distance and time.

Now that my ebike has whipped me into much better shape, I can go longer on my regular bike. Not sure what my max is though, as usually when I'm riding my regular bike it's with other people and they usually want to quit before I get to where I'm feeling like my legs and lungs are done. If I'm by myself on the regular bike, I also usually quit before I'm completely whipped as life just doesn't allow me the luxury of spending a saturday afternoon dead on a couch. Either way I can ride my regular bike for a lot longer now after spending a considerable amount of time on my ebike.

I guess my point is, with an ebike, an average guy like me can still get a good workout, it's just a different workout. For me, its a less intense workout for a longer period of time. I like it that way because for me, I get more enjoyment out of the riding side of mtb than I do the fitness side.
 

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My wife will never be as fit as I am. She doesn't have the time or inclination for mid-week rides and commuting to work.

She likes riding with us on weekends though. We like riding with her on weekends as well. Riding the ebike absolutely makes her more fit.

What is hard to understand about this?
Group rides always come at the cost of everyone not having the same ability. You ride with a group, there's downsides. I'm guessing cat 1 racers as mentioned in the original post don't head out with a group of 10 rider's expecting it to be their push day.

Guy in this thread says he can't ride an hour on a regular bike without being useless the rest of the day. But can ride 4 hours on an e-bike and do whatever else he wants the rest of the day. And another statement is they're getting 90 percent the same workout. That's why I usually take these, "making people more fit" comments with a grain of salt.
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Guy in this thread says he can't ride an hour on a regular bike without being useless the rest of the day. But can ride 4 hours on an e-bike and do whatever else he wants the rest of the day. And another statement is they're getting 90 percent the same workout. That's why I usually take these, "making people more fit" comments with a grain of salt.
I'm not going to defend comments other, people made.

Shuttling your bike and riding downhill only is a workout. If your heart rate isn't pegged at 160-180 when you are descending a fast/ flowing trail then maybe you should re-evaluate your technique. There are lots of shuttle-only riders in this area who trash me in terms of fitness.

Riding an ebike is at worst as good a workout as riding shuttle only. There is a lot of evidence that it's a fairly good workout in general.

No, it's not going to make you as fast as riding hard 3-4 times a week, but its a good moderate workout that allows you to hang with the guys who do. So long as you are polite and ride in the back of the pack so they don't kick you out of the group.
 

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I think the slow burn for a longer time period does have fitness advantages over the long haul vs the sprint then crash, but that is just training really. The device under your is not necessarily critical unless you only consider the destination to be riding more right now.

The idea that the poor slobs who are slow but don't choose to e-bike it being left behind is interesting. I am not a slouch fitness wise, but still would be in the medium-slow group in any group ride. I don't really care if it is your legs or a motor keeping you ahead of me, as there will always be someone ahead of me. What would suck is being all alone at the back because everyone else paid a bit more to play.

I also see issues at the front of the pack. There are plenty of folks who can descend faster than climb so can make up for uphill fitness. That is just the averaging out of good riders over the profile of the ride. I can see the e-bike causing a different dynamic where the legs of a good rider are simulated by the motor but the bike handling is still back of the pack level. The fast folks would get real sick of the e-bike getting hung up on anything tech or brake-squealing their way down hill.
 

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I'm not going to defend comments other, people made.

Shuttling your bike and riding downhill only is a workout. If your heart rate isn't pegged at 160-180 when you are descending a fast/ flowing trail then maybe you should re-evaluate your technique. There are lots of shuttle-only riders in this area who trash me in terms of fitness.

Riding an ebike is at worst as good a workout as riding shuttle only. There is a lot of evidence that it's a fairly good workout in general.

No, it's not going to make you as fast as riding hard 3-4 times a week, but its a good moderate workout that allows you to hang with the guys who do. So long as you are polite and ride in the back of the pack so they don't kick you out of the group.
yes
just moving your legs around at minimal wattage is a workout.

there is a lot of stuff an ebike will not get you. but 'base miles'...yeah I can see base miles being had on an ebike. and some upper body if you go for the chunk and don't wimp out on terrain
 

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The idea that the poor slobs who are slow but don't choose to e-bike it being left behind is interesting. I am not a slouch fitness wise, but still would be in the medium-slow group in any group ride. I don't really care if it is your legs or a motor keeping you ahead of me, as there will always be someone ahead of me. What would suck is being all alone at the back because everyone else paid a bit more to play.
I said it above, but worth repeating. If you are on an ebike on a mixed ride, ride in the back of the pack. It's just the polite thing to do. Either that or offer to tow people up long climbs.

There are already people in my riding groups who are eyeballing ebikes because they feel like they are slowing the group down. Passing them up amplifies this feeling. One of my friend was complaining the other day that the only people slower than him were already on ebikes.
 

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They wont ever be at the same fitness due to a range of factors.
That statement came from your original post saying there's unfit riders in the group. No group will ever be the same fitness, that's obvious. Group rides have always been a compromise. But you'll never bridge the gap sitting on a motor that's for sure.
 

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True story... I watched the following unfold over the past 2 years locally.

There's a local ride group that meets every Saturday morning to ride together. Nice bunch of guys, been riding together for a long time, all on human-powered bikes. But one of these fellows had a whopper of a heart attack and is seriously lucky to still be above ground. I believe his heart now has an electronic limiter on it. Anyway this guy (let's call him Sammy) now finds it very hard to keep up with the group, not to mention going all out is dangerous for him. So Sammy buys an ebike.

This was a couple years ago. Suddenly Sammy has no problem riding with the group. All is well. Sammy raves about how fun his ebike is. The other guys ride it. Then Joey buys one. Then Tom. Then Mike.

Fast forward 2 years, they're all on ebikes. Not kidding. Every single one of 'em. This is a true story.

Guess what? Sammy can't keep up with the group any longer. The group is in exactly the same place it was 2 years ago -- everybody just rides faster.

Be careful what you wish for.
=sParty
 

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I also see issues at the front of the pack. There are plenty of folks who can descend faster than climb so can make up for uphill fitness. That is just the averaging out of good riders over the profile of the ride. I can see the e-bike causing a different dynamic where the legs of a good rider are simulated by the motor but the bike handling is still back of the pack level. The fast folks would get real sick of the e-bike getting hung up on anything tech or brake-squealing their way down hill.
it is interesting because I see a similar thing play out in local beginner XC racing, ultra fit roadies crush the smooth uphill stuff, but then lose their advantage on the tech and descents, neither being on e- bikes of course. You just pass the slower people, unless it’s a social ride.
 

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True story... I watched the following unfold over the past 2 years locally.

There's a local ride group that meets every Saturday morning to ride together. Nice bunch of guys, been riding together for a long time, all on human-powered bikes. But one of these fellows had a whopper of a heart attack and is seriously lucky to still be above ground. I believe his heart now has an electronic limiter on it. Anyway this guy (let's call him Sammy) now finds it very hard to keep up with the group, not to mention going all out is dangerous for him. So Sammy buys an ebike.

This was a couple years ago. Suddenly Sammy has no problem riding with the group. All is well. Sammy raves about how fun his ebike is. The other guys ride it. Then Joey buys one. Then Tom. Then Mike.

Fast forward 2 years, they're all on ebikes. Not kidding. Every single one of 'em. This is a true story.

Guess what? Sammy can't keep up with the group any longer. The group is in exactly the same place it was 2 years ago -- everybody just rides faster.

Be careful what you wish for.
=sParty
Sammy just needs to carry 3 extra batteries, juice up that baby with some black market software and put it in turbo mode and let that baby rip.
 

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Please tell me not all 25 riders are going out as the same group at one time. I hate when I'm confronted with super large group rides on my local trails - especially when they're strung out making me wait 5 minutes for them to finally pass. "Just 8 more of us" - great.
 

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That's why for me the ebike is a BETTER workout, or at least it used to be. Like I said in my post, 90 minutes on a regular bike was about all I could handle. On the ebike, I could do 4 hours (I have a spare battery) of bike time, and my heart rate would average in somewhere Zone 4 (80-90% MHR).

Now that my ebike has whipped me into much better shape, I can go longer on my regular bike. Not sure what my max is though, as usually when I'm riding my regular bike it's with other people and they usually want to quit before I get to where I'm feeling like my legs and lungs are done. If I'm by myself on the regular bike, I also usually quit before I'm completely whipped as life just doesn't allow me the luxury of spending a saturday afternoon dead on a couch. Either way I can ride my regular bike for a lot longer now after spending a considerable amount of time on my ebike.

I guess my point is, with an ebike, an average guy like me can still get a good workout, it's just a different workout. For me, its a less intense workout for a longer period of time. I like it that way because for me, I get more enjoyment out of the riding side of mtb than I do the fitness side.
I once spent 20 minutes in a shifter kart on a closed track, pegging my heart rate at 90% for most of that time.

Was this a great workout?

No.
 

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Please tell me not all 25 riders are going out as the same group at one time. I hate when I'm confronted with super large group rides on my local trails - especially when they're strung out making me wait 5 minutes for them to finally pass. "Just 8 more of us" - great.
why wait, just ride.
 

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I did a completely unscientific test not long ago. Rode up and down a big hill on my normal bike, then an e-bike. First ride had a max heart rate of 180, average 161. On the e-bike max was 160 and average 127. I don't know enough about exercise, but I'd have to ride much faster or much longer on the e-bike to get the same workout.
NB. I deliberately rode the e-bike at the same speed as my normal bike.

I understand though. I'm pretty much limited to weekends, but notice a difference if I can squeeze in a midweek ride for a couple of weeks.
Well yeah, but why would you ride the e bike at the same speed as your mtb bike?
Ride it faster and your average heart rate will be maybe 10 lower.

Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk
 

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So....

I have a group of 25 or so dudes I ride with. Fitness level range from unfit guys who ride less than once a week to guys that ride most days. On any given group ride there is usually a 6-10 dudes ranging from unfit, mega fit.

The unfit guys are traditionally punished during the ride as they just dont have the time on the bike to have the fitness to go the average group speed. The fast guys typically are idling along getting a bit annoyed at the slowness of the ride.

Enter the E-bike. The least fittest guys in the group are slowly stepping up to E-bikes. Instantly the unfit guy can easily keep up on the up and flat. The whole group speed increases because the slow guy is now a fast guy up hill.
The slow guy is having a blast because he is not longer in the hurt locker for the whole ride, and he's riding with his fast mates that he can never keep up with traditionally. The fast guy gets to go faster and has more fun. The next result is a more fun ride for everyone.

Well.... the mid pack guy now becomes the slow guy and he enters the hurt locker more. Generally speaking mid pack guy can handle more hurt locker than slow unfit guy.
I see a pattern with you on this issue. So...could you show us on the doll where the bad ebike touched you? 😁
 

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Isn’t everyone in the OP‘s story having more fun? That’s what riding is about, having fun, right?

The trail is for fun and the forum is for asking questions, supporting one another and sense of community… or did I get it wrong. The trail is for gatekeeping and exclusion and the forum is it for complaining, insulting one another, and starting flame wars?
 
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