Everybody knows riding a bike is a great way to burn some calories. It is also fantastic to boost leg muscle strength, while also protecting the joints. You’d really have no issues burning calories on a traditional bike. But, what about an e-bike? They have pedal assist, after all. Does this shake things up? How many calories can you burn riding an e-bike?
Several different factors can influence how many calories are burned riding an e-bike. Most experts suggest that you burn around 200-300 calories per hour riding an e-bike. However, this number may be higher or lower depending on the speed the cyclist is traveling at, as well as the level of pedal assist they have the bike set to.
On this page, we’re going to take a deep dive into the factors that can influence the number of calories burned riding an e-bike. We’ll also look at how you can boost the calorie burn rate, which can be incredibly important information for those who are cycling to lose weight.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Riding an Ebike?
We’re not going to lie and tell you that you’ll burn the same number of calories riding an e-bike as you would a traditional bike. You won’t. However, we think the number of calories that you do burn hopping onto an e-bike will surprise you. Let’s explain.
The Average Number of Calories Burned on an Ebike
As we said before – the average number of calories burned per hour riding an e-bike will sit around the 200-300 calorie mark. This is a little bit below the number of calories you would burn on a traditional bike. That would be somewhere between 350-1,000, depending on the speed and challenge of the ride.
As we’ll discuss shortly – there are several factors that will influence the number of calories burned riding an e-bike. The pedal assist will be the big one here. The 200-300 calorie mark is under the assumption that you have a mild to low-medium pedal assist setting. The more you crank that setting up, the fewer calories you will burn. It isn’t uncommon for somebody on the highest pedal assist setting to burn around 70-90 calories which is good, but not especially high.
Factors That Determine Calories Burned
There are a few things that will impact how many calories you burn while on an e-bike:
- The pedal assist settings.
- Your height, weight, and sex.
- The location you’re cycling in.
- How fast you go.
Your Pedal Assist Settings
As we said – your pedal assist settings are going to be the primary influence on how many calories you burn while riding an e-bike.
The more pedal assist you have, the fewer calories burned. After all, while you’re still going to be pedaling, you just won’t need to pedal anywhere near as hard with a high pedal assist. Less effort always expends fewer calories.
Your Vital Stats
Who you are will impact how many calories you burn:
- Males burn more calories than females during physical exercise.
- The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn while riding an e-bike.
- Taller people will burn more calories while riding an e-bike.
This is pretty simple stuff. This is going to apply not just to e-bike rides, but every form of physical exercise that you ever do.
One point to note here, though. If you are cycling to lose weight, you should remember that as the extra pounds start to fall off, you’ll be burning fewer calories. This means that your weight loss should be pretty fast at the start, and we are talking several pounds burned per week if you are very much on the heavier side of things. However, as your weight starts to become a bit more normalized, the amount of weight you shift per week will start to drop, sometimes rather drastically. Don’t worry about this. It is perfectly normal!
The Cycling Route
Your cycling route will play a major role in the number of calories that you burn while you’re on that ebike.
A hill-laden course (particularly steep ones), is going to give you more of a workout than if you were cycling on a completely flat surface.
An off-road course will be tougher to navigate, and you’ll burn more calories than if you were cycling on the road. The tougher the off-roading section is, the more calories you’ll be burning.
You should also consider how many times you stop. Calories burn faster when your heart rate is kept elevated. Each time you stop, you’re slowing down the calorie-burning process. So, if you find that your cycling is tiring you out quickly, work on reducing effort to keep stops to a minimum.
The Cycling Speed
The faster you cycle, the more calories you’ll be burning. This is because faster cycling requires more effort (normally because things get a bit odd if you have a high pedal assist setting on your ebike).
Once again, you’ll need to be traveling at a speed that you can maintain. We recommend that you look into your cadence (the number of times you spin the pedals per minute). This should be between 80 – 100rpm. If you haven’t been cycling for long, it may take you a while to hit this sort of speed. Feel free to turn the pedal assist settings up until you get there.
How to Increase the Number of Calories Burned on an EBike
So, now you know (roughly) how many calories you will burn on an e-bike, and you have a rough idea of the factors that will influence how many calories you’ll be burning. So, what do you say? Should we give you a few tips that will boost the number of calories you burn while you are on that e-bike? Great! Then we shall:
- Always keep the pedal assist settings as low as possible. Of course, feel free to use the pedal assist settings if you are feeling tired or going through a particularly tricky route (e.g. uphill), but don’t rely on the highest setting on your bike. Most people should stick to the low to mid pedal assist setting level.
- If you’re riding to lose weight, ensure that the route is somewhat challenging. As we said – hilly and off-road routes are going to burn more calories than flat sections of road.
- Work on your pedaling cadence. This is how often you spin the pedals. Aim for around 80 to 100 rpm. This will give you a decent amount of speed while also ensuring that you don’t get tired. Even the top athletes will be cycling at this speed (unless they are doing the zippier sections of their race). They can just cycle faster as there is more power behind their legs.
- Practice HIIT – this is where you’ll be cycling at a normal speed for 3-5 minutes, do a burst of speed where you’re working as hard as you can for 30 seconds before you go back to a normal speed. You just keep repeating this process. If you do that, over time you’ll find that your legs get stronger. As they do, you’ll be able to cycle faster and for longer periods of time. Both of these will influence the number of calories burned.
Final Thoughts – Is It Worth Riding an EBike for Fitness?
While you are not going to be burning as many calories on an e-bike as you would on a more traditional bike, you will be burning calories. In fact, if you keep the pedal assist settings as low as possible, you may end up burning a rather respectful 200-300 calories per hour (you’ll burn less the more pedal assist you have). Overall, you may find that you end up burning more calories on an e-bike than you would on a traditional bike. This is because an e-bike, by way of the pedal assist settings, will allow you to cycle for longer periods of time.
So, if you are umming and ahhing about getting an e-bike for fitness, we highly recommend that you do. If you use it correctly, and you plan your routes properly, you’ll be burning off those calories rather quickly. It is a wise investment.