How Many Calories Do You Burn on an Electric Bike?

An electric bike allows the rider to pedal with the help of some added electrical assistance. This feature allows the rider to ride for prolonged periods, reach faster speeds, and cover more distance.

Many people assume that riding an electric bike is the same as riding a motorcycle; however, this is not true. Unlike a motorcycle, an electric bike depends on the rider’s pedaling, which helps them burn calories.

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How Many Calories Do You Burn on an Electric Bike?

An electric bike’s design and concept have been inspired by the traditional bicycles the world has used for decades. Hence, an electric bike shares many similarities with traditional bikes.

The misconceptions and false assumptions regarding an electric bike’s purpose and functionality exist worldwide.

Many fitness enthusiasts tend to stay away from electric bikes, worried that e-bikes will hinder their workouts.

According to sports physicians, riding an electric bike for one hour burns approximately 300 calories. However, many factors affect the calories burned. These include:

  • The rider’s usage of the electrical/pedal-assistance
  • The selected assistance level
  • How fast a rider pedals
  • The riding terrain
  • The person’s metabolism and physical health
  • The electric bike’s condition

It is crucial to understand how electric bikes work to assess their effects on their health. Continue reading the article to better understand whether e-bike riding is the best workout for you or not.

Read Why Electric Bikes Are So Expensive?

How Do Electric Bikes Work?

An electric bike has many electrical components that allow it to gain mobility and speed. The electric bike’s most integral and sensitive component is its battery.

The e-bike battery acts as a fuel tank, storing electric charge.

Apart from the battery, the e-bike has an electrical motor, pedal sensors, electrical wiring, and an LCD screen. The electrical components come in different qualities and have different limitations.

When a rider starts pedaling an electric bike, the pedal-sensors sense the motion and automatically turn on the electric motor.

The motor takes the stored electric charge from the battery and converts it to kinetic energy.

The electrical transmitter in the electric bike allows the kinetic energy to be transmitted to the e-bike’s tires.

When coupled with the rider’s pedaling, the added kinetic energy increases the e-bike’s speed and helps cover more distance.

Once the battery is fully discharged, it needs to be connected to a charging source. Without an extended battery range or sufficient battery charging, the e-bike rider will not be able to make it too far.

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How is an Electric Bike Similar to Traditional Bikes?

Like traditional bikes, an electric bike also needs to be pedaled to gain mobility. Moreover, pedaling faster allows both kinds of bikes to gain mobility.

Both types of bikes require physical exertion from the rider, and hence both lead to calories being burned.

Furthermore, an electric bike is very similar to a traditional bike. Both have an adjustable seat, handlebars, two tires, and a robust frame.

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How is an Electric Bike Different from Traditional Bikes?

Although electric bikes and traditional bikes share similar design blueprints, the electric bike’s technological edge makes it superior.

The various components give an electric bike a significantly higher market price.

Unlike traditional bikes, an electric bike can store energy and offer electrical assistance to its rider. This assistance allows the rider to cover greater distances over shorter durations.

Read How to Charge an Electric Bike Battery at Home?

Comparison Between Calories Burnt from Riding an E-Bike Vs Conventional Workouts

Riding an Electric Bike Vs Traditional Bike: Which Burns More Calories?

The electrical assistance provided by electric bikes requires lesser strenuous pedaling, limiting the damage to a person’s joints.

This feature allows people of all ages and physical health to benefit from a bike-riding workout.

However, traditional bikes are better when you’re trying to lose weight quickly. They require greater physical effort and more consistent pedaling.

Hence, one loses more calories using a traditional bike as opposed to an electric bike.

The table below demonstrates the difference in calories burnt using an electric bike compared to a regular bike. The figures are calculated for a rider weighing 82kgs, who rides for 2 hours on flat terrains.

Bike TypeAverage Speed (miles per hour)Calories burnt after 15 minutesCalories burnt after 30 minutesCalories burnt after 45 minutesCalories burnt after 60 minutesCalories burntafter120 minutesTotal Calories Burnt
Electric Bike20601201852404201025
Traditional Bike151903855807708302755

As suggested by the table above, riding a traditional bike for two hours burned 1730 more calories than riding an e-bike.

These figures and results will vary according to the rider, their speed, and many other factors.

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Riding an ElectricBike Vs Mountain Bike: Which Burns More Calories?

Mountain bikes have been loved globally by adventure seekers for many decades. A rider can ride at high speeds, ride over rough terrains, and make high jumps.

Despite the many dangers, the global mountain biking community is ever increasing.

Riding a mountain bike is an extreme sport that requires excellent physical fitness and stamina. Riders have to pedal variously to maintain high speeds in such terrains.

Moreover, a mountain biking trail can be uneven, with several steep slopes. Riding up a steep slope requires great physical strength and burns far more calories.

On the other hand, riding an electric bike with the added electrical assistance requires lesser pedaling.

Even though the rider still has to pedal, the physical effort needed is not close to what mountain biking requires.

Moreover, most electric bikes are designed for flatter surfaces. Riding them on arduous mountain biking trails will damage their electrical components and reduce their range significantly.

Riding an electric mountain bike will allow the rider to go up steep slopes and over rough terrains. However, a traditional mountain bike will definitely burn more calories than an electric mountain bike.

The table below demonstrates the results gathered from a 2017 study. The results show the difference in calories burned using an electric mountain bike compared to a regular mountain bike.

The figures are calculated for riders riding a singletrack 5.5-mile loop, with a 5% inclination over a one-mile block.

Bike TypeAverage Speed for the Entire Loop (miles per hour)Average Heart Rate (beats per minute)Calories Burnt After Completing the Loop
Electric Mountain Bike15135320
Traditional Mountain Bike10158600

The results from the table show that the average speed of the electric mountain bike was 50% faster than a traditional mountain bike.

EMTB riders could benefit from the added electrical assistance and did not get tired quickly.

Moreover, the less physical exertion of EMTB riders resulted in a lower average heart rate. EMTB riders had 23 fewer heartbeats per minute than traditional mountain bike riders.

Furthermore, the table proves how riding a traditional mountain bike is almost twice as effective for losing weight compared to electric mountain bikes.

Traditional mountain bike riders burned 280 more calories.

Read Do Electric Bikes Need To Be Registered?

Riding an Electric Bike Vs Walking: Which Burns More Calories?

An electric bike is an expensive purchase. It could cost anywhere between 1000 to 10,000 USD. Hence, not everyone can enjoy the luxury of riding an electric bike.

Individuals who do not have the means to afford a traditional or electric bike can lose calories by just walking to wherever they want to go.

Brisk walking for prolonged periods can lead to a significant number of calories being burned.

However, the total number of calories burnt from walking would depend on many factors. The speed, the duration, the distance covered, and the person’s weight will affect the total calories burnt.

According to studies, riding an electric bike for an hour will burn the same amount of calories as light jogging. The average per-hour calories burned from both activities would roughly be 300 to 400 calories.

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Riding an Electric Bike Vs Horse Riding: Which Burns More Calories?

Owning an electric bike or a horse is an expensive choice. Both activities pose threats to their riders and need proper training.

Riding a horse for prolonged periods requires the rider to put in a lot of physical effort. However, the required physical effort required depends on many things.

First of all, if the rider rides the horse mostly in a trot, they will burn more calories. Galloping will burn the least number of calories, and not much effort is required from the rider.

Moreover, the calories burned will depend on the speed of the horse and the total riding duration. Sometimes, some horses are harder to control, and more physical effort goes into riding that horse.

The table below demonstrates the difference in calories burned riding an electric bike compared to riding a horse. The figures are calculated for a rider weighing 82kgs, who rides a trotting horse for 2 hours.

Bike TypeAverage Speed (miles per hour)Calories burnt after 15 minutesCalories burnt after 30 minutesCalories burnt after 45 minutesCalories burnt after 60 minutesCalories burnt after 120 minutesTotal Calories Burnt
Electric Bike20601201852404201045
Horse Riding12701382102804351133

According to the results shown in the table, riding a trotting horse burns 88 more calories than riding an electric bike.

However, due to the minor calorie difference, an electric bike is a better investment than a horse, especially if you’re looking to lose weight.

This is because, unlike a horse, an electric bike comes with a warranty. Moreover, many American states do not allow horses on the roads. Hence, a horse will not be a feasible form of everyday transport.

Read How Heavy is an Electric Bike?

TheFactors Affecting the Calories Burned from Riding an Electric Bike

The Rider’s Use of the Electrical/Pedal Assistance

Electric bikes help their riders pedal by offering electrical assistance. When a rider starts pedaling, the sensor automatically turns the motor on.

The motor uses the battery’s charge to create kinetic energy to assist the pedaling motion.

The rider does not have to exert as much physical effort with the added electrical assistance. Instead, they can enjoy a leisurely ride around town with low effort and high speeds.

Hence, with increased dependability on the e-bike’s electrical assistance, the rider does not have to do much work. Consequently, fewer calories are burned.

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The Selected Assistance Level

Most pedal-assist electric bikes come with different electrical assistance levels. Each level offers different amounts of electrical assistance.

The higher the level, the more the speed, and the lesser the rider has to pedal.

Most electric bikes allow the rider to choose their assistance level. One should ride the bike at the lowest assistance level to burn the maximum calories.

The table below shows a Bosch electric bike’s different assistance modes and their respective electrical assistance. These figures have been recorded on flat surface rides and vary on rougher terrains.

Bosch Electrical Assistance ModesThe Added Electrical Power Assistance (%)

Read How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Bike

How Fast a RiderPedals

Riding on low levels of electrical assistance and pedaling faster is a great cardio workout. The faster a rider pedals for longer durations, the more calories are burned.

The Riding Terrain

Riding an electric bike over steeper slopes while using low electrical assistance will require great physical exertion. The steeper a slope, the more calories the rider will burn.

The Rider’s Metabolism and Physical Health

Some individuals naturally have a higher metabolic rate that allows their fat cells to break down and dissolve more quickly. Individuals with faster metabolisms burn more calories than people with low metabolic rates.

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The Electric Bike’s Condition

Riding an electric bike with poor, worn-out tires would require greater physical effort. Moreover, riding the e-bike on a low battery charging would make the rider pedal more. As a result, the person will burn more calories.

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Final Thoughts

An electric bike is a great investment that helps with a person’s everyday commute while keeping them fit. Although an electric bike requires lesser physical exertion than a traditional bike, it can still burn around 300 calories in an hour.