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How Much Help Do E-Bikes Give Riders?

So, you’re thinking about purchasing an electric bike? It’s a sound investment, but how much help do electric bikes really offer? What are the benefits of splashing out on one, compared to a normal bicycle?

Electric bikes can offer upwards of over 3x the horsepower a human can produce. But, the biggest benefits are how they allow far smoother city-commuting, health benefits, and savings down the line.

It can be hard to gauge for sure how much extra power and aid you’ll receive from an electric bike. There are multiple factors to consider; speed, battery power, motor, and more. Keep reading to get an idea of just how much you can expect from electric bikes!

How Much More Power does an E-Bike Add?

Female baby boomer enjoying e-bike ride

Addressing just how much power an electric bike can provide for the rider is complicated, to say the least. Luckily, there are a few ways we can speculate on this topic and come up with a general idea.

For our first example, we’re going to be using both horsepower and human power. Bear with us here; we might be on to something!

Horsepower vs Humanpower

In this example, we’re going to be comparing the horsepower a person can produce on a conventional bike to the horsepower produced by the wattage of an electric bike’s motor.

On a conventional bicycle, a world-class cyclist going all-out can reach about 0.65 horsepower per hour. On the flip side, the average cyclist can produce about 0.35 horsepower(hp) during a sustained two-hour ride.

A 750watt electric bike motor can produce just over 1 unit of horsepower. Furthermore, a 500watt electric bike motor can produce more horsepower than a world-class cyclist, at about 0.67hp. Even considering low-power electric bike motors, a 250watt motor compares to the average cyclist at 33hp.

So, what does this all add up to? In a perfect world, with ideal circumstances, a 250watt electric bike would be more or less like having a person pedal for you. That being said, this is a rough example and estimate. Many factors could affect these numbers, including range, battery, terrain, weight, and more.


To give you a better idea of our horsepower example and other factors, let’s look at some different electric bikes at different wattage ranges.

The 350W eAhora XC100 (on Amazon) would add about 0.46hp to your 0.35hp. That being said, this is a budget-friendly bike. This bike has a speed range of 18-23mph and a range of 35-50 miles. Keep in mind, the top numbers in these ranges will be in ideal environments. Most likely, you’re going to end up getting around 20mph and a range of about 40 miles. Sure, it’s adding a decent amount of power, but compared to other models, it may be less than substantial.

Now, let’s look at a model from the same company, the 750W RURUI (on Amazon). This bike is adding significantly more horsepower, bringing the combined (motor + cyclist) power to a full 1 horsepower. Additionally, this model boasts top speeds of 28mph and an average range of 55 miles. Those are ideal numbers, and they show that a bike adds a lot of power to the rider. But that’s not the only factor that affects the total horsepower of a bike in motion.” (It’s a segue to the next section.

How Do Electric Bikes Impact Health?

Another way we can find out how much help and power e-bikes can offer riders is by taking a look at some studies. There haven’t been as many studies conducted as you would think, but results from the few that have been done are still promising.

Electric Bikes are Nearly Just as Physically Demanding

In one study, researchers found that although electric bikes felt less physically demanding than a conventional mountain bike, the rider’s heart rate remained about the same compared to riding a traditional mountain bike.

This study was conducted on a 6-mile trail. The riders would ride the trail using both a conventional and electric mountain bike while wearing a heart rate monitor and activity tracking watch. The riders would then give their opinions on the ride after completion.

Although the electric bikes allowed the riders to complete the trail at a higher speed and were less physically demanding, the results were about the same. Now, this study isn’t conclusive and doesn’t prove a tremendous amount. But what it does show is that electric bikes could potentially allow you to get the same amount of exercise while feeling less physically exhausted.

E-Bikes Can Help Sedentary Individuals

Family With Child In Trailer Riding Mountain Bikes

Another study found similar results to the one above. This study compared the physical expenditure of walking, bicycles, and electric bikes using a multitude of tests. They used these conclusions to say electric bikes may be able to be used by less active individuals as a gateway into more active forms of transportation.

It’s no surprise electric bikes offer more help compared to conventional bicycles. That being said, in this study, the heart rate of riders going downhill and on flat ground was much the same for e-bikes and traditional bicycles. Electric bikes really helped out when going uphill, where riders experienced a 10 point difference in heart rate.

For some age groups, that 10 point difference in heart rate can be the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Otherwise, this is the difference between 70-80% effort and 80-90%.

The study also found e-bikes require 24% to 64% less total energy expenditure compared to walking and traditional bicycles. This energy expenditure was more pronounced going uphill, as mentioned earlier. It seems electric bikes shine in rougher terrains when you can get the most out of the motor.

Keep in mind; this study used electric bikes with the max level of pedal assist. This means with a lower level of pedal-assist, you may receive less power from electric bikes and therefore expend more energy. That being said, e-bikes are a great way for riders to get more physical activity and make their commutes more smooth.

What Can an E-Bike Offer that a Normal Bike Can’t?

Electric bikes have many unique advantages compared to traditional bicycles. They serve many different purposes and functions. Let’s break down some of the things electric bikes can offer that plain old bicycles can’t.

More Power

Due to the motor, battery, and pedal-assist system, electric bikes offer significantly more power than just human-powered bicycles can produce. As mentioned above, multiple factors affect speed and power other than horsepower and wattage. But even considering that, e-bikes have humans beat in the horsepower department.

This added power aids riders in countless different scenarios. One of those scenarios might be commuting in busy cities. The extra power from the electrical components can allow the rider to pass cars and merge lanes with ease. This could even lead electric bikes to be safer than conventional bicycles, but we can’t say for sure just yet.

Throttle Capabilities

Electric bikes can come with throttle options. These throttle options allow e-bikes to cruise at 20mph with no assistance from the rider. Sure, it drains the battery, but being able to flow without any work is impossible on a conventional bicycle unless they’re going downhill.

For example, let’s say you had to travel 10 miles. On a non-electric bicycle, if you were going at a decent pace of 16mph, you would reach your destination in 37 minutes. Now, if you traveled that same distance using only the throttle of an electric bike, it would take you 30 minutes. That doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it is.

Cycling for 37 minutes without any motor assistance is going to be time-consuming, energy-draining, and sweat-inducing. Not to mention, you have to make the same trip coming back. Cruising for 30 minutes is going to be a relaxing and enjoyable ride.

Longer Range

Electric bikes can extend the range or even replace the range of the average cyclist on a traditional bicycle. The average cyclist can ride anywhere from 40 to 65 miles per day.

Nowadays, electric bikes have an average range per charge of 30-40 miles. That’s lower than the average cyclist, but if you combine them, you have long-distance travel.

Not to mention, the average range of 30-40 miles is for entry-level bikes. You can find electric bikes with ranges up to 85-100 miles that aren’t in the luxury category. That means the range of a single charge on these electric bikes completely surpasses the average person.

Uphill Help

As mentioned earlier in the studies, electric bikes help out significantly when it comes to uphill climbs and rough terrain. This will be beneficial for everyone who rides, from beginners to veteran riders.

Compared to traditional bicycles, riders going uphill on an e-bike had a lower average heart rate by 10 points. A 10 point lower average is significant enough to ensure the rider isn’t spent after a ride whilst ensuring they are still getting good exercise.

This support going uphill also allows riders to tackle areas they may once have rejected going through, due to severe inclines. This can help riders explore new and beautiful parts of their surrounding area, stress-free.

Similar Health Benefits

You may have had this thought when considering e-bikes, “doesn’t that defeat the purpose?” Well, actually, it doesn’t. As mentioned earlier, studies found e-bikes have similar health benefits when compared to traditional bicycles.

These similar health benefits mean that even though riding an e-bike may feel more accessible, you’re still getting a good amount of exercise. This means riders can experience health benefits while having more fun and feeling less strained. These benefits can encourage individuals to exercise more and become healthier than beforehand.


With e-bikes, you get added versatility you may not have received with a traditional bicycle. Electric bikes can travel uphill, commute through the city, and more. Sure, bicycles can have similar advantages, but you may need a mountain bike for some cases where you could substitute an e-bike and have the same results.

Additionally, with the added electrical components, there’s a lot of mixing and matching that can take place. This can be extremely fun and rewarding for some individuals. Not to mention, the mechanical skills you may gain from tinkering with your bike can be greatly beneficial in the long run.

Cost-Saving Benefits

With a bicycle, you may not be able to travel as far as you could on an e-bike. This limited range makes bikes a less viable option for long-distance commuting. E-bikes, on the other hand, can avoid this problem. Yes, you still have to pay to charge an e-bike, but they can save you huge amounts down the line.

Swapping out your car, or other transportation methods, for an electric bike could save you precious amounts of income. Sometimes, this could even save you thousands of dollars, depending on how often you travel. This makes purchasing an electric bike an insanely good investment for many.

So What’s The Verdict?

It can be hard to say precisely how much help electric bikes provide the rider. That being said, electric bikes offer more horsepower, require less energy expenditure, and come with a load of benefits compared to ordinary bicycles.

If you’re considering purchasing an electric bike, you will undoubtedly benefit from it. From the added power, savings down the line, health benefits, and more, you won’t regret your decision!