Can You Get Fit From Riding An E-Bike?

– E-bikes. Lots of people have already
turned this video off having heard me utter those words because if the comments here
on GCN are anything to go by they are a rather controversial subject. I think it’s hard to
argue with their benefits to commuters who want to save some money and arrive to work not dripping in sweat. To people who want to be a bit more environmentally friendly
when they do the school run or want to go shopping. But are they any good for
recreational cyclists, like me? (intense musical buildup) This is Dan Lloyd. He’s an ex-professional cyclist who has, I didn’t want to say
this in front of him but, well you’ve let yourself
go a bit, haven’t you? You haven’t put much weight on but you’re starting to develop a
little bit of a beer belly. In fact, turn to the
side, show the viewers. Breathe out, relax a bit, see. Oh it’s not huge but I
think it still looks stupid doesn’t it on those
gangly, long, skinny legs. Anyway in the fitness department, he’s really let himself go. So the question we are gonna
try and answer today is, can Dan get fit quick? Literally. Can Dan get fit on the e-bike? I’m going to find out by taking
an e-bike out for a ride. We’re starting this morning in Shaftesbury and heading out on a 46 kilometer route. So, just under 30 miles. Incorporating as many as
my old training climbs that I could fit in over that distance. Giving a total of 750
meters of elevation gain. Yes this video has been
made with the help of Pinarello and Fazua. The power of data doesn’t lie. Or you could make it lie but
I’m not going to do that. On the ride I’m going to be
wearing a heart race strap and using a pedal based power meter, see just how hard I have to work, even when I’m getting a
little help from my friend. And please allow me to
introduce you to my friend. Viewers, this is Nytro, Pinarello Nytro. And Nytro, these are our lovely viewers. Although, unfortunately some
of them already hate you. Don’t worry though because
some of them hate me. What’s that? I know that’s hard to believe. I always think that, yeah. Anyway, let me tell the
viewers a little bit about you before we get going. So viewers, this is Nytro. Pinarello’s first ever e-bike. And as you expect from Pinarello, a gun-in at the top-end. Nytro is a premium e-bike and we’ve literally just
taken delivery of her. She’s got a full Shimano
Ultegra Mechanical Groupset. 160 millimeter flat mount disc brakes and clearance of up to
28 millimeter tires. And she’s fast, not because of me. Obviously not because of me but rather because of
what’s hidden under her metaphorical bonnet or hert. And I’m gonna give you all the
details about that later on but first of all, I want to ride Nytro. Sounds a bit wrong actually, doesn’t it? (upbeat music) The first part of my
route comes pretty quickly after the start. It’s called Spread Eagle. Now as you all know I don’t
have to blow my own trumpet but, well, I am the current Strava
KOM leader of that kind. So it’s gonna be interesting to see if I can beat my time from six years ago. If I do, I’ll flag you obviously. I have to say though,
I’m pretty confident. The Fazua Evation Drive
System in the Nytro gives you back up to 250%
more than you put in. So if I’m riding at just 150 watts it’s going to give back 375. That’s a total of 525 watts and given that I’m currently 72 kilograms, that’s 7.3 watts per kilo. I normally hate this climb of this straight, steep main road beast but I’m quite enjoying it today. (lively guitar music) The climb I’m on now, I’ve used many, many times in training. It’s called Zig Zag, for easily obvious reasons. But I wanted to begin
the KOM with this one even though I’m cheating. Because the current KOM holder is the Zwift racing legend Kim Little, and he averaged 26 K’s per hour up here. Unfortunately, my motor cuts out at 25. Which means that on the rare flat sections of the route I’ve
designed for myself today, I’m not getting any assistance at all. So, I’m currently doing 32 K’s per hour for a power of around 220 watts. What I have already noticed though is that while I’m on a false flat if I look down and I’m
doing 26 K’s per hour, after even saw that, slow down slightly and get some help. Anyway, as I continue on my ride I’m gonna hand you back
to casual clothed Dan who is gonna explain a
bit more about the motor and the mechanics inside this bike. Longer term viewers may well remember that about two and a half years ago Si and I did ride a bike
with a hidden motor. Although, it was quite primitive and things have come a hell
of a long way since then. So the Pinarello Nytro here utilizes Fazua’s Evation Modular Drive Sytsem. Which is the most compact and lightest currently on the market. In fact, it’s won them a whole host of design and innovation awards. It’s got four different modes. Off, which means of course
you have no assistance at all. Breeze mode, which gives
you up to 125 watts. River mode, up to 250 watts. And up to a whopping 400 watts
if you choose rocket mode. And I reckon that’s what pretty what Dan’s using on the climbs today. I gladly love rocket mode. The whole system is controlled by a remote that’s up here on the bars,
that has 10 LED lights which gradually go out
as battery life reduces and which change color depending
on what mode you are using. The whole drive system
weighs in at 4.6 kilograms which means that this bike,
supplied to us by Pinarello, like this, comes in at 13.5 kilograms. Now unlike that previous spot
we used the hidden motor, the battery here is not located in a bustle on a bustle cage, but instead rather neatly integrated here into the down tube. And in fact if you decide that
you want to go out for a ride without any assistance at all
you can simply remove that and replace it with a
cover supplied by Pinarello with the bike. That will take this down to
roughly 10 and a half kilograms. Now it’s not just the motor
and the battery that Fazua have been developing over
the last couple of years. They’ve also now come
out with their own app. That will collect all
your ride data for ya allowing you to navigate
using GPS, give you more accurate look at your battery life plus a whole host of other functions too. Right, I think we should
check back in with Dan, see how he’s getting on in his ride. (upbeat music) The last part of the day now, This is Mill Street. Horribly steep and straight
climb that I normally hate. I’m still working one five five heart rate about 350 watts from my legs and presumably a 30 more from the motor. I’m already almost to
the top, look at that. I’ll tell you what, it’s easier if you’ve got assistance cause you still put an effort in it feels like you’re
just doing it yourself. If I turn this off, yeah. Now it feels like I’ve
got the brakes on, oh wow! That is horrific. (breathing heavily) Right, I think rocket mode
might be coming back on. That is incredible. (relaxing music) Alright, pretty much back now. Warm down complete. Still at 50% battery life left actually and according to my Wahoo I
have done 840 meter climbing. That’s pretty good. I’m hungry though. I’m tired. Not as tired as I would have
been had I done that ride on a standard bike admittedly. But, I feel like I’ve earned a beer which is obviously the main thing. As we go through the all
important stats from the ride. So, total distance 46.7 kilometers, one hour and 36 minutes, 29.3 kilometers an hour the average speed. And a lot of climbing, 842
meters total climbing in the end. The all important stat
is though, well firstly, let’s have a look at the power. The average power was 184 watts and normalized power 217 which rather depressingly is
not a lot more than I used to do on my recovery rides. But it did feel quite hard and that is showing with my heart rate, at 149 average heart rate which
for me is reasonably hard. The really depressing news is
that I didn’t get that KOM. In fact, I missed it by four seconds. I was four seconds slower
than six years ago. Even with all that
assistance from an e-bike. I really do need to get fit. So, what can we conclude from today then? Well, I was still pedaling as
normal of course in the flat and the downhills where I could. I was still pressing on the climb, I was just going a little bit
faster than I would have been under normal circumstances. So, I definitely did get a
workout from today and therefore, I would have gotten some kind
of training effect today. And therefore, any
conclusion that we can make is that, yes, I could get
fit by riding an e-bike. Whether or not I could still
justify using an e-bike once I had got fit is a different matter. To be fair, where I live now,
the roads are pretty flat so the motor wouldn’t be
kicking in much anyway but on hillier rides, well
they’re as much about enjoyment as getting fit, aren’t they? And it was plenty
enjoyable to get up climbs at the same sort of speed that I used to. What I am adamant about though, is the e-bikes like Nytro
should not be hated. They sort of level the playing field and allow slower riders to
keep up with faster riders and you could be slow for
all number of reasons. You might be particularly heavy for some reason at the moment. You might be getting on in years. You might be just generally unfit or you might can have
a disability or ailment which is slowing you down. That assistance will
allow you to keep up with a family member or friend or group ride that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to and whilst doing that you
will be getting fitter. If you use that assistance to drop them, that might not go down quite so well. Right, we would as ever love
to hear your views on e-bikes, both good and bad. Do you hate it when an e-bike
comes past you on a climb and if so, why? It’s got a motor inside it. On the other hand if an e-bike
has changed your cycling life for the good or even your general life, we would love to hear from you too. As ever, you can leave all your thoughts and stories in the comment
section just down below. In the mean time, if you would
like to watch another video we have got the latest
edition of The GCN Show just down here.