Think e-bikes are cheating? Think again
Local charity Life Cycle has been supporting Bristol residents to cycle for many years, teaching them the skills and confidence they need to get cycling. In a move to help even more people get on bikes, Life Cycle teamed up with researchers from the University of Bristol to explore the benefits of electric bikes (also known as e-bikes).
The NIHR-funded research study, called PEDAL, enabled 18 people with type-2 diabetes to try an electric bike for several months. The participants generally became fitter, and a number of people lost weight – in some cases several kilos. But the best result was that the participants were extremely positive about the experience of e-cycling and 14 purchased their bikes at the end of the study.
The results were so encouraging, that the University commissioned a video in which two participants tell how the e-bikes changed their lives.
Poppy Brett, CEO of Life Cycle, said: "Lots of people have the impression that using an e-bike is 'cheating'. What this study has shown is that e-bikes have as many health benefits as push bikes. The advantage of an e-bike is that people can cycle further for longer, tackle hills that they might have avoided otherwise and can get as much exercise as someone on a push bike."
Ashley Cooper, Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health from the from the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, commented: "This was a small study, but we are excited by the results and will be looking to do further research next year into the benefits of e-cycling for people affected by type-2 diabetes. Anyone with the condition who is interested in taking part in a future trial should email firstname.lastname@example.org."