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On your marks, forget-sweat, go! Study proves e-bikers sweat 2/3rds less than regular bikers

This year’s hot European summer gave many people the chance to exercise outdoors, or change their commute from a journey in a train to a speedy cycle to work. However, with exercise comes a downside: sweat. Dark patches, a whiffy wardrobe or clammy areas are just a few factors that can turn a cycle trip to work into a commuter conundrum. Even with showers at the office, there is the hassle of lugging active-wear and work attire in a bag, as well as the awkward airing out of pungent garments.

To reveal just how beneficial e-bikes can be to those looking for a sweat-free cycle commute we commissioned some scientists to study the differences. We looked at the difference in the sweat produced between a rider on an e-bike and regular bike, as well as the differing levels of exertion experienced during an average cycling commute in a European city.

We asked six participants to ride for 30 minutes in a heat chamber set to 28ºc, once on a SHIMANO STEPS E6100 powered e-Bike and once on a regular bike. Their heart rate, core body temperature, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), power output and sweat volume, measured by pre-and post-weight, were recorded.


 

The headlines were quite surprising! We found that:

• Participants on the e-bike sweated 3.1 times (350ml) less than on the regular bike
• Participants on the e-bike had an average finishing heart rate 63 beats lower than the regular bike.
• Participants on the regular bike had a core body temperature rise of 0.9ºc more than on the e-bike (37.5ºC for the e-bikers vs 38.4ºC for the regular bikers)

As well as that, following the e-bike test, participants showed little or no sweat patches on their clothing, as well as a low level of physiological stress. Whereas after the regular bike test, participants had drenched clothing due to a large sweat volume and a high exertion rate.

Above all, in the RPE scores, participants ranked the e-bike as 1.6 (‘light to easy’) whilst those on the regular bike scored their experience 4.1, classed as ‘hard’.


Of course the results need to be taken in context because we’re not always cycling in a 28ºc heat chamber but the findings can still be applied to the journeys many people make by bike.

Overall we proved that bikes with our SHIMANO STEPS E6100 components provide a practical way of keeping up your cycle commute, arriving at work far less hot, sweaty and tired, whilst still achieving the physical and mental benefits of exercising, and avoiding the stresses of public transport.

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