Bicycle with pedal support gives more freedom

More bicycles with pedal assistance, better known as e-bikes, are still being sold in the Netherlands every year. The sale of ordinary bicycles has been falling for years. The e-bike is ideal for people with health problems, for example. Motor support gives this group the opportunity to cycle.

In addition, there is an ever-larger group without physical complaints that opts for the convenience of the eBike, despite the fact that support may be less necessary. What does this mean for health?

Choose support yourself

With most electric bicycles, the support level can be adjusted as desired, increasing from light support (eco position) to maximum support (pedal motor provides almost all power). In addition, most electric bicycles nowadays have a ‘pedal sensor’ that measures whether additional support should be provided by the engine, for example if there is a strong headwind.

Maximum stair support

However, the assistance of the pedal motor is not used correctly by everyone. Despite the fact that circumstances do not demand it, many people cycle permanently in the highest support position. It is, of course, comfortable to let the engine do the work, so you hardly have to pedal yourself. However, apart from the fact that this way of cycling results in a smaller operating radius, there are some important disadvantages for the driver.

Physical health

First of all, it is of course better for health to provide more power instead of the engine. In the eco mode, considerably more energy is required from the driver, so that more calories are burned. This is definitely recommended for people who have difficulty getting the daily recommended amount of exercise. With maximum support, the bicycle is used more as an electric scooter, with little or no physical effort being done. It is no problem to use this function temporarily if circumstances require. However, permanent cycling with the highest level of support is not recommended.


The highest support position is also not recommended for driver safety reasons. The number of accidents with electric bicycles has been increasing in recent years. The precise cause of this is still unclear, but it is well known that many e-bikes with front-wheel drive cause problems for the driver. With maximum support, the bike accelerates extra fast and people have the feeling of being pulled forward, which requires more agility and a quick response.

Tips for the battery

The highest support position is also disadvantageous for the ‘health’ of the battery. On average, the battery only needs to be replaced after 5 years, since the battery has lost a large part of its original capacity by that time. However, with intensive use of the battery due to maximum load, this wear process is accelerated. Fortunately, nowadays there are a few companies in the Netherlands that overhaul bicycle batteries, so there is no need to purchase a completely new battery.

Although it is wise to regularly request a little less help from the engine, it is of course not always desirable. With physical limitations or severe circumstances it is necessary to get a little more support. However, with a view to health, it is advisable to step along as much as possible yourself and therefore to opt for the eco mode more often.

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