THE BURNING QUESTION, which after months of pretty much just riding eBikes, needs to be answered. I’ve seen it asked a lot around the eBike groups and have also had the comments on my own posts that, ”It will make you lazy”. Comments like this tend to come from people who have never experienced or don’t understand our love of the electric steed, but it got inside my head that my fitness could be affected.

Could it?

Well, I’ve been riding the Haibike’s weekly since October, at least twice per week and had not sat on a normal bike much in that space of time. I’ve been having so much fun on the SDURO and the XDURO that I had neglected to do so.

Does an ebike improve your fitness or make you lazy? Dave Miller puts a bike through its paces

I’ve been riding a lot for the past few years since getting rid of the evil habit that is smoking and have got my fitness level to a standard for me which I’ve been really pleased with. Being able to do a 20 mile ride at a good pace, when before I couldn’t have done half that, is great, and I noticed a change for the better on every ride.

Over Xmas I went to Leeds Urban bike park with my bro on a normal bike and I struggled big time with the climb out of the valley. I actually got off and walked for a bit, which is something I’ve not done in a while. This has me questioning the fitness /eBike debacle even more.

Today I went for a 20 miler on my normal bike with a mate and smashed it out at a fair old pace. Didn’t struggle on the climbs, didn’t have an energy bonk or any issues whatsoever, I would even say that I was riding quicker and with more agility. I felt as good as I did on any summer ride prior to my working with Haibike.

So, I’ve reached a few conclusions.

We all have good days and bad ones when you just ain’t feeling it. The excess of Christmas was the problem in Leeds, too much of the good bad stuff. Riding the heavier eBike gives you greater handling skills so when you get back on a lighter, naturally aspirated machine it all becomes easier. The fun for me in riding an eBike is to go flat out everywhere for as long as the battery lasts, and I don’t mean by using the turbo setting, so in my opinion the ebike actually improves distance stamina.

Does it affect fitness?
Yes, but only by increasing it.

Does it make you lazy?
Haha, not a chance!

Over and out (riding)


Dave Miller with his brother and 76-year-old dad, who has been able to start cycling again thanks to an ebike
Dave Miller with his brother and 76-year-old dad, who has been able to start cycling again thanks to an ebike

My dad has been a cyclist pretty much all of his life. Road riding for many years to getting into mountain biking in his 60’s, he’s always had a passion for it and also as a ride leader for the Wakefield cycle forum, he has shared his passion and encouraged others.

For me, this made it difficult to see him (in his own words) lose interest due to not having the stamina for the hills and the distance anymore. Over the past few years, now at 76, he’s found himself having to walk up the hills, which has just affected his “mojo” so much.

Last month, I went round with my new Haibike SDURO HardSeven 4.0 and let him take it for a spin around the block. It’s been a game-changer for me so I knew he was going to love it.

He came back grinning and didn’t take much persuading to bite the bullet and get himself his very own Haibike SDURO, which we picked up the other week.

I’ve got so used to my dad saying no to coming out riding with us, that to be riding the Wonders of Wakefield with him and my older brother Gary is just the best!

The weather forecast was grim but we just went for it anyway. Dad seemed to struggle with the concept of using the gears like on a normal bike for the first half of the ride but once he settled into it, it became second nature. It’s a 22-mile loop which is mainly off-road. Canal towpaths, woodland and man-made trails, not many climbs but the few that there are, are quite steep but no match for his new “bionic legs” that the SDURO and Bosch motor have given him. He’s not done this ride for years because he just couldn’t handle the distance anymore.

We got drenched, mudded up to the eyeballs and were ready for a brew when we got back to the van. Dad was smiling and a bit stunned at how easy the ride was, he discovered eMTB mode about 10 miles in and we noticed that the pace got quicker at that point.

22 miles in 2 hours and 13 minutes, average 10mph speed with a combined age of 168.

So Dad, “What you reckon, is your Mojo back?” Most definitely!!

We will be riding together a lot more now, which makes me very happy.

You’re in Hall 6 Advice Lounge & Events Theatre at Van Live! See what else is happening on stage, visit the Haibike stand in Hall 4, or take me to the Show Guide.