Cheaters Prosper

Wayne Clayton

When I first contemplated purchasing the Bosch-equipped Scott e-Scale Mountain bike the word cheater immediately came to mind. Being old enough to collect my Canada pension I’ve had a fair number of years as a cyclist and adding an electric motor seemed almost wrong somehow. I don’t feel that way anymore.

The Bosch system the Scott e-Scale uses is a pedal-assist platform that requires the rider to pedal for the motor to engage. You only use power when you need it, and with four levels of assist you can pick and choose at the touch of a button how much help you get. With up to a 160KM range you don’t have to be shy about using extra assist when you need it. 

One of the greatest attributes of the Bosch system is that its biomechanical design encourages the rider to pedal at about 90RPM which is the most efficient range for most humans to pedal at. The motor works most efficiently when keeping your pedalling RPMs in that range. Keeping RPMs up while reducing overall effort means I can do aerobic exercise while avoiding further deterioration of some worn body parts. It feels good when I ride, and I am still riding, not just along for the ride.

It feels good when I ride, and I am still riding, not just along for the ride.

Spin classes are good for you; when riding my e-Scale I’m kind of doing a spin class. Because of the spinning and because the bike invites me to ride a lot because it’s a hoot, and because it allows me to climb every hill in sight if I’m so inclined (still having to spin efficiently) my fitness has gone up quickly and my weight has dropped equally as quickly. Aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to drop weight. Since starting to ride my e-Scale I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight, something I could not have accomplished to the same degree on my regular bikes because strain on the body that the electric bike avoids would prevent me working efficiently enough to get there.

One of the great side effects of riding my e-Scale is my abilities on my regular pedal bikes have improved; being lighter obviously helps but my ability to hold a pace and keep my spin going have improved quite dramatically. It’s ironic that an e-bike can help make regular un-assisted riding so much easier.

I should mention that when you are simply unable to keep the spin up, just relax – pedal easier and let the motor do the work. 

So I may be cheating but I’m happy to cheat every day if it makes me healthier and allows me to ride better now and hopefully helps me to continue to ride far into the future.

I may be cheating but I’m happy to cheat every day if it makes me healthier.