Electric-assisted bikes, or e-bikes, are the perfect option for new exercisers, with a growing body of research showing they can build greater fitness than a regular bicycle. Follow our plan to give one a go.

Why drive a car when you can jump on an electric bike? That’s the thinking in Europe, where recent data shows as many as one in four own or want to own an electric bike (or e-bike). And while UK sales aren’t quite keeping up with those of our European counterparts, the British appetite for e-biking is growing – and interestingly, it’s folks who don’t own a normal bicycle that are most keen to hop on the saddle.

‘An e-bike is the perfect route into cycling, even if you haven’t exercised for years,’ explains Natalie Creswick, cycling expert from Team Headset (teamheadset.co.uk) and an ambassador for bicycle company, Specialized. ‘You still have to pedal an e-bike, but you can put in as much effort as you want, safely increasing your fitness.’

Indeed, data published in the Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives journal reveals that electric bike riders get more exercise than pedal bike riders. ‘With an e-bike you can go further and experience more,’ adds Natalie. ‘A 20-minute ride might normally take you around the block but, with the extra assistance of an e-bike, you’ll discover longer routes and tackle climbs you thought unachievable.’

Today, you can get an e-bike for as little as £500, but a high-tech option with a longer-lasting battery will cost more.

‘Once you’re the proud owner of an e-bike, a plan will help you stay motivated and challenged,’ says Natalie. Try our guide below.

WEEK ONE with your e-bike

Get used to your new bike. Learn how it feels and remind yourself how the brakes and gears work.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

20 mins

Ride at ‘conversation pace’ – if it’s hard to speak, ease up a little. This is the pace all rides should be done at.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

20 mins

Find somewhere quiet to ride – a park or a traffic-free cycle route will help build your confidence.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

45 mins

You’re doing a longer duration ride today, so be sure to take a drink with you.

Sunday

Rest or cross-train

WEEK TWO with your e-bike

Get into the habit of checking the battery charge indicator before each ride.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

25 mins

Practise changing gears. Find a flat, quiet route and spend time shifting from the big ring to the small ring and up and down the cassette.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

25 mins

On a slightly more undulating route, put into practice your gear changes.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

60 mins

Along with a drink, take a snack with you today and eat it halfway through your ride. A cereal bar or banana is ideal.

Sunday

Rest or cross-train

WEEK THREE with your e-bike

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

30 mins

Cycle for 30 mins. if you have to miss a session, then don’t stress. Life can and does get in the way sometimes!

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

30 mins

The sessions are spaced out with a day off in between to give you time to recover from each ride.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

75 mins

Take a drink and snack with you again today. During the ride, focus on your upper body as well as your legs.

Sunday

Rest or cross-train

WEEK FOUR with your e-bike

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

35 mins
When going around corners, put your outside leg down and your inside leg up. push downwards into your outside pedal.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

35 mins

Whenever you ride on the road, position yourself about one metre away from the curb. This will give you room to manoeuvre around potholes.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

90 mins

The big day! Approach the ride feeling positive, safe in the knowledge that you can already ride for over an hour.

Sunday

Rest or cross-train

Buyer’s guide

Specialized Turbo VedoSpecialized turbo vedo2.jpgSpecialized turbo vado Sl

(from £2,600, specialized.com). Designed like a normal road bike, this comes with a motor that lasts up to 80 miles.

Decathlon Elops 500Decathlon Elops 500 E low Frame Electric city Bike

(£699.99, decathlon. co.uk) Step into e-cycling with this affordable electric-assisted bike that’s ideal for city riding.

E-Trends City E-bike

(£1,100, e-trends.co.uk) You can go up to 35 miles in one journey with this traditional-looking design.

Find out about the health benefits of cycling.