Outdoor E-trike Cycling: a Low Intensity Physical Activity

Roos Bulthuis, Monique Tabak*, Leendert Schaake, Hermie Hermens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


For people with disabilities or chronic diseases, an electrically supported tricycle (e-trike) could facilitate independence and participation in physical activity, and improve health conditions. This study investigates the exercise intensity and perceived exertion of e-trike cycling. Twenty healthy participants cycled on an e-trike with different speeds (12 and 18 km/h) and different levels of electric pedal support at an outdoor athletics track. Exercise intensity was measured with oxygen consumption (VO2) using a Cosmed K4B2 analysis unit, perceived exertion was measured with the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion scale,pedaling power and engine power were measured with a torque sensor. The effect of speed and support was analyzed with a Linear Mixed Effects model. VO2 was 18.67 ± 3.13 ml/kg/min without support, with electric support the exercise intensity was significantly below moderate intensity (i.e. 10.5 ml/kg/min) at t=11.37, p<0.001, 95% CI: 1.90, 2.77. The Borg score without support was 9.79 ± 1.72 and all other conditions below this, which were significantly below moderate intensity (i.e. 11) at t=-3.07, p=0.007, 95% CI: -2.04, -0.38. Speed and support significantly affected VO2(F=185.49, p<0.001). E-trike cycling is a low intensity activity, but intensity can be influenced by changing speed and support level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-436
Number of pages8
JournalAssistive technology
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022


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