Liam vs Liam, Bike vs eBike – Which Is Faster?

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As the Scottish lockdown eased, racer Liam Moynihan was itching for some action – but there are still no events. So he decided to race himself. Which is faster, a bike or an ebike?

Liam Moynihan
From the YouTube school of posing

Lining up a Scott Genius E-Ride and a Scott Ransom, he dons a heart rate monitor and Go-Pro, and sets out to do some fairly controlled testing. Comparing times and heart rate over a series of tracks under the same weather conditions, he looks to see how the two bikes compare on the descents.

Liam Moynihan

Here’s what he found:

I decided to do a little enduro style race between my normal Scott ransom non electric bike and my Scott genius e-ride.

The ebike has definite advantages in some places, being more planted and with the obvious benefit of a motor up to 25kmph.

The Ransom is lighter and feels more nimble, easier to place and once the speeds are above 25kmph any sprinting will be better on the lighter bike!

Liam Moynihan
Top scenery

Both bikes are size Large, with a similar setup. A few tweaks between the bikes to make each one it’s fastest.

Suspension ramps up more on the ebike as the added weight has a tendency to cause hard bottom outs.

Heart rates:
When I looked into the heart rate data I found that it was higher for the normal bike, but this wasn’t indicative of effort on each given stage, more the climbing between stages as my heart rate started higher on each track on the Ransom. To me its obvious I’ll work harder climbing to the start on a non ebike, and the interest was on the given race track. What I should have done is have a starting heart rate on each bike – say 100bpm before I can go to give a fair comparison between bikes on the track itself!

Despite all his intentions, he’s happy to conclude that it’s all ‘beautifully meaningless’. But it’s fun to watch anyway – and his ride notes on how the ebike compares on the descents may well interest you.

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