AF and E Bike: I am posting this as it might... - AF Association

AF Association

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AF and E Bike

BigDunc
BigDunc

I am posting this as it might help some off you who like me are still able and fortunate enough to exercise whilst in AF.

My AF had been under control for around 13 years after an Ablation and staying on Flecainide. I had to come off Flecainide in April after discovering some Coronary Artery disease.

Since then my AF episodes have increased to an extent that I go into AF on a weekly basis. I blame Bisoprolol that reduces my BPM to the low 40’s but that’s another story.

All my life I’ve done some form off endurance exercise and hence my normal BPM is around 50BPM.

when I go into AF I tolerate it quite well although the 1st day I feel a bit ropy. Usually up all night urinating as many of us experience.

As soon as possible when I’m in AF I’ve been forcing myself to go out on my recently bought E Bike and my last 4 episodes I have reverted back to Sinus Rhythm whilst out on the bike. I’ve tried my indoor exercise bike in the past which has been hit and miss.

I bought the E Bike as I went into AF whilst out on my normal bike at the top of a great hill. To give me some reassurance that I could get home.

I would highly recommend getting an E Bike if you’re okay exercising will give so much more confidence. I think nothing of going out and doing 30 miles or more and you can vary the assistance levels to suit your fitness level

Hope this helps

33 Replies
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BobD
BobDVolunteer

Yes we have recommended E bikes to other riders who either miss the social side of their cycle clubs or are unable to resist exercise. There are quite a few people like this it seems as endurance cycling is known to be cause of AF in a certain age group.

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to BobD

Hi Bob

Yeah they are a great bit off kit for us with AF. I’ve always exercised whilst in AF such as walking or using the stationary bike as I can control the intensity.

My BPM averages around 80 in AF and I was always reluctant to go out on the bike in case I pushed my heart rate to high and it wouldn’t come back down. But with the E Bike you can increase the assistance level when hit a hill or head wind job done.

Sounds a good idea to me. I've thought about getting a bike just for the exercise value it will give. However where I live is rural and very hilly. I do my regular walk / run but still try to keep my exercise to a moderate level. I guess one of these would ensure you could still do so.

Right - it's eBay time to check 'em out ;-)

Paul

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to Paulbounce

Hi Paul you won’t be disappointed see my last response to Bob you have the ability to control the intensity. Do your homework on the E bikes though there’s a lot out there. I went to our local Pure Electric E bike shop who we’re really helpful and you can try out before you buy

Paulbounce
Paulbounce in reply to BigDunc

Thanks BigD.

I'll check them out for sure.

Enjoy your day.

Paul

My Orbea was £1900

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to Jajarunner

Pure Electric price matched Costco around £1080 but I particularised mine with marathon tyres and ergonomic hand grips came in around £1150

I really wouldn't buy an E-bike from Ebay. They are expensive pieces of kit.

Halfords sell them (probably wouldn't buy from there either unless they happened to sell just want I wanted) but they do hire them out. I hired one for a bank holiday weekend and fell in love. I have nowhere secure with power to keep one, but I want one so much that the plans being drawn up now to convert our little stone barn into a mini-house for Mum to live in, include building me a secure bike shed as well as wood store, also vital.

I did 45 miles that weekend when I hadn't ridden a bike in years and at the time had intermittent AF. I'm now persistent, with high heart rate, but I know the E-bike is my way back to fitness.

BobD
BobDVolunteer in reply to BigDunc

I've ridden a mates one but it is a top of the range thing with tyres like a small motor bike and has been chipped to do about 35 mph! His company bought it for local deliveries. Yes right! lol 😂 Cost over £4k mind.

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to BobD

I’d have to come off my blood thinners if I rode that one 😁

Good idea to get an E bike. If someone went out on one and had a really bad attack of AF, would the bike be able to get them home with little or no effort?

Jean

Izzle
Izzle in reply to jeanjeannie50

I converted my mountain bike to an e-bike for exactly the reason you've suggested. Yes, it works fine if AF develops whilst out on a ride, up the power assistance and lower the gears.

jeanjeannie50
jeanjeannie50 in reply to Izzle

Sounds good. Interesting that you converted your bike. I look at mine and think of all the miles I've done on it and would be sad not to use it again, so I guess a conversion would be an idea.

Jean

Izzle
Izzle in reply to jeanjeannie50

Your bike needs to be good quality to take the higher loads, plus MUST have really good brakes for the higher speed. I wanted a mid-mounted motor and mid-mounted battery to maintain a good balanced bike. Have a discussion with some of your bike shops to see what they can offer in terms of conversion equipment and they'll more than likely do the job for a modest fee.

I've often worn a pulse meter with chest band and cycled using my pulse as the speed regulator (for my age 90-110 bpm suits me). On a ride, when I've gone into AF as well I follow my pulse meter just the same. In that situation I've been in the 120-140 bpm range, but obviously trying to keep it as low as possible.

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to Izzle

Most of the experts say bikes with the motor on the central hub are best although they are heavier around 24kg plus

I bought a Vitesse Signal with the motor on the rear wheel hub and battery incorporated in the frame it weighs around 17kg . I try and use it like a normal bike and only use the battery when I need too although it only has 8 gears and it is a struggle on steep hills without the battery

Hi Jean, I suppose it would depend on how debilitating your AF is. When I initially go into AF I don’t feel great as my heart rate seems to be all over the place. However I would be confident in having the battery power to get me back. Although you do need to put some effort in even on full level 5 assistance. The assistance only comes on at speeds under 15mph so you would just keep yourself calm and take your time.

hope this helps

That's good to hear, thank you.

Last week a friend and her husband were in their car driving behind a father and his teenage son who were cycling. Suddenly the boy's bike snapped in half and he fell to the road. Have never heard of anything like that before, knew someone whose bike wheel buckled. We don't think of these things happening as we hurtle along do we!

Forks used to break quite a lot when I was a child. They make frames out of different materials and with different methods now though.

I had a big crash about 30 years ago when a crank broke.

Not heard off any occurrence like that but the speed on E Bikes in this country is limited to 15mph which most people will exceed going down hill

However it’s worth doing your homework and going through a recognised supplier and getting a branded cycle

I used Pure Electric where you can try before buy

Yes I have one but I am now scared to use it because of the traffic.

I try and avoid peak times and the amount of people who are texting whilst driving is insane

It was great during lockdown it was like cycling back in the 1960’s everyone seemed to be courteous and not rushing about.

Sadly soon back to normal though

Im a keen runner and cyclist and bought an ebike this year to help my rehab from cardiac ablation. Totally agree, it's brilliant. Mines an Orbea and now I can use the lowest level which is not much easier than 'proper' cycling or turn it off completely though they are quite heavy.now using my other bikes too but I can go further on ebike and it gave me tons of confidence at first!!

Yes e-bikes can be a great help if you have AF. I have been using mine for over 3 years. Overdoing it on the bike was one of the triggers that would put me in AF the next day. I live in the Pennines so lots of hills. I found that I could stop the AF by getting back on the bike the following day and cycling up a hill. This became a regular "cure. Then getting the e-bikes took the pressure off when going up hill and meant I could still go out with my mates. I converted an existing bike and also have an electric Ribble. I have gone 9 months without any AF.

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to AFCyclist

That’s great news similar issues successes I’ve had. Might go for a Ribble next year look belters and really light

I examined that make they look a cracking bike expensive though as I remember

I have just bought an E bike on a “ bike to work “ scheme. So for the non retired it is a good option. Very easy to apply for and it is deducted tax free from your wage on a monthly basis. Interest free. If you google cycle to work scheme you can get all the information.

BigDunc
BigDunc in reply to Equish

Thanks Equish

Really useful for anyone working I got one a few years ago big savings to be made and didn’t really miss it coming out my wage.

Although tempting to get a really good E Bike I’ll remain retired for now 😁

Equish
Equish in reply to BigDunc

Happy retirement😄I’m almost there myself so good to get my E bike just in the nick of time

It's been over 9 years since I was well enough to go cycle touring, and all I want is to be able to resume. I've done a bit of local cycling in that time, but nothing like I used to. I've considered getting an E bike numerous times, but the main satisfaction I get from touring is doing it all under my own steam, so I think the feeling of cheating would take away all the enjoyment.

The other issues I have are the weight, I'd struggle to lift my own bike now, never mind the additional weight of an E bike. Then there's battery life and charge indicator reliability, I couldn't afford to get stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat battery. I also don't like the idea of spending a lot of cash on a bike where many of the critical spares are single-sourced, possibly on a fairly young company that may be here today, gone tomorrow.

Yes totally agree,I've had afib for 5 years,currently on flec and bisoprolol and enjoy exercise and I bought a cube e bike last February 2020 and have had so much pleasure out of it,its very reassuring to know you have back up with the bike being electric if your a fair way from home and go into afib.You can also choose how much exertion you put in by the different power levels. I live in the South Wales valleys and it's very hilly terrain and with this type of bike no hill stands in your way.Im 61 years old and regularly do 30/40 mile rides would not even contemplate that on a normal bike.Its a nice way of travelling without taking to much out of yourself, highly recommended.

Kindred Spirit.

My last 7 episodes of AF (every 6-9 days) I have reverted back to Sinus Rhythm whilst on the E Bike.

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