Recently I have been coming across the term faux pedaling. I had never heard of it before so I had to look it up. It isn’t the easiest term to find much of anything out about. To start off the word faux is French and means “fake”. Here is the dictionary definition of faux:

made in imitation; artificial.
“a string of faux pearls”
not genuine; fake or false.
“their faux concern for the well-being of the voters didn’t fool many”

Basically from what I have been able to gather it is pedaling without any physical effort … not putting any pressure pushing on the pedals. With e-motor assist this is possible if the rider wants to do it. There are those who say it is cheating. It is true that one doesn’t build up leg muscle or burn as many calories when faux pedaling, but the good news is the rider is still getting exercise spinning the cranks around. And if they are spun fast enough the rider can get a cardio workout even if they are not building leg muscle. That being said, usually the faux pedaling is done slower than what the cycle is traveling so it is obvious that something is going on that just doesn’t look right. One thing I have often done with and without e-motor assist is to pedal backwards while going forward. I have tried pedaling forward while going backwards, but found that it just doesn’t work.

So what is my point in bringing this subject matter up? I don’t know. I may not have one other than to mention that I am sure there will be naysayers out there who want to sound off and protest against this. Keep in mind though that there are some folks who are not physically able to push hard enough on the pedals to propel the cycle. They are doing good to be able to faux pedal. At least they are out there getting some exercise and …


And they are only able to do so with the aid of e-motor assist. Yes, the motor is doing most of the work, but that is a whole lot better than being a total couch potato. So just maybe others need to be kind and cut them some slack. None of us know what tomorrow holds. We could be among those who find them self saying “Faking it here, boss!”

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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)


  1. I agree that any exercise is better than none. When I was riding to work and moved nearly twice the distance away I had to stop riding, not because I couldn’t handle the distance but because I couldn’t get up early enough to compensate for the extra time it would take. Plus, it meant riding home in the dark which I considered to be less safe. I thought of buying a power assist motor, not to decrease my effort but to increase my speed for the same effort. This would cut my time down considerably but the cost was out of my budget at the time.

  2. Several years ago after I built my Sporty Delta Trike I found that it took a lot of effort to get it up to speed but once there I could shift to a higher gear & just Faux Pedal giving the illusion that it was taking very little effort to attain the speeds I was going. This used to be a favourite prank of mine that I would use when flying past some unsuspecting Roadie. Little did he know that as I got some distance between us I would need to find a turn off or hiding place so they wouldn’t see me gasping for air with all the effort I had just put in to speed & pass them.

  3. That’s an interesting point. I have had similar thoughts about those who had e-assist motors. I would think, what’s the point of riding if you have assist? Then I installed my assist motor and it doubled the amount of time and the miles that I ride. I get plenty of exercise, and I continually pedal. My wife and I average at least 3 hours per ride, and we are constantly pedaling. According to my “Mapmyride” app we burn between 1700-1800 calories every time we ride.

    My point is…to us an e-assists is not faux pedaling, but rather involves continual pedaling. Never thought a 3-hour workout could be so much fun.

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