What is an Electric bike?
An electric bike, also known as an e-bike, is a standard bicycle equipped with an integrated electric motor and battery to assist with pedaling. The electric motor augments your pedaling power, making it easier to ride up hills, commute long distances, and carry cargo.
E-bikes provide an efficient and eco-friendly form of transportation. They encourage people to drive less while still getting exercise. Riding an e-bike is also just plain fun!
Benefits of Riding an E-Bike
Riding an e-bike has many health, financial, and environmental benefits:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness – Pedaling provides exercise for your heart and lungs
- Increased daily activity – It’s easier to use your e-bike for errands and commuting
- Reduced stress – The electric assist makes riding accessible for more people
- Saves money – No gas, insurance, parking fees
- Eco-friendly transportation – Produces zero emissions
Choosing an Electric Bike
With so many e-bike options available, it can be tricky to select the right one. Keep these key factors in mind while shopping:
Types of Electric Bikes
There are three main classes of e-bikes:
Provides electric assistance only when you are pedaling. Stops assisting when you stop pedaling or reach 20 mph. Most common type of e-bike.
Has a throttle control to engage the motor without pedaling. Helpful for starting from a standstill or climbing steep hills.
Assist even at higher speeds, up to 28 mph. Best for experienced cyclists.
Consider your riding needs when selecting a frame:
Makes mounting and dismounting easier. Good for casual riding.
Traditional bike frame. Gives an athletic riding position.
Collapses for storage and transport. Great for multimodal commuters.
Motor and Battery
More powerful motors and higher battery capacities provide longer range but increase cost and weight. Analyze your typical riding distances to choose adequate specs.
Learning to Ride
Here are some tips for safely learning to ride your new e-bike:
Get Familiar with Controls
Practice using the power buttons, pedal assist settings, throttle, lights, and horn in a safe area until everything feels intuitive. Refer to your bike’s user manual if needed.
Practice Braking and Pedaling
The extra weight and speed of an e-bike requires using your brakes earlier. Get used to starting, stopping, and pedaling assistance before hitting the roads.
Find Safe Areas to Ride
Start by riding in quiet parks, empty parking lots, and bike paths to build your confidence. Avoidtraffic until you feel comfortable.
Obey Traffic Laws
Even though e-bikes are electrically assisted, all standard traffic laws still apply. Ride predictably and use hand signals when turning.
Use lower assist levels on small hills to stay active. For steep hills, use higher assistance to climb efficiently while preserving your energy.
Follow bike safety fundamentals – wear a helmet, use lights at night, and avoid riding over obstacles you can’t handle. The electric motor can lull riders into taking poor risks. Ride conservatively.
Do regular maintenance to keep your electric bike running smoothly:
Recharge the battery fully once a month during periods of infrequent use. Check charge level before rides and top up frequently. Store batteries indoors to prevent temperature damage.
E-bikes are heavier, so properly inflated tires are essential for handling. Inflate to the PSI indicated on your tires before every long ride.
Wipe down your bike after wet rides to prevent corrosion, paying special attention to electrical contacts. Don’t spray water directly onto motor, battery or display.
See also: How to Prevent Electric Bike Corrosion
If storing for over a week, discharge battery to 60%. Charge to full before next use so voltage doesn’t drop too low. Store indoors shielded from weather.
Accessories & Customizations
Consider adding some of these accessories to personalize your e-bike:
Helmets & Safety Gear
Always wear a helmet while cycling. You may also want gloves, eye protection, bright clothing, padding and mirrors to improve visibility and safety.
Baskets & Racks
Install front or rear storage systems to conveniently haul cargo and run errands by bike rather than by car. Most e-bikes can handle heavy loads.
Add front, rear or full suspension systems for improved comfort and traction when riding on uneven terrain. Helpful for off-road riding.
Enhance front and rear lighting for riding at night or in low visibility conditions. Dynamo hub generators automatically power bright safety lights.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Here’s how to diagnose and fix some frequent e-bike problems:
Diagnosing Motor Problems
If motor seems weak or cuts out, check connectors and cables for damage. Contact manufacturer if issue persists without obvious cause.
Battery Range Decreasing
If range isn’t lasting as long as usual, try fully recharging battery. Replace battery if capacity fades over time.
Consult user manual when troubleshooting fault codes on display panel. Codes indicate specific component failures.
Flats occur more often on e-bikes due to higher loads and speeds. Always carry a pump, spare tubes and tire levers to self-repair roads ide.
We’ve covered the key steps for safely riding and maintaining your new electric bicycle. Here are some final tips:
Key Tips for New Riders
Start slowly, follow traffic laws, wear safety gear, and practice braking and pedaling techniques before hitting the busy roads.
Enjoy the Ride!
Have fun exploring your region by e-bike while getting exercise and fresh air. Ride conservatively within your capabilities.
How old do you need to be to ride an e-bike?
E-bike age limits vary by region. Most allow riding around age 13-16 with adult supervision. Check your local regulations.
Can I take my e-bike on public transit?
Policies vary – some buses have front-mounted bike racks. Folding e-bikes are easiest for combining with trains and metros.
How far can e-bikes go on one charge?
Typical range is 20-100 miles depending on terrain, rider weight, assist level and battery capacity. Higher-end eMTBs have 150+ mile range.
Can I ride an e-bike in the rain?
Yes, just be cautious of slippery roads. Avoid puddles deeper than the motor hub and make sure all connectors have protective rubber caps installed.