Updated: Jul 9
The transition from a regular bike to an electric bike is pretty seamless. But, it is worth informing yourself on specific aspects of riding an electric bike. Therefore, in this post, we are going to give you SDREAM's tips on how to ride an electric bike safely.
Learning How to Ride an Electric Bike
For people who are new to electric bikes, not knowing what to expect can be intimidating. However, as you get used to riding an electric bike, you will soon learn that it is a simple and fun way of getting around.
Before you rush out and buy your new electric bike, you need to be aware of the different classifications. By knowing about these classifications, you will be able to determine what bike to buy concerning your skills and local laws. These classifications are the same for all electric bikes, from an electric road bike to an electric assist mountain bike.
Class1: the motor engages as you pedal, but these bikes have a limited top speed of 20mph
Class2: these electric bikes are also limited to 20mph while pedalling. But, they also have a throttle powered mode.
Class 3: these work in the same way as Class 1 electric bikes, but they are limited to 28mph.
If you are new to cycling or not very confident, a class 1 electric bike is a good start. As you become more experienced, you will work up to riding a class 3 bike.
Make Sure You Ride Your E-Bike Slow
Jumping on a new electric bike and setting off at its highest assistance level is pretty tempting for many people. However, the higher speeds and acceleration can easily catch you out, especially on a class 3 bike.
When you are ready to ride, start in a flat and open area, with no assistance level selected. Start to pedal, and when you feel comfortable, select eco mode. By doing this, you will be able to ease yourself into riding an electric bike.
Sometimes you cannot shift gears without pedal assistance. This is more the case with an electric assist mountain bike due to the extra weight. If you experience this, make sure you select the lowest assistance level.
Get To Know Your Electric Bike's Brakes
Another thing you need to do, is make sure your know where the brakes are and how they work. Take note of which brake lever operates the front and rear brakes. If they are the opposite way round to what you are used to, change them over. Even if you know, they are the wrong way round, riding like this is very dangerous. Your instinct can lead you to grab the front brake sending you over the handlebars.
Before you set off on a ride, get a good feel of how the brakes feel. By doing this, you will know how sensitive they are and how to modulate them.
Pay Even More Attention to Traffic
When riding a bike, you need to be aware of the flow of traffic. But, this is more important on an electric bike. Other road users don't expect a bike to accelerate quickly and reach 20mph on the road. Therefore, you can get into dangerous situations.
A study for the International Cycling Safety Conference suggested that road users need to adjust how they drive to keep electric bike riders safe. But electric bike riders also need to be aware of how they behave on the roads.
Check Your Speed
Going as fast as you can with the highest assistance level is a bad way to start riding an electric bike. You need to take the time to learn how the bike rides before you pick the speed up.
In addition to this, the higher speeds and extra weight of an electric bike extends its stopping distance. You need to be aware of this when riding around to avoid crashing in a bad way.
Mounting And Dismounting
Surprisingly, many electric bike accidents occur when the rider mounts or dismounts. The extra weight of the bike can catch out older people and those with mobility issues. They can easily misjudge the mount or dismount and fall.
Don't Forget Your Helmet
Every cyclist should wear a helmet when riding. Wearing a helmet can mean the difference between life and death. Cycling helmets are much more comfortable than they used to be. The lightweight materials of some helmets can make it feel like you are not wearing one.
When you choose a bike helmet, make sure it fits properly and gives you good coverage. Don't buy the cheapest one you can find, as you get what you pay for.
Careful with Wide-Open Throttle
When using the throttle mode on an electric bike, check it before you set off. It has been known for throttles to get stuck in the fully open position, and the rider has not noticed. If you are not expecting your bike to shoot forwards or are inexperienced, you may not cope with the sudden acceleration. Electric bikes with good disc brakes and an emergency cut off will keep you much safer in these situations.
Don't Forget About State Regulations
Just because you are riding a bike, it doesn't mean you can ignore the rules of the road. You need to stop at traffic lights, obey speed limits and ride responsibly. If you are new to riding in the streets, avoid built-up areas until your get some road sense and a good level of competency.
Different areas have different rules, for example in the US different states classify electric bikes in different ways.
If you are looking for your first electric bike, check out our online store to see our fabulous bikes.