In this post, we will highlight how to ride an electric bike safely. Some of the tips we will share with you may seem obvious, while others will be new to you. But, reading this blog will bring your awareness to staying safe while riding your electric bike.
There are risks involved with all modes of transport, whether you commute on an electric scooter, car, or bike. Riding an electric bike to work or school has similar risks to riding a regular bike. However, this risk can be easily managed if we employ some common sense and learn about being safe on the roads.
Wear A Bike Helmet
Wearing a quality bike helmet should be mandatory for all bike riders. Bike helmets are pretty comfortable these days, as long as you get one that fits properly. Their modern, lightweight materials and adjustable fit can prevent serious injuries. Of course, they won’t protect you in every eventuality, but they can mean the difference between life and death.
If you can afford a more expensive bike helmet, buy it. Higher-end helmets will give you more protection. But, you need to ensure that it fits you properly and gives you plenty of coverage.
Make sure you fit your electric bike with lights, both front and rear. Most electric bikes come with lights, while some even have them integrated into the frame or handlebars. It is best to choose LED bike lights, as these are much brighter than traditional bulbs. The extra brightness makes you more visible in low light conditions. It is super important for other road users to see where you are. When people are aware of your presence, you have a much better chance of staying safe.
Another way of staying visible on your electric bike is to wear brightly coloured clothing. If you wear dark clothes, you are more difficult to see, especially when you ride in the shade. High visibility clothing may not look cool, but it will keep you safer.
Learn The Rules Of The Road
When you ride an electric bike, you can easily keep up with and pass urban traffic. So understanding what the vehicles around you are likely to do, you be able to stay much safer. Also, with a good knowledge of the rules of the road, other road users will be able to predict what you are going to do. This way, they can drive accordingly, so everyone is as safe as possible. Being road-wise is paramount when learning how to ride an electric bike safely.
Some electric bike riders think that it is best to ride against the traffic. But riding with the traffic is much safer, as other road users will expect you to be doing so. Riding against the traffic can lead to cars pulling out on you, and they may not spot you until it is too late.
The ability to keep up with traffic on an electric bike means that you can ride in the middle of the lane. If you do this, you have plenty of room around you. Electric bike riders who ride close to the curb run the risk of someone driving alongside them. The problem with this is that you don’t have any space to react to unexpected hazards. When you are close to the curb, you can be taken out by car doors opening and pedestrians stepping out into the road.
Look After Your Electric Bike
The more we ride our electric bikes, the more wear and tear they get. Therefore, it is possible for things to go wrong with them eventually. However, if you maintain your bike, it will be reliable and safe to ride. In addition to this, you will be able to avoid expensive repair bills by doing simple maintenance tasks.
It doesn’t take much time or skill to keep a bike in full working order. You can check everything out while you clean your electric bike. But, one of the most important things to look at is the brakes. Electric bikes take more effort to stop, thanks to their extra weight and speed. Therefore, checking that your brake pads have plenty of braking material left on them is essential.
Another simple, but essential task, is to ensure your tyres have the correct pressures. Properly inflated tyres allow you to react quickly in an emergency and ensure they don’t wear too soon. On top of this, the correct tyre pressures will enable you to reach your bike’s maximum range.
Staying safe on an electric bike includes ensuring you can get home. If your bike is in full working order, you can complete your journey. You don’t want to be stuck in the city streets at night because you haven’t maintained your bike.
Get To Know Your Bike
When you get your new electric bike out of its box, it can be really tempting to just go for a ride. Many new electric bike riders like to choose the highest assistance level and see how fast they can go. However, this is not a recommended course of action.
Before you get on your bike, read the user manual. There will be vital information about riding and owning the bike. It will also have specific instructions on how to charge the battery correctly. By following the instructions for charging, your battery life will be much longer.
Once you have read the manual, we recommend that you start off riding slowly. Choose the lowest assistance level and start riding. Get used to how it accelerates before choosing higher assistance levels.
If you have ridden an electric bike before, your new one may accelerate and stop differently. Therefore, don’t ride off with confidence before you have got to know it.
Get A Good Feel For The Brakes
Electric bikes have more power and can go faster than regular bikes. Therefore, how you use the brakes is very, very important. Even if you are riding in eco mode, the motor can still add an extra 50W to your pedalling.
It is really important to get a good feel for the brakes on a new electric bike. But you should also make sure they work before going on a ride.
When you ride an electric bike, you will notice that you will need to brake earlier than you would on a regular bike. So when you approach junctions and traffic lights, make sure you have plenty of time to stop.
After a few rides, you will have a better understanding and feel for the brakes. Therefore, you will learn to brake more efficiently and more safely.
Be Careful When You Get On And Off Your Electric Bike
It is actually quite common for people to injure themselves just by getting on and off their electric bikes. This is especially the case for older riders and those with mobility issues. As they mount and dismount the bike, the bike’s extra weight can catch them out. This results in them dropping the bike, falling and injuring themselves.
People with mobility issues can make getting on and off their electric bike safer and easier by buying one with a step-through frame. As you don’t have to swing your leg over a top tube, mounting and dismounting become effortless.
Fit Your Electric Bike With A Bell
A bell fitted to your electric bike is essential for riding in the city. A good one is loud enough to warn pedestrians that you are coming. Some electric bikes come with a built-in horn that sounds at the touch of a button.
Some electric bike riders like to fit their bikes with both a horn and a bell to make sure they are heard.
You will definitely come across pedestrians that think you are rude for using a bell or horn. However, they would be more bothered if they end up in hospital after you have crashed into them.
Watch Out For Pedestrians
One of the main hazards of riding in the city centre is the amount of pedestrians walking around. Pedestrians can be very unpredictable, especially as most of them are looking at their phones.
When riding your electric bike in urban areas, you need to be ready for a pedestrian to step out in front of you. You need to be able to react to avoid them or use your bell to alert them.
It is worth noting that pedestrians are more unpredictable on Friday evenings and during weekends. Your route home may take you past bars, which people could stumble out of into your path. There is not a lot you can do in these cases other than being extra vigilant.
That Is How To Ride An Electric Bike Safely
Some of these safety tips may not be new to you, but being reminded of how to ride an electric bike safely is never a bad thing. If you are new to electric bikes, the main things are learning your bike and getting some road sense.
Check out our selection of electric bikes in our online store.