We do a Rundown of the Top Eight Tips of Electric Bike Safety
Getting the ins and outs of electric bike safety as you ride through the urban landscape is paramount to an injury-free day. As electric bikes are becoming more popular. We're starting to see the numbers of them rising on the roads. Folk are ditching their cars and hopping for their daily commute, going to the shops, and getting some gentle exercise.
So getting everything right and secure on your electric bike makes the difference between injury and a safe clean ride. We look at eight points you should do, not do and check before you start your daily commute.
What is an electric bike?
That's a simple question. It's a bike that has a battery and motor fitted that propels you along. They're hella a lot of fun. Great for those of you getting back into cycling.
They usually have three ride modes. Full pedalling, just like a normal bicycle. Assisted pedalling, and of course, full-electric. Sit back, or up, pull the throttle, and glide into the sunset. No pedalling, just cruising.
The pedal-assist is ideal for those of you that need to get fit and are just getting back on the bike game. Allowing you to slowly build up your levels of fitness before you go full pedal.
So, let's dive in and look at all the tips you should know to ride your electric bike safely.
Helmet, Just Wear One
Helmets stop head injuries or worse. Wearing a helmet reduces a head injury by 70%. I mean I will take those odds. If you fall or get hit by another moving vehicle you'll thank the helmet on top of your head.
These days the designs of helmets are better and safer. Buy one. You'll thank yourself, allowing you to ride your electric bike safely. This guide to the best helmets of 2021 will show you what's available on the market today.
Be Seen, Clearly
If you're a driver or you've ever travelled in a car seeing a cyclist at night can be tricky. So wear something that's bright and reflective. So when those headlights bounce off you, you are reflective as a mirror. Even if it's just a reflective gilet, it can make all the difference.
And lights! Front and rear but consider side and helmet as well. Because believe it or not being seen and seeing at night is also important.
And not all roads are flat. Potholes for cars are annoying, potholes for electric bikes can be fatal. So being able to see them as you ride through the urban jungle in the dark is equally important.
Keep Pumped Up
Your tyres to be exact. Electric bike safety is all in the tyres. Well, some of it. Quite an obvious safety tip but still people miss them.
The electric bike won't fully feel in control if you're tyres aren't fully inflated. You'll definitely feel them wobble as you ride through the city streets. And, when they’re pumped, you can see if they've worn down and need replacing. Invest in a bike pump, they’re not very expensive.
It will at least stop you veering into a canal or the path of a van, for example.
Watch the Traffic
Drivers are idiots. My old driving instructor said to me, the best advice I can give to you is to treat every other user on the road like they're an idiot. And that's stuck with me. As an e-bike rider and owner, you should too. Drivers get distracted, are unpredictable, and can be naive when it comes to cyclists.
As you dip and glide through traffic be aware that they won't see you and take enough care or still see you and won't care. This is when electric bike safety is an absolute priority. Be aware of your surroundings, give yourself plenty of room, and treat each other road user as an idiot.
Also, don't run red lights on your electric bike. I know why, but it could cost you your life. One miscalculated red light jump and it could be goodnight, Vienna.
Practice Your Speed
Electric bikes are great because you can go relatively quick on them. It's so easy to fly in and around traffic with the throttle fully open. And that is fantastic on the open road with the wind in your helmet.
Generally, faster than traditional bicycles, electric bikes can keep up their top speed easily. And this is what you have to watch out for. If the traffic is busy or you're in a built-up area, then slow down and keep your speed to the road and environmental conditions.
If you're new to the e-bike, don't set off down the road like a racehorse. Mistakes will be made. Start off slowly and build yourself up and get used to its pace.
And remember, pedestrians will walk out in front of you. You're quick and quiet. They won't hear you, so make sure you slow down for pedestrianised areas.
Not only are electric bikes are faster than their pedalling counterpart, but they also tend to be heavier. Thanks to the motor and the battery weights. As an electric bike rider, you need to learn to brake slightly earlier at traffic lights and the like.
Braking too hard at the last minute, especially in the rain, could cause a total loss of control of your electric bike. So practice braking.
The braking power of your electric bike will be different for each model. So get in tune with the way your bike brakes. Especially in wet conditions and on gravel. It's good to test these out regularly.
Keep Your E-Bike Maintained
Keeping your electric bike safe can be down to getting your e-bike maintained at regular intervals. If you use your electric bike routinely then getting it serviced every 6 to 12 months is the best way to keep it safe and secure. Not only will this improve your electric bike safety it will give longevity to all the e-bikes components and fixtures.
There are things you can do as well. Checking your brakes, making sure your chain is oiled, the tyres are fully inflated, and that all the fittings are tight and secure make all the difference in keeping your bike on the road.
Remember, You're Still Riding a Bike
You're still vulnerable to other vehicles on the road, especially when you’re pootling along, pedal-free. Make sure you follow all our electric bike safety tips when you venture out, some may save your life.
And watch out for that dismount, with a heavier frame people still have accidents just dismounting their electric bike. Plus you won't look very cool.