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8 Safety Tips You Should Know Before Riding an E-Bike

8 Safety Tips You Should Know Before Riding an E-Bike

While an electric bike is perfectly safe if the rider follows a few rules, many new e-bike owners want to get out on the road before doing their due diligence. We’re here to help all bikers, new and old, with these eight safety tips you should know before riding an e-bike.

Read the Manual

You should make a habit of reading the manual whenever you buy a new piece of tech, but it’s especially essential for an e-bike. You’ll learn information about the speeds you can expect to experience, what to watch out for when your bike needs repair, and tips for proper maintenance.

Perusing the manual is critical when you convert a standard bike to an e-bike with a kit, as installation would be tough without it!

Walk Before You Run

One of the many appealing factors about an e-bike is the speed you can achieve on one. However, you shouldn’t start at top speed. While that may seem like a fun idea, several e-bike models can reach speeds over 30 miles per hour—not something you want to experience without a bit of practice.

Often, you’ll have the ability to reach the posted speed limit in suburban areas, so your e-bike is not unlike a car. Treat your first few rides as if you were learning to drive again—practice in an empty parking lot before taking it to the streets. Try out all the different levels on your bike. When you’re comfortable with all of them, you can join traffic.

Get Used to Braking

Braking is among the most difficult aspects of e-biking for new riders to learn. When you have years of experience on the back of a bike, your brain has created some assumptions about braking. E-bikes travel much faster than regular bikes, so you need to rewire your thinking to brake safely.

During your practice sessions, try going full speed and then braking to a complete stop. Count the seconds it takes for your bike to come to rest after initially applying your brakes, and you’ll see what we mean—you need to brake much earlier on an e-bike to maintain safety. When you take your bike on the road, start slowing down long before you reach the stop sign ahead.

Practice Turning

The other aspect of biking that you must reconsider when you have a motor is turning. While you can take turns somewhat sharply on the back of an unpowered bicycle, you’ll need to slow down significantly before swerving on an e-bike.

Interestingly, the speed of your e-bike isn’t so much the issue as its weight. With the heavy motor, your bike is slightly less agile and slightly bulkier. Reduced agility means you need to take turns slowly and methodically if you don’t want to fly off your bike. If you’ve ever taken a sharp turn in a car at full speed, you’ll know what we’re talking about—you can almost feel the vehicle starting to flip.

Check Your Tires

Before each trip out on your bike (and especially if the bicycle has been sitting in the garage for a few weeks since your last outing), check your tires. Keeping your tires topped off gives you the best chance to maintain control in critical situations.

You may also notice increased wear on your tires due to the higher speeds—replace them as soon as you notice any balding. When you’re zipping around on an electric bike, the last thing you want is reduced traction!

Always Wear a Helmet

We may sound a bit like your mother when we say this, but listen up! Never ever take your e-bike out for a spin without putting on your helmet first. It doesn’t matter that you’re just taking a quick ride around the block—always wear your helmet.

If you’ve seen the after-school specials where they drop a melon off a roof with and without a helmet, you know how essential they are. If you haven’t, let’s just say there’s a lot less fruit goo when the watermelon wears its helmet.

Make Yourself Seen and Heard

One of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to make sure drivers know you’re there. You should consider installing a bell on your bike to alert pedestrians and a horn to catch the attention of drivers. While these audio devices are helpful in a tight scrape, your best bet is to make sure drivers can see you.

Always ride in light clothing at night and install reflectors on the front and back of your bike. It’s scarily easy for a biker to disappear into the darkness when they wear muted clothing and forget their reflectors, so take the proper precautions and light up the night.

While reflectors are a good start, you can also install LED lights on the front and back of your bike. These have two benefits: making you easier to spot on the road and providing a light source for your late-night rides.

Additionally, you should add a mirror to your growing collection of handlebar gadgets. Shoulder checking is an important skill to master, but the more you can keep your head forward, the better.

Follow Traffic Rules

When you’re on a machine that can easily hit 25-30 miles per hour, you need to obey traffic rules like any other driver. Stay in the right lane, signal when you’re planning to turn, and brake at stop signs and stoplights. You’ll need to learn a few hand signals to communicate your turning intentions to other drivers, but they’re essential for keeping yourself and others safe on the road.

Remember, most people aren’t expecting to see a bike that can reach 30 miles per hour, so always be prepared for drivers to assume you’re slow. This may cause them to think they can easily make a turn in front of you or cut you off, not realizing the speeds your bike is capable of. Drive defensively to avoid nasty accidents.

Now that you understand these eight safety tips you should know before riding an e-bike, enjoy the open road responsibly and never forget your helmet! If you’re in the market for a mid-drive e-bike conversion kit to take your riding experience to the next level, we can help.

8 Safety Tips You Should Know Before Riding an E-Bike
by Ebike Essentials