Summer is definitely here either that or a long heat wave – and thus a great time to soak up the good weather outdoors on an electric bike.
With global electric bicycle use surging and with more locations accessible by e-bike than ever before, these tips can help you have a great time out there this summer.
Picking the right e-bike
Different styles of e-bike are geared for different types of riders. City e-bikes are better for those that do most of their riding in the city, while electric mountain bikes or fat tire e-bikes or our Trekking 11G are a better option for those that spend more time on trails or riding in sandy or deep soil conditions.
Bicycle frame geometry is also important, if you’re having a hard time swinging your leg over the saddle, even when you’ve adjusted the seat, you may want to look into a Step-Thru model. Alternatively, you may be too short or too tall for the bike you have in mind.
Start out slow
If this is your first electric bicycle (or especially if this is your first time back in the saddle in years), spend some time practicing before you hit the crowded bike lanes or trails. An empty parking lot, open field or even a cul-de-sac is a great place to get your cycling legs back and practice controlling your new e-bike. Get to know your e-bike and become comfortable with its controls before you start riding in more crowded environments.
Be prepared by packing the essentials. Studies have shown that riders on electric bikes typically ride farther and stay out longer than riders on pedal-only bicycles. That you means you’ll want be prepared by packing any necessary items you’ll need for longer rides. That could be water, sunscreen, a first aid kit or anything else that you might need along the way – but remember that your battery life will be affected by weight.
Riding safely means riding defensively
Be hyper aware of where dangers are lurking, especially since they tend to pop up in places you least expect them. Whether it’s assuming cars are out to get to you or that any number of dangers could be lurking around blind turns on trails, try to keep your wits about you at all times.
Sometimes, the threats aren’t as easy to spot. Puddles can obscure hidden dangers under the water, and you never know what may be covered up by that wet pile of leaves in the road. It’s better to play it safe and avoid them entirely when you can.
This doesn’t mean that you should spend your rides scared that every path holds a hidden danger. But it means that you should remain aware of the higher risk locations – many of which are areas where you don’t have the full picture or you lack complete visibility.
Check your tires early and often
They’re the most critical part of the bicycle that affects its stability at every moment you’re on it – both on casual straightaways and in hard, fast turns. They’re the only thing keeping you up and they’re your only point of contact with the road. Good brakes mean nothing if your tires can’t translate that braking force to the ground.
No matter where you ride, your tires are critical. Equally important is ensuring your tires haven’t picked up any sharp bits of debris along your rides. Small objects can become embedded in tires, especially in the deep treads, and then work their way deeper over time. Getting a flat doesn’t just ruin your ride, it can be dangerous at the wrong moment.
If you notice anything that’s become embedded, pick it out with a sharp blade or needle nose pliers. Leaving it in there gives it the opportunity to slowly work its way in deeper and ultimately puncture your tube. Also keep in mind that maintaining proper tire pressure is important. When your tires are filled correctly, you can enjoy smoother, faster rides. Another big bonus? It helps you avoid flats. To help avoid these, use a bicycle pump and a bike tire gauge to make sure your tire is consistently at the recommended PSI.
Lastly, just because tires are the most important safety component on a bike, that doesn’t mean to neglect other safety equipment. Give your brakes a quick test each time you hop on my bike before setting off, and try to give them a more thorough cleaning and inspection several times a year.
Maintaining lights, reflectors and other safety equipment is also paramount.
Enjoy some fun and safe rides this summer!
What tips would you add for enjoying your rides this summer? Let’s hear them in the comment section below!