Electric bikes or e-bikes have become a popular option among bike riders and commuters as it offers an easier way to cycle while allowing riders to extend their range. In terms of appearance, it looks exactly like a regular bicycle, except that it has a battery integrated into the bicycle. However, because of the battery and other motor parts, e-bikes are heavier.
However, as with riding bicycles, e-bikes are also prone to safety risks if riders don’t ride them properly. To avoid accidents on the road and enjoy your e-bike ride, here are a few electric bike safety tips to remind you. If you already ride a bicycle regularly, you will notice that most of these apply to riding bicycles as well.
1. Check your ABC before riding
If you’re riding an electric bike for the first time, don’t worry as it's the same as riding a bicycle. As with riding bicycles, you should also check the ABCs of your e-bike before riding.
- Air. Do the tyres have enough air? Always check the tyre pressure and adjust accordingly if necessary. Proper tyre pressure will help make your rides easier and safer.
As you check your components, take this opportunity to prepare your ride by adjusting your seat to the right height. Also, make sure that your e-bike has regular maintenance to keep it in top condition.
2. Wear a helmet and other protective gear
Whether you’re riding a bicycle, skateboard, or electric scooter, you always have to wear safety gear. In fact, road safety rules require cyclists to wear helmets when riding. A helmet is the most important protective gear that you need to wear, as it will protect your head from injuries during a fall or collision.
Aside from a helmet, it’s also recommended to invest in elbow and knee pads, eye protection, and a night light or reflective vest when riding at night. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a lot on protective gear. A good sturdy helmet is enough as long as it fits you well. Remember that you don’t need to have fancy gear, as long as you are properly protected.
3. Always bring water
E-bikes may be easier to pedal than normal bicycles, but it still takes physical effort to ride them. When riding long distances, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated by bringing a bottle of water. Strap one in your frame or put it inside your basket, so that you get to refresh yourself as you ride. This is an important item to bring, especially when riding in the heat.
4. Check the weather before heading out
Similarly, if the temperature is too hot outside, you may want to ride a car or take public transportation. Before heading out, always check the water and see if it’s suitable for riding an electric bike or other micro-mobility devices. Moreover, avoid riding in harsh conditions, such as rain and snow, as the road is slippery and risky. If you’re caught in the rain, look for a place to take shelter and wait it out. It’s best to ride when the rain or snow has stopped and the paths are mostly dry.
5. Know bike riding etiquette
Electric bike road safety is the same as cycling road rules. If you know basic bike riding etiquette, then you would have no problem riding an e-bike in public. However, if you don’t, you should learn the right riding practices.
For example, always remember that you ride with the flow of traffic, never against it. It’s a simple rule that will prevent any risks for riders. Also, always follow road signs, stop signs, and traffic lights as with other vehicles on the roads or paths. Also, make it a habit to ride on the right side of the path and let pedestrians and drivers see your hand signals whenever you turn or merge. Moreover, try to make eye contact with other riders or drivers to ensure that they see you. These are just some road rules that you should keep in mind while riding.
6. Practice proper riding position
One of the safety tips for riding an e-bike is getting into position properly. If you don’t sit and handle your e-bike properly, then you could experience fatigue faster or injure a part of your body. Similar to riding a bicycle, don’t hunch while riding. This will help avoid muscle soreness and fatigue. Moreover, tilt your head from time to time to avoid having a stiff neck.
When seating on your e-bike, consider sliding forward or back on the saddle to use different muscle groups while riding. Moving forward emphasises the quadriceps, while moving back emphasises the hamstrings and glutes. Doing this will help you maximise your muscles and allow other muscles to rest, especially when riding long distances or different terrains.
Finally, avoid moving your upper body too much and keep your shoulders behind the front wheel axle. Having control over your upper body and your riding position will help you ride better and easier.
7. Keep your pacing in check
An electric bike may make it easier for riders to pedal and reach longer distances, but it can’t help them pace themselves. An electric bike safety tip to remember is to build up your pacing slowly and give your body time to adjust or warm-up. Moreover, don’t start too fast in the beginning as you will burn out faster and feel fatigued by the second half of your trip. Remember to start slow and keep a steady pace to ride effortlessly and safely, even on long trips.
8. Learn how to ride in a group
If you’re riding in a group, know that there are certain rules that you should follow. After all, it’s easy to crash when you’re riding is unpredictable. If it’s your first time riding with a group, it’s best to ride in the back first and observe how other riders do it. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask.
Also, when riding in a group, always have your hands on your brakes in case something happens. Remember that you are all responsible for each of your safety. After all, if one falls or makes a mistake, other riders can also be affected like a domino. Riding in groups is fun, as long as you follow rules and keep each other safe.
Have fun and ride safely!
Whether you’re riding an electric bike for commuting or leisure, you must know how to ride them properly for your safety and others. Hopefully, these electric bike safety tips gave you an idea of how to ride safely while having fun. Feel free to read more and research other bike riding etiquette for your safety. Check out our other electric bike safety guides as well.