Electric bikes have become popular in recent years especially with the popularity of this mode of transportation with older riders. It has made cycling more accessible to all kinds of people such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and even car-free households in urban areas. It’s the perfect transportation option that can be easily maintained with minimum cost and expertise.
While electric bikes are fun to take out on rides, safety precautions should still be observed to fully enjoy the cycling experience. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or new to the electric bike scene, you should first learn how to handle this kind of bicycle to ensure your safety. We have some safety tips you should know before you take your ebike for a spin.
5 Tips on How to Ride an Ebike Safely
Pay more attention to traffic.
- Make sure to ride on the proper side of the road and not against the traffic. Drivers wouldn’t anticipate cyclists to reach 20 mph on the road, and that slight disconnect could prompt potentially dangerous situations. It’s not enough to be careful on your side, but also be aware of how the other drivers see you. And being on a bike is no excuse to go against the traffic rules.
- Be a defensive driver. When drivers see a bicycle on the road, they think “slowpoke” regardless of how fast it’s moving. This mentality often becomes a problem when the oncoming driver assumes he has time to cut you off or make a turn in front of you. On your part, be prepared to take action whether to slow down or stop because the other driver will not realize you are going much faster than a conventional bike.
- Watch out for inattentive drivers. Be careful during the weekends, especially at nights. People who have been out drinking may be taking chances with your safety by driving when they shouldn’t.
- Make eye contact with other drivers. A lot of bicycle accidents occur when a cyclist wrongfully assumes the driver saw him. Never assume you were seen unless you made eye contact with the other driver, especially at intersections.
- Make yourself seen. Being on the road along with other vehicles around you, it’s best to have your bike equipped with lights and a bell. Drivers do not expect to see a bike zipping past with an extra boost of power so it’s best to be easily visible (and heard) for all traffic participants, especially during the winter season. Read up on our tips for ebike commuting in winter.
- Speed check. Most riders with a new ebike tend to go for the fastest assist setting right away. But it’s advisable to learn how to use your bike at lower speed settings to get used to it first. Try riding with different pedal assists and gear selections in an area with very little or no traffic to get a complete understanding of how your bike best responds.
- Brake earlier. With the speed you’re going, braking becomes more important. Just like any vehicle, you should slow down ahead of stop signs and road crossings before halting to a full stop. Familiarize yourself with your electric bike’s brakes and relative power so you can gauge the safest time to slow down.
- Be careful with mounting and dismounting. Most injuries happen when you mount and dismount your ebike, especially for older riders and young riders with mobility issues. Since an electric bike weighs more than a conventional bike, the added weight can cause you to lose balance or tip over. Choose a bike frame that’s comfortable to get on and off easily. Consider an ebike with a step-through frame like our cruiser bike.
Accidents can happen at any time with any kind of vehicle. It’s best to always be aware of your surroundings and to be familiar with the equipment you’re using. Here’s more safety tips to keep in mind before you go on your epic bike ride.
Ebike Safety Tips
- Wear a helmet. Before you go riding, make sure you are wearing the right gear. No matter how experienced you are with riding a bicycle, it’s important to take safety precautions when you ride. Aside from your warm or light clothing (depending on the weather), wear a proper helmet on your bike rides especially when you’re going on a commute. It will save you from head injuries in case you get involved in an accident. Invest in a comfortable helmet with the fastening straps to ensure a secure fit.
- Use your lights. If you’re riding at night, make sure you have extra lighting or reflective gear installed on your bike so other vehicles can see you on the road. You should have at least one blinking front (white) and rear (red) LED light on your ebike. Consider adding a light on your helmet as well. Anything that makes you more visible during night rides will greatly decrease your chances of being hit by another vehicle.
- Use warning devices. You would want to be heard as well as be seen on the road to prevent accidents. Consider installing both a bell and a horn on your ebike. The bell is for warning pedestrians while the horn is for warning other vehicles.
- Always check your tires. Before you head off on your ebike ride, make sure your tires are properly inflated and do not have puncture holes. Properly inflated tires will give you better control on the road should you need to react quickly to avoid accidents.
- Use a mirror. Install rear view mirrors on your handlebars and use it to check behind you before moving further into traffic. Most compact cars have become quiet and more popular electric cars are almost silent, they can easily sneak up on you. Our Cruiser Bike’s rear view mirror sits at the end of the cruiser’s handlebar, making it easier to see the vehicles behind you.
- Consider installing GPS on your ebike. You’ve already invested in an ebike, you should also keep it safe from unauthorized individuals. A GPS device can be tracked with your phone or computer should anyone ride away with it. The device can also give you directions and pinpoints your location. You can also track how many miles you’ve covered and where you passed.
- Invest in a good lock to keep your ebike safe. As an added safety precaution, a fingerprint activated u-lock like the ones we have at the company is a great way to secure your electric bike’s safety while running errands or for short “cafe” stops.
Ebike Equipment Safety
Most of the major concerns with ebike hazards does not come from the bike itself, but with its batteries, particularly with lead and lithium-ion batteries. Worn out batteries should be disposed of with great caution and care to avoid potential hazards.
When it comes to charging the battery, you should make sure that it’s always above freezing temperature especially in the winter. Otherwise, the battery cells may be harmed. On the other hand, below-freezing conditions do not affect the battery as you go riding. When you go for ebike rides during the rainy or snow season, you should avoid riding through wet slush or big puddles. Getting your ebike gears wet could cause rust to form, eventually deteriorating the gears. Make sure to charge your ebike batteries in a dry setting.
Aside from making sure your tires are properly inflated, you should always check to make sure the tires are not worn out before you go for a ride.
Ebike rides should be fun and taking these safety precautions is the best way to enjoy the experience. For more tips about electric bike rides, bookmark our blog or subscribe to our website.