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Tips On How To Ride An Electric Bike For The First Time

Ready to ride your ebike for the first time? Use these tips to get started!

Midsection of cyclist with their electric bike

Electric bicycles are a great way to get around town, commute to work, and even squeeze in a little exercise. Although there are many similarities between traditional and electric bikes, there are also plenty of differences that can impact how you feel when riding. Check out these tips on how to ride your brand new electric bike before setting off on your first trip.

Make sure your e-bike battery is fully charged

When you first start out with your new electric bike, it can be a challenge to figure out how much of the battery life is left and how to find out where on earth all those buttons are.

You may not need a fully charged battery for your first trip, but it’s generally good practice to charge up just in case any surprises happen.

Check your electric bike’s tire pressure

Make sure your e-bike tires are properly inflated before you take off. If your tires aren’t inflated enough, you’ll have slower speeds and you risk a blowout or accident.

Pro Tip: Your ebike tire pressure will depend on the manufacturer, and which model you own. Check their website for exact tire pressure specifications.

While you’re at it, also remember to check your brakes and gears before hopping on.

Get all your safety gear in order

Grab your helmet and give it a quick try to make sure it’s adjusted properly and fits you well. After all, it’s one of the most important precautions you can take against injury.

You’ll also want at least one bottle of water — and you might want to invest in a portable air pump and tire repair kit. If your electric bike has storage bags, you can keep them in here. Alternatively, some e-cyclists wear a small backpack to hold water, kits, and so on.

Know where to ride an ebike

Take a few minutes to look up your city’s electric bike laws and make sure you don’t accidentally ride somewhere you aren’t supposed to. For example, if you own a certain class of ebike, you might have some restrictions on where you can go.

Use the information below as a guideline, but remember that ultimately it depends on where you live.

Class 1 Ebike:

Your electric bike has a pedal assist feature, but it doesn’t go over 20 mph and you don’t have throttle.

Class 1 is the most common type of e-bike and it’s widely accepted on bike paths, city streets, and trails.

However, you might face some restrictions if you take your Class 1 e-bike out on mountain bike trails — and you’ll have to obey speed limits regardless of where you ride.

Class 2 Ebike:

Your electric bike has a pedal assist and throttle up to 20 mph.

Because Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle, they’re limited to where cars and other vehicles can go. For example, you probably won’t be able to take your Class 2 out on a bike trail — but you can probably take it out on city streets or off-roading.

Class 3 Ebike:

Your electric bike has a pedal assist feature, but it doesn’t go over 28 mph and you don’t have throttle.

These are pretty similar to Class 1 e-bikes, they’re just a little faster. You’ll probably want to stick to city streets, but if you obey the speed limits, you might be able to hit some paths and trails.

How to ride an electric bike

The feel of an e-bike is mostly like that of a traditional bike, with some key differences. Some people only need one ride to get the hang of it, while others need some extra time to practice. Take a look at the biggest differences between riding an e-bike and a regular bike before you ride for the first time.

Give the lower gears more attention

To preserve battery life and get better mileage, you’ll probably need to pedal a little faster than you would with a traditional bike.

Pump the brakes sooner

Electric bikes are faster and heavier than road bikes, mountain bikes, and so on. Because of this, you’ll need to hit the brakes earlier so you have enough time to safely stop.

Keep an eye on your battery and range

Things like hills and using your throttle can drain your battery pretty fast — which also reduces your range, or how far you can go. Also, the more you carry with you, the heavier the ebike will be, and the lower your range will be.

Lastly, the outside temperature can impact your electric bike’s battery life. Your battery actually lasts longer when it’s warm outside compared to when it’s cold.

Electric bicycles have lower centers of gravity

Your ebike is heavier than a regular bicycle, and its battery or motor sits lower. This means your center of gravity is also lower which can make turns feel a little different at first.

Check your electric bike after each trip

When you return to home base after an ebike ride, perform a few simple checks before you lock up and store it. This will help preserve your battery efficiency and prolong the life of your ebike.

Recharge your ebike battery

Set your future self up for success and charge up your battery when you come home. Remember to use the right charger for your battery! Using a different charger model could result in a fire or reduce your battery’s life.

Clean off any debris or dirt

Give your electric bicycle a once over with a cloth to remove any debris, dirt, or grime. This will keep your brand new ebike looking clean, and also prevent things like rust.

Lock your electric bike

Secure your ebike in your home or garage properly. They’re huge targets for theft and once yours is stolen, it can be really hard to get it back. Remember to lock up your ebike and keep it out of sight, and learn how to prevent thieves from breaking in in the first place.

If you haven’t already, register your new ebike’s serial number online. In case it’s ever stolen, you can alert the local cycling community and the local authorities.

It’s also a smart idea to invest in an affordable electric bike insurance policy to protect yourself financially from:

  • Theft
  • Accidents
  • Loss
  • Damage

Get full-value coverage for your electric bicycle starting at just $8 a month today! Plus, quotes are free, easy, and instant.

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