EBikes have most certainly revolutionized our modern travel culture. As the world rushes to adopt environment-friendly and healthy means of transport, eBikes are proving to be the best choice for people of all walks of life. However, if you are just getting started using eBike technology, you might benefit from some crucial eBike commuter tips.
These tips ensure that you have a safe ride to and from work and keep your bike in optimum conditions. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details on these essential tips, is an eBike worth the investment?
Unfortunately, most prospective eBikers confuse eBikes for conventional mountain or road bicycles. In a definite sense, these two are different!
What Is the Difference Between an eBike and a Conventional Bike?
EBikes are conventional hybrid bicycles in that you can ride by pedaling or using a battery-powered engine. The main difference is that eBikes are battery-powered while conventional bikes are not.
This slight difference sets an eBike apart, as it can be used by people of different ages and fitness levels. Cyclists can start the engine and let the bike run on battery whenever you are tired of pedaling. This way, you can ride to work without becoming a sweaty mess!
Let’s take a look at some key features that set eBikes and conventional bicycles apart.
Key Features of an EBike
The battery is the most outstanding feature of an electric bike. Most brands come with batteries that can power different motor types to suit different terrains. An excellent quality eBike has three motors/gears.
- The mid-drive motors: Ideal when going uphill or when riding at higher speeds on flat ground.
- Rear hub motors: This motor gives you better traction on the rear tires. They should be used with care as they are costly to repair.
- Front hub motors: Gives you an all-drive option when cycling on off-road terrains such as murram or snow.
The battery life depends on your riding habits and the road terrain and typically lasts between 35-and 100 miles. The battery is made of lithium-ion and has a fast rechargeability of up to 4 hours, but you can ride with a battery level of as low as 50% charge.
Friendly Pedaling Options
Unlike conventional bikes, eBikes have assisted-pedaling features that monitor and boost your pedaling power whenever you struggle.
There are two main pedal power assistance modes:
- Torque sensor pedal assists: This feature detects the amount of force applied to the pedal and compensates if the force is not strong enough to facilitate wheel movement.
- Cadence sensor pedal assists: This feature complements your pedaling resistance with the same amount of force as your feet. Hence you get to apply only half of the needed force at a time.
Modern Security eBike Features
Most eBikes come with advanced security features, including U-locks, chains, frame locks, cable locks, and folding locks. However, you may have to purchase some of these features separately. You can also install security alarms on your eBike or fit GPS trackers connected to a bike tracking application to enhance its security.
EBike are also an environment-friendly alternative to diesel-powered vehicles. Global warming has become an international crisis, and eBikes give you a chance to take part in saving the planet.
That’s not all, using eBikes has many health benefits! Read on to learn more.
Health Benefits of Using an eBike
Before we share the best tips for eBike commuters, what is in it for you? Why not take a car to work or the grocery store?
Well, riding an eBike has many advantages to your wellbeing. So let’s look at some health benefits of using an eBike over conventional means of transport.
Improves Your Blood Circulation
According to research published by the clinical journal of sports medicine, cycling an eBike increases oxygen intake by body tissues. The research reported that the health impact of using eBike is almost comparable to conventional cardio exercises such as riding a regular bicycle or running. The upper hand for eBikes is that it is convenient for all age groups, and riders can switch to battery use when they get tired.
Reduce Chances of Heart Failure
Heart failure is common among adults in the United States. Luckily, you can reduce the chances of suffering from a heart attack by using an eBike to work. An eBike gives you an automated ride to work in the morning and a chance to cycle back in the evening.
Research published by Glasgow University revealed a connection between cycling and a lower risk of premature death in a study done on 264,347 subjects. The report indicates that those who cycled from and to work had a 40% lower chance of suffering from heart failure, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
Cycling an eBike engages your muscles and burns calories that make up the fat layer. Fitness experts advise that a 45-minute cycling three times a week can have a tremendous positive impact on your weight. Conversely, being overweight contributes to many health complications, low self-esteem, and even physical impairment.
Boosts Your Immune System
According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, people engaged in sports and cardio exercise are 29% less likely to develop upper respiratory tract infection compared to individuals who don’t get any exercise at all. The journal of applied physiology further elaborates that 20 minutes of exercise can adjust your immunity a notch higher. You can get the cardio exercise you need by often riding your ebike.
Enhance Sleep Quality
Do you struggle to get good quality sleep at night? Your body could be producing less melatonin hormone that induces sleep. Exercising stirs your muscles and excites endocrine glands that produce sleep-inducing hormones. Additionally, stress could be a factor in your lack of sleep, which can be treated by engaging in regular exercises.
Reduce Stress and Clear Your Mind
After a long day at work, it is natural that your mind would be packed with different thoughts and disorganized information, resulting in stress, anxiety, or depression. The best way to relieve work pressure is by engaging your body in little exercises on your way from work using an eBike.
According to the American Council of Exercise, physical exercise leads to the production of dopamine and a concoction of other endocrine hormones that excite the part of the brain responsible for emotions such as happiness.
Reduce the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
eBikes are not as energy-demanding as conventional bikes or running long distances; hence it is a suitable exercise for diabetic patients. Research published by the University of Bristol in the UK reveals that riding an eBike increased the predicted maximal aerobic power by 10.5% among diabetic patients.
Top 10 Tips for eBike Commuters
Great! You are now ready to get to the shop and grab an eBike for yourself and a loved one. Here are some crucial tips to keep in mind before and after purchasing an eBike.
Choose an eBike That Suits You
Electric bikes are quickly gaining popularity amongst Americans looking to live a healthier lifestyle while conserving the environment. For this reason, you may be surprised by the vast number of different eBike brands, types, and sizes in the market.
The rule of thumb is to settle for a bike that suits you in terms of size, features, and balance by creating a checklist of features that you would like your dream eBike to have. Here are standard features that you can keep in mind when buying an eBike;
- Battery size and longevity: Go for the highest battery life.
- Bike’s size: Pick the right size for yourself. If you are buying it for someone else, it is wise to find out what bike sizes suit them.
- Bike’s model: Some people are specific about their eBike models; find out the reputable ones.
- Storage: Does the bike have a cargo rack? You don’t want to be carrying your baggage whenever you are riding from work.
Other features include tire materials, frames, and speed motor limits. Picking the wrong eBike will reduce the desire to ride hence denying you the benefits discussed earlier.
Join an eBike Community
Check social media sites for eBike communities around you. These communities provide a sense of belonging as you start your eBike riding lifestyle. Additionally, you get access to infinite tips on the best practices every eBike commuter should know from community experts. These include the best places to source spare parts, the best eBike garage within your locality, and how to maintain your eBike. Local communities may also organize events for eBikers, something you wouldn’t want to miss.
Always Check the Weather
It is best to time your rides for the best weather. You can take other means of transport during the rainy or snowy seasons. Remember, you have no car roof over your head and are at the mercy of natural elements.
Summer heat may also be as catastrophic as you risk suffering from intensive sunburns or dehydration. Therefore, you may want to apply enough sunscreen and carry an extra water bottle before you head out. A reliable weather app should be your closest advisor!
Dress Appropriately and Plan for Storage
If you work in an office, you may want to carry an extra set of change clothes as riding the bike in the evening will leave you sweaty. It is advisable to avoid cycling while heading to work and only cycle on your way home when you have appropriate cycling attire.
If you don’t have time or means to change your clothes, you may wish to put on clothes that permit flexibility as you cycle. A foldable waterproof poncho comes in handy if you need to carry some extra layers.
Most eBikes come with a backpack or messenger bag as the primary storage unit that is higher than the waist level. These are readily accessible without destabilizing the bike’s balance.
Heavy objects should always go into the basket, with only lighter objects on your back to ensure maximum comfort to your arms and waist.
Figure out the Best Routes Before Riding
One advantage of using an eBike over a car is that you can use shorter routes to work, some of which are inaccessible to vehicles. However, if you are using a new route, it would be wise to carry out a casual reconnaissance to get a precise route map and figure out the estimated travel time, expected traffic, and alternatives.
You may also want to use less congested roads for safety reasons keeping in mind that local events and construction projects may alter routes from time to time.
Keeping Your eBike Safe
EBikes are quite an investment, and many people cannot afford them. The best way to secure your bike from theft is by investing in a bike lock. Storms and strong winds can also blow away and damage your bike if it is not adequately secured when not in use.
Alternatively, you can fit a tracker on your bike just in case it is stolen or misplaced. Thieves may also target your bike battery even when the bike is on lock. It’s advisable to remove the battery pack from the bike if you leave it unattended for long.
Carry Water and Some Snacks
Wait, is this turning into a hike? Nope!
Cycling causes extreme perspiration, and your body loses water in the process. Carrying a water bottle ensures that you are hydrated during your ride and can cycle for longer periods without fatigue. In addition, a packet of snacks will replenish energy lost during the exercise and power up your cycling.
Cycling on a hungry stomach triggers dizziness, shakiness, elevated heart rate, and overall body weakness as the little glucose in the blood gets consumed, causing a rapid shortage. In addition, you may suffer from bonking or an energy crash if you don’t replenish your blood glucose by snacking on energy-rich food.
Be Alert on the Road
Many drivers do not recognize bike riders as road users and may bully you off the road. Regardless of the legality of their actions, it is wise to give your safety the highest priority. Always assume that truck and bus drivers cannot see you; hence approach their vehicles cautiously. Avoid approaching heavy-duty vehicles from the blind spot.
Unfortunately, eBike brands are yet to install indicators on eBikes, and even if they had, it would take a keen driver to notice them. Therefore, use your arms to indicate the turns you will be taking, especially at crossroads and roundabouts.
Lastly, you should have a reflector light installed if you will ride in darkness. This will prevent being run over by traffic. eBikes have different speed limits, and it is wise to stick to a speed limit that is appropriate for your location and the one you are comfortable with.
Keep Your eBike in Perfect Condition
Your eBike is going to wear out. The battery life will depreciate, the wheel rim may develop bends, and bearings will wear out. For this reason, you should service it at least once a week. Unlike your car, you can service your bike at home.
Consider lubricating the chain and other moving parts, fixing loose spokes, brake pads, pedals, and handlebars. The battery may need careful cleaning to remove any dust and debris accumulated within. If grime (dust + oil) accumulates on the chain, consider using chemical solvents to wash it off before reapplying the oil.
Monitor Your Battery Life
Different bike models come with specific battery longevity. The user’s manual indicates the battery capacity in kilojoules and how long a full battery is expected to last while on the road. The challenge is that terrain affects the amount of energy the bike requires; hence longevity is not cast in stone.
However, after several rides on your desired route, you can figure out the extent to which your eBike battery can last. A full battery may last you several days, but it should never be an excuse to head out on a low battery.
eBikes will go down as one of the revolutionary innovations of the 21st century. As the world seeks alternative ways of traveling without causing harm to the planet, shunning diesel-powered engines is surely the way to go. With electric cars being pricey and prone to failure, an electric bike gives you a complete green travel experience.
As is evident, cycling as a form of exercise can boost your health and prevent conditions such as heart attack, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. EBike gives you these opportunities which cannot be found on conventional bikes or motor vehicles. Wondering where to start? Talk to our eBike experts today and get yourself a customized eBike.