There is a good reason why so many people are starting to adopt an electric bike as their mode of transport for their daily commute. It is cheaper, environmentally friendlier, and saves you the inconvenience of traffic jams.
Not to mention that you get to exercise while at it!
Knowing how to use the e-bike correctly helps to make your commute easier and our 5 tips below will help you to make electric bike commuting great!
Get Comfortable on the E-bike you Choose
Your comfort should always be prioritized when choosing an e-bike, considering it’s an experience that becomes part of your daily schedule. Comfort is, to a great extent, dependent on the gear you choose, starting with the type of e-bike.
Firstly, you need a bike that fits you well! Whether you pick an e-road bike, eMTB, or e-folding bike, make sure it won’t make your ride a hassle. Check the size, the handling, the padding on the saddle, and any other thing that affects your comfort while riding. The same goes for the type of clothing you wear. Find something practical that allows you to remain safe and confident on the road.
One of the biggest disadvantages of commuting using a traditional bike is sweat! This can also be a problem with electric bikes, especially if you choose the wrong kind of attire. Luckily, the electric support ensures you don’t have to work too hard to keep your bike moving.
But considering that you’ll still need to pedal, be sure to take it easy and allow the motor to do a lion’s share of the work. Also, find attire that enables you to remain cool. To dress appropriately for a bike ride, you always want to consider the weather.
It is crucial to make sure that you don’t overdress. For instance, if the weather is cold, most people tend to overdo it with the layers. If you don’t feel that chilly when you start the journey, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be feeling a lot warmer by the time you get to your destination.
Furthermore, it’s wise to dress in layers as this allows you to reduce or add an item of clothing depending on the weather. However, a little sweat is inevitable, so you want to check if there is a facility such as a shower at your place of work.
If that’s not an option, consider carrying baby wipes to get rid of that lingering strip of sweat dripping down the side of your neck.
Plan your Route
The route you take is another important factor that affects the practicality of electric bike commuting. It is important to note that the best car route may not necessarily work for an e-bike. Generally, drivers tend to focus on the quickest route to their destination; the same applies when commuting with an e-bike.
However, it’s not all the same! The major difference comes with stop signs and traffic lights when driving a car. Drivers will typically try to choose a route with fewer stop signs and traffic stops to avoid wasting precious time. You can easily spend hours at a traffic stop during rush hour!
The luxury of commuting with an e-bike is that you can avoid this. You have access to the bike lanes, so your journey won’t be interrupted. Nevertheless, you should also consider that the main road may not be the best route for you but perhaps through residential areas and parks.
Fortunately, e-bikes are flexible enough to let you choose a longer yet faster route through neighborhoods that avoid the noise and traffic jams on the highway. The best part is that you can still get where you’re going on time.
Just remember to watch your speed when riding in residential areas. When it comes to finding the ideal commuter route, the most important thing you can do is to plan ahead of time.
If possible, spare a weekend to get a feel of different routes available to you and try riding them. Alternatively, you can research the routes on any online map services or consider investing in GPS for turn-by-turn directions.
Optimize your E-bike Range
The worst thing that can happen to your e-bike commute is having the battery running out in the middle of the journey! This will mean that you now just have a heavier traditional bike to ride, which is usually a nightmare for many. That being said, you want to maximize the use of your e-bike’s battery to avoid such an incident.
Be mindful of the level of assist you use when riding to work so that you’re not overworking the motor. For long battery life, avoid hilly roads and persistent headwinds. Other things you can do to maximize the battery life include:
Find the right Cadence
The slower you pedal the bike, the harder the e-bike motor works. As such, you want to find a balance between your pedaling and the pedal-assist you’re getting. Ultimately, you want to pedal in a way that is not only comfortable but also keeps the engine from getting overworked.
Lighten your Load
One benefit of e-bikes is that they let you carry more load than traditional bikes. The only problem is that people tend to abuse this luxury by overburdening their bikes. Remember that the more the bike carries, the more the motor works and the faster the battery is drained.
Use a Lower Pedal-assist Level
Don’t be too excited by the torque from your motor. Only use the high assist levels when it’s necessary- when battling a hilly section of the road, facing headwinds, or running late. This will go a long way to conserve your battery life.
Make Yourself Visible on the Road
Unfortunately, bikes on the road don’t get the attention they deserve from motorists, fellow cyclists, and even pedestrians. This is particularly evident during peak hours when there is heavy traffic. You want to elevate your presence on the streets to avoid any collisions and other close calls. Some of the things you can do to ensure this include:
Keep Your Lights On
Don’t wait for darkness to make use of the lights on your e-bike. Try to keep both the front and rear lights on at all times. Some lights have a special flash pattern, which helps to make you more visible from a distance. At night, ensure that the front light is brightest and the rear light is flashing.
Wear Reflective Attire
Fluorescent clothing helps to enhance your safety on the road. This not only makes you more noticeable to other road users at night but also during the day.
Get a Horn/Bell
Ringing a handbell alerts pedestrians, motorists, and other cyclists to your presence on the road. This is especially crucial when you want to overtake them.
Keep your E-bike Secured
An e-bike is a very costly investment, you can't afford to lose it or any of its electric components. You need to find a way of keeping thieves and vandals at bay. The first thing to do is to invest in a reliable bike lock. Even if you already have a lock for your e-bike from the manufacturer, consider buying a secondary option that is more secure.
Go for a high-quality lock that is difficult to compromise. Some locks even integrate a warning alarm that goes off when someone tries to mess with them for extra security. Additionally, you want to find a reliable space to park your bike when you’re not using it.
If it is a public bike park, find a spot that is very visible to people and one that you can see from your office building (if practical). It will also help if the place is well-lit and if there is human traffic.
Finally, you can also bring your bike into the building, which may be practical for a folding electric bike.
If you are thinking of joining the growing list of e-bike commuters, it is wise to learn how to get the most out of the new experience. This article provides you with crucial tips that will make your commuting on an e-bike a pleasant and safe experience.