E-Bike Safety 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Riding Electric Bikes
E-bikes are the latest trend to hit the bike industry. It’s easy to see why: These motorized vehicles reach top speeds that far surpass those of traditional bicycles. Unfortunately, e-bikes have also proven much more dangerous. Cyclists can avoid future injuries and deaths by understanding what to know when riding an e-bike.
Before hopping on your new ride, take a moment to review these electric bike safety tips.
Anticipate how other people will react to you
E-bikes are still relatively new to the market. Pedestrians, vehicle drivers and even other cyclists have grown accustomed to traditional bikes that move much slower than the surrounding traffic. Cyclists riding e-bikes for the first time need to anticipate how others on the road will perceive them. They’ll assume you’re riding a conventional bike, only to be surprised when you zip by at 25 miles per hour.
For example, cars might try to pass an e-bike because they expect the cyclist to ride much more slowly than other vehicles. This could create a dangerous situation when drivers realize you’re going the same speed as the rest of traffic. Pedestrians might take their time crossing the street because they assume that an oncoming bike is slower than a car. Learning what behaviors to expect from drivers and pedestrians will help you avoid a crash.
Higher speeds come with great responsibility
One of the most important things to know when riding an e-bike is the higher speeds can catch you off guard. Many cyclists make the mistake of cranking up the e-bike to its top assist setting on their first ride. The problem with this is high speeds make it more difficult to navigate obstacles and tight turns. Practice riding your e-bike at lower speeds so you can get used to the brakes and learn how to maneuver it.
This next electric bike safety tip is key: The faster you ride, the longer it takes to stop. When you’re driving a car, think about how much space you put between you and other vehicles. You wouldn’t tailgate the car in front of you while travelling 70 miles per hour—at least, you shouldn’t! The same goes for e-bikes. Since they’re faster than traditional bikes, they need more time and distance to come to a complete stop.
Choose a bike frame that’s easy to mount
Most of the injuries and deaths that involve e-bikes occur during the mount or dismount. An important thing to know when riding an e-bike is that they’re much heavier than their conventional counterparts. The extra weight can make it harder to keep the e-bike upright. Older cyclists and those with mobility issues should consider bikes with a step-through frame. Additionally, adjust the seat until it’s the proper height for you.
E-bikes are a huge change from traditional ones. Before committing to the purchase, you may want to take one out for a test run. Big Momma’s Bicycles offers bike rentals so you can see if e-bikes are right for you. With a few electric bike safety tips, anyone can take on the open road with the bike industry’s newest invention.
Categorised in: E-Bikes