Getting Started with your E-Bike
If you can ride a traditional bicycle, you can ride an electric-assist bicycle - or “e-bike”!
The main difference is the addition of a small motor that allows riders of more ages and abilities to travel further, faster - even in areas with hills. Along with this motor, you’ll find a battery that can be recharged through a standard outlet, and often a control unit on the handlebars that displays information such as battery level, pedal-assist level, speed, and more.
We have partnered up with HUB Cycling, a non-profit organization focused on cycling advocacy, education and inclusion to put together some safety tips to ensure your first time on an e-bike is a success:
- E-bikes are typically heavier than traditional bikes. If you’re looking for more stability when you first start riding, try slightly lowering your seat height so your feet have more contact with the ground.
- When ready to ride, put a helmet on and make sure it fits correctly. You can make sure your helmet is properly fitted using the 2-V-2 rule. Not sure what that means? Check out this video demonstration by HUB Cycling to find out.
- After making sure you’re safely geared up to ride, turn the power on, disengage the kickstand, and mount the bicycle.
- For a smooth start, begin in a low gear, and set up your leading pedal in the “power position”, which is on a diagonal almost parallel to the bike’s frame. Push down on your pedal, and expect a split-second delay before you feel the motor engage. Then, gradually lift your trailing foot off the ground and continue pedaling. Many e-bikes are classified as pedal-assist, which means every time you pedal, the motor kicks-in to provide an extra boost of power.
- Ride as you usually would on a traditional bicycle, adjusting your gears to gain speed and ascend those hills with ease now that you have electric-assist!
- Whenever you need to stop, remember to downshift to a lower gear, squeeze both brakes gradually, and get ready to stabilize with your feet by placing them on the ground. Then reset to the power position and carry on enjoying your fast, efficient, and fun ride!
If you’re completely unfamiliar with e-bikes and the name alone sounds like we’re talking about an alien spacecraft, check out our blog to find out what an e-bike is, why you should get one, how to choose your perfect e-bike, incentives available and more.
For more cycling tips, be sure to check out HUB Cycling’s website at bikehub.ca or subscribe to their newsletter to stay up to date on cycling related news and events. You can also follow HUB Cycling on Facebook (@WeAreHUB), Twitter (@WeAreHUB), Instagram (@hubcycling), YouTube (/hubcycling) and LinkedIn (HUB Cycling).
For the unexpected, BCAA can help
If you find yourself with a flat tire or a broken chain, give us a call, and we'll send a BCAA Roadside Assistance Technician to help you get back on the road or drop your bike at a nearby bike shop or your home. For those with a motorized E-bike, make sure you have a Plus or Premier Membership which includes coverage for E-bikes and Motorcycles. Learn more at bcaa.com.
Photo by KBO Bike on Unsplash