Wednesday, May 18, 2022

MENU

Always follow these e-bike safety tips

Look around your campground, local park, or city landscape and you’ll undoubtedly see e-bikes. If you’ve jumped onboard (literally) and purchased your own electric bicycle, you should know and practice some important e-bike safety tips.

E-bikes are different

  • Weight. E-bikes differ from typical bicycles in critical ways. First, an e-bike is usually much heavier. Depending on the kind of electrical bike, it can weigh as much as 50% heavier than a typical two-wheeler. The frame and motor add weight, as do the battery and larger tires (on some models). It’s important to keep this additional weight in mind when loading and unloading or folding/unfolding your e-bike. Prevent back strain by remembering to lift with your legs. Ask your travel buddy to help you, if necessary.
  • Speed. E-bikes can reach higher top speeds than ordinary bikes. While this is a distinct advantage in many instances, it can also pose problems if you lose control. Take time to become familiar with your e-bike. Gradually increase your speed assist setting. Then apply brakes to learn your bike’s stopping distance. Never exceed the speed at which you feel comfortable. Use extra caution on unfamiliar routes, or where road damage, exposed rocks, or curves can cause you to lose control.
  • Cornering. Use caution when negotiating tight corners or curves. Reduce your speed to stay safe. Practicing with your e-bike will help you learn the cornering speed where you feel most comfortable and in control.

Sight and sound e-bike tips

  • Lights. Many bicycle safety experts recommend that e-bike owners install lights on their e-bikes. Lights will make you more visible to others, as well as help you see if you ride at dusk or dawn.
  • Bell. Another e-bike safety tip is to install some type of bell or horn. This one may be a good choice for you. A horn or bell will alert other drivers and pedestrians of your approach. Remember that others may not expect a bicyclist to travel as fast as your e-bike can go. A friendly warning sound, like a bell or horn, may well prevent a collision.

Other e-bike safety tips

  • Battery. Before you start out on that extended Saturday drive, make sure your e-bike’s battery has a full charge. You don’t want to get stuck halfway between here and there, after all.
  • Tires. Always check tire pressure and while you’re at it, also check that your brakes are working properly.
  • Mounting and dismounting. Be especially careful with getting on and off your e-bike. The bike’s extra weight is the cause of many accidents. Don’t add your name to the list!
  • Helmet. Head protection can reduce the risk of serious head injury by 70%. Given that e-bikes can travel faster than ordinary bikes, helmets are a must.
  • Proper footwear. It’s best to wear shoes that cover your feet completely. Also, avoid wearing shoes that can easily slip off your feet.
  • Clothing. Wear bright-colored clothing or some that has a reflective feature. Do all you can to ensure that other folks can see you.
  • Mirrors. Use your e-bike mirrors frequently. This will enable you to keep your focus mainly on the road ahead.
  • Know the road rules. The rules of the road may be different for e-bikes and typical bicycles. Rules in one locale may be different in another. Know and follow local ordinances and rules. They will help keep you and others safe.

What e-bike safety tip do you feel is most important? Weigh in with your comments below.

##RVDT1850

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Theo
18 days ago

(1) Many new ebikers are caught by pedal strikes when turning in a more than gentle arc. Try to make sure that the pedal on the side of the bike to which you are turning is NOT in the down position.

(2) Get very familiar with the ebike’s info display; especially the voltage. This value is usually a better indicator of the battery’s state of charge than the “energy meter” readout. Search the inter-webs for a state-of-charge table showing the battery status by the number of volts. You will need to know the battery’s rated volts when full (e.g.; 48/52/?). When checking your battery during a ride, make sure you have stopped for a couple of minutes before checking the value.

(3) Especially at first, have a battery use plan and stick to it. Save some battery in reserve for unforeseen circumstances, say 15%-20% of the voltage. Now divide by half the remaining battery percentage (37%-40%) and ride no farther than the distance traveled in that first 37%-40% before turning around.

Glenn A
18 days ago

This sounds like it was written by an “influencer”, not from the perspective of an experienced ebike rider.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
18 days ago
Reply to  Glenn A

Hi, Glenn. You certainly do not know anything about the person who wrote this article. She is not only an e-bike rider, but also a motorcycle rider. And she is one of the sweetest and most sincere people I’ve ever met in my 75 years. I don’t think Gail has a bad bone in her body. (I’m not saying that “influencers” are bad.) She was writing this out of concern for e-bike riders’ safety. Period. And, oh, BTW. Do you see any links in there to any e-bike products, which she would be trying to “influence” you to buy? Nope. And we don’t even have any e-bike sponsors/advertisers at RVtravel.com at the moment. (We did a year or two ago.) You know what they say about assuming … Just sayin’. Have a good day. 🙂 –Diane

Glenn A
18 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I didn’t say it was written by an influencer. I said it “sounds” like it was written by an influencer.

Did I mention a link to ebikes?

I don’t think I disparaged the author.

I’ve got 50+ years of motorcycling experience. Currently I have a stable of 6 bicycles. I understand the difference between riding a motorized and non motorized bike.

I stand by my original statement. It is written like an influencer. Whether is is by an influencer or not matters not to me.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
18 days ago
Reply to  Glenn A

Thank you for the clarification, Glenn. It just sounded rather disparaging to me, by comparing her writing to that of an “influencer.” Maybe it just seemed to be a negative statement to me because of our recent articles: “New wave of RV influencers spreading misleading, false information online” https://www.rvtravel.com/new-wave-rv-influencers-false-information-1048/ and “RV ‘influencer’ article creates a lot of ‘buzz'” https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-influencer-article-creates-buzz-1049/. I stand corrected. Have a good evening/night. 🙂 –Diane

Mike
16 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Motorcycle rider, I knew there was a reason I enjoy her excellent articles so much. Keep up the great work Gail and thanks for your articles, my wife and I enjoy them.

Richard Hubert
18 days ago

Many tips for using E-bikes, but none about actually riding one in the real world.

Have read that bike accidents are way up, with the main causes being ebike riders displaying improper / bad rider habits – ignoring traffic rules & traffic signs, no use of hand signals for turns / lane changes, expecting vehicle drivers give them the right of way, and riding too fast for their riding ability or conditions – such as blasting through CGs..

I have ridden a regular bicycle for decades, all over the country, in many urban and suburban areas, always obeying all traffic signals and signs, use the left-turn lane signals, always hand signal my needs for directional change, etc. But I have also witnessed some other riders – of both bikes & e-bikes – who provide no signals, blow through Stop signs (or red lights), block traffic lanes by riding much slower, etc.. Some of the worst blast through campgrounds at speeds much higher than the posted 10mph.

Obey the rules of the road!

Stephanie
18 days ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

I sometimes have difficulty when doing hand signals for turns/lane changes when I am trying to keep both of my hands on the handle bars in order to maintain control of such a heavier bike. It takes practice and timing.

Jim
18 days ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

Richard ~ please document your “main causes being ebike riders” statement. I read a lot about ebikes, but have never read that.

Richard Hubert
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Here is just one such article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z88BNUYOd0
“2 On Your Side: Orange County Sees Spike In E-Bike Accidents”

Richard Hubert
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Also read that many ebike accidents are more similar to motorcycle accidents (due to higher speeds) and many ebike riders often not even wearing helmets.

Wendell
19 days ago

Mirrors, and check behind you regularly if riding on roadways without bike lanes.

tom
19 days ago

Helmet! Always.

Tommy Molnar
19 days ago

Yes. Make sure your bike has a fully charged battery before setting out. You don’t want to get stuck having to pedal your way back. GASP!