E-Bike Safety Checklist: Everything Needed to Stay Safe
Electric bikes' popularity continues to grow every day. With so many new riders joining the phenomenon, it is crucial to talk about safety. Whether you haven't ridden in a few years or consider yourself an intermediate rider, getting a new electric bike is a great time to assess your riding skills. Electric bike riders should also know how to perform a proper bike inspection every time they ride.
Electric bikes can be a safe, reliable form of transportation or sport. You must be aware of ways to reduce danger every time you get on your e-bike. Anyone riding one of these bikes must adhere to general safety tips and any laws that apply in the area. Before you mount your bike again, ensure you understand the regulations and guidelines that will keep you safe on your electric bicycle.
Staying safe while on an e-bike does not differ too much from riding a standard bicycle. You need to think about defensive ways you can avoid accidents. Follow these general safety tips wherever you ride to keep yourself and others safe.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet is the most critical safety feature you can use. For cyclists, wearing a helmet can reduce the head risk of injuries by 70%. The likelihood of a fatality from a head injury also reduces by 65% if you don a helmet.
The faster speeds you can attain with an e-bike make protecting your head even more critical to walking away from an accident without severe head injuries. While wearing a helmet won't prevent an accident from happening, it can save your life if one does occur.
Be Visible and Audible
With electric bikes, you must be able to see and be visible to others. Regardless of where you ride, visibility could prevent accidents. On the road, you can avoid collisions with cars. If you ride off-road, greater visibility will make it easier for other trail users to avoid you.
To ensure your visibility, always ride with a front and rear light. At a minimum, use one light in the front and one in the back. You have options for additional lighting for the spokes of your wheels, handlebars and helmet. The more illumination you use, the safer you will be, especially when riding in low visibility or dim conditions.
Whether you are riding your bike during the day or night, wear brightly colored clothing. Reflective tape on your clothes is an ideal solution. But you can also wear white or other bright hues.
In addition to ensuring others can see you, have a noisemaking device on your bike to audibly alert others of your presence. A bell or horn will give you a louder means than your voice of warning pedestrians ahead of you.
Check Your Feet
When riding an e-bike, make sure you have secure footwear. Don't wear flip-flops or other shoes that could readily fall off. Also, tightly tie your shoelaces to keep them out of the spokes or the chain. Never ride an electric bicycle without proper footwear.
Footwear becomes an even more critical decision for e-bikes because the bicycles weigh much more than regular lightweight bikes. You have the option of pedals that require clip-in shoes or have a flat surface you can use with any footwear.
If you select clip-in pedals, you will need shoes to attach to the clips. These shoes help your feet stay connected to the pedals through rough terrain and at higher speeds. For regular mountain biking on your electric bicycle, you may find clip-in shoes more comfortable and secure. Additionally, e-bikes with clips on the pedals allow you to generate more torque by pulling up on the pedals in addition to pushing down.
Flat pedals give you the ability to hop off your bike in street shoes or tennis shoes when you arrive at your destination. If you need to dismount your bike in an accident or when encountering tough terrain, flat pedals make it possible.
The type of footwear you choose needs to fully cover your feet and not slip off easily. Whether you select clip or flat pedals and their corresponding shoes depends on how you ride your e-bike. Because your feet help you control your bike, the choice of shoes can make your electric bicycle safer to ride. you can use with any footwear.
Use Caution Mounting and Dismounting
E-bikes weigh a lot more than non-electric bicycles, which can make mounting and dismounting dangerous for those not ready for the extra heft. Children and those who are not strong enough to lift the bike themselves may risk harm from not using caution when getting on and off their bikes.
Moving an e-bike onto a bike rack or carrying it downstairs can also be dangerous. If you cannot carry a weightier electric bike, consider getting help or finding a lower-weight model. You could even seek out alternatives to where you store your bike, so you minimize the amount of lifting you must do. Lifting a heavy bike incorrectly could cause pulled muscles or strains.
Mirrors help you see behind you without turning your head. With mirrors, you can minimize the amount of time you move your head from looking straight ahead.
Whether you ride in city traffic or on trails, you need visibility on all sides of your bike. A small investment in a mirror could prevent you from getting rear-ended, reducing the accidents you experience and keeping you and others safer when you ride your bike.
Watch Your Speed and Braking
You need to watch your speed when riding to keep from going too fast. A severe problem you may encounter with malfunctioning controls is the throttle sticking. This situation causes the bike to accelerate uncontrollably to its maximum speed. Install an emergency cut-off if your bike does not already have one, or upgrade your brakes to stop even at high speed.
Braking differs on e-bikes because the bike has added weight and goes faster. You will need to train yourself to brake earlier than you would on a traditional bike before you hit the road or trails. Knowing when to brake will help you stay safer.