How To Get the Most Out of Your Electric Bike

Electric bikes are now more popular than ever . They have added the ability for people to cycle where once cycling would have proved too difficult. Electric bikes now offer the range needed to replace many peoples reliance on a car to make the daily commute to work. If you are one of those taking advantage of electric bikes for this purpose, you are likely to benefit from significant cost savings over other methods of powered transport, the cost per mile for the electricity to power an electric bike is negligible compared to the cost to fuel a car. Further benefits come from reduced maintenance costs and if you no longer use a car for commuting a reduction in your car insurance costs are likely. Some electric bike owners use their bikes for pleasure. Electric bikes open up the range a cyclist can comfortably travel, whilst also raising the average speed they are likely to be able to maintain. This gives people at all levels of fitness the chance to ride at similar speeds regardless of the cyclist's personal fitness meaning you can go on a bike ride with a group of friends or family that are all with different abilities, yet all able to keep up and enjoy the ride.

Electric Bike Vs Traditional Pushbike

Electric bikes are different from a standard pushbike in a number of ways, the most obvious when you look at an electric bike will be the battery, however electric bikes also have an electric motor, complete with a controller. The basic mechanics for a pushbike remain so you are always able to pedal your electric bike manually, even when the battery is flat. 

Choosing An Electric Bike

Electric bikes are now available in many styles from folding commuters to full-size mountain bikes. Each has its own uses. If you are thinking of an electric bike for commuting or just pleasure riding, make sure the bike you pick has sufficient range to cover your intended journeys with an additional margin to ensure you always have sufficient range to get to your destination.

Be Charged And Ready

Electric bikes are powered by electricity stored in a battery fitted to the bike. This battery needs to be charged to fill them with energy to power the bike. Usually, a standard charger will charge a battery pack in 4 to 6 hours; this depends on the exact specification of the charger and battery. So if you are intending to use your electric bike for commuting on a regular basis then keeping a routine of charging in the evening or even during your working day, if suitable storage with a power supply is available while you work is recommended.

Fast chargers are available for certain electric bikes, but with the range electric bikes now offer, and the comparatively fast charging even a standard charger offers, waiting for an electric bike to charge is easily avoidable with some simple planning.

When you first receive your electric bike many manufacturers recommend charging your battery for a full 12 hours before first use. If this is recommended for your electric bike it is important to do it even if the temptation to ride your bike is great - resist it and you will be rewarded with longer battery life in the future.

Electric bikes use the now-familiar Lithium-Ion batteries, this is the same battery chemistry used in electric cars. Lithium-Ion batteries can be permanently damaged by over-discharging; your bike will shut off the battery when it is empty to prevent damage. To get the most out of the batteries in normal use you should try and avoid discharging your electric bike fully

Electric Bike Maintenance

Your electric bike will benefit from regular maintenance, just like any bicycle. Most electric bikes retain the familiar components of a regular bike. Keeping your bike well-adjusted and maintained will help keep the performance and efficiency, giving you the best electric bike experience.

Firstly, keeping your bike clean is important. With bicycles, the mechanics of the bike are exposed, unlike a car that tucks all the gears and components inside the car. Bikes have their chains, gears and brakes out in the open where they can collect grease and road dirt. This gritty mess will wear away at your bike's mechanical components if not removed regularly. So for more practical reasons than just looks, keeping an electric bike clean is important. Before cleaning your electric bike remove the battery and place it somewhere safe. Don’t ever be tempted to use a pressure washer on your electric bike, the high-pressure water they spray can force its way past seals and gaskets in your bike, getting to places it shouldn't with the potential to cause damage. A simple bucket and sponge are often best. Drying your bike with a clean cloth once you have washed it is a great idea. Pay special attention to drying any electrical terminals and wiring so as to be sure they are dried thoroughly before replacing the battery

General bike maintenance applies – for example keeping the chain and gears clean and lubricated, checking and adjusting brakes and keeping tyres pumped up to the correct is a must. It's very noticeable how under-inflated tyres spoil the handling of your bike, as well as being far harder to pedal. The increased resistance of underinflated tyres is felt by the electric motor too, reducing its performance and the range your bike can cover on one charge. It’s worth using the correct chain lubricant as simple oils will drip and get places they shouldn't. It's very important to ensure no oil or chain lubricant finds its way to the bike's brakes, as this can stop them from working correctly and prove very dangerous.

Be critical when assessing your bike's brakes, electric bikes are more powerful than their pedal only powered cousins, which means they are much harder on the brakes. Your brakes should work progressively meaning the harder you pull the brake levers, the more stopping power is applied to the wheels. Check your electric bikes instructions for specific information when adjusting the brakes or carrying out other maintenance tasks.

Electric bikes are a fantastic way to transport yourself in an eco-friendly way. A great blend of physical effort when you feel like it with the power to take over when you don’t.