10 Tips For Your First E-bike Ride

Bike riding can be great fun but the Lake District can be very hilly. Why not make your day a little easier by hiring an e-bike? 

There are a few key differences between an e-bike and a normal bike and Cyclewise Whinlatter have helpfully put together their 10 top things to note when considering how to ride an electric bike. 

1. Is your electric bike legal

Electric bikes or e-bikes are classified as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’, or EAPCs, and are perfectly legal as long as they meet the EAPC rules set by the DLVA. These include the need for the pedals to be in motion for assistance to be provided, a maximum power output of 250W, and the electrical assistance must cut off when it reaches 15.5mph / 25kmph.

You don’t need a licence to ride one, and the bike doesn’t need to be registered, taxed, or insured. There is, however, an age restriction: you must be 14 or over to ride an electric bike. This means that if your child is riding an electric bike below the age limit and any part of the route goes on roads, they are technically breaking the law.

2. Practice first on the flat

Different kinds of e-bikes have different solutions for delivering the power, so it's a good idea to start in a flat, open, area. Allowing you to get use to the assistance and how it activates when pedalling.

3. Make sure your battery is fully charged

Ensure your battery it is fully charged or has sufficient charge for your ride. There is always the odd occasion when you forget to switch the electric on to recharge the battery the night before.

4. Set your saddle height correctly, for efficient pedalling and your confidence level

The most common way new cyclists find their saddle height is the heel-to pedal method, and while this doesn’t take into account all of the elements that can affect saddle height, it will get you in the right ball-park.

The heel-to-pedal method involves sitting on the e-bike, holding on to a chair or table, or just leaning against a wall. Place your heel on the pedal and pedal backwards to reach the six o’clock position. Your knee should be completely straight.

If your knee is still bent you need to increase the height, adjusting in small increments each time, and if your heel loses contact with the pedal then you need to lower the saddle. If you are not confident to ride at this saddle height (based on heel-to-pedal method), then adjust slowly by gradually raising the saddle periodically when you feel more confident.

Finding your optimal saddle height can boost your pedalling efficiency, enhance the comfort of your ride and, most importantly, help to avoid long-term injuries.

5. Remember a helmet and kit

Carry water (or a hydrating drink), a multi tool, pump and a spare inner tube. Don’t forget to wear your helmet. To provide any protection a helmet needs to fit snugly; take the time to fit it properly. Modern helmets make this straightforward with dial adjusters at the back.

6. Use your gears

Don’t rely on just the motor, a higher cadence is better for you, your bike and your battery range.

7. Take it easy to start with

Get use to the weight of the bike and slowing down takes longer, so get used to your brakes.

8. Dress warm 

Wear more layers, you are not going to be working as hard as a non E-biker.

9. Keep an eye on your battery range

Using less pedal assistance means greater range will be achieved from your battery. Ensure you choose your route to match your skill set and your range

10. Use walk assist

Did you know that your e-bike also has a 'walk assist' function? This is a particularly useful feature whenever you need to dismount and push the bike, especially up a steep incline where the weight of the bike and gravity can make the bike even harder to handle.

When you enable walk assist mode, the bike provides a specific amount of support power to help you manoeuvre the bike which is especially useful if you need to pass obstacles on trails or push your bike to a particular point. This support helps to negate the weight of the bike, making it less cumbersome to handle and less effort to control in the right direction.

From health benefits to mood enhancement and even the fact that it could save you money due to no fuel costs, cycling is a great way to improve your happiness.

Thank you to Cyclewise Whinlatter for these tips for your first e-bike ride. 

Cyclewise Whinlatter Bike Hire

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