Electric bikes are more popular now than ever and they serve as a great way to get around whether it's commuting to work, for leisure or riding on food delivery platforms. Riding an electric bike is easier when you know how but for newcomers it might not feel as easy as ‘riding a bike’. E-bikes are often much heavier than regular commuter bikes due to the added weight of the battery and motor. They can also reach higher top speeds meaning that riders must be extra vigilant on the roads. Here are some tips to stay safe when riding an electric bike:
1. Be vigilant of traffic
It might sound like something you do everyday however, paying attention to traffic is even more important when riding an electric bike. As not everyone understands the capabilities of an e-bike, drivers especially may not expect a cyclist to reach 25km/h on the road, and that disconnect can lead to potentially dangerous scenarios. When riding your Spark Bike make sure that you make your intentions clear to vehicle traffic and think about how a driver may perceive your movements on the road.
2. Be seen
A large portion of bike incidents involving traffic and pedestrians occur because the other person simply couldn’t see the bike or noticed it too late. To make sure you’re seen at a minimum make sure you have a bell and front and rear lights to stand out in traffic. These measures do not only apply for vehicle traffic but also foot traffic in busy areas to alert pedestrians you are passing through. Spark Bikes provides all riders with a bell, reflectors, and front and rear lights so you will always be seen!
3. Start slow and gain confidence
We see a lot of new e-bike riders everyday and one of the biggest mistakes we see new e-bike riders make is to go for the fastest assist setting right from the get go. Well, I can’t blame you, I would! Anyone would be excited to show off their new set of wheels and see what they can do but we recommend that you start on a lower PAS setting and work your way up and then put the pedal to the metal.
4. Brake earlier than usual
You can reach some pretty fast top speeds especially travelling downhill, so braking becomes very important. Because of the added power you want to make sure to brake a lot earlier than you would on a normal bicycle when approaching red lights or stop signs, so you can come to a safe, complete stop. Get to know the amount of power from your brakes so you can become a pro at assessing safe stopping distances on your Spark Bike.
5. Make sure to get your bike serviced often
To ensure you avoid any nasty surprises when you’re out and about riding make sure to get your electric bike serviced regularly, we recommend at least every 2-4 weeks if you’re riding often. A well serviced e-bike is a safe e-bike to ride, if you think it's been more than 4 weeks since you’ve had a service, book a service appointment at your nearest Spark Bikes store.
6. Remember, it's just like riding a bike
At the end of the day an electric bike is just like riding a regular bicycle, normal bicycle rules and laws still apply. In NSW and Victoria riders are not allowed to ride their bikes on the footpath however, in QLD it's ok to ride on the footpath. Respect the laws, don’t take unnecessary chances, wear a helmet, and you’ll be zipping around town having the ride of your life!
Read more about getting your Spark Bike serviced in our ‘Why Is Regular e-Bike Servicing Important’ blog post or book a Spark Bikes service appointment today to have your Spark Bike serviced by one of our expert mechanics