How to ride an electric bike safely

E-bike security has change into a scorching matter after TV presenter Simon Cowell was badly injured in a fall from what was extensively reported to be an ‘electric bike’. We want him a swift restoration – however there isn’t any have to panic.

It later emerged that the bike in query was a strong off-road car with a high pace of 60mph, believed to be Swindon Powertrain’s SWIND-EB-01. While that is technically a sort of electrical bike, the time period is extra generally reserved for a pedal-assisted bicycle – also called a pedelec (quick for pedal electrical cycle) – with a small motor that cuts out at speeds above 15-20mph, relying on native legal guidelines.

Cowell’s car bears little resemblance to any of these in our roundup of the best electric bikes. “We intended it to be an off-highway toy that wealthy people will probably use on their private estates or where they have permission to ride,” said Raphaël Caillé, managing director of Swindon Powertrain, in a 2019 interview.

“Please ride carefully and use protective clothing such as helmets and clothing with protectors etc,” says a disclaimer on the company’s website. “Do not endanger yourself or other persons. Talk to your insurance to make sure all areas of your activities are legally protected.”

A pedelec is nowhere close to that highly effective, and also you actually do not want a motorbike jacket to experience a Ribble Hybrid AL e or Gocycle GX. However, there are nonetheless some steps you’ll be able to take to make your e-bike even safer, so we requested the specialists at Pure Electric for his or her recommendation.

“Anyone riding an e-bike can take a few simple steps to maximise their safety,” says Tom McPhail, director of public affairs at Pure. Here are his high tricks to shield your self (and your bike) on the street:

The car

Read the guide! Check it over earlier than you exit. Check the tyre strain; if you happen to don’t have a pump, get one! Given the additional weight of e-bikes it’s much more vital than with typical pedal bikes to be sure you’re working your tires on the proper strain.

Ordinarily you will discover the really useful tire strain written on the aspect wall of the tire. Keep your bike clear and effectively lubricated, particularly the chain, which ought to be calmly oiled frequently (a minimum of each few rides). Keep the brake cables effectively tensioned. If the battery may be lifted out then make certain the contacts are clear and dry. Keep the battery well-charged.

If it’s a new bike then begin by driving it in its lowest energy setting (if there’s a selection), till you change into accustomed to its efficiency and energy supply. Be particularly cautious whether it is moist or icy as the additional energy from a e-bike may trigger a skid if you’re unfamiliar with how the bike behaves.

The rider

Wear a helmet. Always. Hi-viz clothes is a good suggestion however to not everybody’s style. Wear appropriate clothes; you don’t wish to lose management of your bike since you wore inappropriate sneakers or garments.

Riding

Be conscious of driving circumstances. You’ve bought further energy at your fingertips, which is nice information when driving up a hill however may imply you strategy hazards the next speeds than could possibly be the case on a traditional pedal bike.

If you’re driving an e-bike for the primary time, you would possibly wish to begin on quiet roads and cycle paths till you change into accustomed to how the bike behaves. Always obey all the principles of the street, it’ll preserve you safer and avoids antagonizing different street customers.

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