You require the same skills you need for a conventional bike for riding an e-bike, plus a few extra ones. This is going to help you get the most from your e-bike and get the best riding experience. E-bikes have been designed to maximize the natural riding feel because they have a pedal-assist system, which means the power is going to be applied when you pedal. The e-bikes feel like normal bikes. They aren’t complicated and have been designed to ensure user-friendliness. This is just like any other tech you buy, and that is why it is a good idea to invest time learning the controls and how they work.
In the EU, e-bikes have a speed of up to 25/h which is the speed imposed by EU law. You can still go faster but you will need pedal power or gravity to reach those speeds. It is much easier to accelerate and maintain the speeds when using e-bikes compared to conventional bikes. You will have an easier time going uphill. It is important to be confident about your steering and braking because of safety and enjoyment.
When collecting the bike from the e bike dealer in Ireland, even if you are experienced, ask them to take you through the basic control so you know how to change gear, brake, and shift modes while cycling. If you don’t know much about biking, then you need to practice in a safe space as you learn more about the control and also get a feel of the bike. You can try out the different modes before you hit the road.
Before you start riding your e-bike, you need to know the front brake from the back brake. The front is the most powerful, and when you stop it suddenly on its own, the back wheel can lift up and you can be thrown forward. If you want to break, the best way is to gently apply both brakes. You should practice slowing down and stopping at low speeds because that is how you can know how the brakes feel before you can increase your speeds. If it has been long since you last rode a bike, practice taking one hand off the bars at a time to signal and changing direction before you hit the road.
E-cycling on the road
You need the same skills when riding an e-bike that you need when riding a bicycle. The same rules apply on the road. Riding an e-bike feels safer in situations where cyclists usually feel vulnerable, like negotiating a roundabout or at a traffic light. The extra speed from the e-bike allows you to clear a junction more quickly. You are going to be faster when riding an e-bike compared to a conventional bike, but that doesn’t mean you always have to go fast. You need to be cycling at speeds where you can clearly observe what is going on around you and you can easily react if need be.
You need to feel relaxed and alert when riding. Your head should be up looking at the road in front of you. It is also important to check over your shoulder frequently in case there is a vehicle approaching you from behind. The good thing with an e-bike is the fact that you don’t put a lot of physical effort to a point that it exhausts you, which can make it hard to notice what is happening around you.
Cadence and Pedaling
The gears on your bike are there to help with finding the right pedaling speed depending on whether the road is downhill, flat, or climb. When you adjust the gears to the terrain and speed, you make the most out of the pedal-assist which is there to make the ride more intuitive and natural. Light pressure will give a light motor response while more pressure gives more. You should try finding a comfortable cadence that can be maintained throughout a ride of 60 rpm which is the best stroke per second that gives the smoothest ride.
You are most likely to be in Eco mode for most of your ride, where you can get pedal-assist when you need it but most of the power comes from you. This is going to extend the range of your battery. You will choose Boost mode for short sections where you need more assistance, e.g., on a hill. If you are riding in the city, it means you might have to stop and ride frequently. When you shift down to an easier gear when stopping, it means you are in the right gear to start again. There are some bikes that come from an auto-down shift feature which makes it easy to start. If the bike has a Start Mode, it means it can easily and quickly speed up after stops and traffic junctions.
Confidence on descents
When you ride the conventional bike, descents are your friend because you can take breaks from peddling and give you momentum to tackle the next climb. For an e-bike, you don’t have to descent fast or worry about momentum to tackle the next climb because you have all the power when needed. You can choose to descend at a speed you like without worrying about the momentum you are wasting. You will have power when you are about to start climbing the hill. This will give you a smooth and comfortable ride.