Sure, riding an electric bike saves you money on fuel and is good for the environment, but it’s also great fun: safer and more practical than a motorcycle and easier and less sweat-producing than regular cycling. So here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your e-bike and stay in the bike lane rather than the bike shop:
1. Pump up your tyres
It seems obvious, but keeping plenty of pressure in your tyres will reduce the amount squishy rubber is slowing you down through friction, making you roll faster and more efficiently – which is good not only for battery but also human leg power! But it’s not a regular road bike that needs more than 100 psi – because your battery gives you a power boost, deflate to about half that amount and enjoy a smoother ride.
2. Boost your juice
Get into a habit of charging your battery often; make it as habitual as getting home and putting away your cycling gloves and hopping into the shower, so that you don’t get half-way into an enjoyable ride and realise you’re out of juice. If regular cycling has one tiny advantage over electric biking it is battery charging, but you can cut down on how often you need to recharge by doing a bit of the battery’s work on its behalf: slow down and smell the roses, pedal a bit harder up the hills or from a standing start, and take advantage of nature’s own ‘battery’ by catching a nice tail-wind and enjoy the ride – all of which will extend your ride significantly.
3. Oil your chain
All of that battery and leg power is being efficiently transmitted to the road, right? Not quite. Aerodynamic drag and wind drag slow you down, so wearing tighter-fitting clothing will speed you up and keep more juice in your battery. Efficiency is also lost through friction in the drivetrain – in other words, oiling your chain and keeping it running nice and smooth will keep your electric bike in the fast lane for longer. Keeping your electric bike clean will also increase the amount of time it is on the road versus in the bike shop, so get the most out of it by looking after it.