Electric Bike Tips

Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Matt

Many electric bike tips and tricks may sound obvious, but a lot of them can only be discovered through countless hours of riding.

After years of experience riding e-bikes and comparing the factors contributing to the overall experience of each ride, I’ve come up with some e-bike tips that will enhance your whole riding experience.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned rider or just a beginner, the tips I share here help you maximize the potential of your electric bike and elevate your rides to the next level.

A closeup of a a man riding an electric bike

Best tips for riding an ebike

Follow these electric bike riding tips for a better and enhanced riding experience:

  • Prioritize safety by wearing the necessary safety gear.
  • Maintain your electric bike’s battery between 20-80% and try to start each ride with a full charge.
  • Plan your route ahead to avoid obstacles like potholes, traffic, and construction work. 
  • Always check your tire pressure before every ride, and maintain it according to the terrain you plan to ride your electric bike on.
  • Optimize the center of gravity of your electric bike by keeping it low. Do this by staying seated on your bike instead of standing up. 
  • Use pedal assistance wisely. Alternate between different levels of pedal assistance for a more fulfilling ride that conserves your electric bike’s battery and doesn’t tire you.
  • Stop pedaling while turning, and instead, stop. The momentum from the previous pedaling will hold you over until you’ve safely made the turn.
  • Pedal faster in hilly areas by switching to higher levels of pedal assistance.
  • Don’t be hard on the brakes because it’ll cause them to wear and tear. This will compromise your stability and control and damage your braking system as well.
  • Adhere to traffic rules by looking out for speed limit signs and keeping in designated bike lane.
  • Don’t overload your electric scooter. It’ll cause strain on the motor which may overheat and break down.

Let’s discuss each tip one by one so you know exactly how to apply them to your daily rides.

Safety first

Let’s get the safety tips out of the way first. You can’t have a good e-bike ride if you’re not prioritizing your safety (at least not for long). 

According to a research paper, out of all the electric bike deaths they studied, 88.89% were caused by head injuries. So, always wear a helmet, and make sure it’s well-fitted. An ill-fitted helmet increases the risk of head and neck injuries even at the slightest jerk and can distract you from incoming vehicles. 

Don’t skip on elbow and kneepads – your limbs are just as important as your head. Also, if you’re someone like me who rides a lot at night, make sure to wear a reflective vest so you’re visible to passing vehicles.

Knowing that I’ve taken steps to make my e-bike ride safe helps me ride my electric bike with more confidence.

Keep a check on your electric bike’s battery

When I first got my electric bike, I had made a habit of not checking the battery before riding it. That resulted in multiple rides of pedaling manually back home. Now, I always begin my rides with a full charge. I still pedal sometimes, but it’s always because I choose to, not because I have to.

Since the battery is the most expensive part of your electric bike, it requires crucial care. To make sure you always start every ride with a full charge, I recommend charging your battery after every ride, no matter how short the ride is. 

Watch the video below to know how to properly charge your electric bike:

Additionally, never let your electric bike battery drain completely. Always maintain a charge between 20-80% for peak performance. Another mistake e-bike riders make is leaving the bike to charge and then forgetting about it. Avoid overcharging by using a battery with a battery management system.

Keeping the battery at an optimal temperature is also necessary, as extreme cold or hot weather can cause damage and decrease its lifespan. When you park your electric bike outside in the summer, make sure it’s under a shaded area.

I don’t ride my electric bike in the winter, so I make sure to detach its battery and store it indoors where the temperature is more suiting.

Plan your route ahead of your ride

This tip completely changed my electric bike riding experience. It takes a few extra minutes, but it’s totally worth it.

Before you hop on your e-bike, analyze the route you’re going to take. How many potholes do you usually encounter on that road? What’s the traffic situation? How many traffic signals will you have to stop at?

Knowing the answer to all these questions, you can take an optimal route and ensure smooth sailing with your electric bike.

When you don’t plan ahead, you encounter unexpected obstacles like traffic, uneven roads, construction work, all of which can ruin your whole riding mood.

A closeup of an electric bike display with the road ahead

Maintain the tire pressure

Everyone knows how frustrating a flat-tire scenario can be. Even if the tires aren’t completely flat, low-pressure tires can make it hard to maintain the speed on your electric bike because of the increase in rolling resistance. 

To avoid such situations, I suggest checking the pressure in both tires before and after every ride.

Also, a tip that did wonders for my electric bike riding is changing the tire pressure according to the terrain I’m riding on.

If you’re cruising through the city roads, your tire pressure should be between 80-130 psi.

But if you’re planning on riding over a hilly area, a lower pressure would be fine as well. High-pressured tires are great for control and maneuverability, while low-pressured tires can help improve grip and traction. 

Optimize your center of gravity for more efficiency

A women riding an electric bike in speed while seated

The small adrenaline rush that comes with riding an e-bike standing up while leaning against the handlebars to generate more power can be pretty cool.

But what if I tell you, standing does just the opposite?

Electric bikes have a lower center of gravity than conventional bikes because they have to account for the extra weight of a battery and motor.

This means that if you stand up, the center of gravity raises and puts excessive pressure on the front of the bike, resulting in poor speed range and lesser stability. So, the next time you think of standing up while riding for more power, remember that keeping the center of gravity low by staying seated is actually the better way to go.

Use pedal assistance wisely

Electric bikes have been a game changer in the bicycle world primarily because of motorized pedal assistance. However, that doesn’t mean you should always ride on high-level pedal assistance. High-level pedal assistance requires more power and hence consumes battery quicker than usual.

Being out of battery sooner than expected can throw a wrench in your electric bike ride. That doesn’t mean you should use low-level pedal assistance for your whole ride.

Here’s what I do.

For smooth, even roads, like when I’m riding in the city, I use low levels of pedal assist. If I’m riding over rough off-road terrains or steep hills, I increase the pedal assistance to medium or high, depending on how challenging the terrain is.

When riding over a steep hill, I start at full throttle for a power boost to ascend easily. Then using high levels of pedal assistance, I ride my electric bike uphill. Once I’m on top of the hill, on more even ground, I turn off the assistance completely.

This way, I don’t get tired, and I also conserve my electric bike’s battery. If by the end of my ride, I’m feeling tired and have enough battery, I ride the rest of the way home on full throttle mode.

Stop pedaling around turns

While it’s exhilarating to cruise around on an electric bike, you have to be cautious at all times, especially around narrow turns. Electric bikes have higher top speeds, so you need to be more careful with them compared to conventional bikes.

A mistake I often made as a beginner was pedaling while making sharp turns. If you’re a new rider, you also might have crashed or scraped your shiny new ride while making the same mistake.

To avoid making this, always prepare ahead for sharp turns. Stop pedaling when you’re near a turn to lower your speed. This way, you’ll have enough momentum to make the turn but not too much to throw you to the ground.

Use more pedal assistance in hilly areas

A person riding an electric bike in the mountains

Let’s be clear – I’m not advising you to pedal harder. That’ll just make you exhausted.

Simply use more pedal assistance in hilly areas.

Since hills are inclined, climbing them on your electric bike means gravity will be pushing you down. Using high levels of pedal assistance will help your electric bike work against the downward gravity force without you having to put in most of the effort.

Also, if you live in a hilly area and have to commute over such terrains on a daily basis, I suggest looking into an electric bike with a higher climbing angle. Such electric bikes are designed to handle steep hills like a pro and have more powerful motors to make your ride smoother.

Don’t be hard on the brakes

Let’s be real – electric bikes don’t come cheap. Like the brakes of every other vehicle, electric bike brakes are also prone to wear and tear.

That’s why you need to be gentle with them. Pushing on them with all your might will damage the brake pads, motor, and will also adversely affect the e-bike’s overall speed range. 

Excessive and forceful braking also causes heat build-up in the brake system, the damage of which can be expensive to repair.

If you’re reaching a red light or a turning point, do not hit the brakes all of a sudden. Instead, slow down and only apply the brakes when you’re sure stopping will be smooth and not abrupt. 

Hard braking is also not recommended for safety purposes because it can affect the stability of your electric bike, and you can easily lose control, especially if you’re riding on slippery terrain. 

A friend of mine suffered from a pretty bad accident because he pressed the brakes too hard while riding in the mountains. His electric bike ended up skidding along the path, and he fell off the bike (he was fine).

Adhere to traffic rules

I see many younger electric bike riders being reckless, trying to pull stunts, and going faster than the speed limit.

As a responsible rider, you should always follow traffic rules and regulations. Be it a normal bike or an e-bike, you need to adhere to speed limits, which may vary according to the area you ride in. Be mindful while riding and look out for traffic signs to make sure you are riding according to the rules.

Always drive in the designated bike lane and keep an optimal distance from other riders. A lot of bikers like to stay close to each other while riding in groups, but that can be extremely dangerous. 

While we’re speaking of traffic rules, I also want to advise against riding your electric bike while under the influence. You could get fined or, worse, get arrested and detained.

Don’t overload your electric bike

Take it from someone who used to carry around a heavy backpack on his electric bike wherever he went. Get rid of the extra weight. Half of the stuff that used to be in my backpack, I didn’t even need while riding.

Getting rid of all the extra weight made my riding experience much smoother. I see people carrying heavy packages and equipment on their electric bikes. While that’s ok if you’re staying within the bike’s weight limit, it can be dangerous if you go beyond the value. 

The bike’s performance will significantly reduce, and in the worst case scenario, the motor will break down because of all the extra strain.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
My name is Matt Trajkovski. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general. I like doing a lot of testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.

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