10 tips on how to commute on an electric bike properly

how to commute on an electric bike

Discover essential tips for stress-free and enjoyable electric bike commuting

Electric bikes are becoming an essential part of people’s lives. They are using ebikes in favor of cars as they provide many benefits to commuters. However, there are a few things that can make your electric bike commute stress free and enjoyable.

In this article, we will highlight our favorite tips for commuting on an electric bike. You will learn how to stay safe, ride efficiently, and have fun every day.

1. Choose the right electric bike for you

There’s an electric bike for every kind of rider, whether you want a cheap runaround or an electric mountain bike capable of taking on a big Alpine terrain. Therefore you must choose the right electric bike for you. Here are a few things to consider:

Think about range

There are many electric bikes suitable for commuting. But you should really think about all of your needs before you buy. For example, if you only live a short distance from work, you can get away with a basic electric bike with a short range. However, if you live a long way from work, you will need one with a larger capacity battery that will allow you to complete your journey to and from work with one charge.

Is your commute hilly?

It is good practice to consider the profile of your journey. If your route to and from work consists of steep hills, you’ll find your commute much easier on a bike with a more powerful motor. More powerful motors make climbing hills much more manageable and more pleasant.

Do you need to carry cargo?

It is a good idea to consider the accessories fitted to the bike or what is available for it. This is because you may need to carry things for work or go shopping on the way home. If so, we recommend buying an electric bike with a cargo rack or the provisions to fit one yourself.

Consider a folding electric bike

Often commuters struggle for space either at home or at work. If this applies to you, you may want to consider buying a folding electric bike. These shrink to a compact size, so you can bring them inside and find a safe place to stash your ride.

Will you use your electric bike for other things?

After a few rides on your new electric bike, you may see other opportunities to ride it outside of your commute. Many people like using their electric bikes at weekends to shop and even ferry their kids around.

Therefore if you plan on replacing your car in other aspects of your life, choose an electric bike that is more versatile. For example, you may benefit from an electric cargo or fat tire bike for weekend fun.

Make sure your electric bike is legal

There are three different electric bike classes, and you need to know which category your bike fits into. This is because different parts of the world have their own electric bike laws.

2. Remember to charge your battery

When you return from your commute, you need to get into the habit of charging your battery. If you forget to charge your battery, there’s a good chance. It won’t have enough charge to get you to work the following morning.

However, don’t plug the battery into the charger immediately. This is because your battery needs to go from a state of discharge to a state of charge which takes 20 to 30 minutes. Giving your battery time to settle down before charging will drastically extend its lifespan.

3. Prepare everything you need for the day

Commuting on an electric bike takes a little bit more preparation than if you were driving. You obviously need to remember everything you need for work. Still, there are a few other things that will prepare you for every eventuality during your ride.

Pack a bag with a bike lock, multitool, tire levers, spare inner tube, pump, water bottle, and extra clothing layers. These will keep you riding in most situations. Therefore, you should get to and from work safely.

4. Protect yourself

Anyone who rides any kind of bike should wear a helmet. But riding an electric bike on a commute presents some unique dangers. The extra weight of an electric bike increases your stopping distances, and the motor makes you accelerate much more quickly than on a regular bike. This is why a quality bike helmet is essential for your safety when riding an electric bike, especially in the city.

5. Stay visible

During a commute, you will often ride in low-light conditions. This is when you really need to make sure other road users are aware of your presence. Firstly, your electric bike should have front and rear lights fitted. If your bike doesn’t come with them, you can buy them cheaply online or at any good bike shop.

You should also avoid wearing dark clothing as this really makes a difference to how visible you are on the road. Ideally, you should wear brightly colored clothing with reflective detailing. You can actually buy some really cool-looking clothes that will keep you safe while riding in low-light conditions.

6. Buy a quality bike lock

You may be unable to bring your electric bike inside when you get to work. This makes it vulnerable to thieves. Therefore you need to buy a good bike lock. There are many different types of bike locks, but this is something you should not scrimp on. Cheap bike locks are often useless, as thieves can snip them off in seconds.

You may opt for a robust chain to secure your bike to an immovable object. This is a great option, but you should always use a quality padlock as this is often the weakest point.

7. Adapt your braking

You will notice that your electric bike may have a longer stopping distance than any other regular bike you have ridden. This is down to the extra weight of the motor and battery. So you need to take this into account when stopping at traffic lights and riding in traffic.

8. Become a smooth rider

Accelerating hard on an electric bike demands more energy from its battery. This is also the case when you have to set off from a standstill often. So it is good practice to adapt your riding style to be much smoother during your commute.

To ride more smoothly, look a long way down the road ahead of you and anticipate what is coming. This will mean you won’t have to stop at junctions and traffic lights as often. The result is that you don’t use valuable battery power from accelerating from a standstill all the time. Remember that the more you use your monitor, the faster your electric bike battery will run down.

9. Fit your electric bike with mudguards

Riding an electric bike in bad weather can be pretty miserable. Still, you can make it more bearable by fitting your electric bike with mudguards. These do a great job of stopping dirt and water from flicking up into your face and all down the back of your lovely jacket.

Some electric bikes already have mudguards fitted, saving you the trouble. However, you can pick them up cheaply from bike shops and online, and they are easy to fit at home.

10. Dress for the occasion

As the motor on your electric bike assists your pedaling, you don’t warm up as quickly as you would on a regular bike. Therefore when you ride in cold weather, you will benefit from wearing an extra layer of clothing for your commute.

It is best to wear an outer layer that is breathable and waterproof. This will help your body to manage its temperature while you ride. It will also protect you from the elements keeping you comfortable, and mean you don’t turn up to work soaking wet.

Bonus tip: make sure you know the rules of the road

Riding in the city can be daunting, and it comes with its own set of hazards. But you can feel much more comfortable and ride safer if you understand the rules of the road. Learning the rules of the road will help you to stay safe and out of trouble. You will know how to behave in certain situations and understand what other road users are up to.

Final thoughts on commuting on an electric bike

Commuting on an electric bike saves you money, is excellent for your physical and mental health, and is better for the environment. It is also a great way to start and finish your workday.

Electric bikes are lots of fun, so why not jump on one every day and use it as part of your daily routine? You may even find yourself taking the long way home, just for the hell of it.

tom fortune

Tom Fortune

Tom loves everything fitted with wheels and spends most of his summers riding around the French Alps on various bikes. He has been creating content for the cycling industry for several years and loves sharing his knowledge and experience to help others.


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