The next thing to check is which lever is the front brake and which is the rear brake. Never use only one lever and make sure that you apply both brakes at the same time.
Using less aggressive braking, it’s appropriate to use only the rear brake but always be certain with which lever controls which brake.
Once you start riding, you will want to listen for the brake pad rubbing against the disc rotor, and if there is rubbing, you may need to adjust the distance between the pads and the rotor, or straighten out the rotation of the caliper.
You can also check for a bent rotor by spinning one spot on the brake rotor. If there’s a wobble then you will need to replace or straighten it.
There are some electric bike specifics to consider when bringing your bike for the first time. For a heavier ride, it takes longer for an electric bike to slow down when going faster which can make it difficult to stop on a busy street with traffic.
It is recommended to spend some time practicing before heading out into traffic.
If you are on a budget, there are fewer options that can have hydraulic disc brakes. They do exist though, and you can find them in our price-driven buyer’s guides.
Below are some common safety concerns and tips to alleviate them when riding an electric bike for the first time.
Riding an electric bike is not much different than riding a normal bike, but there are differences due to the nature of its motor and use of more electricity.
As a result, you may have wondered how to ride an electric bike.
Riding a bike is both fun and healthy, and it has the effect of reducing pollution. There are few things that produce as much for our own health and environment as riding a bike does.
In the United States, less than one percent of trips are taken with a bike and according to a study conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison(opens in new tab), even just bumping that number up to six percent would be a win. In 2017, they estimate that at six percent of trips there would be 28,000 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease and 22,000 fewer cases of diabetes per year.
According to the study referenced in the previous paragraph, if the US got all transit passengers by bike up to 15% it could mean 40,000 fewer deaths per year.
Making environmental progress is easy, as many people are doing by replacing their car trips with bike trips. Massive benefits happen in the process. Bike changes means you get to make a choice that is fun and there are improvements to the best electric bikes, making it easier than ever before.
Riding an electric bike is a different experience because of the speed at which they are capable of going. Not everyone who rides a bicycle regularly spends time riding at the speed electric bikes are capable of, but it is also true with speeds below what you might expect.
Even if you are riding at a pace that feels comfortable to you, it can be very different to when the motor pulls you to somewhere even faster than the pace in which you have been cycling.
Bikes come in a variety of types and offer different ways to power them. Choose your bike in accordance with what you’re comfortable with, but know that it may feel very similar to the one you already use.
To get a good idea of what to expect, read about how electric bikes work. Some models seem very similar to a regular bike because of torque-based sensors and similar RPM’s.
If your electric bike has this feature, start small so you can gradually get used to the difference in riding experience through zoning down the assistance level.
If you will be using a cadence-based system, it is important to take care. Some cadence-based assist systems will show you their direction before you are ready, this is the easiest on flat ground where you ride slowly but quickly (12mph/20kph).
It’s best not to start out on an electric bike in a restrictive area where the bike is hard to shift gears. Begin by moving the bike on its own without assistance, and then when you are comfortable, turn on the assistance when it is needed. This will help you learn how to ride with manageable assistance before turning completely off.
It might not be possible to shift gears and start riding without the electric assist, because of the weight of an electric bike. If you need the electric assist to get started, go ahead and use it.
Be aware of the direction in which the bike is going and where the brakes are. Try switching between low- and high-power settings on your electric motor and follow how far you can extend your legs before they become weak. Also, make sure you know which side is triggered for front braking and which is for rear braking.
Take the time to pick out some electric bikes below, review them and consider what’s best for you.
Electric bikes are heavier than non-electric bikes, which makes it more challenging to stop. Make sure you understand how your bike brakes, and then apply that knowledge!
A new electric bike has a lot of fundamentals to understand, specifically which type of brakes you have. The brake levers typically connect the harder you pull, and this is how the brakes are stopped with their cables.
On hydraulic brakes, there is no cable connection, the fluid pushes against a piston to stop the wheels.
Once you have a basic understanding of the brakes, it’s time to adjust them. Without the bike in motion, pull on the brake lever. The lever should engage the caliper before it reaches the handle bars.
Make sure that you can pull on it lightly and not have to push too hard when you need to stop quickly. Lastly, look for how adjustments can be made in the manual or take it to your local bike shop for further advice.