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How and Why to Use Gears on Your Electric Bike


Hi guys, it's Alanna here from Sixthreezero. Today, I'm going to talk about shifting gears with an electric bike. So I'll be talking about why electric bikes even have gears. And I'll give you some examples of how I use the gears in combination with pedal assist for biking uphill.


If you are new to riding an e-bike, or you just got your e-bike, you've taken it out for a few rides, you may not have even touched the gear shifter at all. But actually, it is really useful. So if you are using your bike for exercise, the gear shifter is really going to allow you to fine-tune your ride so that you are meeting your goals, whether that is going for a long ride or burning the most calories, and putting in the most effort.


Additionally, having gears on an electric bike can really help you extend your battery life, which is particularly useful for those longer rides. You can always use the gear shifter to make your ride easier or more difficult. And then you won't have to rely on the pedal assist, or the throttle as much. Also, it allows you to keep a steady cadence throughout your ride, which is always a good goal to have, maintaining a steady cadence is really important, and it can help you get uphill. When you don't want to rely solely on your throttle, or in the case that your battery does die, and you're biking home with no power, the gears are really going to come in handy.


So when you have an electric bike, the gears pretty much function exactly as they would with a normal bike. So if you want to put in more effort and use more leg power, you're going to shift to a higher gear. If you are approaching a hill and you know that it's going to slow you down, but you don't want to completely stop, you're going to shift to a lower gear. So how it differs from a regular bike is that you also have pedal assist. So depending on how much effort you want to put in, that's going to determine what gear you're in, and what pedal assist level you're in. So for example, if you are riding uphill, and you know that it's tough and you don't want it to completely slow you down, you can ramp up your pedal assist and also ramp up your gear shifter.


So if you shift to a higher gear, you'll still feel like you're doing work, but since you have the pedal assist up, it's not too much work that you're completely slowed down. Also, if you are tackling a really steep hill, and pedal-assist is not enough, and you don't want to use the throttle, or if your battery's low, shift into a lower gear is going to help you get up that hill more easily without having to stop. Also, if you are just biking on flat terrain, you can use your gears as you would normally with a regular bike with pedal assist as well. Pedal-assist can help you bike faster and the gear shifter can determine your cadence. So if you want a faster cadence, shift to a lower gear. If you want a slower cadence, or if you want to use more leg power, shift to a higher gear.


So like I said, that comes in handy. If you're going for a longer ride and you know that your battery might not make it for the duration of the ride, then you can rely mainly on your gear shifter for the first half of the ride with keeping pedal assist at a lower level, like one or two. And then towards the second half of your ride, when you're more tired and not wanting to work as hard, you can stop worrying about the gear shifter, and that's when you can rely more on peddle assist and the throttle. But that would have to be a really long ride. For example, I recently completed a two-hour ride in level one pedal-assist for almost the entire ride, and I still had battery life at the end of it.


So it's really going to be helpful for much longer rides, but regardless, it's really useful for getting a good workout in, because you can use your leg power instead of using the pedal assist without having to completely turn pedal assist off. So let's head over to a hill, and we'll do a few examples. One example will be when I still want to get a workout and still feel like I'm putting in the max effort, I will let you know which gear I'm in, and what pedal assist level I'm in. And then we'll do a second ride, where I totally don't want to do any effort, and I'll let you know what gear and pedal assist level.


So that covers shifting gears on an electric bike. Hopefully, that was helpful for you. It does take a little bit of practice, but it's really easy to get the hang of. You'll quickly learn what feels comfortable for you, and you can tailor that to your energy level, how hard you want to work that day, or how long you want to ride that day. If you use your electric bike for exercise, we'd love to hear what your routine is. How do you ride? Do you tackle Hills? Do you use pedal assist? Let us know in the comments below.


Be sure to check out our exclusive Sixthreezero Pedalers Community on Facebook. The link will be in the bio below. It's a great place to share tips, get recommendations, post photos of your bike, or photos of your ride. It's a really friendly community. And I'm often inspired by what people have accomplished in there. We have people just learning to ride a bike at seven years old, and we have people who are biking 20 plus miles a day. So it's a really good place to go, if you're looking for some motivation or some inspiration, also, if you just need any general bike tips. So check it out. Link will be in the bio below. Thanks for watching. And don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.

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