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How To Brake on an E-Bike | Electric Bike Basics

Alanna here with sixthreezero. Today, I'm going to talk about how to safely and effectively brake with an e-bike. Stick around.

When it comes to braking safely and effectively with an e-bike, it is going to be pretty similar to braking on a regular bike with handbrakes, but there are a few things to consider that make it different from your electric bike.

First of all, you definitely want to know your brakes. So the case with most bikes with handbrakes and all of our e-bikes is that the right handbrake controls the rear and the left handbrake controls the front brake, and they work pretty differently. So, I like to think of the rear handbrake as kind of your slowing down the brake, and your front handbrake is the one that has all of the stopping power. Typically, you wouldn't use either one individually. You want to use them both, but you have to use them in order. So, just to give you an idea of how each one works, let's take a look at engaging just the right handbrake for the rear.

So engaging the rear handbrake, you can see that there is resistance, but I can still move forward. So if you're needing to stop on the dime, that's not going to cut it. Now, let's look at the front handbrake. So left engaged, you're not able to move forward, but the rear may lift up, not as much with a regular bike because the battery does weigh it down, but still enough that you want to keep your weight back and apply both brakes.

So the way that you should properly brake is to first engage the right handbrake and then the left handbrake. So right to slow down, left to come to a complete stop. And then you want to release them in reverse order. So releasing the front handbrake first, and then the right handbrake second, and then to continue biking. So this does take a little getting used to. It's definitely a good idea to practice somewhere like an empty parking lot or a quiet neighborhood, just so you get used to going in that order. And then once you get it down, it's like muscle memory. It'll come naturally to you anytime you're biking, which is the case with me.

Now, there are a few things to consider because e-bikes are heavier. So with the battery in the back, the motor in the back, the good thing is that you're less likely to tilt forward, but it does mean that you should consider braking a little sooner because of the extra weight. Additionally, we have the throttle, we have pedal assist, which is giving you a higher speed probably than you would be getting with a regular bike. So again, you just want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to brake at those higher speeds. And you also want to be wary of accidentally bumping the throttle or pedaling and having the motor jolt you forward while you're trying to brake.

Now, if you do happen to have the throttle engaged when you brake, you will still stop, but it's just a good idea to ease off the throttle before going into a stop. Now, like I said, practice is really what's going to make a big difference here, especially before going out on a busy street or a street with a lot of lights or signals where you'll have to be stopping a lot. It's definitely a good idea to practice. So let's show you how to do that.

There are two things I forgot to mention. The surface that you're biking on can vary and can make it harder or easier to brake on. So, for example, painted lines like the lines you see here or that you might see in a crosswalk are going to be slippery. So you want to avoid braking on painted surfaces like that. If you can, brake either before you get to the crosswalk or after you pass the painted surface so you don't slide forward.

Additionally, wet pavement is also slippery, so give yourself enough time to brake properly and probably just bike slower than you typically would. The same as you would when driving. It's always advised to drive slower when it's raining. So same with biking, bike slower so you're not having to brake as quickly.

So here we've set up a finish line to practice with. This is a good idea. So you can see if you are braking too soon or braking too late. It'll just give you a good idea of how much time you need. So to start out, I'm not even going to engage the motor. I have pedal assist off. So I'll be going pretty slow. And this is a good idea as well if it's your first time using handbrakes. So just pedaling forward and remembering to go right then left.


So I don't know if you could see that, but when I engaged the right rear handbrake, I did slide a little bit, but I definitely slowed down. And then it was when I engaged the left handbrake that I came to a complete stop. So let's try that again with the throttle on.

All right. So with the throttle engaged, I was definitely going a little faster. I just crossed the cones. So I do need a little more time to brake when I'm going at that higher speed. So that's something to keep in mind and something to practice. Another tip is to lower your seat. So you can see here that my seat is low enough for me to keep my toes on the ground. And that's definitely a good idea if you are new to using handbrakes. It'll just give you a better sense of security, knowing that you can quickly catch your balance.

Additionally, you can practice the lean. So everyone has a dominant side. Mine, I think, is my left side. So if you don't quite have the stability on your toes, know which side is your preferred side, and you can practice, after braking, just leaning to that side to catch your balance.

Thank you for watching. Hopefully, you found that helpful. If you have any braking tips, be sure to leave them in the comments below. And if there are any other topics that you'd like us to cover, make sure you comment on that as well, and we'll do our best to get to it. Don't forget to subscribe and join our Facebook Pedalers group. It's a great place to find out about new product releases, get tips from other riders, accessory recommendations, and just talk to other riders. Also, download the sixthreezero Pedaling apps. Every week we have a giveaway, and this week it's super easy to qualify for the giveaway. Just download the app, log seven miles. You can do that in an hour, less than an hour of biking. Log those seven miles by Sunday, and you'll automatically be entered to win a sixthreezero t-shirt, your choice. But make sure to download the app. It's available in the App Store and the Google Play Store. Check it out. It's a lot of fun. Thank you so much for watching. Don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.


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