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Never Think of E-Bike Rides as Cheating
Never think of riding an electric bike as cheating. Sure, you could call racing an e-bike against non-motorized cycles in the Tour de France cheating. Otherwise, enjoying scenic bike paths or commuting to work on an electric bicycle is a choice, and for many cyclists, it's a great one.
All you need is an e-bike with a charged battery to take your first ride. For a safe and more comfortable ride, you'll want to invest in some gear. Take a moment to consider essential e-bike accessories to pack for your first e-bike ride.
What to Pack for a Worry-Free and Comfortable E-Bike Ride
Nobody should call riding an electric bicycle cheating. However, the experience differs somewhat than riding a traditional cycle. With that in mind, new e-bike riders can use some tips about the gear they should take along on bike trips, especially on longer rides.
A Spare Battery
Of course, you can pedal an electric bike. Still, the e-bike experience depends upon the assistance that its motor and battery provide. E-bike motors draw power from a lithium-ion battery. Manufacturers will offer an expected range for these batteries, but many factors can affect performance. These might include the weight of the rider, e-bike, and load. Terrain and wind conditions can also impact how long the battery will last between charges. Also, most manufacturers will suggest not letting the battery entirely drain between charges to preserve lifespan.
A spare battery offers the most straightforward solution for extending the bicycle's range. Having a handy spare on hand can also help by reducing the time needed for charges. Most of all, taking an extra battery along for the ride will give you peace of mind in case the first battery fails for any reason. In any case, most people who use their e-bikes frequently and for more than rides around the block end up investing in a spare battery to take along on longer rides or keep at home as a backup.
SixThreeZero offers these two kinds of spare e-bike batteries on their website:
Benefits of owning a spare electric bike battery include:
Owning a spare battery offers a convenient way to extend the motor's range and reduce charging time. Riders can carry them on the rear rack, in a frame-mounted bag, or inside a backpack.
A Battery Charger
Riders on shorter trips might decide they don't need to bring a charger along, especially with a spare battery. For extended rides, bike camping trips, or commutes, prudent cyclists will want to take a charger to refresh batteries at wall outlets. Typical bicycle battery chargers resemble computer power supply cords with an adapter for the battery and a plug for the wall.
A Proper Helmet
Local e-bike helmets vary, and many jurisdictions won't force adult e-cyclists to wear helmets. Still, proper helmets offer various types of protection, so it's tough to understand their importance.
Be sure to buy the proper helmet for an e-bicycle:
Today's manufacturers design helmets to provide protection, comfort, and convenience. Primarily, the helmet should protect the rider from suffering head injuries in case of an accident or fall. The US Consumer Safety Commission says a proper helmet will protect riders from injuries and in some cases, save lives.
Some helmets also offer multiple features to provide extra safety or comfort. For instance:
Motors help power e-cycles, but remember, most e-bike riders also assist the motor by pedaling. Even if riders don't feel as if they're engaged in strenuous exercise, they still risk dehydration, especially on warm days. Most importantly, riders should not let themselves get to the point where they experience thirst because they're already starting to get dehydrated.
According to Bicycling magazine, even mild dehydration can impact performance. It takes time to reverse this condition because the body needs to move water from the stomach into the bloodstream. Carrying along sufficient water and drinking every few minutes offers the best solution. Cyclists should never wait for thirst, fatigue, and even brain fog to take a drink.
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests drinking eight ounces of water every twenty minutes. The ACSM also says that riders should consider a sports drink with electrolytes and carbohydrates for longer rides, extreme heat, or even for some people who tend to sweat more and dehydrate faster. A solution of equal parts of water and fruit juice can also help, but make sure it contains such electrolytes as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Most riders attach at least one frame-mounted bottle holder to their e-cycle. Typically, these frames can hold a refillable or disposable bottle. For longer rides, cyclists should consider bringing along spare bottles as well.
A Tire Repair Kit and Supplies
Especially for longer rides, e-cyclists should acquaint themselves with techniques for repairing or changing tubes. Sharp objects on the path, improper inflation, valve failures, and wear or degradation may cause flats. To repair flats on a ride, e-bikers will need:
Changing a bike tire only involves a few steps, but it takes some know-how and helps to practice. In addition to a repair kit and a spare tube, e-cyclists should bring the knowledge to fix the issue. Many YouTube videos demonstrate the process, and some local bike stores or bike clubs may hold classes. In any case, riders should practice removing and replacing the tire at least once before venturing out on a long ride.
Some bike tire manufacturers offer a newer product called tubeless tires. Some advantages include fewer flats and less weight. On the other hand, even tubeless tires can suffer from damage severe enough to flatten them. Thus, prudent riders still need to carry a repair kit and an extra tube.
A Bike Bag
As e-bike riders accumulate such gear as a spare battery, extra water, and a tire repair kit, they will need a way to carry these supplies. Also, in various circumstances, e-cyclists may want to take food, a smartphone, supplies for work or school, purchases, a change of clothes, and so on. Riders who plan overnight rides might even need to port a small tent and sleeping bag.
Some riders use an ordinary backpack, but that means carrying the weight of the supplies on their back. Generally, a better option includes panniers, a pack, bag, or basket. Riders can find various products to mount on a rear rack, the bike's frame, or the handlebars.
These days, e-cyclists might also want to have a smartphone handy for hands-free calling, GPS navigation, or playing music. Manufacturers make handy phone mounts that attach to the bike's handlebars for easy access.
Recharging E-Bikes on Longer Rides
These days, riding groups have discovered the fun of taking extended multi-day e-cycling trips. Campgrounds or motels should offer access to outlets. Stores, local libraries, and other facilities should also have outlets, but it's a good idea to ask for permission before using them. Charging a bicycle battery only requires a few cents worth of power, but the folks who own or manage the facilities might not know that.
Some companies also sell portable power banks or small solar generators for an off-grid charge. The more power these can store, the larger and heavier they will be, so that's a consideration for packing. Still, some cyclists feel that having extra insurance against a dead bike battery makes it worth the additional weight.
Packing for a Long E-Bike Ride
The power and versatility of electric bikes make overnight bike trips much more accessible than with traditional bicycles. Still, packing for a long journey takes some planning. Experienced e-bike tour riders suggest limiting extra cargo to a weight of 15 to 45 pounds. The e-bike's motor and the cyclist's weight might factor into this figure.
Prudent cyclists will pack the planned load and take a test ride to see how the cargo's weight and distribution impact performance. After the test, you may want to reconsider the amount of gear you can comfortably handle.
Besides the basics listed above, longer trips might require changes of clothes and shoes for cycling or various activities, food, camping and cooking gear, and food. The list can add up quickly, so it's essential to whittle it down as much as possible. Traveling light will make the cycle easier to handle and spare the battery.
Why Buy E-Bicycles and Gear From SixThreeZero?
Electric bicycles offer an excellent transportation choice for people who want to save money on gas, reduce harmful emissions, and enjoy healthy exercise while traveling further and faster than they could on a non-motorized bike.
SixThreeZero offers reasonably priced, high-quality e-bikes and accessories. Even better, this bicycle company provides customers with excellent customer service, online traveling, free shipping, and solid warranties for everything it sells.
Shop for electric bikes, extra e-bike batteries, and other accessories from the comfort of your home. While waiting for your purchases to arrive, start working on the packing list for all of the e-bike adventures you plan to enjoy!
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