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Your Complete Guide To Riding Your Electric Bike in the Dark

Updated On: May 29, 2023

You may remember your parents saying not to ride your bike down the street after dark, or perhaps you're worried about general safety riding your electric bike at night. With a few simple measures, you can go on a safe and productive ride on your electric bike past sundown. 

Choosing the Best Light Attachments (Headlights, Tail Lights & Brake Lights)

It's crucial that motorists see you clearly in the dark, and that you see the road to avoid obstacles and ride safely. Putting light attachments on your bike solves both problems. Be sure to use all of the light options at your disposal for the safest nighttime bike ride. 

  1. Headlights attach to your handlebars and function like the headlights on a car, increasing your field of vision and pointing you out to oncoming traffic. 
  2. Tail lights attach to the back of your bike frame and make you visible to cars behind you. 
  3. Brake lights are similar to tail lights, but they can flare when you engage your brakes. Many cyclists put these lights on their bike racks. Some break lights come with turn signals for extra safety. 

Using Reflective Cycling Gear on Your Bike

After your bike is decked out in lights, pick add-ons that are reflective to get the most impact out of them. A useful accessory such as a pannier bag or a basket can be a safety feature as well if it has a highly reflective finish. 

What To Wear on Your Night E-Bike Ride

Even with a reflective and highly visible bike, you don't want to wear all-black on your ride. Motorists who aren't paying attention and only see a bike may assume it's stationary. 

Keeping a reflective vest, a sports jersey or a hoodie with reflective piping in your bike's storage is an easy way to tailor your wardrobe for a night bike ride. Reflective tape (seen on highway signs and street signs) is proven to be more visible than neon clothing in low light. Bright colors or white are still better options than dark colors. 

Charging Your Electric Bike in Advance

The risks of being stranded at night are higher than risks during the day, as conditions are harsher, businesses are closed and motorists may not see you. It's crucial to make sure your electric bike has a full charge before riding it at night. 

Depending on your e-bike, plan on four to six hours for a complete charge. After that's done, you can have the peace of mind that the charge will last at least 20 miles. 

Plan Your Route in Advance

Riding your e-bike while checking a navigation app on your phone isn't a good idea at any time of day. Instead, if you're biking a route you're not very familiar with, go over the key turns multiple times mentally in advance. If you must check navigation, stop riding and be sure you're in a safe place before pulling out your phone. 

Ride Defensively

Familiarize yourself with the basics of defensive bike riding any time you're going to be sharing the road, but especially if you're heading out at night. Some ways to ride defensively include:

  • Obeying traffic laws stringently
  • Using your hands to signal turns
  • Hanging back to let a fast or potentially dangerous driver pass

Ride With a Friend

The buddy system is a tried and true way to stay safe in potentially risky situations. Call a friend to ride with you, and you'll have someone watching your back on your nighttime ride. 

Your electric bike is still a useful transportation method after the sun goes down. Remain visible, charge your e-bike fully, know your route and consider teaming up in order to safely bike in the dark. 


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