Off-Road Electric Bike Safety Tips
Off-Road Electric Bike Safety Tips
Going off-road electric bike requires you to do some research before hitting the road. It takes some effort to stay safe to ensure you have the ultimate fun on your next ride.
1. Know the law
Many places classify e-bikes as motor vehicles and ban them from traditional bike paths. If in doubt and you see a sign indicating no motor vehicles are allowed on the path, turn off your electric bike.
At the federal level, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service all prohibit e-bikes on nature-paved trails that do not allow motorized vehicles.
State regulations change and change regularly as local legislatures re-evaluate the use of electric mountain bikes on multi-use and off-road trails. Electric mountain bikes are not often encountered in many places enough to warrant a law specifically for them. For example, 25% of state legislatures have never seen the need to address the use of electric mountain bikes.
Only a few states mention the use of electric bikes on non-motorized lanes. Of the 22 states that responded to the International Mountain Bike Association’s Natural Surface Trails survey on its e-bike laws, only four allowed e-bikes on non-motorized trails. A further six allow the use of e-bikes on such trails under special circumstances, such as powered mobility devices.
Learn about the rules for riding an e-bike in your specific area, and check the laws and regulations before buying a model. Doing so will save you time and keep you safe on the road.
2. Watch out for other riders
If you are riding in an area where off-road use of e-bikes is allowed, be aware of other off-road users. If you approach walkers or other cyclists from behind, be prepared to alert them with a horn, bell or verbally. They may not hear you or your bike. Showing others your presence on the road also means you need to pay attention to anyone behind you. Leave your headphones and earbuds at home. You need to keep your ears open if other riders or joggers need to pass you on the trail.
3. Know your limits
When riding off-road, if you get tired, you may rely too much on your bike’s motor to get home. However, the distance the motor takes you depends on the wattage of the motor, the power of the battery, and how many times you use the bike’s throttle. Relying on a full-powered motor will wear it out quickly, and it could leave you tired and stuck in a far-off place with no way to return.
To avoid this, don’t ride further on your electric mountain bike than you can get back under power.
4. Install the torque arm for the front motorcycle
If your bike has a motor on the front hub, the fork can fail, especially on jump landings. There are several ways to prevent a potentially dangerous failure of your fork.
Don’t ride an e-bike with a front hub motor and front suspension fork. Also, don’t install a high-powered motor on the front wheel. If you want a high-performance e-bike, choose a model that has the engine in the middle of the bike frame and has a professional design to keep it safe. If you do have a front hub motor, install a torque arm to hold the fork in place.
Electric Bike Road Safety Tips
When riding on the road, your e-bike has more options than off-road. Most states allow e-bikes to share bike paths with other bikes. To be safe, learn about your state’s laws and how they affect your e-bike and riding choices.
1. Know Your Electric Bike Course
As of 2019, 22 states use a three-tier system for defining e-bikes. The three levels depend on the propulsion method and maximum speed.
Class 1 bikes can go no faster than 20 mph with the help of the motor. The rider can pedal faster than that, but the motor must cut off at 20 mph, or if the rider stops pedaling.
Class 2 bikes can use the throttle to propel the bike without the rider pedaling. With motor assistance, these bikes can reach speeds of up to 20 mph.
Class 3 bikes can reach top speed. As with Class 1 bikes, the motor only assists the rider when pedaling the bike. The electric motor doesn’t stop working until the rider hits 28 mph, though.
Class 3 bikes have the strictest restrictions because they reach the fastest speeds. Some states, such as California and Utah, prohibit anyone under the age of 16 from riding a Class 3 bike, while Utah prohibits anyone under the age of 14 from riding an electric bike of any class anywhere with an electric motor. Seventeen states require you to license your e-bike like any other motor vehicle.
As with off-road riding, check local and state laws before hitting the road.
2. Ride in the lane correctly
When cycling around town, follow the designated bike lanes. If you don’t have a bike lane available, feel free to ride in the middle of the far lane, provided you can keep up with the traffic. Maintaining the same speed as surrounding cars shouldn’t be a challenge in dense urban centers, where stop-and-go traffic typically peaks at 20 to 30 mph.
Ride at a speed suitable for your riding area. If you are not using the top speed of your e-bike, stay on the bike path. If you use race mode or the top speed of our Hotebike model, share traffic with cars and other vehicles traveling at similar speeds.
3. Remember to ride like a vehicle
As long as you ride an e-bike like a car, you have to act like a vehicle in traffic. Signal when turning, and intentionally make eye contact with pedestrians and drivers if you will be crossing the road in front of them. Despite being a bicycle, the motor means these bikes meet the same regulations for motor vehicles in many cities and states. Follow traffic rules to keep yourself safe and legal in traffic.
Open the road to safe riding
So, are electric bikes safe? The answer depends on how you ride your bike. If you follow safety guidelines, wear a helmet to protect yourself, and obey all road rules in your state, riding an electric bike is as safe as any other form of transportation.
If you already own an electric bike, what’s stopping you from going out and enjoying it? If you want to upgrade to advanced riding, take one of our fully loaded e-bikes from Hotebike that go faster and farther. Each of our bikes is ready to ride as soon as it arrives so you can spend more time on the road or Enjoy the ultimate thrill ride on the trails.
7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Electric Bike
Mistake #1 – Buying an electric bike with a small battery
This is one of the most important factors when looking at an e-bike, because the larger the battery, the more range you can ride before it needs to be recharged. The Hotebike’s battery can travel 35-70+ miles on a single charge, depending on the model. The largest battery is 52V/19.2Ah and provides 994 watt-hours of power. We hear it time and time again from disappointed riders who have upgraded to Hotebike… “I wish I could buy an e-bike with more range and a bigger battery”. So don’t make the mistake of skimping on batteries!
A Hotebike electric bike, the Super Scrambler 2, even comes standard with two batteries for over 100 miles. Not sure you want to splurge on the biggest battery possible? Several Hotebike models come with a 52V/15Ah battery for less than $2,000 and can travel about 45+ miles on a single charge. Of course, the riding range depends on road conditions, wind and rider weight. But we have a list of real mileage that many riders are aware of. In fact, if you set pedal assist to a lower level, you’ll find that you may be out of range.
Mistake #2 – Buying an e-bike that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or needs
How are you going to use the e-bike? What kind of ground and terrain do you primarily ride on? These are just two things you need to consider before choosing a model. If you mostly commute on the pavement, you might like a commuter bike—like the Crossover X—that has work-ready tires, range, and comfort. If you ride primarily on dirt or rough roads, consider the Rip Current S and its fat tires offer trail riding versatility. As mentioned above, battery range is also an important consideration. However, if you’re going to commute on an e-bike every day, make sure to consider the round-trip mileage you’ll need per charge. This way you don’t need to bring the charger to the office. New to electric bikes? Beginners love the fan favorite Scorpion X!
Mistake #3 – Buying the Wrong Size Electric Bike
An uncomfortable riding experience can be a real pain. Don’t go there. There’s a reason bikes come in different sizes, and you want one that’s right for you. This means you won’t be struggling to get on and off the bike; get an optimal and comfortable leg extension; and you can ride in a natural position without hurting your back or neck. When you buy a Hotebike electric bike, ask our experts and let them know your height – bike frames come in all sizes. Know that you can adjust the seat height to fine-tune the vertical dimension. In general, we recommend that you check the size chart on our website and check the standing height. Compare this to your inseam, you will want to get the frame that is closest to but no higher than your inseam. Have hip or mobility issues? Be sure to check out our step-by-step models as their frames are designed to get on and off the bike comfortably. Bottom line: From the first time you sit on a bike, you want it to fit.
Mistake #4 – Buying a really cheap electric bike
When it comes to electric bikes, you get what you pay for. There are some sub-$1,000 models on the market that are just terrible: either they have little range or power, or they’re made with cheap components that offer zero durability. These buyers tend to regret it immediately. If you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on an e-bike, spend a little more on a reputable e-bike and check all the boxes for build quality, performance, ride smoothness, high-end components, and overall durability . Know All Hotebike Electric Bikes Check all these boxes. In fact, if you price your ebikes based on performance (range, speed, power, etc.) and premium components, you’ll find that Juiced offers unbeatable value!
Mistake #5 – Buying an Electric Bike Without Warranty or Domestic Customer Service
Problems can arise with any product, despite the reputation of the brand and/or the product being made with quality components. To ensure you get support, it is an absolute must to buy an electric bike with a warranty and in-country customer service. The value of having a real person answering your SOS calls cannot be underestimated. Not only does Hotebike offer all of this for every e-bike it sells, it also has a full library of online how-to videos that show you clearly and slowly how to deal with unforeseen events. The company is staffed with a team of American customer service advocates and professional e-bike technicians. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other e-bike manufacturer that backs their products as thoroughly and provides as much accessibility as Hotebike.
Mistake #6 – Not Knowing Electric Bike Specifications Before Buying
Pay attention to all the specs on the bike you’re interested in – whether it’s motor size, tire size, tire type, component names, key features, available upgrades, etc. See if it gives you everything listed and see why a certain specification makes a difference. For example, did you know that hydraulic disc brakes on e-bikes are a critical safety feature, as stopping power is more important on bikes capable of 20-28MPH? Did you know that a larger battery directly affects how many miles you can ride on a single charge? Did you know that many e-bikes don’t come with an on-demand throttle? Knowing the most important e-bike specs can lead to a disappointing purchase. Also make sure there is room for any accessories you have in mind. For example, people often add a side mirror or phone mount to the handlebars of their bikes. How about a rear rack or a water bottle holder? Check out each bike and don’t be afraid to ask our experts for any details.
Mistake #7 – Not asking the right questions
Speaking of questions, make a list of the questions you want answered before you start the buying process. We know people have a lot to talk about, and our customer service agents are ready to address each of you. Before making a big purchase like this, you want to be as informed as possible. This way, you can confidently know all the facts up front.
We know e-bikes are a big deal this holiday season, so we hope you’re looking forward to your purchase. When you buy a new Hotebike bike, rest assured that you are about to embark on the journey of a safe, high performance and reliable electric bike.
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