How to Ride an Ebike: A Guide for Beginners

September 28, 2022

It’s the age-old question (with a modern twist): how do you ride an ebike? For starters, you can quell any worries that riding an ebike is more difficult than a traditional bike. In fact, they’re pretty similar—just with a few extra bells and whistles! Think of this guide as your training wheels, because it’ll provide everything beginners need to know about riding a question.

How to Ride an Ebike: 7 Tips for Beginners

1. Know how the ebike works

Before you hop on for your first ride, take the time to explore your ebike a little. You’ll want to be able to identify the frame, motor, brakes, and battery—and understand how they all work together.

  • The frame will typically influence what kind of bike it is. Consider the short frame of a foldable Vika+, the relaxed low in-step frame of the Sol, and the sturdier step-over frame of the Ultra.
  • The motor is what acts as your pedaling assistant. It’ll give your legs a break and help you out on hills.
  • The battery is what powers the motor, and it comes with a capacity that will influence the range (i.e. the average distance the bike is able to go before the battery needs to be recharged).
  • The brakes slow you down and eventually get you to a full stop, just like with a human-powered bike. You may just need to use them a little earlier (more on this later).

2. Make all necessary preparations

When you first get your ebike, it can be all too tempting to immediately take it for a spin. But in order to do so safely, there are some necessary preparations to follow:

  • Be sure that all assembly instructions are followed well and that the bike is in rideable condition.
  • Make sure you have a fully charged battery. To help you out with charging, check out this how-to guide.
  • Check the brakes to ensure that they’re functioning well, and ensure that the tires are properly inflated.

3. Strap on your helmet

Even if it’s your first, quick ride (especially if it’s your first ride), a helmet is always a good idea. Safety is the most important thing.

4. Get to know the pedal assist system

Pedal assist is the technological component of an ebike that makes it truly different from a conventional bike. It’s what takes the power from the motor to help you pedal easier and move at greater speeds. Think of it as a slight push along your route.

Unlike throttle, the pedal assist system (PAS) requires you to pedal. Blix ebikes have pedal assist levels that run from 0-5, to provide you with no assist (0) or a high level of assist (5).

If you’re looking for speeds of up to 20 mph on a class 2 ebike (with class 3’s reaching max speeds of 28 mph), then you’d want to select pedal assist level 5.

If you just want a little support and to preserve your battery range, then we’d recommend level 1 or 2.

On your first ride, you’ll want to pay attention to how the pedal assist feels. With some ebikes, the pedal assistance will kick in right away. In other cases, you have to reach a certain speed or cadence before you’ll notice the PAS kick in.

5. Avoid standing up on the bike

While you can (and should) support the PAS and battery range by pedaling at a greater cadence (i.e. faster) than you typically would with a conventional bike, putting too much force on the pedals is not recommended.

If you stand while pedaling, your motions could become more erratic, which could confuse the electric and motor systems. This may inadvertently slow the bike down and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the motor.

That said, maintain a seated position while you ride. Congratulate yourself on the excellent core workout.

6. Brake a little earlier

Because an ebike has a greater mass than regular bikes and is often moving at faster speeds, you’ll want to hit the brakes a little earlier than you would on a traditional bike. Just give yourself a little extra time to reach a full stop, especially when going at high speeds.

7. Be cautious and courteous

Remember: you are operating a motor vehicle. As such, you need to be extremely cautious and courteous around other bikes, cars, and pedestrians.

As the motor runs smoothly, it doesn’t make much sound, so you should announce your approach for other cyclists or pedestrians. And you should always, ALWAYS obey traffic signals and follow local speed limit regulations.

 

Be Prepared to Be Amazed

All in all, an ebike isn’t all that different from a traditional bike. It’s just a new and improved version. While you will have to take some additional steps to ride safely, you’ll get a lot out of your first rides on an ebike. If the high frames or difficult pedaling of conventional bikes have kept you off of them, rejoice in an ebike as the perfect cycling solution for beginners.