Electric Bike User Guide

Nigel Tipene | 24 June 2019

So you've purchased a new E-Bike? Here's everything you need to know to get up to speed with your new electric bike. Riding basics, maintenance, cleaning and everything else you need to know about riding safely and extending the life of your ride!

THE BASICS OF RIDING AN ELECTRIC BIKE

The harder you pedal, the bigger the boost, the faster you’ll ride - to a point. e-Bikes let you hum along at a brisk pace, but they aren’t motorcycles. You’ll never hammer it down the road at 50 kph. The motor is governed to stop propelling you further when you hit 25-32 kph, depending on the bike. So you’ll save time on your commute or save energy on the hill climbs.

You can also control how much assistance you get. Most e-Bikes come with a power switch that lets you adjust the assist setting from “eco” (low) to “turbo” (high), for when you want a little more oomph to help you up a steep hill or into a headwind.

Managing your assist modes correctly will help you manage the life you get out of the charge in your battery. Using Turbo everywhere won’t give you the life you expect from your battery.

e-Bike SPEED:

It’s a good idea to understand and get used to your e-Bike before you really test it’s limits. On an e-Bike you may be riding at faster speeds than you are used to on a regular bike so make sure you have good bike control and awareness.

CORNERING AN E-BIKE:

When starting out on an e-Bike for the first time our suggestion is to “NOT” pedal around corner until you get used to the bike. Pedaling around corners can give unwanted power and cause the bike to oversteer or add too much assistance into a tight corner meaning you’ll over shoot the corner. 

In time you’ll understand the bike and what’s needed to get around corners but until you are confident with the bike our suggestion is to “Glide” around corners without putting power into the pedals. On off-road trails reduce your power assistance for corners and you may need to use your brakes to regulate your corner speed on the climbs.

USING E-BIKE GEARS:

e-Bikes have a lot of extra power so you may feel that you don’t need to change gears. In our experience, this can lead to premature wear on the drive train (chain & cogs), especially the smallest rear gear cogs. These tend to wear out quicker as they have the most torque put through them with the least amount of teeth to distribute the wear.

It’s recommended that you use your gears. Change to a lower (easier) gear when climbing hills, or even when starting at the lights. This will put less strain on your parts and motor. Try and keep your pedal stroke consistent and even. This will help your parts last that bit longer.

E-BIKE WEIGHT:

On average e-Bikes weigh about 25 kg. So if you are lifting an e-Bike and it’s practical to do so, remove the battery. These bikes are heavier and can cause more damage to parts and rider. If loading to a bike rack, try using a e-bike ramps so that you don't need to lift bicycle. Be careful when leaning the bike against anything and it falling over.

RIDING AN E-BIKE IN TRAFFIC:

Car drivers are still getting used to e-Bike riders and are not always prepared for the extra speed. Give yourself some extra space and time and err on the side of caution as the motorist may think you are on a regular bike.

We advise you to use lights and wear bright clothing when riding in traffic day or night.

Be aware of your surroundings and also note where e-Bikes are not permitted to be ridden, for example some tracks are for regular bike use only.

E-BIKES IN INTERSECTIONS:

As much as you have the ‘Right of Way’ don’t assume the driver has always seen you. Where possible make eye contact with the driver. If you haven’t seen the driver’s eyes, they haven’t seen you.

Your responsibilities as a cyclist are to:

  • Use the correct lane
  • Keep left‘
  • Taking the lane’ on left turns
  • Pass other vehicles safely
  • Use hand signals
  • Be safe and courteous when cycling in groups
  • Share the road and paths
  • Expect hazards and ride to avoid them
https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/cyclist-code/about-cycling/cyclist-responsibilities/


ELECTRIC BIKE CARE & MAINTENANCE

As with all modern bicycles you are dealing with the latest in bicycle technology. Today’s e-Bikes are the forefront of this technology, which it is why we have put together this helpful guide to get the longest and best performance from your bicycle.

E-BIKE BATTERY CARE:

Your average e-Bike battery has about 500 cycles before the battery will show signs of not holding the same charge it used to. 

Temperature has a huge effect on battery life. Extremely hot and cold temperatures will drastically reduce the ride time of your battery. 

Try to store your battery at room temperature out of direct sunlight and the same when charging. 

If the bike/battery isn’t being used for a period of time. Store the battery at 40-60% charge. Having the battery stored at full charge will reduce its lifespan.

CHARGING AN E-BIKE BATTERY:

When you get a new e-Bike, make sure you charge the battery fully before use. This helps condition the battery and gives it a start point from which to gauge the rest of its use.

e-Bike batteries like to be charged slowly, and kept cool. Warm is okay, hot is not. Lithium batteries only need to be charged when needed. Please remember that lithium ion batteries are a fire risk, so caution is required when charging. NEVER CHARGE A DAMAGED BATTERY. A battery needs to be charged from the mains. Using a 12v charger from a camper van will not provide enough charge.

When charging your battery be aware of its surrounding as it is a potential fire risk. Charging on a BBQ grill or in a fireplace (unlit!) are good safety measures. If charging on the bike, park the bike under a fire alarm. ALWAYS USE THE ORIGINAL CHARGER FOR YOUR BIKE.


E-BIKE WHEELS & BRAKES:

Due to the extra weight exerted on the wheels from the weight of the battery and the motor, wheels and brakes do a lot more work on an e-Bike. It’s best to get your bike inspected by your local EVO cycles at least every 6 months, especially if the bike is being used regularly.

E-BIKE TYRES:

Your tyres have one of the greatest effects on the performance of your bike. A flat tyre on your e-Bike can drastically affect the distance you get from the charge in your battery.

Check your tyres on a regular basis, every 2 weeks is recommended. Tyre pressures are listed on the side of the tyres fitted to your bike.

For ONROAD - Get as close to the maximum PSI suggested.

For OFFROAD – This can be a bit of trial and error. Between 20-40 psi depending on the width of tyre and terrain you are riding. 

E-BIKE CHAIN & COGS:

It’s important to keep a well-maintained drive train. With most e-Bikes the power through these parts is constant so wear on these parts can be higher than a standard bike. It’s recommended to change your gears regularly, especially when starting from a stop and climbing hills.

Keep your drive train clean as excessive dirt will wear the parts out quicker. Only oil the chain if it sounds dry and wipe off any excess. A chain should be clean, dry, and quiet. It’s recommended that your e-Bike chain be replaced every 4-500 km’s to reduce the wear on your cogs.

E-BIKE HEADUNITS:

Keep this clean and dry. All units are water resistant, not waterproof. Care is needed in heavy downpours or when being transported on the back of the carin the rain. A plastic bag covering the unit will help keep any moisture out.

CLEANING AN E-BIKE:

DO NOT USE HIGH WATER PRESSURE ON YOUR E-BIKE.

Your e-Bike has been designed to keep atmospheric water pressure out.

A high-pressure hose, water blaster, even your thumb over a garden hose canbe enough pressure to cause water to pass the seals and get on the bike’selectrics.

To clean your bike it’s recommended to use warm water and a soft car brush. Avoid using cleaning products as some products can contaminate the brakepads.

E-BIKE TRANSPORT:

Use only e-Bike rated racks. If your e-Bike is being transported in the rain, make sure the battery, motor and head unit are covered to stop the water making its way into the electrics on the bike.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Do not try and tamper with or fix your battery
  • Any modifications to your bike outside manufacturer specifications will void your warranty
  • Any damaged battery will need to be replaced
  • Any further questions please feel free to contact your nearest EVO Cycles

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