Commuting by e-bike: Our top tips
Unsurprisingly, at Eco Bike Co. HQ, we’re big advocates of commuting by e-bike. There are just so many benefits.
We find an early-morning, exercise-induced, endorphin hit more satisfying than any cup of coffee.
What’s more, cycling to work is in fact more predictable than other modes of transport - forget congestion, forget red signals, and delays. Instead, feel the wind in your face!
There’s the lessened risk of Covid-19 transmission, and don’t get us started on the environmental benefits… yep, commuting by e-bike is the must-do lifestyle change for 2022.
However, if you’re new to cycling to work, it’s well worth doing a little prep. Check out our top tips for commuting by e-bike.
Pick the right e-bike for your needs
As you’ll see on our site, there are a wide range of e-bike models available. It’s worth doing some research, or speaking to an expert to understand your options and help you choose the right bike for your situation.
If your commute is “blended”, i.e. part on public transport, part cycling, you may find a folding electric bike is the right choice for you. A folding bike may also be a good choice if there are limited safe places to lock up your bike near your work place, or there is a lack of bike storage.
While portability and weight are important factors when choosing an e-bike for commuting, it’s worth considering the length of your cycle . This may impact your choice of bike as different models and battery sizes will offer different ranges - and may necessitate something of a trade off.
We talk more about choosing the right e-bike here.
It’s important to have the right kit
Investing in appropriate apparel and accessories will pay off in terms of comfort and safety.
First up, you need a quality helmet. There is probably nothing more important when it comes to riding an e-bike - especially when commuting in rush hour - and it’s not a purchase to skimp on.
That said, we offer a variety of road-tested helmets at a range of accessible price points here.
The weather in the UK is changeable, at best, and down-right wet, at worst. Proper waterproofs are essential for commuting by e-bike.
Look for garments that as well as being waterproof, are also breathable to avoid turning up at work soaked through from the outside and inside!
We’d always advocate wearing high-visibility gear, whatever the weather, but especially during winter when mornings and evenings are dark.
On the subject of visibility, front and tail lights are a must, and a reflector or two won’t hurt.
It’s likely you’ll have some baggage with you, perhaps a laptop, a packed lunch or clean clothes - nothing you’d like getting wet. Waterproof panniers are a good option for securely, and dryly, transporting your paraphernalia to work - and arguably make for a more stable cycling experience than a backpack.
Take time to plan your route in advance
Thanks to the power assist feature of an e-bike, hills aren’t going to be an issue, but you may well opt for a different route when cycling to work as opposed to driving.
Is there a more scenic option e.g. through a park, or along a canal?
Perhaps there’s an option to use a cycle path such as one of London’s cycle superhighways.
Dedicated cycle routes will offer a less stop-start ride, and without cars, are safer.
Some cyclists prefer to use smaller roads, with lower speed limits. While these may not present the shortest, most direct, route to the office, they often have less traffic in rush hour and make for a more pleasant cycling experience.
Sometimes, in actuality, a route is different to how you predicted it to be when checking it on Google Maps. It’s always worth allowing for a trial run, especially if you’ve a 9 AM meeting with your boss to attend!
Be sure to look after your bike and battery
You don’t want to be about to leave for work to find a technical issue with your bike.
Good practices when it comes to maintenance can ensure your bike stays on the road. What’s more, they can also improve your battery’s health and life-span.
Try to keep your bike clean, particularly the moving parts, and regularly check tire pressure.
There are a number of tricks to keeping your battery in good working order, such as not letting it go completely flat or fully charging it.
Keep your e-bike safe when commuting
Have you considered where you will store your e-bike on arriving at work?
While some offices and workplaces offer secure cycle storage facilities, this isn’t universal.
If you can’t bring your bike into work, you’ll likely have to lock it out on the street. Be sure to leave your bike in a place where it can be well observed, is lit at night, and ideally even covered by CCTV.
The first step to reducing the chances of your bike being stolen while at work is to invest in a solid lock. We’ve said it before: “a cheap lock is a false economy”.
If you’re going to invest in an e-bike and use it for commuting, buy a high-quality bike lock. Check out our range here.
Refresh your knowledge of the highway code
Last but not least, it’s worth clueing up on the highway code before starting commuting by e-bike.
While you may think yourself familiar with the text, it is regularly updated - and certain points are particularly applicable to cyclists rather than drivers.
Don’t get caught out.
Take some time to remind yourself of cycling best practices, too. If new to cycling, or returning after time out from the sport, consider how best to maintain your fitness and avoid injury.
We’ve listed some tips for those getting back in the saddle.
Commuting by e-bike: Our top tips
Follow the advice detailed above, and commuting by e-bike will become one of the highlights of your working day.
Do you have any tips for fellow e-bike commuters? Or perhaps you have a story of how commuting by e-bike has revolutionised your daily routine?
We’d love to hear from you - get in touch today.