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Essential tips for cyclists – getting to know your bike

Getting to know your e-bike, with a few simple tips from a mechanic, will help you get a better experience from cycling so you can confidently enjoy exploring the city.

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Brakes – stopping and starting

E-bikes are fitted with strong, powerful brakes so you can stop quickly and effectively.

Before you ride your bike the first time make sure you know which is your front brake and rear brake as it may be different from bikes you have ridden before. Pushing your bike, not riding it, squeeze each brake in turn to check.

Once riding your bike, when you want to stop, squeeze your brakes on slowly and progressively. Watch out for your front brake, it's super powerful. If you grab your front brake sharply it can stop the bike really suddenly.

It helps to change into an easier gear before you stop, if you see traffic lights changing colour for example, so it is easy to get started again.  When you start pedalling again the e-bike motor will provide pedal assistance to help you get up to speed again quickly.

Tyres and air pressure

Your bike tyres help to cushion your ride and keep you rolling at a good speed. You might not notice your tyres are flat when you ride an e-bike as the motor will be working harder to compensate, but flat tyres  reduce battery range and can make it easy to damage your wheels. 

Keep your tyres pumped up to the right pressure, you can check what it should be on the side of the tyre. Try to remember to check your tyres before every ride, or every few days if you are riding regularly.

Using your gears

If your bike has manual gear shifting you will need to change the gears to adjust to the terrain you are riding. You can drop into an easier gear when going uphill or a harder gear when you want to go fast on the flat or downhill. 

Use your gears so you can maintain a comfortable speed of pedalling, e-bikes work at their optimum around 60-80 rpm ( revolutions per minutes), so a little bit faster than one complete pedal stroke per second. If you pedal very fast, the bike stops giving you the support of pedal-assist, and if you pedal very slowly in a hard gear you get more assistance from your e-bike motor.

Using your e-bike modes

Your e-bike has several different modes so you can vary the amount of input from the motor. With more support the cycling feels easy but it decreases your battery range. An efficient way to cycle is to use Eco mode where the road is flat and switch to Boost Mode when you need some extra help getting up a hill or going faster.

Getting more advice

If you need any help with your e-bike or more tips on e-cycling head to a Shimano Dealer, you can find your nearest store by clicking HERE