How do you ride an e-bike? While this might seem like a silly question, in reality it isn’t. There are several things that might need a little explanation and there are definitely some pointers that we’d love to share with you. Even the most experienced cyclists need some help to get used to different e-bike systems. Let’s get into it.
E-Bike Gears and Power Levels
Riding an e-bike is fundamentally the same as riding a regular bike. 50 Rebels and UD Bikes have seven gears, which you change with the gear shifter while pedalling – no surprises there. Forgetting the motor, these gears behave in the same way as on a regular bike, i.e. it’s easier to get started in a lower gear, and you should shift up the range as you go faster. However, the part that can seem alien at first is the separate ‘power level’ displayed on screen, which has five different settings. Like gears, these are numbers that affect how easy it is to pedal and how fast you can go. Unlike gears, these numbers actually tell you how much help the motor gives you – it’s called a Pedal Assist System (PAS) so you’re choosing how much assistance you want.
For easy cruising, you can use a lower number, but for higher speeds and extra power for getting up steep hills, you need a higher number.
- Level 1: Minimal assistance, uses less battery
- Level 5: Maximum assistance, uses most battery (50 Rebels)
- Level 9: Maximum assistance, uses most battery (UD Bikes)
The level of assistance you need might be different depending on which gear you’re in. Here’s an example. To get up the hill at the end of my street, using the same amount of physical effort, I could choose to be in gear 1 and PAS 3, or gear 3 and PAS 5. The motor will use more battery charge on a higher PAS setting, so if I was trying to conserve battery I might choose the first option.
TIP: If your bike doesn’t have a thumb throttle and you want a little help from the motor to get you going, you can hold down the minus (–) button for a few seconds to start ‘walk assist.’ This is also useful if you ever need to push your bike up a hill. 😉
Holding down the minus button gives a slight push from the motor for hills
The Best Lights for E-Bikes
Did you know that bike lights aren’t only for night rides? Right! Even during the day, turning your lights on can help drivers and pedestrians notice you more easily and the rear light will signal when you’re braking. Our integrated front and rear lights mean the whole system couldn’t be simpler, with one touch of the power button you’re immediately more visible to other road users. If you ordered your bike with lights included then you’re all set, but if not, you can pick up your front light and standard rear light, or a cafe racer rear light from our web store. Installation instructions with video guides are available on our after sales support system.
Best Practices While Riding an E-Bike
Common sense on the road is the name of the game. You know, use your hands to indicate, respect other road users, learn how quickly you can stop if you need to. When you’re really tuned in and comfortable on your bike, you’ll be prepared for anything that might happen on the road.
Keeping your bike maintained is also crucial to keep everything running smoothly and safely. You can read more advice about all of that on our blogposts: The 5 most important tips for the maintenance of your e-bike and Get your E-Bike ready for Summer!
E-Bikes Made for Real Roads
Some countries have perfect cycle lanes everywhere you need them, some don’t. 50 Rebels E-bikes are made for real streets, with cobbles, tram tracks, parked cars, objects to swerve around or hazards that make you slam on the brakes – our bikes can handle it. Cycle lanes are great and you should always use them if they’re available, but in case you don’t find them, don’t worry. Ride with care, follow basic cycling guidelines, enjoy the ride and arrive safely to your destination. On the topic of safety, we stock the excellent Thousand Heritage Collection helmets in a wide range of colours.
Texts and photos: Robin Pearson