Part 1 our Getting the Most Value from E-bikes series. All this month we'll be giving you our best tips for making your money go as far as possible when you purchase an e-bike.
One of the big fears people have about buying an electric bike is that they won’t use it a lot. Maybe you feel the same(?) The reassuring thing that study after study shows is that electric bikes are used at least twice as much as regular bikes – and according to some research considerably more.
E-bikes are so much fun and so versatile that you will find yourself riding them much more than you first thought.
Second, there are a lot of little things that you can do to make sure your e-bike is always ride ready and therefore more likely for you to enjoy often.
Use your Phone Calendar
Your brain is a fantastic place to create ideas but a lousy place to remember them. Simple tools like calendars can be the cure.
What if it wasn’t just meetings and birthdays that you put into your calendar, but also things like 'pump up bike tyres', or 'lubricate bike chain'?
Those things might sound too mundane to take up space in your calendar but the difference they make to your ride is huge, and getting them out of your head and onto a calendar will it much more likely for you to do them.
Bike tyres lose pressure after just a couple of weeks and riding around on soft tyres puts them at risk of punctures.
Add a recurring event in your calendar for basic bike maintenance every two weeks: pump up tyres, clean and lubricate the chain, and top up the battery.
Don’t Wait Until Your Battery is Flat
Modern electric bike batteries are not like old fashioned rechargeable batteries. They don’t need to be run flat before recharging.
They now come with in-built battery management systems that control how much charge each cell carries in order to optimise the ‘health’ of the battery. There is no detrimental affect of doing top-up charges. Simply top-up when you notice the charge level dipping.
If you know you have a good amount of charge in your e-bike, you’ll be more likely to go out on it.
Track Pumps: So Worth It
Do yourself a favour. Stop struggling with a small pump. A good track pump, like the Topeak Joe Blow pump that we stock and use at both branches can be used for a wide range of things: your bike, footballs, and even your car.
It is so much faster and easier to pump your tyres with a track pump than a hand pump or foot pump because the air chamber is so much larger.
Our mechanics use their track pumps multiple times a day, every day of their working week so they will put up with a lot of use. They’re so robustly made that it may outlast the bike itself.
Tyres with the correct pressure have a lot less drag and will give you more mileage per charge than a bike with soft tyres. The ride is easier, more pleasant and you’re much more likely to jump on and ride if the tyres are ready, or if you know it’s easy to pump them up.
A Rule from the Book World
Do you have a pile of unread books at home? Lots of people do, so don’t feel guilty. The Japanese even have a word for it: tsundoku. But doesn’t it make you feel really guilty? The books stare at you and say, “When are you going to read me?”
One method that has been shared online for preventing this build up of unread books is the Seven Day rule. Starting from the day you buy it, every day for a week, you read from the new book. It doesn’t matter if you read a tiny amount. The idea is that you are building a habit which is easier to do in small chunks.
Once you’ve read from the book every day for a week, you’re much more likely to finish it.
You can apply the rule to almost any purchase like kitchen gadgets (anyone with a slow cooker or Nutribullet that’s still in the cupboard?) and also to electric bikes.
Build the habit of using your new electric bike by taking it for a spin every day for the first seven days you own it. Just ride it around the block. You don’t have to go far. Just get into the habit of using it. In no time you’ll be using it far more than you thought and getting that full value for money.
Perhaps even combine this rule with rule number one?
Pack a Go Bag
Think like a Scout. Be prepared. If you can put together all the things you need on a ride in one bag that you can grab, that will make riding your bike that much more attractive.
So, what will you need? It’s up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to pack a Go Bag. You may want something to eat like a cereal bar, something to drink (the carton drinks made for lunchboxes are good for this purpose), a bike lock, your helmet, a portable pump, waterproof jacket, gloves, cleansing wipes if you get a bit sweaty.
Summary: Use simple but reliable tactics to keep your bike well maintained and all your accessories in one place ready to grab and go. This will make you more likely to hop on your bike and get the most value out of it.
Part 2 of our Getting the Most Value from E-bikes series will be published 8th Sept. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch and speak with one of our team.
Missed part 1? Find that here.