Concerns about e-bikes and safety is on the rise as more and more electric bike riders take to the streets, including more children. E-bikes allow kids the freedom to roam away from home, but it’s crucial to understand the laws in your area so kids can remain safe. As long as you take proper precautions when riding, no matter your age, electric bikes will remain safe and of course, very fun to ride! Whether you’re a new or experienced e-bike rider, it’s important to follow these 5 e-bike safety tips.
Follow Your Local E-Bike Laws
With great speed, comes great responsibility. And one of the top responsibilities of any e-bike rider is to know what e-bike laws apply to you. State and local laws vary and determine how e-bikes can be used within the state by defining who can ride them, if a license is needed, if a helmet is required and more! E-bike definitions and classifications are becoming increasingly common across the U.S. All fifty states and Washington, D.C. currently have definitions for e-bikes. While 36 states now define e-bikes within three standard classes, others use non-tiered e-bike categorization. With more kids riding electric bikes, especially here in Southern California, it’s important to understand the legal age to ride. The age limit varies state-to-state, for example in California riders must be 16 years old to ride a Class 3 e-bike. If the child is younger than 16, they can ride a Class 2 or Class 1 bike only. But in Texas, riders can be 15 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike. Parents, it’s your responsibility to understand the legal riding age and teach young riders how to safely ride in traffic, no matter where they live.
Always Wear a Helmet
A helmet is the most critical safety feature you can use. For cyclists, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 70%. The likelihood of a fatality from a head injury also reduces by 65% if you don a helmet. The faster speeds you can attain with an e-bike make protecting your head even more critical to walking away from an accident without severe head injuries. While wearing a helmet won't prevent an accident from happening, it can save your life if one does occur. Helmet laws vary between states. Before riding our electric bike, research helmet age requirements in your state and helmet laws regarding passengers on bikes. While wearing a helmet is optional for some people, it's always the best idea to wear one regardless of age when going for a ride on your electric bike. Juiced has got you covered with our new Xnito helmets designed specifically for e-bike speeds and safety.
Check Your E-Bike Before Every Ride
Accidents can happen if you don't properly maintain your bike and doing a pre-ride inspection is vital for the rider’s safety. Here are a few key things to check before every ride. First, check that the front wheel is properly secured. Whether your model came with a quick-release front wheel or a bolt-on axle, you need to ensure the wheel is correctly seated and that the hardware holding the axle in place is tight enough before riding. Check that the wheels are properly inflated as well. The proper PSI is located on the side of the tire. Then be sure to check that the gears & chain are clear of debris and lubed. Squeeze both brake levers before you ride to ensure they engage properly. And finally, check all the connections at the front of the bike and the motor cable as things tend to loosen over time. For a complete safety checklist, watch this video!
Take Proper Care of Your Battery
Proper battery care ensures your e-bike’s battery has a long life. After all, the battery is one of the most important components on an e-bike as it powers the bike to keep riding mile after mile. Always be sure to charge in a dry and clean area. And never leave the battery charging for days on end as this will reduce the number of charge cycles the battery has. While e-bike battery fires are rare, we never recommend modding your battery or buying a spare one from sites like Amazon or Alibaba. Always purchase directly from the electric bike company that you purchased your bike from to ensure you have a properly functioning battery. Other care tips include keeping your battery charge between 20%-80% and storing your battery inside if not in use for more than a month. Watch this video to learn more about e-bike battery health tips!
This may sound like a no-brainer but if you are new to bike riding or haven't ridden in more than a few years, you’ll need to brush up on the basics of bicycle safety or consider taking a road riding safety class. Educating yourself on road rules is especially important before riding a bike with an electric motor. If you are unsure what e-bike class is appropriate for your area, a great rule of thumb is don’t drive like a jerk. Remember laws can change and gunning an e-bike at 35mph down a shared trail next to a parent with a jogger stroller is exactly the behavior that leads to harsher regulations. Be safe. Be polite. And observe the rules of the road. Follow these tips on e-bike etiquette.
Following these five safety tips will ensure that you can safely enjoy all the benefits of riding an e-bike. Electric bikes are a fun, convenient and green way to travel, while also helping to increase your physical fitness. Whether you’re a new or seasoned e-bike rider, always remember to put safety first when riding. If you’re looking to find a safe, reliable alternative to driving, check out our line of Juiced Bikes.