I’ve bought an e-bike… So what do I do now?
Do you have a new e-bike? Congratulations! Here are five practical tips for your new electrically powered life.
1. Look after the battery
The battery is the heart of your e-bike – so it’s something to look after and care for. Batteries are sensitive to weather changes, and particularly to cold conditions. When it’s dry and warm (but not too hot!), the battery is happiest. Below 10°C, we recommend that you take your battery indoors, otherwise the capacity may be reduced. For example, if the temperature's around 0 °C, the battery can lose around 20% of its capacity, and at -15°C it’s twice that. And that’s not good!
If you put your bicycle in storage throughout the winter, or for some reason need to store the battery for a long period, the battery should be neither fully charged nor fully discharged. An optimal energy level is around 50-70%.
2. Protect your bike from the rain
It isn’t only low temperatures that can cause problems – over time, moisture can also affect your new vehicle, because after all it is electronic! Of course you can cycle in the rain, but when you park it is sensible to do so under cover. If you don’t have a garage or other space to store it in, a simple solution can be to buy a tarpaulin.
3. Broad tyres
When it’s time to change the tyres, it’s sensible to replace them with tyres specially designed for e-bikes, because a cycle that has to carry a motor and battery is heavier than one without. These special tyres are broader and so they don’t wear out as quickly as normal cycle tyres. And while we’re talking tyres, we should also mention air pressure, because when it’s cold the pressure drops. So in the winter it can be sensible to top up your tyres with a bit of extra air. The softer the tyres, the worse the rolling resistance, and the more both you and your bike have to work.
4. Just like any other bike (well, almost).
In general, you care for your e-bike just like a normal one. Check the brakes every now and then (essential!), lubricate the chain and keep it clean to avoid unnecessary wear from gravel and other dirt.
5. New places to visit
Last but not least, don’t forget all the possible new destinations that are open to you with your new bike! Now you can easily cycle up a steep hill and enjoy the view without wearing yourself out on the climb. Perhaps you’d enjoy going round “the sweatiest art trail in the world” on Tjörn, island hopping with your bike in Bohuslän or perhaps discovering the city of Stockholm along the 50 km long, car-free route of Sthlm Bike? And if all this sounds a bit excessive, perhaps you could just cycle to that remote bathing spot you've fancied visiting. Or somewhere else that it’s always been too far to cycle the whole way.