Whether you are new to the world of cycling or are already a seasoned rider, there are numerous reasons why you might want to try an electric bike. Thanks to their highly innovative design, ease of use, lower operational costs, and reduced environmental impact, electric bikes have fast become popular with riders of all ages, experiences, and fitness levels.
The e-bike has undergone a massive transformation and is today the most popular bike across the globe. The technology has improved, making them safer, more durable, and more reliable.
Despite their numerous potential benefits, electric bikes can also pose some danger if not properly maintained and examined for safety. This is why you should conduct a thorough bike inspection before you head out biking, regardless of whether you are an experienced or an amateur e-biker. Routine safety checks not only help guarantee your safety as a rider, but may also help you identify any potential issues before they result in larger problems or compromise your safety.
How to conduct Ebike pre-ride safety check
You don't have to examine every inch of your electric bike, down to the last axle nut! As experts in the biking industry, we are going to provide you with a comprehensive list of the most important things that should be on your e-bike inspection checklist before you jump onto your e-bike and explore the outdoors. So, continue your reading and get to know more!
Check the tire pressure
Your tires are what propels your ebike, and can easily cause an accident if not properly maintained. You need to ensure that your two tires are inflated to the recommended pressure for your bike. What's more, you should also look for any signs of cracks, cuts, tears, or bulges in both tires. Electric bikes usually feature psi (pounds per square inch) ratings on their tires, indicating the amount of air needed to properly fill them. Checking the tire pressure is crucial as it affects the level of traction you get from the tire and equally helps minimize the risk of a flat tire.
To check your bike's tire pressure, start by squeezing each tire. They shouldn't give much, if at all. In other words, the tires should feel fairly hard. If they are relatively soft, even a little bit, this could be a clear indication that they need some pressure.
Next, check the recommended pressure printed on the sides of the tires. As already mentioned, tire pressure is listed in psi and can be listed as either a range (30 to 60 psi) or as a single maximum figure such as 65 psi. Examine the pressure in each of your tires. You'll want to use a pressure gauge to carry out this particular task. Also, make sure you have the right pump for the type of stems on your bike at your disposal.
Inflate the tires to the right pressure. However, don't inflate to the maximum amount. It's best to start in the middle of the pressure range, and gradually adjust based on your weight and level of comfort. You'll want higher pressure for better traction, especially when cycling on fairly smooth surfaces such as paved trails or smooth dirt trails, and a slightly lower psi for off-road riding.
Check your bike braking system
Checking your e-bike's braking system is a crucial task that will influence your overall safety as well as your riding experience. Surprisingly, it's often overlooked and not given the attention it deserves. A good set of brakes will respond fairly fast, forcing your bike to come to an instant stop if need be.
So, if your braking system has been squealing lately, you know they need your attention. Most importantly, looking at them before you go out riding ensures they are in proper working condition before they can fail.
Visually inspect the brake pads and replace them if there is less than a quarter inch of pad left. You also want to ensure that those pads don't rub against the rim while you are enjoying the ride.
It's also highly recommended that you examine and inspect the levers. As a general rule of thumb, there should be approximately 2 inches of space between the brake lever and the handler before applying the brake. Now squeeze the lever, ensuring the bale is entirely engaged on the rim. In general, the space between the lever and the handler should be approximately one inch. If this isn't the case, you should adjust the tension in your brake cable.
Check the bike seat height as well as positioning
A bike that fits well and suits your height, flexibility, comfort levels, and riding style is a bike you'll love and appreciate riding. On the other hand, a bike that fits poorly can easily result in inefficient riding, muscle pains and aches, and general discomfort. This is why it's important to adjust the seat or saddle to ensure it's at the right height and position that suits you.
Having the seat at the right height is crucial for your knees. When your leg is in the six o'clock position, your knee should bend slightly. The correct aft or fore position is when your knee is directly over the center of your front pedal when your feet are parallel to the ground. Based on your preference and comfort levels, you may have to tip the saddle forward, level, or backward.
Check crankset and chain
Your bike's crankset basically refers to its drivetrain system, which features the crank arms and chainrings as the major components. To examine your bike's crankset, let your bike rest on the ground and stand on its right side. The crank is simply the arm that is connected to the pedal. Visually examine them for any signs of cracks or dents. Next, grab one of the crank arms and shake it gently. They should not feel loose. If they are, you should tighten the bolts. However, if you experience some unwanted movement after this, then you may have to either adjust the bearings or replace them.
You also want to ensure the pedals are in great shape. In this respect, they should be able to spin evenly and freely. If you feel some bumpy motion while pedaling, chances are high you might have a bent crank arm or pedal and they'll need to be replaced.
Next, you'll have to inspect the chain for signs of normal wear, damage, or rust. In this regard, if there is a little surface rust, then you may only need to clean and lubricate it. On the other hand, if there is a significant amount of rust, then you should replace it.
It's also worth noting that wear can potentially cause the chain to hang loose on single-gear e-bikes, ultimately leading to slippage. When this occurs, it's usually time to replace the chain. In multi-gear bikes featuring a derailleur, a loose-hanging chain is usually a tell-tale sign of wear and you'll be forced to replace it as well. If your bike's chain is covered with hunks of grime and dirt, either partially or completely, you only need to clean and lubricate it.
Examine the frame
You also want to ensure that the bike frame is in tip-top condition. As such, you should check it for cracks or damage. If it's in good working condition, clean it by wiping it using a damp cloth, avoiding any moisture near any electrical components of your electric bike.
Finally, inspect your bike for any loose components and make sure that all nuts, as well as bolts, are adequately tightened. Loose nuts and bolts can impact your bike's handling and cause an accident if they get loose while riding.
The Bottom line
If you are an ebike enthusiast, you know that safety should always be your priority. And while riding an ebike can be an exhilarating experience, your failure to conduct the necessary bike safety check could easily land you in serious trouble. Thankfully, we have provided you with a detailed bicycle safety checklist that if adhered to, will not only help you enjoy a safe ride and avoid accidents, but prolong the overall lifespan of your electric bike!