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7 Common Electric Mountain Bike Riding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Views: 142     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-11-24      Origin: Site

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Your e-bike is the pinnacle of bicycle technology. It's the best thing out there. If you set it up and ride it in the wrong way it's gonna feel like one of those old school pedal mountain bikes. Do you remember those back in the day? But there's a few common mistakes that you can make on an e-bike out on the trail. We'll be looking at a few of those in this article.

Power Modes

Let's talk power modes on your bike. There's normally about three or four different power settings all the way from eco all the way up to turbo. Eco is your friend if you're just gonna be plodding around the trails, the transit stages in between sections of your favorite trails. If you start a steep climb in eco, you're not really gonna be harnessing that power of the e-bike. You can switch it out, put it on trail, especially on a more extreme hill climb, and even turbo if you need it. But let me go back to trail mode. Trail mode obviously speaks for itself. It's for using out on the trail, getting the most out of that battery. There's a good mix of battery and power. This is generally sort of middle of the road. It's a good set of everything. Turbo is kind of like your get out of jail free card, only use it in certain extreme circumstances. Sometimes when you're faced with a slippy uphill climb, some people think putting it in turbo is gonna get you up that hill quicker. But you need to take into account grip levels, pedal strikes, how steep the hill is, battery management, all different things. So turbo is not necessarily the best way of riding an e-bike.

So, when you are attacking a hill in eco. It's obviously the lowest power setting. In the easiest gear and already it's will becoming quite hard. Trying to harness some grip, got good climbing technique, but it is really hard work. It’s not really using the e-bike to its full potential. Now you can ask yourself, why are you on an e-bike if you are not harnessing the power? So, you should attack the hill in trail or whack it in turbo, and cruise up there, save your energy for the next downhill segment.

Body Position

Big mistake I see out on the trails regularly is people in the wrong body position. They're riding that bike with the seat jacked up right under their bum, hitting them around all over the trail. What you really need to do is just stay relaxed, move around on that bike. Just make sure when you're heading down that hill, get that saddle dropped and out of the way. The only time your bum should be on that saddle is when you're climbing up the hill or flowing along the flat on some single track or road sections. Off road downhill, get that saddle out of the way. Of course, don't forget, you've got big suspension on that e-bike, big tires, so make the most of it. Let that bike flow, let it sing down the trail. You're gonna be flying.

electric mountain bike

Tire Choice

Let's talk tires on e-bikes. From the get-go, tubeless is a really good idea. These bikes weigh between 20 to 25 kilos, so there's a hell of a lot of beating going through your wheels. So, if you haven't got tubeless, get tubeless on your bike and save you a lot of pain and hassle on the trail. Also, make sure those tires, especially on the plus size tires, you've got some good sidewalls. Otherwise, you'll be experiencing a lot of pinched flats, gashes coming through the side of the tires. Makes a lot of sense to get a set of those.

Of course, your tire pressures, it depends on what you're doing really. If you are going to somewhere with massive jumps or doing tricks on your bike, you can run tires as high as 40 to 50 psi, even runs 60 to 70. But if you're riding the trails on a general trail ride, wheels on the ground, you can run as low as 15 psi, something like that. 12, 15, 10-speed, the absolute minimum really. And again, you got to tailor it to what you're riding. If you find a tire pressure that works for you, take a note of it, just get a psi reading off that tire. Write it in your phone, just remember it. If it works on the trail, it's gonna work everywhere for you.

Braking

Let's talk about braking on an e-bike. These things obviously are heavy. They carry a hell of a lot more speed than the regular bikes. So, they take some stopping too. A big misconception is grabbing a handful of that back brake. Anything on a e-bike that's gonna cause a hell of a skid. What you really need to learn to do is modulate that front brake combined with the rear brake together. That way, you're gonna pull your e-bike to a stop the quickest way possible.

If you just stop with a rear brake at high speed, it takes about 10-20 meters of distance to slow down, but if you use the front brake combined with the rear brake, it takes about a quarter of that distance. Really important just to get used to using that front brake, as well as that rear brake out on the trails. It stops you almost, as you can see, four times as quick as just using that rear brake only.

Climbing

Let's talk about climbing on your e-bikes. Basically, all you need to be doing is selecting that right power mode, making sure your body is in the right position. I tend to favor sit right on the tip of the saddle, almost biting your handlebars, getting right over the front of that bike. If you're too far back, you're gonna find your upper body position is quite stiff. As soon as you put that weight into the cranks, that front wheel is gonna lift. It's gonna leap you out on the climb, as well. Another thing to talk about is seat height. Some people prefer to have the seat slammed. It gives them a lower center of gravity, a bit more grip on the back wheel. Personally, I like to keep my saddle high. It helps me with my big gangly legs keep a spin if the crank's going. Just get it the height that you feel is comfortable. Don't get it too high, too low, just something that feels right for you when you're climbing yourself.

mountain ebike

Gearing

When you're out on the trails on your e-bikes, it's all too easy to find yourself cruising along at 20 mile an hour, and a really hard high gear on the back end of the bike. Your legs are barely turning. But it's not a good habit to get into. You really need to break that habit of making the motor work along with your legs. These motors are like cadence, they like spinning. So, don't get lazy, use your legs, as well as that motor, and you'll be surprised what you can climb up out on the trail.

For example, when you are climbing and you are in turbo mode, but you made the wrong gear selection, you are pushing as hard as you can, but the motor simply doesn't know that it needs to spin up and assist you. You are riding very hard to climb this hill. But if you are in the right mode, right gear, spinning that motor up, you will know how easy this is.

Suspension

Let's talk suspension on your e-bike. If it's set up too soft, that bike's gonna be sat in its travels. It's gonna drop the bottom bracket low. It's gonna slack in the head angle off. If the forks are too soft, you're gonna be steep head angle. The whole bottom bracket is gonna be on the floor. The cranks are gonna be hitting stuff, loads of pedal strikes. So, just make sure that is set up correctly. If you don't, it's totally gonna ruin the quality of that ride that these guys have spent years developing.

Let's talk about lockout. There's no need to be using lockout on your e-bike, apart from maybe on road sections or transit sections between parts of the trails. Don't even think about hitting jumps or getting those wheels off the ground with lockout on, because it will damage your suspension.

Conclusion

Electric mountain biking can be an exhilarating and thrilling experience, but it's important to avoid common mistakes that can turn a fun ride into a frustrating one. By being aware of the most common mistakes and following our tips on how to avoid them, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable ride every time. Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear, familiarize yourself with your bike, and ride within your skill level. With these tips in mind, you can have a blast on your electric mountain bike and make the most out of your outdoor adventures!






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