In the past six months e-bikes sales have boomed. The restrictions have seen many people turn to electric bikes as an alternative way to travel to work or move around town as safely as possible. Now, many have discovered the joy and flexibility e-bikes bring and plan to carry on using them in the autumn and winter as restrictions come back into play.
But how can riders best keep themselves safe during darker, wet, colder days where hazards such as leaves and snow can make the roads more dangerous? Adrien Roose, CEO and founder of Cowboy offers seven tips to ensure riders keep safe as the weather changes.
Use your head: Helmets are without question essential for safety on the road and in winter are more vital than ever. Unfortunately, many are still riding without any head protection – as shown in a study by Statista and YouGov. But there really is no excuse. There is a great range available including smart helmets which look stylish and offer great features such as integrated lighting, turn signals and bluetooth connections. These features not only offer rider convenience and style but also increase safety.
Stand out: Rain and early twilight can cause poor visibility amongst road users. In order to be seen clearly it’s essential to have functional lighting. Electric lights and reflectors for the rear and front as well as for the pedals and spokes are a must have. When selecting a bike, look for those that have thought of winter riding and use features such as flashing to indicate braking.
Maintain the brakes: Salt, dirt and moisture can damage the brake material. A quick check up before each ride to ensure the pads have a good grip as well as regular cleaning of the hydraulic disk brakes will keep riders safe in traffic. It’s important to note that brake pads and rims are marked to show the level of usage.
Keeping the chain smooth: Water as well as road dirt increases abrasion of the chain, which ultimately leads to squeaking and corrosion. So make sure you are regularly cleaning it with either warm water or a chain cleaner. Some e-bikes, such as the Cowboy, are equipped with a carbon belt drive that is maintenance-free for up to 30,000 kilometers.
Keep batteries away from the cold: At temperatures below 10 °C special care is required for the cells: If possible it is recommended to take them inside with you into your home or workplace. If you are not using your bike for a long period of time, the battery should be stored in a dry place between 10 °C – 20 °C and recharged once every 1-2 months to ensure a charging level of approx. 60-80% and to prevent it draining completely. Choose a bike with a removable battery like the Cowboy 3 to keep it protected without having to store the whole frame.
Improving traction: If you plan to ride your electric bike outdoors all autumn and winter, you should either mount special winter tires or slightly reduce the tire pressure for a better surface contact which will increase the traction. For a puncture free ride, tires with a high-performance protective layer are also useful. With new tires it is essential to pay attention to their size in combination with the mudguards. Our tires are designed to withstand all weather conditions and are puncture resistant making them ideal for any season.
Take advantage of the features: Software developments mean that it’s sophisticated enough to now help users keep as safe as possible. The App has a great array of features including the recently launched ‘Crash Detection’ which means that if you are involved in a crash then an emergency contact is notified of your location if you fail to respond to the app asking if you’re ok. This is a great feature to give both the rider and family peace of mind.