Electric bikes have been around since the late 1800s. The first electric bikes were bulky, heavy and utilized lead-acid batteries. The first electric bikes had a poor riding range, due to battery limitation. During the 1990s, the first modern electric bikes began to take form. Modern electric bikes utilize lithium batteries to reduce weight and increase riding range. The electric bike is a major type of transportation in locations like Europe, China and Japan. In the Netherlands, 40% of all bicycles sold were electric bikes. With the electric bike becoming a major part of the bike market, Safety is one of the top concerns for countries having to deal with the electric bike boom. Rules and regulations need to be clearly laid out for citizens to see and understand. The infrastructure in cities needs to be accommodating towards electric bikes. For the most part, electric bikes are just as safe as traditional bikes; Both traditional bikes and electric bikes have benefits and drawbacks. For an individual to be safe on an electric bike, one must simply do some research, and have an understanding of electric bikes.
Battery catching fire
As with most products that use a battery, the possibility of the battery exploding on an electric bike is something that most people worry about. Normally there are few reasons why an Electric bike battery explodes.
- A homemade battery was used
- The wrong type of charger was used
- Cheap batteries were used
- Battery was dropped, punctured or damaged
In most cases, battery fires are avoidable by following a few safety guidelines. Homemade batteries should be avoided, but if you are using a homemade battery, make sure the battery cells are high-quality and that all aspects of the battery are up to spec. Cheap batteries should be avoided because of the methods manufacturers use to reduce production costs. Major battery manufactures take battery shape and other factors into consideration when designing the best battery for your electric bike. Experts recommend spending about half of the cost of a completed electric bike on the battery. Heat is your battery’s worst enemy. Once a battery reaches a certain temperature, it starts to release oxygen until the battery becomes unstable and explodes. If excessive heat is noticed while charging a battery or if the battery looks deformed, immediately stop charging the battery, and take the battery to a battery repair shop to get inspected. Users should always read over their electric bike manual to make sure the right type of charger is used. Using the wrong type of charger can cause your battery to overheat, resulting in an exploding battery. Care should be taken when transporting an electric bike from different locations; The battery should be detached from your bike and stored in your car. Here are a few guidelines you should follow to properly take care of your electric bike’s battery.
- Make sure battery is tightly clipped to electric bike frame
- Completely detach battery when washing electric bike
- Never charge electric bike near flammable objects
- Batteries should always be charged in temperatures above freezing
- After riding in the rain, riders should wipe down the bike’s cabin
Problems with the throttle
Applying too much throttle from a dead stop is a common occurrence with electric bikes, but most of the time riders are okay because this happens at low speeds. First-time electric bike users should become familiar with the safety rules for an Electric bike throttle.
- Make sure throttle and controller are properly dialed in
- Consider installing a switch to give you different levels of power to select from
- Do not apply throttle until the electric bike is moving
- Turn electric bike off when not in use
- Purchase a bike that provides power after 5 mph
Sometimes the throttle can become stuck in the open position while riding. To avoid this situation, you will want to consider buying a bike with an emergency cut off feature, and you will want to consider buying a bike with high-quality brakes.
Reckless biking and not obeying traffic rules are things that get electric bike riders in trouble. Not stopping at a red light on an electric bike could become a dangerous situation if you lose power in the middle of an intersection. Following recommended speed limits for electric bikes can save the rider and innocent pedestrians. Some riders are even willing to create conversion bikes that can reach speeds of 65 mph. At these speeds, you are risking the integrity of the Electric bike’s frame and tires. When traveling at a high rate of speed, you are risking your brakes failing and becoming inadequate to stop your electric bike. Knowing basic rules like your hand signals could prevent an accident. Bikers should ride with traffic, not against it. Being aware of your surroundings can keep you safe while biking. Riders should also keep up with the regular maintenance required by an electric bike. Tires on an electric bike become worn down faster than on a traditional bike. Electric bikes are heavier and have more power, resulting in tires that are worn down faster. Ensuring that your tires are always inflated and have tread can ensure that your bike is always able to achieve the optimum amount of grip. Following these guidelines can reduce your chances of getting into an accident.
Things you can do to make your electric bike safer
Electric bikes are especially risky for riders over 60, but the same risk exists for riders over 60 who are riding a traditional bike. Older adults tend to have higher body weight, weaker reflexes, and more health problems, resulting in a higher risk of an accident occurring. For riders over 60, caution should be taken when riding an electric bike. Exercising regularly and practicing caution when mounting and dismounting an electric bike, are things that older adults can do to prevents accidents on their electric bike. All electric bike riders should wear a helmet. Rear-facing mirrors can allow riders to be more aware of their surroundings. Installing blinking lights on the front and back of your bike can reduce your chances of getting in an accident. Riders should never ride when feeling dizzying or while texting.
Electric bikes are here to stay
Riding an electric bike can be a great experience for riders of all different physical fitness levels. Electric bikes, just like traditional bikes have safety risks that riders should be aware of. Once a rider is familiar with these risks, riding an electric bike should be a worry-free experience.