Know the Purchase Quality
When shopping for an ebike, you should carefully consider the source. Choose a brand that is safety tested and uses high-quality components. Ebikes can go faster and further than traditional bikes, so powerful brakes are needed to stop. Look for models that use disc brakes for maximum braking power in different weather conditions.
Electric bike motors can vary widely in quality and performance, so make sure you choose a motor that's a good match for your riding style. A motor that's too powerful for your needs is a waste, because it will quickly consume the battery. Similarly, a motor that isn't powerful enough can struggle to get up hills.
Know the Make
Quality electric bikes come in multiple frame sizes (Small, Medium, Large, etc.) to suit riders of different heights. Some low-quality models, like those from big-box stores, try to shave costs by only offering a single size. Trying to put a rider on a bike that is too big or too small can be unsafe. Always choose a model that suits the height of the rider. You should be able to comfortably stand over the bicycle when stopped without the top tube touching your crotch. If you can't comfortable stand over the bike, it's too big and might be unsafe to ride.
Know the Battery
Modern, high-quality ebikes use lithium-ion batteries. Like any other Li-Ion battery, ebike batteries need some special care for safe usage. Keep them away from extreme cold or heat. Don't puncture a lithium-ion battery. Learn more about caring for your ebike battery.
Know the Speed
How fast can electric bikes go? Ebikes are rated at Class III (maximum 28 MPH on pedal assist) and Class II (maximum 20 MPH on pedal assist). You should never ride faster than is safe for the current conditions, even if your bike can go faster. Consider traffic, weather, and lighting conditions when deciding how fast to ride.
The electric motor will stop providing assistance when you read the speed limiter on your ebike. If you don't plan to ride at higher speeds for safety reasons, you can set the speed limiter on your ebike to a lower value, like 15 MPH. This can help control the speed of your ebike if the rider has slower reflexes, balance challenges, and so on.
Know the Time of Day
Ebikes ship with reflectors, which you should install and use. Reflectors are not a substitute for lights, which are needed in low-light or dark conditions. You should add front and rear lights to your ebike if riding outside daytime hours.
Ready to take an ebike for a spin? View our collection of safe ebikes.
Know the Weather
Weather conditions can change rapidly. Be aware of changing light conditions and carry appropriate clothing that suits different temperatures. Ebikes are splash-resistant, so it's OK to ride them in the rain, but rain can make roads slippery and darken the skies. Use lights on your ebike if you ride in the rain. Watch out for debris washed onto the road by rainfall.
Know the Laws
Ebike laws can vary from state to state. Many states have adopted the Class I, II, III standards for regulating ebikes. We always recommend that you wear a helmet when you ride, and in fact, in some states you might be required to wear a helmet by law, depending on the Class designation of your ebike. Some states also legislate where you can ride, or restrict ebike use to riders of a certain age.
Still Unsure? Test Ride One
Not sure if an ebike is right for you? Find a nearby ebike dealer and take one for a spin. Find a test ride location. Your test ride can help confirm that you can safely start and stop, shift, brake, and comfortably straddle the bike. It's also a great time to ask questions about the electronic controls - a thorough understanding can also increase safety. You can be prepared prior to your test ride by reviewing our website.