The new era of electric mountain bikes promises a wider world to ride and explore. With that extra electric boost, you will be able to realize adventures that previously seemed out of reach. But how do they ride? There are a few things to consider when setting out on an electric bike versus a regular, non-pedal assist mountain bike. Now you’ve got your eMTB, it’s time to learn some of those skills & techniques for use out on the trail. Even if you are already confident in trail riding then take a read, as you may be able to refine some of those techniques further.
- Start riding in a low gear and run a consistent cadence. The ideal pedalling rate for maximum motor efficiency is between 80 and 90 pedal strokes per minute (rpm).
- It is best to climb seated in the saddle as this gives you more momentum and allows good traction of the rear wheel.
- Always remain in the saddle, even on very steep sections. Shift your weight forwards onto the nose of the saddle.
- Drop your shoulders down low towards the handlebars. Place your elbows to the side of your body and try to pull your handlebars backwards down so the front wheel does not rise up.
- Check that the brakes are sharp before hitting the trails.
- When braking, you must shift your center of gravity somewhat higher as the battery and engine causes the eMTB to have a lower center of gravity. If you crunch down deeply, the bike will push stronger over the front wheel which will then block or slip sideways.
Downhill Curve How-To:
- Drop down deep with your shoulders and push the bike into the curve. Your center of gravity remains over the middle of the bike.
- Brake just ahead of the turn before accelerating gently in the curve which gives you additional traction.
- When riding curves, use the front brake sparingly or not at all.
- On entering the turn, try to look beyond the curve, which facilitates upper body rotation.
Save Battery Power:
- Always choose the right mode. “As little as possible, as much as needed,” is the unofficial mantra when it comes to picking your level of pedal-assist in order to increase the battery range on your e-bike.
- Keep a close watch on the battery status on the board computer while riding the bike.
- If possible, always recharge the battery during a break on a long trip.
- Stopping and starting your bike will also affect your range as every momentary lapse in momentum costs battery range. A lot of energy is consumed when you accelerate from a stop.
- Switch off the e-bike on downhill runs and use the regenerative braking feature if available (some electric bike systems have a regenerative braking feature that turns the motor into a generator in order to act like a brake and put a little bit of charge back into your battery).
E-Biking with Kids:
- Plan many stops for kids to stretch their legs and play. Choose a pleasant route that’s going to be fun for everyone.
- A helmet is an obvious precaution for children sitting in a bike trailer.
- If both parents use an e-bike, you are recommended to change battery after half of the ride: The drag of a trailer is noticeable and doing so, both bikes will have the same battery range.
Our expert Kurt Exenberger shows you the most important eMTB skills that you will need when biking on trails in the mountains.
Learn more about E-Biking in Tirol: http://www.tyrol.com/ebike