Isn’t Christmas great? It is a fantastic time of the year for giving and receiving presents. If a brand new ebike was on your Christmas list, and it was one of the presents you received, well, count yourself lucky, for someone you know loves you so much they have spent a great deal of money on you. Or, perhaps you have gifted yourself an ebike. After all, I’m sure you deserve it, and will take care of it, and get a great deal of pleasure from it.
However you received your brand new ebike, it is important to make sure it is safe to ride before you take it out on the roads. This doesn’t mean a comprehensive breakdown and analysis of each and every ebike part. Your ebike has probably arrived straight from the factory, so should be perfect. It just means giving the ebike a quick once over to ensure everything is secure and working as intended.
Have a look at our pre-ride safety checks, before you take to the road. It is not a long list and won’t take too much time to complete, but when done, you know your ebike will be safe to use.
Some Pre-Ride Safety Checks
One: If you had to part-assemble your ebike, then double-check each part you assembled is correctly fitted and secure and will work as intended. If you are unsure, then remove the part again and re-assemble as per the instruction leaflet that came with the ebike, or follow the guide on the ebike support website if that is suggested.
Two: Check that the wheels are fitted correctly and are secure, and freely turn. Ensure that nuts are properly tightened and/or any quick release lever is closed and holding the wheel securely in place. Check that tires are inflated to the correct pressure. If you are unsure what that should be, it should be marked somewhere on the sidewall of the tire.
Three: Perhaps the most important thing to check before going on the road is the brakes. You need to be sure both brakes are working fully to ensure you can stop in an emergency. As you push the ebike forward, apply the brakes, one at a time to ensure both brakes are working as intended.
Four: Check the steering. This encompasses the handlebar, the stem, and the front fork. The front wheel should rotate freely with a twist of the handlebar. If there is any play or resistance, then something is at fault. Grip the front wheel between your legs and hold it tight while turning the handlebar. If the handlebar turns without the wheel, then you need to tighten the handlebar to the stem. Ensure that handlebar and wheel are aligned as they should as you tighten the handlebar.
Five: If you had to attach the pedals to the crank during assembly, they should be fitted correctly now. Ensure the pedals turn freely, and pull firmly on the crank arm to ensure it is fitted well and there is no looseness there.
Six: This being a brand new ebike, the chain should be clean and lightly lubricated. Lift the back wheel slightly off the ground and spin the pedals to ensure the chain turns freely on the sprockets. If the chain looks dry, as if it has been sitting in a warehouse for an extended period, then lightly oil the chain to ensure it turns as friction free as possible.
Seven: Run your hands along all the cables, both electric, and brake and gear cables. Ensure all cables are secure to the ebike frame and are not loose anywhere they could catch on any moving parts. Electric cables should be fully insulated against shorts, and against water penetration.
Eight: Turn on the battery power and check the LCD display. Depending on make or model will determine how much information the display will give. Ensure at the very least that you know the charge level on your ebike battery. Check the operating manual to learn all aspects of the display so you can benefit from all the information it gives out.
Nine: And finally, adjust the saddle and handlebar height so the ebike is comfortable to sit on and ride, and you can reach the ground with both feet easily when you are at a standstill.
See also: Safety First – Check Your Brakes
And: Ebike Battery Care and Maintenance
If you have followed the nine points above and everything is as it should be, you can take your ebike out knowing it is safe. If you found any minor faults and cannot rectify them yourself, then it may be wise to seek the assistance of your local ebike shop. They should be able to fix any faults quickly and safely, and are usually a font of knowledge for any questions you may have regarding using your ebike.
In the rare event you have discovered a serious fault, you may need to contact the ebike manufacturer or seller, to have this rectified under warranty.
If all is well, then take to the road and enjoy your trip. It will be the first of many, so enjoy the ride.
28 Dec 2021