When you are just getting started with an E-Bike, the absolute glut of gear available locally and online can be a bit confusing. What do you actually NEED, after all? What are the E-Bike safety essentials?
Personal safety essentials for YOU include items like a helmet, protective eyewear, high-visibility clothing, protective padding, and solid shoes to complete the ensemble. Gear for your bike includes a mirror, lights, a horn, a lock or security kit, a repair kit, and registering your bike with local authorities.
While it might seem like you could skimp on one or two of these, we wouldn’t advise it, and in our comprehensive guide to E-Bike Safety Essentials we’ll expand on each of these essentials so that by the time we’re done, you’ll have all the data you need to make an informed decision.
If you’re ready, let’s begin our Comprehensive Guide to E-Bike Safety Essentials and why they make such an enormous difference!
Read Also: 8 Tips for Cycling on Rough Roads
Essential Gear for You
In this section, we’re going to cover the personal gear that helps to make sure that are both visible to others (especially those in larger vehicles) and that you are properly armored up in case the worst happens and you take a tumble.
Let’s take a peek at each of these items and what vital function they’ll perform.
A helmet is going to be an absolutely CRITICAL piece of gear. At some point, every rider is going to take a tumble – it’s unavoidable unless you plan to park your E-Bike at home and never use it.
Normally, a fall might mean a scrape or you might even sprain your hand trying to stop your momentum, but more importantly, you could hit your head and that’s not a very appealing scenario when you consider that you’ll be hitting it on the pavement.
As such, a helmet is vital, and the statistics even back it up. According to a 2022 study you can view on the National Library of Medicine, head injuries account for 88.89% of all e-bike-related deaths, and wearing a helmet reduces the risk of severe head injury by 66% to 88%.
This makes helmets the #1 piece of must-have safety gear in your arsenal and we cannot stress that enough!
Protective eye gear is a good idea. While it’s not essential on a standard bicycle, with an E-Bike you’ve got electrical propulsion speeding you along and while it’s not at breakneck speed, you’re still going fast enough to get the occasional bug in your eye!
That sounds gross, but what if it’s not a big mosquito, but rather something that stings like a horsefly or a bee? This is something that you need to consider, as a sting at the wrong time or even simply the reduced visibility could result in a loss of control that might end in tragedy.
You can get clear glasses or even sunglasses that won’t hinder your vision, but which will definitely protect your eyes, and if you choose carefully they also look pretty cool – so don’t skimp on the protective eyewear.
Since you will be enjoying motorized propulsion, it’s in your best interest to make sure that larger vehicles can see you. This means a reflective vest or at the very least, you’ll need to pick a stylish ensemble that has bright, reflective colors incorporated into its scheme.
Cars have a blind spot in their mirrors, which you can easily demonstrate to yourself by sitting in a friend’s car and having to walk slowly back and behind the car until you see them momentarily ‘vanish’.
Little problems like this can become big ones if you aren’t easily seen the other 99% of the time, so be sure that everyone knows that you are thereby choosing clothes they can’t help but see you in.
Padding can absorb a good amount of shock and keep you from uncomfortable scrapes that might otherwise debilitate you for days if you don’t have that protection. Knee pads and elbow pads are a good example, but gloves are also an important bit of padding that you’re going to need.
Aside from the extra protection they give your hands, if it’s a hot day, even a thin set of gloves will earn their keep, by ensuring that your grip and subsequently, overall control of the bike is always at 100%.
If you take a tumble, you’ll avoid scraping your fingers and the kneepads and elbow pads will help protect you and allow you a little more control over your fall once you’re used to them.
Just a little something to keep in mind – they look a little funny, but if you need them someday, you’ll be glad that you had them!
You can’t wear sandals or similar flimsy footwear when you are using your E-Bike – you’re going to need solid shoes. This is especially important if you will be using a model with clip-on pedals, but even if this is not the case, you need solid protection for your feet.
An E-Bike has moving parts, after all, so you need to ensure that your toes aren’t vulnerable to a worst-case scenario, so leave the flip-flops at home and get yourself some solid footwear to protect your feet.
Essential Gear for Your Bike
Now that you’ve covered personal safety, it’s time to take a look at safety essentials for your bike. We’ll expound on the merits of each in the sections below so that you can see why they are vital to your safety.
Being able to see what is behind you is a MUST and could definitely save your life, so have a mirror installed on your E-Bike.
This is one of those ‘common sense’ options that amazingly, some people try to skip, but you absolutely NEED it – your safety depends on knowing who is in front of you AND who is behind you.
Even if you only intend to ride around in bright daylight, you need to have lights and reflective stickers. You never know when an evening with friends will go longer than expected and you’ll find yourself driving home in the wee hours.
If you don’t have light or reflective stickers, not only won’t you be able to see clearly, but others won’t be able to see you until it’s possibly too late. So, even if you don’t feel like you need lights and reflective stickers, you DO, so invest in them.
Visibility is important, but so is audibility – you need a way to make your presence known and nothing says ‘I’m here’ like a horn or a bell. We really recommend going with a horn the most, as bells don’t typically carry the kind of volume that you want to have, but we’ll leave the choice to you.
Ideally, you want something loud enough that you’ll be heard, but not so loud that you might inadvertently scare someone in a larger vehicle, so just keep that in mind when you make your selection.
If you don’t have a bike lock, you won’t have your E-Bike for long. These innovative and useful vehicles are highly desirable to thieves so you’re going to need some protection to ensure that no one absconds with your bike.
A strong bike lock that you can weave through the wheels or in some other complicated configuration will slow down a thief at the very least, but you can also invest in a security system that will produce a loud alarm if tampered with and let you know right away that your bike is in danger of being stolen.
You invested a lot to get that nice bike, so don’t hurt yourself by neglecting to protect it!
You need to be able to repair a tire in a pinch and it’s not the same as with a regular bike – you might have to get around a rear-hub motor, for instance, and for that you’re going to need tools. Items like a frame pump also ensure that you’re using the right PSI to avoid blowouts down the line.
It doesn’t have to be an ‘all-scenario 50-pounds-of-tools’ type number. Just invest in a small, practical E-Bike toolset that you can chuck in your backpack and that won’t drag you down.
One step that too many people skip is registering their bikes with the local authorities. You can register your bike online with BikeIndex as a start, but you should also check for online or local registration with the police in your area.
You might never need it, but if someone gets your bike then this is going to be key to getting it back, so don’t put this off for later – thieves are going to notice your E-Bike the most when it’s brand new and shiny!
Some Final Words on E-Bike Safety Essentials
A comprehensive guide to E-Bike Safety Essentials doesn’t have to be complicated and as you can see, most of these items are simply common sense. Safety gear for yourself includes things like a helmet, padding, protective eyewear, sensible footwear, and high-visibility clothing to ensure you’re seen.
With your bike, you’ll need a mirror to see what’s behind you, a horn to ensure people can hear you, lights to see what’s in front of you, and reflective stickers to increase your bike’s visibility. A bike security lock and registration serve as effective anti-theft measures, and a repair kit helps to keep you rolling.
Now that you know the bare-bones essentials, you should be able to make yourself a checklist to ensure that you can enjoy your E-Bike to the utmost but also do it the right way – with your safety being paramount as it should be!
Forbes; “Got A New Ebike? Here’s The Gear You Need To Stay Safe While Riding”
E Spin Bikes; “The Most Important Safety Gear for Riding an E-Bike”
Shengmmilo; “RIDE SAFE: ESSENTIAL SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND TIPS TO PREVENT ELECTRIC BIKE ACCIDENTS”