Electric Bike Accessories You May Want To Consider Purchasing
Electric bicycles, also known as electric bikes or e-bikes, are an awesome alternative to gas guzzling vehicles. But it’s important for electric bicycles to be equipped for the intended use, such as time of day and environment to be used in, so electric bicycle accessories may be required.
If you live in a rainy environment for instance and intend on commuting to work or ride frequently in the dark, it might be worth paying more up front to have integrated (built in) fenders and lights. They look nicer, rattle less, are more difficult to steal and don’t require stand alone batteries that can run out unexpectedly or slow you down because of the need to recharge. We’ve read of people who settle for “bargain” e-bikes, but then end up spending way more after purchase to outfit them properly.
Accessorizing can be a fun way of instantly individualizing your electric bicycle and can result in a remarkable ride, but sometimes paying a little more and waiting a bit longer for a product that fully suits your needs can result in greater fulfillment and utility.
Bike shops and bicycle rental businesses frequently report that e-bikes are ridden further and more frequently than pedal powered models and at a consistently higher speed. Higher speeds can cause stress and strain on your body, so comfort and safety need to be key purchasing factors regardless of the e-bike that you choose. To help you on your way to accessorizing your electric bike, here’s a list of what we consider to be essential accessories.
Electric Bicycle Accessories To Protect Your Head
Helmets are extremely important, regardless of speed or riding condition and now you can get them with integrated lights for added visibility and safety, like the Torch Apparel helmet. The alternative approach is adding a stand alone LED light to your existing helmet.
Electric Bicycle Accessories For Transporting Water
Water is probably the next most important accessory and it relates back to safety in a way. If you’re mountain biking on an e-bike and end up with a flat far from civilization with no repair kit, water could save your life. Unfortunately, many electric bikes have tighter frames, so squeezing on a bottle can be tricky. If your bike doesn’t have bottle cages, consider adding an adapter to your saddle rails, a clamp on your seat post, or on the handle bars. There are also trunk bags with bottle holsters that can easily be added to a rear rack (if your bike has one), or stand-alone hydration packs that are worn as light weight backpacks, allowing you to drink through a flexible straw conveniently as you you ride.
Electric Bicycle Accessories To Help You See
Lights are important for both safety and utility. Some are designed to help you to be seen, while others illuminate your path. We recommend pre-installed lights (front and rear) that run off the e-bike’s battery. Not all e-bikes offer this kind of integration, but some shops can tap into the battery and add them aftermarket for a bit more. Fortunately, there’s a whole wide world of aftermarket bike lights. Most use LEDs because they use so little electricity and last so long. We recommend when purchasing rechargeable models that you try to get two from the same company that can use the same charger and cables.
And be sure to protect your eyes from insects, debris and dust. Electric bikes move around quickly and can dry out eyes in a hurry without protection. Glasses and goggles help to keep your eyes focused by reducing dryness due to wind, squinting from the sun or harsh lights and safe from physical contact with particulates such as sand, small rocks and bugs. While eye protection is not a true “accessory”, protecting the eyes is so important and is often overlooked that we’ve included it. Use tinted and polarized glasses in bright conditions and clear or yellow lenses at night to increase visibility.
Here’s some awesome news! Cycling specific glasses are actually very inexpensive and have a ton of fancy options available, such as swappable lenses so you can change from clear to dark tinted. The key is finding eye wear that’s comfortable and compatible with your helmet. Eyewear shouldn’t collide with the front of the helmet, or be too tight at the temples. Some people prefer the frame arms to go under their helmet straps, while others prefer over. Goggles are also an option. For wet, cold climates, we suggest use anti-fog products on vision protection products. Check out Best Cycling Glasses: The Complete Guide video by SportRx
Electric Bicycle Accessories To Keep Your Lungs Safe
If you live in a busy city, or must travel a route with a lot of heavy vehicle traffic, another great accessory is a gator or face mask. For heavily polluted areas, there are pollution filtering face masks and every hardware store and medical supply place in town offers filtering masks of one kind or another.
Electric Bike Accessories To Increase Your Visibility To Others
Always wear gear to increase your visual footprint (how easily you are seen), such as by picking e-bikes with light colored bike frames (like white or silver), choosing reflective tires, using reflective decals and wearing clothing with reflective striping or patterns. Try to have reflective clothing suitable for both hot and dry and cold and wet conditions.
Electric Bike Accessories To Protect Your Investment
Locks can’t and don’t guarantee that your e-bike won’t get ripped off, but they will definitely increase the chances that a thief will move along to something much easier because electric bikes aren’t nearly as easy to use or sell without all of the included parts, such as the charger and a key to get the battery pack off. And today many e-bikes come standard with built-in global positioning satellite (GPS) systems to aid recovery and anti-theft software so that thieves or unwitting second-hand buyers can find themselves completely locked out from use as the police knock on their door.
Chose The Right Lock For Your E-Bike
Rubberized coating on locks helps to protect your frame. Choose a lock with a length to accommodate fatter tubing and ones where both sides lock, so it takes twice the effort to cut through. There are also aftermarket anti-theft accessories, like motion sensing alarms that send text alerts to owners and allow owners to track the bike so they can direct law enforcement to the thief.
Chose The Right Insurance For Your E-Bike
One last, but very important form of investment protection is bicycle insurance; not only to cover your financial investment in case of damage or theft, but also to help cover the cost of injury and recovery in the event of an accident.
Electric Bike Tire And Rim Accessories
Walking a 50 pound electric bike home is a lot less fun than hopping off once in a while to pump up a tire. Purchase a pump that fits your tube or tire type, or comes with an adapter. CO2 cartridges are fast and light weight, but once they’re spent, they’re done and you can’t control the pressure as easily. Portable hand pumps with the pressure gauges are a great alternative and are highly recommended.
There are fluids that can be used to inflate tires and there are even solid tires that never require air. However, be aware that solid bike tires tend to offer less comfort and because of increased rigidity, can even bend rims and break spokes if you hit a hard angle at higher speeds. Air filled tires can be adjusted to handle weight and ride environment. Typically, lower tire pressure for soft terrain and higher tire pressure for smooth hard pavement.
Electric Bike Accessories to Keep A Grip On Things
Gloves are another important accessory that people often overlook. Hands are one of the most important of the three contact points your body makes with the bike; your feet, your gluteus maximus (rear end) and your hands. Wearing gloves isn’t just about protection in the event of a fall, or staying warm when riding. Padded gloves take a lot of the jar out of bumpy ride conditions and a secure grip is worth its weight in gold. Like glasses, there are a wide variety of choices; so you can spend a fortune or opt to stay within a more utilitarian price range.
Longer, thicker gloves are best for winter and shorter, thinner, fingerless gloves are best for summer. There’s now even special touch-screen cycling gloves with silver threaded finger tips to make it easier to use your phone without taking gloves off. These have had mixed reviews, but even if you have to tap the screen a couple of times, it’s still easier and warmer than completely removing a glove when it’s freezing cold.
Many gloves now have easy-off finger loops on the palm and soft fabric on the inner portion of the thumb area designed for cleaning glasses. The rule is for more padding for on-road biking and less for off road.
Electric Bike Accessories To Cushion
Suspension determines the stress on back, arms and neck, so we recommend a full suspension e-bike for off road use. There are many ways to improve the ride of e-bikes by using suspension accessories. For city and road use, bikes usually have only front suspension; some stiffer than others. For additional comfort, you may want to consider installing a suspension seat post.
A soft saddle and suspension seat post will offer excellent comfort. There are lots of aftermarket products to choose from. However, be aware that suspension posts are going to raise the minimum seat height of your bike, so if you’re already struggling to mount up when the seat’s at the lowest setting and are on tippy toes a lot, this may not be a good option.
As an alternative, there are many seat saddles with rubber elastomers and springs available to help smooth the ride. Another option for added comfort is padded pants, but they aren’t necessary or appropriate for all types of riders or EBs. For firmer suspensions, a good pair of padded cycling shorts, capris, or pants can make a surprising difference in ride comfort. There are men’s and women’s specific cycling pants and they usually have a detachable inner liners with pads and an external cover with pockets. Not all are tight spandex, or the polyester style commonly seen worn.
Electric Bike Accessories To Protect You
Other things to consider carrying with you are chap stick (lip conditioner), government issued identification and an insurance card. Depending on where and when you’re riding, you may want to also carry bear spray or mace (now there are bike specific mace accessories), as well as a whistle, good bell and/or air horn.
Electric Bike Accessories To Carry Gear
Storage capacity was left until last, but it can be critically important. Some e-bikes might have an extra bottle cage attachment where you could mount what they call a storage pod. Others have rear racks with pannier blockers (perfect for mounting side hanging bags called panniers, or saddlebags) and some have rear mounted wire baskets, or a top mounted trunk bag. There may even be room on the front fork for a second pair of panniers, or an additional basket by the handle bars.
Storage is critical because it gives you a place for tools, a first aid kit, water, a spare tire, cell phone, money, keys and an e-bike charger to extend your ride. Most electric bicycle chargers are lightweight and compact (under 2 pounds) and can recharge the bike’s battery within hours (batteries tend to charger faster when empty than when nearly full, due to load balancing). A backpack is another great storage option and one that stays with you when you’re not on your electric bicycle.