Depending on local terrain and riding style, a mountain biker may opt for varying amounts of suspension travel, targeted gear ranges, and even certain wheel and tire combinations. The equipment choices are seemingly endless. One more arrow has entered the quiver: the electric mountain bike or eMTB.
Electric bikes are fun. Electric mountain bikes open up a world of new possibilities for offroad riders.
Bikes like the IZIP E3 Peak DS will give you the added power of electric assist so you can climb and cover ground like never before. Just imagine feeling the same flow pedaling uphill that you love while descending or riding undulating terrain. Once you get the rhythm of how the bike reacts to your pedaling input, you’ll find yourself accelerating where you might otherwise struggle.
There are a few things to consider when setting out on an electric bike versus a regular, non-pedal assist mountain bike. Let’s look at five of them.
- Where to Ride. Consider where you want to ride. Depending on where you are located, electric bikes may be considered motorized vehicles and there may be trail usage restrictions that you need to consider before you venture out. Some trail networks are open to all users and welcome electric bikes and a variety of motorized, equestrian and human powered traffic. But not all trails are open to motor vehicles, and in the eyes of some land managers, electric bikes fall into this category. Here are some resources that you can use to ensure you are riding on trails that are open to electric mountain bikes:
- Extended Range. On an electric bike you can go farther than you can on a so-called ‘normal’ mountain bike (we call them “acoustic”), and that makes it all the more important that you be prepared to deal with uncertainties on your ride. When heading out on an IZIP E3 Sumo, or any electric mountain bike for that matter, you should always carry with you a tool kit and provisions in the event that you experience a mechanical issue or other unexpected situation out on the trail. Essentials include a multi-tool, a pump, a spare tube, adequate clothing, and enough food and water to last you longer than you expect to be out.
- Weight. Something inescapably different about an electric bike versus a regular bike is the weight. Because it has both a battery and motor, an electric bike will always be heavier. This may affect your ability to handle the bike in rough terrain, though the suspension of a bike like the E3 Peak DS and the boost of its motor often improve stability and control in overcoming obstacles. It’s very important to bear in mind that should you run the battery all the way down, either by lack of charging or simply by outstripping its range, you will have to rely on your own strength to pedal the bike home. Riding those last few miles when tired can be trying on a regular pedal bike, but add the weight of a battery and motor to the mix and you might regret ignoring the battery charge indicator. But fear not: all IZIP eMTBs come equipped with Bosch systems that include a range assistant display that tells you just how many miles you have left in your battery.
- Charging your battery. To avoid running your battery down during rides and getting caught out a way from home, it’s best to charge your bike regularly. New batteries are engineered to be completely cycled 500 times or more, and can accept partial charges without any negative effects. The best practice really is to charge your battery routinely, and if you ride a lot, then consider doing it after every outing. Bosch Power Pack will provide a very long service life and are designed for many miles, and years of service. The intelligent, electronic battery management system (BMS) protects lithium-ion batteries from excessive temperatures, over- charging, and deep discharge. The BMS checks every cell, extending the life of the battery.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Because the range on an electric mountain bike is so great, there’s a temptation to immediately go out and explore. It’s like anything new you buy, really. You want to take it out and see what it can do. But like most learning experiences, a measure of prudence is in order. Not to dissuade anyone from having fun, mind you, but it’s important to first learn the handling of any new machine before putting it and yourself to the test. Go on several shorter rides through varying terrain to get the feel for the way the motor engages across a range of situations before heading out on a big loop. This way you’ll have all the bugs worked out and set yourself up for a seamless and sensational first big outing.
This new era of e-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 and likely improve your fitness in the process. So go out and explore on your new electric bike. A happier, healthier you awaits.