Is commuting by e-bike safe?

Just like with any mode of transport, it’s important to be vigilant when hopping on an electric bike, especially if you’re new to them. Regardless of how you choose to get from A to B, commuting can pose all sorts of safety issues, especially if you’re tackling rush hour traffic.

It’s completely normal to be nervous if you’re planning to switch to an e-bike for your regular commute. If you’re asking yourself the question ‘are electric bikes safe?, then you can rest (or ride!) assured knowing that as long as they’re used properly, e-bikes can be a safe, convenient and environmentally friendly way to get around.

Electric bikes should certainly be used with caution and care, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t feel confident and relaxed on your electric bike with these hassle-free tips for a safe commute. Check out these 9 safety tips to make your e-bike commute safer.

1. Make yourself visible

Whether you’re riding a traditional bike or an electric bike on the road, making yourself visible to other road users should be a top priority when it comes to a safe commute – especially when riding at night. Reflective and high-vis gear – such as jackets, bibs or vests – are the easiest way to stay seen on the road.

Investing in high-vis outerwear and accessories is the most efficient way to ensure you’re seen by drivers and other cyclists alike. Whatever you’re wearing that day, whack the outerwear and accessories on and you’re good to go.

2. Check your electric bike tires regularly

It may seem obvious but running into issues with tires mid-commute can be extremely dangerous. Flat or deflated tires not only affect the efficiency of your ride, but they can also cause you to lose control – not good on a busy road!

Before heading out every morning, make it a part of your pre-ride routine to check your tires are at the correct pressure – especially if you’ve got a long journey ahead of you.

3. Store your e-bike battery wisely

Although many of the health and safety tips to keep you safe on an electric bike are similar to that of a traditional bike, the main extra component that needs to be considered is of course your battery.

If you’ve ever heard clickbait horror stories about e-bike batteries catching fire, it’s important to know that while this can be a genuine risk (as with any battery-powered machinery), it really is a rare occurrence.

Ensuring that your batteries are always sourced from reliable and legit manufacturers is crucial – this is not something you should be concerned about splashing out on! Removing your battery and storing it correctly too (if it’s removable) – in a protective box, which it should come with – will also hugely reduce risk and help you feel safer out on the roads.

4. Listen up!

Listening to music while commuting on the train or bus is a great way to pass the time but it can pose a hazard on your bike. Being all ears on the road can be a matter of life or death – not only do you need to listen out for surrounding vehicles and potential pedestrians, but hearing sirens, horns and crossings is essential to your safety and those around you, too.

5. Choose your road position while riding your e-bike

Similarly to when riding as a regular road cyclist, the correct road position is vital to staying safe on your e-bike. Being confident to take up space on the road alongside other motor vehicles is key – don’t make the mistake of hugging the kerb, where you run the risk of colliding with the kerb itself as well as tackling drains and gutters.

The roads are designed to be shared with cyclists, too, which includes e-bike riders. So whenever a cycle lane isn’t available, make sure you stay a safe distance away from the kerb and the obstacles it brings with it. Other vehicles like cars, buses and vans can wait until it’s safe to overtake should they wish to.

 6. It’s a must for electric bikers to know the road rules

Many cyclists believe that road rules don’t apply to them, but in fact adhering to the highway code in the same way you would as a driver will protect you as well as those around you.

The most basic principles to remember while out on your commute are to signal clearly, ride in the correct lane and abide by the traffic light system.

7. Get to know your e-bike

Electric bikes may feel a little less familiar than a traditional bike, so before taking yours out for the first time, make sure you’ve spent a decent amount of time in a safe, quiet place figuring out exactly how it works.

Run through every scenario and try out each mode and function available, making sure to practise using them all until you feel comfortable in the saddle. This way, in a higher-pressure situation such as your busy rush-hour commute, you’ll know exactly what to do without getting flustered.

8. Check your route

If your commute involves taking a route that you already know like the back of your hand, then all that’s left to do to ensure the utmost safety and prep is to check that the route you’re familiar with is e-bike friendly all the way. Busier roads and pedestrian-only paths may have to be avoided, which will involve finding an alternative route once you become an e-bike user.

If it’s your first time on your route, it might be a good idea to try the journey in its entirety during a quieter period, so that come rush hour when you’re under time pressure, it won’t feel completely alien. Trust us, it’ll be worth it.

9. Wear a bike helmet

Perhaps the number one rule of all: wearing a helmet can genuinely save your life! While we would hope to avoid collisions and accidents altogether, it’s important to prepare for the worst. Whether you collide with another vehicle or simply lose control along your commute, being knocked off your bike is no joke, and the last thing you’d want is to sustain a head injury.

Better safe than sorry – wear a helmet from start to finish!

Choosing a commuter e-bike

Now that you’re all clued up on how to stay safe while out on the road, the only thing that’s left to do is figure out which electric bike is the right one for your journey to work.

For commuters, something lightweight, sleek and simple to use is a must. If you’re looking for something that feels just as intuitive as a traditional bike but with the boosting benefits of an electric bike, a pedal-assist electric bike would be a top choice. Momentum’s new, lightest e-bikes – the Voya E+ series – have been designed with the busy commuter in mind and boast simplicity while offering all the necessary functions.

We’ve already mentioned that they’re lightweight – so if you’re interested in zipping to the office with ease then look no further than the Voya E+ series. You can also power on/off and switch between the three power modes with

just one touch of the control panel on the top tube – easy access so you can focus on the road and stay alert.

The assist mode makes it incredibly easy to get a boost of power – the action of pedalling itself activates the motor which gives you the push you need. The assistance is subtle enough that your ride feels safe and smooth, but powerful enough that you can get that helping hand at just the right time.

Momentum Voya E+ electric bikes come with flat handlebars or drop handles – so whether you’re looking for the classic commuter-style aesthetic or would prefer to keep things on the sporty side, momentum has your back.