Electric Bike Accessories You May Want To Consider
Electric bikes are an awesome alternative to gas guzzling vehicles, but it’s important that they are equipped for the intended use, time of day, and environment used in, so electric bike accessories may be require.
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 get integrated 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” ebikes, but end up spending way more after purchase to outfit them properly.
Accessorizing can be a fun way of instantly individualizing your EB, and 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 rental businesses frequently report that ebikes are ridden further and more frequently than pedal powered models, and at a consistently higher speed, which can add up to stress and strain on your body. Comfort and safety need to be key purchasing factors. Regardless of the e-bike you choose, here’s a list of what we consider to be essential accessories.
Electric Bike 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 Bike 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 ebike, 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 Bike 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 ebikes 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.
Glasses 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” per say, protecting the eyes is very important, and is often overlooked. E-bikes move around quickly and can dry out eyes in a hurry without protection. 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. They 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 Bike 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 flitering 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.
Electric bicycles tend to cost way more than standard bikes, but they aren’t near as easy to sell without all of the included parts, such as the charger, and a key to get the battery pack off. And, many EBs come with built-in GPS for theft recovery, and anti-theft software, so unwitting second-hand buyers might find themselves completely locked out as police knock on their door.
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.
One last, but very important form of investment protection is bicycle insurance; not only to cover your financial investment, but to help cover the cost of injury and recovery in the event of an accident.
Electric Bike Accessories To Keep You Rolling
Flat protection and air supply are critical on ebikes because they tend to ride further and weigh more than unpowered bicycles. Whether you pump Slime liquid sealant into your tubes, buy pre-Slimed tubes, opt for a tubeless setup with flat protection sealant, or upgrade to puncture protected Kevlar-lined tires, you’ll still need an air supply to get you home. This is where portable pumps and CO2 cartridges come in.
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 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 Hand On Things
Gloves are another important accessory that people often overlook. Hands are one of three contact points your body makes with the bike; your feet, your glutus maximus (rear end), and your hands. Wearing gloves is not 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; and 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 are 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 Provide Comfort
Suspension determines the stress on back, arms and neck, so we recommend a full suspension e-bike for offroad 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 tippie 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 mens and womens 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 adding to carry with you are chap stick (lip conditioner), government issued identification, and 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 horn.
Electric Bike Accessories To Carry Gear
Storage 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), 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, 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 light weight and compact (under 2 lbs), 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 the bike.