Electric trail bicycle sales continue to grow along with their non-motorized counterparts, partly due to the limitations imposed during the COVID pandemic. As is custom for many newly introduced vehicles in any environment, questions arise regarding their safety.
Commonly known as “e-bikes,” the two-wheeled transports are powered by batteries that provide help with pedaling. Pushing the pedals will start a small motor that helps to boost speed, with some going as fast as 60 miles per hour. That feature is particularly advantageous when it comes to uphill riding and “off-trail” travel in rough terrain.
Safety Concerns Arise
A serious accident involving celebrity Simon Cowell has put e-bikes under a bright spotlight, garnering publicity that may not be so positive. On his first attempt, the celebrity judge broke his back before leaving the confines of his courtyard in Malibu.
Cowell may be the most famous victim of an e-bike accident, but he is not alone. Accidents have occurred and will continue to happen. Minimizing the possibility of catastrophe can come with simple steps, according to experts. Those include:
- Ensure proper installation of all parts
- Read every word of the instruction manual before the first ride
- Know the limits of an e-bike and ride with great caution
- Practice initial rides in a parking lot to gain familiarity
- Wear protective headgear
- Engage the throttle sparingly
- Keep loose-fitting pants and shoelaces tightened to avoid getting caught in the chain
- Maintain situational awareness throughout the entire ride
Simple steps can ensure not only an enjoyable experience but also a safe ride that minimizes the chance of serious injury or death.