Bicycles are a handy mode of transportation that has offered a world of convenience to commuters. They’re a great way to get around without owning a car while allowing you to snake through traffic. They’re also environmentally friendly since they don’t emit any gases, and they’re great for those with a tight budget since they don’t need an energy source like fuel to run.
Electric bicycles, however, take this a step further. They’re very similar to traditional bicycles except that they are powered by electricity. Unfortunately, many people believe that electric bikes are more dangerous than regular bicycles, causing them to miss out on a life-changing way to move around the city.
Are Electric Bikes Dangerous?
Like everything else, electric bicycles do have specific dangers that traditional bicycles do not have. That doesn’t mean they aren’t safe to use, as everything has its own set of warnings and precautions. By learning some of the potential dangers of electric bikes, you can avoid them entirely. Here are some of them:
1. Batteries Catching Fire
Since electric bikes run on batteries, they naturally have the potential to catch fire. While this sounds incredibly worrisome, the truth is that they will catch fire only when they are carelessly handled, which applies to just about every other device. For instance, carrying batteries in a protective metal box during rides and using a battery management system can help you avoid this. Buying batteries from a reputable dealer will also prevent these situations from happening.
This becomes increasingly important as some electric bike manufacturers will often swap out what the brand of battery used in a bike if they cannot get a large enough order of the original, advertised battery due to supply chain issues. Therefore what they originally advertised as the brand of battery they use is not what you actually get with the bike. At Espin, we have worked with a factory to develop our own Espin battery so that we can ensure consistent quality and safety for our riders.
Over-accelerating Upon Start
Throttling an electric bike or starting it from a high gear from a dead stop often results in minor accidents. They typically occur when using the bike at a low speed, which means they usually don’t lead to severe damage. Still, it’s important to avoid this scenario entirely by never applying full throttle until the bike is comfortably moving. It also helps not to start the bike in high gear.
While many may think to Simon Cowell and his unfortunate incident on his electric motorbike, it's important to keep in mind that Cowell's Swind is more of an electric motorcycle than an electric bike considering it can go over 60 mph.
Failing to Obey Traffic Rules
Many e-bike accidents happen not because of a fault in the bike, but because of how riders use their vehicles. Electric bikes are a happy medium between bicycles and motorbikes, but riders can sometimes get carried away with the speed and functions of an e-bike. Additionally, many jurisdictions have not laid out rules regarding the driving of e-bikes, so riders may not be aware of their legal obligations. Over-speeding is also a significant contributor to e-bike accidents, so it’s important to stay under the speed limit and abide by traffic rules.
Although riding e-bikes by themselves is not dangerous, the risk of an accident increases with the rider’s age. People aged 60 and up are more likely to get into accidents when riding an e-bike, which may be attributed to slower reflexes. It's important to take it slow until you get the hang of it, and always be aware of your surroundings while riding - no matter your age.
How are E-Bikes Different From Regular Bikes?
While e-bikes are, by nature, bicycles, they bear some significant differences from traditional bikes. For instance, they travel at higher speeds since they are battery-powered, allowing riders to go farther and faster without getting tired. They’re also more agile, allowing riders to move more powerfully and precisely while enjoying a smooth ride on all kinds of terrain and weather conditions. They also eliminate many physical obstacles related to cycling like potholes, rocks, or hills.
E-bikes are not inherently dangerous, as they are made to improve on traditional bicycles and address many of the disadvantages of riding one. They’re designed to be an efficient, environmentally friendly way of traveling. However, some risks are associated with even the best e-bikes, although they’re often due to carelessness and negligence. With the right attitude and mindset, e-bikes are even safer than motorbikes and bicycles while being cheaper and better for your health.
Espin Bikes sells the best e-bikes that promote a lifestyle cultivating wellness and health. Our affordable electric bikes redefine urban mobility and make it easier and safer to get around. Check out our bikes today to get yours!