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The risks of e-bikes: Are e-bikes safe?
The risks of e-bikes: Are
Like any other mode of transportation, e-bikes have their own advantages and handicaps. Any user considering getting an e-bike might find himself thinking about the risks of them. E-bikes tend to be perceived as more dangerous than a traditional bike because although they are very similar to traditional ones, they are supported by an electric system. But like any presumption, it can be true and false at the same time.
Are e-bikes more dangerous than regular bikes?
First things first. We should first accept the fact that e-bikes are not dangerous and not more dangerous than traditional bicycles. The truth is that e-bikes have their own unique problems and risks- but all of these can be avoided by taking care of your e-bike!
Like every other human made invention, e-bikes have their own unique risk potentials caused by their nature. The key here is to achieve a deep understanding towards how an e-bike is different than a traditional one. It is always better if you figure out the distinctive aspects of the e-bike, so that you can know the advantages and risks they might bring the rider. If you intend to control the risks, you should have a brief understanding about your vehicle.
What are the dangers of electric bikes?
When riding, there is a slight difference between an e-bike and a regular bike. They both have their own risks, but you can always eliminate them if you use and ride responsibly. To do this, you should be aware of the specific needs of your ride. So let’s take a comprehensive look at the potential causes of the risks of e-bikes.
The risk of battery catching fire
An e-bike battery catching fire might be one of the most terrible things that can happen related to riding one. Sure anyone who has seen the videos of an e-bike battery catching fire during the ride or charging must have thought of not having an e-bike.
The lithium batteries that most e-bikes have are highly flammable. Careless treatment of home-built lithium batteries may end up in catching fire, one of the biggest risks related to e-bikes.
What can you do to avoid?
Due care and necessary precautions may help you avoid 80% of such cases. This means that you can build your own battery pack only if you know 100% what you’re doing. Make sure the lithium batteries you buy are provided from a trusted dealer and have the right design and structure which are durable under various temperatures and over-charging. You should use a Battery Management System for an extra safe ride and keep your batteries in a protective metal box during your rides.
The good news is that most of the e-bike batteries are safe to use by their design and structure. Improving battery technology enables the rider to have safer, performance oriented rides day-by-day. Of course, considering electricity is involved, the risk is still present -but the odds are really low.
What if you accelerate too much at the start?
Too much acceleration at the start caused by throttle application or high electric gear from zero is one of the most common causes of minor accidents. Although they generally don’t cause any permanent damage since they happen at the lowest speed, they still have potential to shatter your mood.
What can you do to avoid?
Luckily, this is another risk that can be eliminated by due care. The first thing you should avoid is applying full throttle before your e-bike starts moving. You can think about installing a switch which enables you to choose different power levels as you ride. Just make sure that your throttle and controller are accurately dialed up before you start riding for a long way. If you are riding a pedelec, don’t start off in high gear. Instead, start off at a lower electric gear and gradually accelerate the gear.
Not obeying traffic rules
It is a fact that most accidents with e-bikes are caused by the way the riders treat their vehicles, rather than a fault in design or structure of the e-bike. The allowed speed and functions of an e-bike are almost the same as a low-performing motorcycle. If you forget this fact, that’s when your e-bike becomes dangerous.
What can you do to avoid?
You can minimize the chance of accidents by using your e-bike in the rightest and simplest way: Use your e-bike as a bicycle, not as a motorbike. Even if you don’t have to follow any legal obligations regarding speed limits or road signs, following obligations for bicycles would ensure the safety of both the rider and other travellers.
E-bike risks related to age
The latest studies imply that e-bikes may provide a higher risk to elderly people than they do to any other age group. For ages from 11 to 60, the risks that e-bikes possess are similar to traditional ones, according to related research.
Even though e-bikes can not be considered dangerous, it is true that the risk they provide goes higher as the age of the rider rises. This may be due to having weaker reflexes, higher body weight, etc. If you are an elderly rider with health conditions, just consult your doctor before getting on your ride. This is just to eliminate the risks!
One final word
The risks that e-bikes possess should not be considered as barriers to use them or be completely forgotten while riding. The majority of the risks can be eliminated just with due care and a thorough understanding towards the components and nature of e-bikes. E-bikes may be the safest, cheapest and greenest way to commute if you keep your mindset right about it.