Date Posted: July 8, 2022
Last Updated: July 29, 2022
Workers have been cycling to and from work for as long as there have been bicycles. Bicycle commuting is growing once again, this time largely due to the benefits that electric bikes provide for the commuter.
Use this guide to help you get started commuting on an ebike.
Benefits of Electric Commuter Bikes
The most common complaint to bicycle commuting is something to the effect of "I don't want to show up to work all sweaty and out of breath."
A quality ebike resolves that complaint, by providing pedal-assist power to the drive system. With assisted speeds up to 28 mph, you can ride up any hill just as fast as you would be going down. You can maintain speed without working up a sweat, and show up fresh and invigorated from your ride.
Your daily commuter ebike also helps you avoid volatile gas prices, automobile maintenance, and the daily cost and time of finding a parking space.
Perhaps most significantly, riding an electric commuter bike can contribute to your overall well-being. You get some exercise (but not "too much"), avoid the stress of driving in traffic and get the feeling of joy of riding a bike.
The Best Electric Commuter Bike has Fat Tires
Many bicycle commuters ride road bikes, largely for their speed. Others might ride their mountain bikes because, well, that's what they have, and maybe the suspension forks provide a little more comfort crossing over the bumps.
Yes, road bikes are fast, but they lack comfort. The high pressure tires transfer every little bump into your wrists and body. The low rider position can be uncomfortable in work clothes, and reduces your visibility. And mountain bikes? They are made for trails and can be slow and not great for commuting.
Electric bicycles with fat tires free you from the discomforts of road and mountain bike frames.
Fat tire electric bikes provide a comfortable, fast means of bike commuting. You'll travel at a steady 20 mph or faster with ease. The fat tires provide comfort, control and safety. The lower air pressure provides more cushion and suspension, while the wider tires provide control over uneven surfaces, gaps in the road and wet or slippery conditions.
Yes, fat tires and their rims add a little weight and friction, but the power of your electric bike motor - usually a rear-hub motor - eliminates and sense of extra weight or effort. In fact, you'll feel more in control and have that steady speed that will keep you up with even the road bikes.
Emergency stopping distance is also a lot shorter. Whether you have mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, the combination of the fat tires and the disc brakes means you can stop much faster, boosting your safety factor while ebike commuting.
Commuter Ebike Styles
Your commuter ebike can have a high-step or low-step through frame, could be an electric folding bike, or even an electric cargo bike if you need to transport your kids to school first. What's most important is that you select an ebike that is comfortable, reliable and matches your style - so you ride more frequently and with a broader smile on your face.
Think about your comfort of riding, safety features on the ebike, and about your personal style preferences. Don't settle for something bland, get something that thrills you!
Riding To Work on a Fat Tire Electric Bike
The comfort, control and speed of a fat tire electric bike will make bicycle commuting much easier and attractive. Yet, there are still some things you'll need to ensure you keep riding in comfort and safety.
Pick Routes That Reduce Risk and are More Fun
Use google maps, set to bike setting, and local, up-to-date bike maps to plan your commuting route. It will likely be different than the way you would drive! Find trails, paths, protected lanes, parks and side streets that get you away from traffic as much as possible. Use streets that have lower speed limits, so you are more in line with the flow.
For easy viewing of your route on your smart phone, install an ebike cellphone holder on your handlebars, so you can navigate and ride at the same time.
Ask other bike commuters where they ride, and ask for local tips and knowledge.
You'll find new routes, see new things and meet new people! Electric bike commuting opens up a whole new world!
What About Charging My Ebike?
For most ebike commute lengths, riders can charge their ebike batteries at home overnight.
Depending on the length of your ebike commute, you might want to recharge the battery while you are working. Your ebike's range will vary on the capacity of your battery, if the route is hilly or not, and your riding style.
If your commute length is long enough to require charging at your workplace, you might want a high speed electric bike battery charger.
Clothing and Staying Clean
Depending on the length of your ride, your local climate and weather, and the typical attire you wear at your workplace, an electric commuter bike may make it so you can simply wear the same clothes (remember, no sweat!).
Be sure to get an ebike with full sized, durable metal fenders. Fenders will help keep dirt, dust and moisture off of you and your clothes.
Most electric commuter bikes still have chains, as opposed to belt-drives. Chains are more durable, and much cleaner when using the dry-lubricants available. Regardless, unless you wear 'skinnies', you might want an ankle strap to keep your pant cuffs from getting dirty or catching on the crank.
If you do decide to wear different clothes while riding your electric bike, get a set of panniers or a 'trunk' to fit onto your rear rack. You'll use these to carry other items as well, such as your lunch, laptop or other personal items. Keep an extra jacket, windbreaker or rain jacket on hand in case the weather does turn on you.
Even if most of your commute is on bike trails and protected lanes, you'll end up crossing streets or riding in traffic at some point. The most important thing here is to be seen. Wear a bright colored shirt, jacket or vest. Use the lights on your ebike, and invest in extra lights to use, even during the daytime.
A custom fat tire electric bike will also help you be seen. A bright frame, rack and fender colors do a lot for your visibility.
Mirrors also help you been seen, and see what's coming up behind you.
Preventing Ebike Theft
Electric bikes are definitely a target for thieves. They are mobile, and easy to resell. Prevent ebike theft with the following tactics:
- Register your ebike with BikeRegister.com.
- Bring inside to a secure location in your workplace, or other secure location.
- Always lock to an immovable bike rack, post or other object that can't be moved.
- Use multiple locks, including at least one heavy duty chain lock and an alarm disc lock.
- Remove your battery (integrated battery, or not) and store with you at your workplace.
- Use GPS tracking devices, secured in your ebike.
Where To Buy An Electric Commuter Bike
Many bike shops have added electric bikes to their inventory. There are also dozens of online retailers selling ebikes that may be used for commuting. Your best move is to get to a dedicated electric bike shop near you - one that specializes in electric bikes and has mechanics that know how to service electric commuter bikes.
Import or U.S.A-built? 80% of consumers prefer durable products made in the USA - they know these products have better quality and safety. If you are like these folks, find an ebike shop or showroom that sells built-in-the-USA ebikes. This way, you know you are getting the best value in quality, safety, and service.