E-bikes are fun and practical machines that are becoming increasingly popular as a means of transport in cities around the world, helping people to manage their busy urban lifestyles. A wide range of specialist equipment and technology is available to help riders get the most out of their trusty e-bikes, but is it always necessary? Additional cycling equipment, clothing and performance features can mean higher costs. At TENWAYS we want to make e-biking as easy and accessible as possible for city riders to enjoy eco-friendly travel, so we've created this guide to simplify e-bike commuting with advice on what you do and don't need for a happy, stress-free riding experience!
E-bike suspension – how can it affect city cycling?
Suspension is a common high performance feature on many bikes. Its job is to absorb shocks from unpaved terrain (trails, gravel) to prevent injury to the rider. This is why it were first introduced in the 1980s as an important component for mountain bikes, but has been introduced over the years for other riding scenarios, including city e-bikes. It's a feature that makes riders feel safer on challenging terrain, but full and rear suspension is heavy, expensive and designed to cope with the bumpier, more dangerous effects of mountain trails. And front suspension can slow down the performance of your e-bike - when you're riding uphill it can absorb your pedaling power, reducing the transfer of your effort to the road and putting more work on your feet in the long run!
So is suspension really essential for city cycling? In the city, the terrain is usually smooth and made up of paved concrete or asphalt, so in theory its characteristics mean that riders should be able to cruise around without the need for suspension. However, it could be useful to protect riders on older roads that are more uneven and contain potholes or cracks, so whether you need it or not depends on the nature of your city!
Do you always need a lot of gears for city riding?
Some models have been designed with multiple gears to give riders more support and control in different riding conditions, such as steeper gradients. But it's not essential to have the support of multiple gears for climbing hills. If you think you're going to encounter some hillier urban terrain on your rides, single-speed e-bikes can also be great for this task - they come with different levels of assistance to give you all the confidence you need to tackle many city climbs!
Another thing to remember is that the more gears you have, the more maintenance you need. Multi-gear bikes need regular lubrication and adjustments to keep the chain and each gear in good working order, which will cost you more in the long run. It's important to consider your riding style and environment to decide whether you really need a lot of gears on your e-bike, with the power-assist options available on them. If you know you'll be riding up super steep hills every day on your way to work, multiple gears might be best.
Single-speed e-bikes are a popular option for urban commuters, learn more about them to decide if they're right for you. The CGO600 Pro is our pioneering lightweight models at TENWAYS, it is an agile single-speed e-bike designed to handle all elements of your commute with ease, getting you where you need to go effortlessly and in style. These intuitive e-bikes handle city streets like a pro, allowing urban commuters to feel their best as they start and finish their work day.
Is special clothing necessary?
This depends on the purpose of the ride. Urban e-bikers tend to ride for shorter, casual commutes, as well as social and errand-related activities, such as shopping, or meeting friends for socializing. Specialist cycling clothing is designed for racers and professional riders who need clothing that helps them perform. For urban cycling, it won't make much difference to your performance and can actually complicate your lifestyle by adding extra time and effort to your day. For example, cycling shoes with cleats that clip onto the pedals are noisy and uncomfortable to wear around town when you're not riding.
For commuting or leisurely e-biking, everyday or athletic clothing is fine for getting around town, but for safety reasons you should always dress according to your use, riding style and local weather conditions. For example, if you're going to be riding an off-road bike for long periods of time, you'll be better off wearing off-road clothing, or if you're riding in the dark, you'll be safer wearing a high-visibility vest. For more help in choosing your riding outfit, check out our tips for dressing smartly for different riding scenarios, styles and weather conditions.
Recommended riding accessories
Now that we've explained how to make using your e-bike easier and more comfortable, let's take a look at the accessories that will make your e-bike commuting experience more useful and safer.
Panniers and carriers - equipping your ride to carry your stuff
Let's start with carrier racks, which can transform your ride into a more functional machine that fits your lifestyle. They can be easily attached to your e-bike to attach carriers, such as panniers, which are, essentially, backpacks that can hold everything you need to carry around town, such as errands, a change of clothes or groceries. These accessories equip your e-bike to carry everything you need for the day and make your life easier. Remember to always check the maximum load capacity of your e-bike to make sure you're not carrying too much weight on your bike, which could affect your safety.
Kickstand - keeps your ride upright
This lightweight accessory is there for your e-bike when you want to park and store it without having to lean it against other surfaces or the ground, which can be unsafe and dirty. It holds your e-bike upright by itself, positioning it perfectly to be ready to ride when you need it, while taking up less parking space. It gives you more comfort and less worry about damaging your e-bike when it's parked.
Mudguard - protects and preserves in harsh weather conditions
Mudguards are tough pieces of plastic or metal that protect you, other riders and your e-bike from getting dirty from water or debris, helping to keep you and your bike performing in more challenging weather conditions. They help keep you dry in inclement weather so you can ride more confidently and safely in rain, snow or slush. They can be used in all seasons and are useful even after the tougher riding weather has passed - for example, if the roads are still wet after an early morning mist, or have puddles from previous days, mudguards are essential to protect you and your ride, whatever the day's forecast!
Lights – improving visibility for road safety
Lights on your bike are an essential safety accessory, not only helping you see more clearly on the road, but also making you more visible to pedestrians and other road users. They're important not only at night, but also on dark, gloomy days when visibility can be impaired. Make sure you check the laws and guidelines in your area to make sure you're riding safely and legally.
Accessories can make you better equipped for a carefree, effective ride through the city, making your transport machine as safe and practical as possible for your comfort. At TENWAYS we want our riders to be as prepared as possible for the road. We send free kickstands and mudguards with every e-bike order, as well as a rear carrier with our AGO X E-SUV bike.
We hope this blog has helped to show you how easy it can be to use an e-bike to make it as practical and fun as possible for your lifestyle! At TENWAYS, we want everyone to enjoy all the amazing benefits that e-biking has to offer by understanding the most suitable equipment, clothing and accessories they need for a smooth riding experience. If you have any concerns or questions, let our community help you, contact our team on our website or ask our customers, the Tenwayers, by joining our Facebook group.