Before You Ride Guide: Electric Bikes

Before You Ride Guide: Electric Bikes - GOTRAX

Electric bikes are one of the fastest selling electric vehicles in the U.S. While many of us have ridden a bike before, e-bikes are a completely different experience. Pedal assist power makes a significant difference on all kinds of rides from morning commutes to weekend adventures. We’ll be walking you through the basics of setting up and setting out on your new e-bike so that you can be fully prepared for when you ride for the first time.

1. Assembly

Your GOTRAX e-bike will arrive almost entirely built, so you won't have to invest too much effort into putting it together. That being said, the assembly will vary from model to model. Read your user’s manual for detailed instructions on how to assemble your specific e-bike. The parts that will most often need assembly are the handlebars, seat post, and pedals. Attaching these parts is usually a pretty simple process. Other bikes, however, will include additional assembly steps, all of which will be outlined in your user manual. If your e-bike does not come with the front wheel already attached, this part may be a bit trickier to assemble than the others, since you must also align the brake disc to the brake caliper. We'll have more instructions on brake adjustment in the steps below to help you with that process.

2. Keys

Many of our electric bikes feature a keyed security system on the side or underneath the frame. For some bikes, this key simply locks and unlocks the removable battery. This allows you to take your battery with you, helping you keep it secure and giving you the option to charge the battery without moving the whole bike. In order to remove the battery, turn your key counterclockwise to open the battery safety lock. For any version of the F1, the F2, or the F3, the bike must be in the folded position to access the battery. If you would like a visual of the battery removal process, please read through your manual. The manual also provides key assembly, operation, safety, and maintenance information, so it’s important to read the whole thing. If you lose or misplace your manual, we have digital versions for you to use.

For some models, the key is also necessary for turning on your electric bike, so be sure to keep your key secure when you’re not riding, and don’t forget to bring it with you when you’re ready to set out.

3. Tires

A woman riding the GOTRAX Tundra Fat Tire Off Road Electric Bike for Adults

The tires on your electric bike will arrive slightly deflated. This is to help avoid punctures or popped tires during the shipping process. There are several ways to inflate your tires to a suitable pressure for riding. The most common method is to use a bike pump or air compressor. Ideally, you can use a bike pump with a pressure gauge on it so you'll have an accurate readout on the PSI on your tire. Proper PSI ensures smooth, comfortable riding and avoids tire pinches during riding, as well as pops if the tire tube is overinflated. You can find the maximum recommended PSI for each e-bike on the sidewall of its tires, as well as a recommended PSI range in your user manual.

Once you have your tires properly inflated, there’s just one more step before you'll be ready to ride.

4. Brakes

Your brakes will sometimes sound a bit squeaky upon first use. You can test this before you ride by simply moving your bike back and forth in one place. If you do hear squeaking, you should adjust your brakes until they no longer squeak. In order to do so properly, you will need a hex/Allen wrench set to loosen the brake caliper. 

Once loosened enough, you will be able to reposition the brake caliper until the brake pads are no longer touching the brake disc. This is the most common issue with squeaky brakes and is quite easy to resolve. 

5. Pedal Assist

Now you’re ready to ride! It may take time to get used to the pedal assist technology on your electric bike, so be patient with it. It’s imperative that you go at your own pace. Start with PAS level 1 and slowly progress as you get comfortable with each setting. Throughout your ride, you may use multiple speed settings, or even ride using throttle only, if your bike allows it.

Don't forget to bring a helmet on every ride. Whether you’re riding for 5 minutes or 5 miles, for your safety, it's important that you always wear your helmet.

6. After You Ride

A man riding the GOTRAX F2 V2 folding electric bike for adults with 5 free accessories.

Congratulations on taking the first ride on your GOTRAX electric bike! You’ve just joined thousands of other GOTRAX e-bike riders and millions of e-bike riders worldwide. Welcome to the club! Be sure to shut down your e-bike when not in use to conserve battery life. If you rode for a long distance, remove your battery and charge it. Taking care of your e-bike battery is one of the best ways to avoid issues with your ride. Generally, you’ll want to keep your battery charged between 20-85%. This is a healthy level that protects the battery from a full discharge or overcharging. Also, check your tires and brakes for any deflation or damage. You’d be surprised at the kinds of rough patches and debris you can run over during a trip. Adhere to these basic guidelines, as well as the maintenance schedule and advice outlined in your user manual, and you’ll be enjoying rides for many miles to come.

Ride Together. Ride GOTRAX!

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