Achieving maximum comfort on your e-bike is crucial if you plan to use the device for a daily commute, a regular exercise regimen, or as a tool to complete tasks. Fortunately, by making a few small adjustments to the bike’s infrastructure you’ll notice dramatic results when it comes to comfort and accessibility. Get the most out of your e-bike by paying special attention to the stem riding position, saddle height, and tire choice, and you’ll appreciate the ease of this exciting transportation option.
Stem Riding Position
Many e-bikes feature handlebars and saddles that are positioned at the same level and height, which creates a forward leaning position for the cyclist. While some riders enjoy the sportier and more aggressive stance, others experience back aches and hand numbness as a result of excessive forward pressure. There are two simple solutions that alleviate this type of discomfort—lowering the seat or installing a stem riser.
When the seat is lower than the handlebars, your wrists can rest comfortably and the bike can be mounted in a more upright position. However, if you’re comfortable with the position of the bike seat and would prefer to adjust the handlebars, you can purchase a stem riser for under twenty dollars. A riser in the range of 70-73 mm (3” max) will work wonderfully for standard e-bikes, and this adjustable accessory is a great way to switch your cycling pose from forward to moderate.
When using your e-bike for especially long commutes or outdoor excursions, it’s critical that your saddle is customized to your body’s needs—adjusting the saddle is a total game changer if you’re experiencing unusual discomfort or soreness in your back, knees, or other parts of your lower body.
If your saddle height is correct, your heel should just graze the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke when your leg is fully extended. When riding, if you experience pain at the front of your knee, raise the saddle slightly. In contrast, if you’re experiencing aches or pain in the back of your knee, drop the saddle. If you’re interested in investing more into your riding experience, consider purchasing padded bike shorts or a customized saddle designed to meet your needs. Many bike shops have a simple device for measuring your sit bone width, which will help guide you to the best saddle for your body. Plus, many companies also sell women’s specific saddles, which accommodate female anatomy with a cushioned central groove.
Whether you’re a cycling expert or new to the electric bike scene in your city, the type of tires you’re balancing atop matter. While most e-bikes come equipped with standard tires built for the street, many riders appreciate the stability and cushion provided by fatter tires. Great for all types of terrain, like sand and snow, larger tires offer better traction and tread than standard road tires and are fantastic for beginners. If you don’t plan on trekking with your e-bike through a variety of terrains, investing in fatter tires is still a surefire way to increase the comfort of your street rides. These tires are known for their impressive shock absorption, durability, and the solid foundation they offer riders of all heights and weights.
By making a few adjustments to these three simple components of your e-bike, you’re sure to get the most out of every ride.