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electric bike accessories

Completing Your E-Bike by Choosing the Perfect Accessories

by Electric bike guru on May 7, 2010

So now you’ve purchased your dream eBike and even had it out for a spin a few times.  That’s great!  What comes next?  Well, there are a wide variety of accessories and optional equipment available which can enhance your cycling experience.  Like what, you ask?

Computer for electric bicycles

Computer for electric bicycles

One of the most useful pieces of equipment you can buy is a bicycle computer.  A bicycle computer keeps track of the total distance you have pedaled your electric bike, and can be set and reset to measure the distance for each trip you take.  It also provides a readout of your current speed, and fancier models can calculate average and maximum speeds as well.  Having a way to accurately measure your miles per hour is useful when descending long grades, where speeds may be deceptive, or for maintaining a steady speed on level terrain (that’s how you get the maximum range from your eBike).

In addition, using the trip odometer, together with your eBike’s specification for maximum range, will ensure that you do not run out of juice unexpectedly when making a long trip.  And the accumulated mileage count is useful for knowing when it’s time to oil the chain or derailleur, or perform other routine maintenance that keeps your bike’s performance at its best.

Bicycle computers are available in wired and wireless versions.  The wired versions generally cost less, but require a few minutes more to install the cable which connects the head, or display, to the sensor, which generally mounts on the front fork.  Wireless versions can be installed more easily, but they cost more, and may not work as reliably as a unit which is hardwired.  Usually there is a limit how far the sensor can transmit to the head, and on some bikes, this distance may be too large to allow the computer to work properly.  Still having problems?  You may want to look for a wired bike computer with an extra-long cable. 

Another important accessory is an audible warning to alert pedestrians and other cyclists of your presence.  Generally a bell is an inexpensive and effective warning device.  The author of this post owns an EV Global electric bike, which was designed by automotive engineer Lee Iaccoca. This bike features a built-in electric horn (Meep! Meep!) which makes bystanders I pass on my daily pedal to work smile and wave when I hit the button.  Whatever warning device you choose, don’t rely on it entirely when trying to alert motorists of your presence.  Modern cars are equipped with soundproofing  and stereos which can drown out other car horns and even police sirens, and drivers on cell phones may be too distracted to heed normal audible warnings.

Given the fact that an electric bike adds to the inherent power of the rider and allows you to climb hills and carry extra weight more easily than a conventional bike, another useful accessory is a rear rack equipped with a rack trunk or saddlebags.  These accessories, if well chosen, can transform your machine from an interesting toy to a true pack mule, capable of carrying significant loads wherever you need to go.  Recall that the cost to recharge your bike at the end of the day is measured in pennies, so it makes sense to invest a few dollars in the luggage accessories which allow you to take advantage of the electric bike’s extra power and carrying capacity.

If you ride your bike routinely after dark, you must have a red blinking strobe light on the back so that cars can see you, and a good quality headlight on the front so that you can see where you’re going.  Many of these accessories can be installed with common tools and a little experience, but if you are in doubt regarding your mechanical abilities, your local bike shop will be willing to do the installation for you.  Now that you have an idea of some of the optional equipment and accessories that are available for your eBike, it’s time to do some shopping and choose the accessories that will enhance your bike’s performance and help you get the maximum satisfaction from your electric bike.