How to Ride an Electric Mountain Bike – 16 Helpful Tips

When learning how to ride an electric mountain bike, one of the first things you must understand is where you ride your bike.

After you have found the trail, you will have to adjust the peddle assist dynamo. This is somewhat different from how you ride an ordinary mountain bike.

One of the biggest motivations for owning an electric mountain bike is having more options for riding. With such a bike, you can go on steeper and longer trails, for instance.

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Or, you can ride your favorite trail two times rather than once. With an electric mountain bike, you can reach parts of the trail that may be accessed by a vehicle or ski lift.

How to Ride an Electric Mountain Bike?

Read on to learn the correct way to ride an electric mountain bike.

1. Riding Straight

Riding straight might sound like an easy thing to do. But the problem is that most people don’t do it the right way.

When you ride with the proper technique,  you can go past obstacles more easily, feel a sense of confidence, reduce the pressure on your joints and save more energy.

You will first learn about the central position that you must adopt when riding your electric mountain bike. Then you will get tips on how to maintain balance. You will then learn how you can get past curbs and fallen branches while being relaxed.

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2. Central Starting Position

It is very important to understand the starting position. This is just as important as the bike motor itself. If either one of these is missing, the bike ride will become much harder.

The starting position is the key to various riding techniques. Yet is neglected quite often by riders, including experienced ones. Many start with an incorrect position and then have to learn the right technique afterward.

3. Trail

When the wheels start rolling on their own due to a slope, you should get up from the pedals and transfer your weight on the pedals so that you are standing on them.

To stand in the correct way on the bike, the cranks should remain horizontal. You place almost your full weight on the pedals. Your hands will be holding the handlebar. However, there will be no load on them.

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4. Heavy Feet

When biking on longer gentle passages, you can let your heels drop so that your leg muscles are relaxed. Your elbows and knees should be slightly bent. Keep them relaxed, not tense.

When you are riding over roots or small obstacles, the limbs function as a sort of suspension. They also help you to maintain your balance.

5. Faster Cadence

One of the big benefits of owning an electric mountain bike is that you have plenty of climbing power thanks to the torque generated by the motor.

If you spin the cranks faster (that is, at a higher cadence), the pedal-assist motor can produce higher torque.

The cadence is a matter of personal preference. The average rider normally rides between thirty to forty revolutions per minute. On the other hand, an electric mountain bike rider will want to pedal at fifty to sixty plus revolutions per minute.

With a faster cadence, the motor operates more efficiently. This will help to improve battery life. You will also feel more comfortable while you are riding since the pedal-assist will feel more natural.

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6. Pedal Strikes

Roots, rocks, and other small obstacles can all hit the bottom of the pedal during the downward stroke. And with a faster cadence, there will be more downward strokes. Hence, you have to be more careful.

You have to pick your path more carefully while moving forward with pedals down at an equal level to each other. You can start moving the pedals backward when the leading pedal is at the same level as the rear pedal.

To avoid such problems, electric mountain bikes have shorter cranks than ordinary mountain bikes. You will feel that you are peddling faster with the smaller crank length. But as you keep riding, it will start feeling more natural.

Read How Fast a Mountain Bike Can go?

7. Use Turbo Power Carefully

If you ride on the highest power setting all the time, then the battery will drain much more rapidly. So you must use turbo power wisely. Riders save turbo power mode for the most difficult slopes on the trail.

One problem that can happen when you switch to turbo power on a steep slope is that you might flip over backward. 

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You will have to try out different settings to determine which one works best for each incline level. You should also try leaning forward and sliding forward on your seat.

8. Earlier Braking

Your electric mountain bike is heavier and faster since it is powered by a battery and has a motor. As a result, you will have to apply brake earlier any time you want to reduce speed.

With the pedal assist, you can go around turns at a faster speed. As a result, you will have to lean more to maintain balance.

When you slow down the rate of peddling, the motor generates less torque. No power is generated when you are not peddling.

You will have to be careful about places where you need to have more momentum. Hence, you will have to maintain a higher cadence when you reach a slope so that the bike does not stall.

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9. Riding More Efficiently

Riding on a heavier bike means that it will follow the ground contour more closely. So if you would have jumped over an obstacle on a conventional mountain bike, you might roll over it on an electric mountain bike.

You will also drop more quickly on an electric mountain bike when you jump. That is, jumps will be smaller due to the heavier nature of the bike.

More weight also means that there will be greater traction with an electric mountain bike. So in places where an ordinary bike will skid due to high speed, the electric bike might maintain greater traction and thus maintain rolling contact.

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This is another major difference between rides of an electric bike and an ordinary bike.

10. Follow All Rules

Rules and regulations for electric mountain bikes are evolving. Many people are skeptical about having electric mountain bikes on their trails.

Due to pedal-assistance, some people label all-electric bikes as motorcycles. As a result, electric bike riders have to go to the ORV areas.

Mountain bike riders are also uncertain about the benefits of electric mountain bikes and thus have a harder time accepting them.

Before you ride on any trail, make sure that the rules allow for electric mountain bikes. You should be more careful with other trail users. Slow down the speed when you approach them from the back.

You should also think of volunteering to keep trails in good condition. This will help to build goodwill. These trails will then be suitable for all kinds of riders, including electric mountain bike riders.

There are also certain settings on your electric mountain bike that you should take care of for an enjoyable ride.

You can get the most out of your electric mountain bike by ensuring that all settings are optimally tweaked.

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11. Suspension

You might feel that the suspension needs some tweaking even after the basic setup is completed by the retailer or dealer you bought your bike from.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a pro to get your suspension settings right. There are plenty of tutorials on how to set up your suspension correctly. Top brands like RockShox and FOX have online video tutorials that are very helpful.

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However, if you don’t prefer DIY or are uncertain about the process, you can always go back to the retailer you bought the bike from and seek their advice concerning the suspension.

12. Tubeless For Fewer Punctures

Tubeless tires are now common both in vehicles as well as bikes. Tubeless tires have many benefits, so they are increasingly in use almost anywhere you go.

Tubeless tires mean that there is less chance of getting a tire puncture. There are further benefits to tubeless tires like weight reduction and reducing pressure – this improves the grip for better handling.

13. Make Your Ride More Comfortable

When you buy the bike, you can have it adjusted to fit into it more easily and can ride more comfortably.

You should not be alarmed if the first ride does not feel perfect. You can go to a good bike shop where they will adjust different features of the bike for a more comfortable ride.

They can adjust the width of the bars, stem length, the rise, and other such features so that you can enjoy a better ride.

A professionally done bike fit may be a worthwhile investment if you still feel that further changes are needed. This service is available at most bike shops.

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14. Flat Pedals or Clipless

For the majority of electric mountain bikers, flat pedals will do just fine. These pedals provide you with plenty of stability and grip. Your confidence will thus be higher when riding your bike.

When buying an electric mountain bike, you must be certain that your foot covers the pedal’s surface area. With longer pins, you will get a better grip in slippery conditions.

Clipless pedals are more commonly seen in competitive mountain biking. Due to their fixed nature, you can get higher efficiency and power. However, more skill is needed to use these pedals, which is why they are meant for more advanced users.

15. Smartphone App

Certain bike brands have developed smartphone apps that can let you control how the motor behaves. You can customize pedal assist modes, sensitivity to acceleration, and other factors using these apps.

It is possible to extend battery power and enjoy your ride more in this way. It is also possible to set battery usage according to the route you are planning with certain software.

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16. Pedal Assist Mode

Bigger is not necessarily better, especially with electric mountain bikes. If you set the peddle assist mode to a higher power, the battery will drain more quickly.

The strongest mode can also unleash a lot of power that could make your bike difficult to control.

For the majority of your rides, you will only need to use the low or mid-level modes.

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Bottom Line

Riding an electric mountain bike needs technique and a lot of practice. Follow the techniques above to do it correctly.