Summer Riding Tips

Summer Riding Tips

Posted by Eahora E-Bike on

Introduction

As the warmth of summer embraces us, it's the perfect season to hop on your eBike and explore the great outdoors. Whether you're commuting to work, embarking on a weekend adventure, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride through town, eBikes offer a fantastic way to experience the season's beauty while staying active. However, riding in summer also comes with its unique set of challenges and considerations. To help you make the most of your summer rides, we've compiled essential tips that will ensure your journeys are safe, enjoyable, and efficient. From preparing your eBike for hot weather to planning your routes and maintaining your gear, our guide covers everything you need to know for a successful summer of eBike riding.

women riding an ebike

Preparing Your Ebike for Summer

repairing the ebike

1. Clean your bike

Start by removing the dust from storage by giving your bike a thorough cleaning. Use a gentle cleaner to avoid damaging the paint or components. Remember to pay special attention to the drivetrain, which tends to accumulate grime, and make sure to clean the chain, cassette, and derailleur pulleys. Be on the lookout for any broken or loose components that may require some tending to.

 

2. Inspect your tires

Check the condition of your tires and make sure they are inflated to the recommended pressure. Some bikes that have sat in storage for the winter season might need some extra attention, but it is always a good idea to make sure your tires are pumped up before every ride - tires with an adequate level of inflation will provide a smoother and safer ride while aid in avoiding flat tires on your trail. Look for any cuts, cracks, or bulges on the sidewall or tread. If your tires are worn out or damaged, consider replacing them before you hit the road.

3. Check your brakes

Working brakes are key in making sure you're staying safe on your ride: they should react quickly and firmly. Ensure your brakes are working properly by squeezing the levers and checking the pads, as they might be out of alignment. An easy way to check this is to lift the tires off the ground and spin the tires. If you notice any drag and the wheels slow to a halt, the alignment might be off. If the pads are worn down - you can check for this by seeing if the pads have any wear indicators (lines) or metal poking through - it's time to replace them. Also, make sure the brake cables are properly tensioned and lubricated. Check them for spots with loose strands or rust.

4. Lubricate your chain

The chain is the heart of the bike. Therefore it is extremely important to make sure your chain is in the right condition before riding your bike again. Start by wiping it with a towel and if the chain contains a lot of rust, dust or is a little sticky, give it a few sprays of some degreaser. Make sure to wipe the chain free of fluid afterwards, or alternately, let it dry before lubricating the chain. Use a small brush to go in between the links and go over the chain with a heavy magnet to remove unruly metal fillings. Finally, apply lubricant to your chain to keep it running smoothly and prevent rust. Wipe off any excess oil with a clean rag to prevent dirt and debris from sticking to the chain.

5. Check your gears

It is important to check your gears to see if your bike is having difficulty shifting gears or staying in gear. To do this, first, raise the bike off the ground and either put it on a bike stand or turn it upside down, so you can spin the wheels freely. Next, locate your derailleurs: your bike should have one on the back wheel, attached to the cassette (the collection of gears) and another smaller one near the pedals. Check the derailleur for anything such as leaves or sticks that might be stuck in there and clean them with a damp cloth. Next, you can shift through all the gears and make sure they are working correctly. Adjust the derailleur if necessary to ensure smooth shifting.

 

6. Inspect your cables

Unless your bike has hydraulic disc brakes or electronic shifting, your bike will likely have its brake and gear system in place through cables. Check the condition of your brake and shift cables by looking closely to see if they are frayed or damaged. If so, you might have to replace them. If not, ensure that they are properly tensioned and lubricated.

 

7. Check your saddle and handlebars

Make sure your saddle and handlebars are properly adjusted and tightened. You can adjust the saddle and handlebar with metric Allen keys or spanners. To check if your saddle has to correct height, do the following:

 

Sit on your bike while having someone holding the front of the handlebar or leaning it against the wall.

Put both feet on the pedals and pedal backwards until one of your feet is pointing down and the other one as high as possible.

Move the foot closest to the ground forward so your heel is on the pedal. You should then have a straight leg so that when you are pedaling on the ball of your foot, you have just a slight bend in the knee.

If your leg isn't straight, or your feet can reach the pedal, you have to adjust your seat with an Allen key at the saddle clamp.

To check if your handlebar has the correct height has to do with preference. If you feel pain in your neck, back or arms after a bike ride, consider that your handlebars might be too low. If you prefer to ride more aerodynamic you can adjust the handlebar stem to get your bars lower.

Finally, test the brakes and shifting while sitting on the bike to make sure the position is comfortable.

 

Safty Tips for Summer Rides

summer riding tips

It's a fact that more of us take up active outdoor hobbies, such as running and cycling, at this time of year than we do in the wave of new-year-new-me activity in January. Even many keen cyclists, runners and hikers up their activity levels at this time of year, as the longer days and warmer temperatures lure us outside more often.

 

However, whilst we can all worry a bit less about slipping on patches of ice, carrying lots of warm layers or any of the other hazards particular to winter cycling excursions, bike riding in the summer comes with its own risks.

 

We've identified the top 10 things you should do this summer to stay safe while out and about on your bike. These points are pretty summer-specific. Wearing a bike helmet that is fit for purpose, adhering to the highway code, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and letting someone at home know your route and your estimated return time before you set off are evergreen requirements that aren't on the list because they should be second nature all year round.

 

1. Carry Spare Batteries

Many Eahora cyclists who go out for miles and miles at a time are already in the habit of carrying spare batteries for their key bits of kit, such as their lights and their phone. If it's only the better weather conditions of the warmer months of the year that tempt you to consider epic rides, it is a good time to start including back-up batteries in your kit. No one wants to be stranded in the dark at the roadside without functioning lights or a phone.

Top Tip for carrying bike light batteries - Transporting your spare batteries in the unbroken manufacturer's packaging is probably your safest bet, but if you use rechargeable batteries, carry your spares in a waterproof container, ensuring there is nothing else made of metal in the container with them and that the terminals cannot touch one another.

 

2. Multi-Layer Your Hi Viz and Reflective Layers,

American summer days can be a voyage of discovery! What starts as a misty, cloudy day can become a scorcher by lunchtime and bright sunny mornings can become drizzly, grim afternoons. Stay safe, no matter what the weather gods throw at you, by ensuring that all the layers you pack are brightly coloured and feature reflective elements. That way, whether you have stripped to your vest for a heatwave or layered up for a rain storm, you will still be visible to other road users.

 

Top Tip -

It may also be worth buying a freighter ebike, so that you can carry extra kit on your back whilst staying visible to drivers behind you at all times and keeping all your stuff dry if you get caught in a summer downpour. It is a common mistake for cyclists to invest in bright clothing, only to cover it up with a dark coloured back pack. A back pack cover allows you to use your favourite day bag without having to worry about what colour it is.

 

3. Stay Hydrated

Cycling is pretty thirsty work at the best of times and you need to be extra vigilant in hot weather. Remember to hydrate before and after your ride, as well as ensuring you have plenty of water with you. You should be drinking water every 15 minutes during your ride - if you wait until you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Before you set off, make sure you scope out places you can stop to refill your bottles, so that if you drink more than you expected, you aren't stuck with empty bottles for the journey home.

Top Tip - Freeze your water bottles the night before, so that your drink stays nice and cool for longer on your ride.

 

4. Beware of Shade

In areas of deep shade or in places of dappled shade, drivers will struggle to see you if your lights are off or you are wearing black or neutral colours that blend in with your environment. Our eyes struggle to adjust between bright light and deep shade and a driver may not have time to react quickly enough by the time they have spotted you.

It is particularly difficult for drivers to spot vulnerable road users in deep shade early or late in the day, when the sun is low. These conditions may only form a fleeting part of your journey, but it's worth wearing high visibility clothing with reflective elements and keeping your lights on to maximise your visibility to motor vehicles and to guard against becoming a cycling casualty statistic.

 

5. But Also Beware of the Sun!

The cooling effect of wind resistance means that you may not notice you are getting sunburnt when out on your bike on sunny days. Wear a sweat resistant high SPF sun cream and cover up as much as possible in lightweight layers to avoid looking like a lobster on a bike by lunch time.

Aside from turning you embarrassingly red and being really uncomfortable, burning in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer, so make sure you are fully protected when out and about on your bike this summer. Pay particular attention to protecting your knees, calves and the back of your neck, as your position on your bike means that these areas are more exposed to the sun than other areas of your body.

 

6. Look Out for Your Entourage

If you are cycling with your dog or with young children, remember your tolerance for the heat is better than theirs and they may be suffering, even if you aren't. Stop frequently for refreshments, to apply extra sun protection (yes, you can buy sunscreen for dogs) and to check that they are ok. If it is a really sunny day, consider a shorter bike ride with your four-legged friend or your mini bicycle users in the early morning or later in the evening, or even waiting for a cooler day to embark on your cycling adventure together.

 

7. Don't Challenge Yourself to Longer Bike Rides on Hot Days

It may be tempting to make the most of good weather by staying out all day but your body has to work harder in hot temperatures and you don't want to burnout and get stranded miles from home. This is especially true if you aren't a regular cyclist, as the joint stresses of the heat and more exercise than you are used to aren't a good combination.

 

8. Give Your Bike a Service (or pay a professional at a bike shop to do it for you)

If you are a fair weather bike rider and your bike has been in storage over the winter, make sure you give it the once over before setting out on your first summer ride, to make sure bike gears, brakes, wheels and lights are all working as they should be.

Thorough bike maintenance is key to safe cycling, so if the workings of your bike are a bit of mystery to you and you opt for engaging a pro to do it this time, it may be worth doing a bike maintenance workshop so you can perform basic bike checks yourself in future. It could also help you diagnose and fix problems with your bike and bike accessories while you're on the go, which is a hugely useful skill to possess.

 

9. Wear The Right Clothing

Stay cool by wearing lightweight, moisture wicking clothing that is custom made for cycling. Well-fitting cycling shorts and a good summer-weight cycling jersey will allow you to move freely, prevent the build up of sweat and stop chaffing and irritation. If your clothing is uncomfortable it will be distracting you, which means the road won't have your full attention and your bike safety will be compromised.

Wear sunglasses with 100% UV filtering to prevent eye strain and even permanent damage to your eyes. Wearing glasses also helps to screen them from dust and bugs, which is a huge bonus!

It may seem counter-intuitive, but consider wearing fingerless gloves if you are planning on going out for a long summer bike ride. Bare hands that are sweating on the handlebars can become sore and a lightweight pair of gloves will help to wick the moisture away and prevent chaffing.

Top Tip - Investing in a quick drying clothes can help you regulate temperature when you're out on your bike during the summer months. Zip it right up for chilly early mornings and late evenings (or when you stop moving for extended periods of time) and channel your inner Hoff by unzipping to the waist when you're working really hard or in full sun.

 

10. Be Prepared to Transition from Day Viz to Night Viz

Even if you don't plan to be out after dark, make sure you are prepared for cycling at night . A longer than planned stop at a watering hole, a puncture that took a while to fix, a long chat with a friend you met by chance... all these things can mean that you are finishing your summertime bike ride after the sun has gone down. To ensure you are ready for any of these eventualities:

Have a warm top layer that is both reflective and hi viz to keep you warm and visible to traffic after dark.

Invest in really good bike lights with long battery life and a range of settings from regular to bright and steady to fast flash modes. Make sure it's easy to change them from one setting to another, as the irony of having an accident whist adjusting a bit of kit that is supposed to be helping to keep you safe will not be funny for a really long time afterwards!

 

Don't Be Put Off!

When you consider all the risks of cycling in the warmer months, it is easy to put yourself off jumping on your bike this summer, but you shouldn't let them discourage you. Before you even factor in the environmental benefits and the public health benefits, getting outdoors and cycling in the sunshine is a real joy and far more pleasant than being stuck in a hot car.

Whether you are commuting to work each day and enjoying the benefits of a local active travel scheme, exploring the quieter roads around your home with your family at the weekend, or discovering somewhere new from the "comfort" of a bike saddle, there is a lot to love about summer cycling. Making sure your bike is summer-ready and investing in a few key bits of kit to keep you safe and comfortable is really all you need to do mitigate the risks and discover all the pleasures of travelling by bike this summer.

 

How to Stay Cool and Fresh While Commuting

how to stay cool and fresh

Summer is a great time to start commuting by bike, but the heat can make it challenging. However, with a few simple tips, you can stay cool and fresh during your summer bicycle commute. From choosing the right clothing to staying hydrated, here’s what you need to know to make your summer bike commute a success.

 

Dress for the weather

 

When it comes to summer bicycle commuting, choosing the right clothing is key. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away sweat and allow air to circulate. Avoid dark colors that absorb heat and instead choose light-colored clothing that reflects the sun’s rays. Consider investing in a moisture-wicking cycling jersey or shirt, and don’t forget to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.

 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Staying hydrated is crucial when it comes to summer bicycle commuting. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your ride. Consider bringing a water bottle or hydration pack with you on your commute, and take sips regularly to stay hydrated. You can also add electrolyte tablets or powder to your water to replenish lost minerals and salts from sweating. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, as thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated.

 

Plan your route wisely

 

When it comes to summer bicycle commuting, planning your route wisely can make a big difference in staying cool and fresh. Look for routes that offer shade, such as tree-lined streets or bike paths with overhead covers. Avoid routes that have a lot of traffic or stoplights, as these can increase your exposure to heat and exhaust fumes. Consider using a mapping app or website to find the most bike-friendly and shaded routes in your area.

Riding Techniques for Hot Weather

riding techniques

Sun's out, Eahora's out!

It's summertime. That means it's the season to mount up on your bike and take trips to the beach, the ice cream stand, the farmer's market, or even the office. Summer biking delivers the perfect mix of smiles and miles if you're properly prepared. So we've compiled a few helpful tips designed to help maximize the summer biking fun.

 

You've got skin in this game

 

We all seem to be a lot better in recognizing that too much sun can be harmful. Still, the incidence of skin cancer has risen over the last couple of decades meaning we must give extra attention to fighting the sun's harmful rays. It's easy to forget you're exposed to ultraviolet rays when you're riding your bike, but UV radiation from the sun can start being harmful for some folks after just 10 minutes. To combat that, apply a high-protection sunscreen made specifically for athletics and put it on before the ride even begins. Make sure your sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. And take the time to reapply it after you've sweat some of it off.

Cover up

In addition to sunscreen, clothing like shirts, shorts, and gloves can be valuable in offering protection against the sun. Modern fabric technology has given us clothing choices that are lightweight, breathable, cooling and designed to keep the sun's harmful rays off our skin. Sun protective clothing is rated on a UPF scale (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). When buying clothing for summer cycling, look for a UPF factor of 30 or above. And make it bright. Even in the mid-day sunlight, you want to be as visible as possible.

The eyes have it

Got your sunscreen and protective clothing? Great! But don't forget the importance of protecting your eyes against the sun's harmful UV rays. Make sure you always have a pair of good-fitting sunglasses to wear. As an added bonus, sunglasses also play a vital role in keeping your eyes free from dirt, dust, and bugs.

The e-bike factor

Yes, we love the extended range our e-bikes offer. While you’re out having miles and miles of fun, don’t forget about the heat! Staying hydrated and applying some sunscreen will go a long way in keeping you prepared for those summer temps. If you’re looking to take it easy, you can always crank up the pedal-assist or use the throttle to make your ride easier. Nothing beats the feeling of a nice cool breeze in the sun while you don’t have to pedal.

Be fluid

We could do an entire blog post on the importance of staying properly hydrated when summer biking. We'll touch briefly on it here, but let's start with always making sure to take a full water bottle along with you ­– even if it's a short ride. Sure, sports drinks are OK, but feel free to cut them with water. Also of note: We offer water bottles and bottle cages that fit virtually any bike.

Construction season

Across the country, summer is the busiest time of year for road work. If you've ever tensed up just driving through a construction site, you may feel the same on a bike. The good news is that any versatile commuter bikes makes the transition from pavement to gravel and back to pavement again a breeze. If you know for sure you'll be riding on roads, plan on checking out websites of state and local transportation agencies to determine where and when road construction is planned. Try to avoid road construction sites if you can, and if you end up navigating through one, it’s no biggie! Just be extra aware of your surroundings. Safety is the top priority for you and the workers, and whether you’re holding onto a hammer or some bike handlebars, everyone should be wearing some head protection.

Post-ride recovery

Warm weather exercise can take a toll on a body. If you've spent time putting the hammer down on, say, a mountain e-bike ride, make sure you have a cold recovery drink waiting for when you're finished. A shower helps in recovery, too.

Bring along company

Summer biking is way too fun to do alone. Our selection of rear rack and bags makes it easy to bring along the kids, a pet, a cooler filled with plenty of hydrating fluids, or additional gear you might need.

There's so much to love about summer bike riding. With just a few minutes of planning and pre-ride preparation you'll be able to make the most out of it!

 

Maintenance Tips Post-Ride

post-ride

Keep your bike clean, the drivetrain well lubricated and the tyres properly inflated

Check regularly for loose bolts, spokes and broken parts

Keep the battery partially charged and store it in a cool, dry place

Avoid storing the bike with a flat battery

Charge the battery only with the correct charger

Check regularly for software updates

Visit a dealership if there is a fault. Never try to take apart, or fix the motor or battery yourself

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering eBike riding during the summer involves a blend of preparation, awareness, and smart practices. By understanding how to care for your eBike in hot weather, choosing the right gear, planning efficient routes, and practicing safe riding techniques, you can ensure that every ride is both enjoyable and safe. Summer offers a fantastic opportunity to explore and make the most of your eBike, bringing new adventures and memories. So gear up, stay hydrated, and embrace the journey with confidence. Happy riding!

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