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5 E-Bike Commuting Tips

Drew Kries

A man zipping through the city on his Schwinn electric bike.

It’s no secret that an electric bike can cut time off of a regular bike commute--but add in the fact that e-bikes can still give you a great workout, boost endorphins AND are more eco-friendly than driving! I mean, c’mon! Riding electric bikes to work is chock-full of benefits — follow these tips to make e-bike commuting fun, safe, and stress-free.

1. Find the best commuting e-bike for you.

Let’s be real: If you end up with an electric bike that you’re not totally in love with, you won’t love commuting with it as much as you should. Eventually, you might end up not commuting by e-bike because you see it as a hassle.

The first step to proper bike commuting is making sure you find the right Schwinn e-bike. An important part to this step is finding the right size e-bike to use. Just like a non-electric bike, picking the right size e-bike involves knowing how tall you are. Once you know that, use our guide to adult bike sizes to see which size e-bike fits your height. Do your research, and never hesitate to call or contact Schwinn with questions!

2. Test your route when you’re not in a rush.

It’s so important to know what to expect on your commuting route (be it railroad tracks or a very friendly neighbor that adds an extra 5 minutes to your morning!). How long does it take? What traffic do you have to deal with on the way? Is there an alternative route you could take that’s less busy? Take some time to practice your commute before commuting and make sure you time your route as well. No one wants to show up to work frazzled because their commute took longer than anticipated!

Another thing to remember as you test your route: take whatever you plan on bringing to work with you. You might have a different e-bike commute experience when you’ve got a briefcase or backpack.

3. Have all the right gear.

Some people need to bring their lunch, others a change of clothes — but there are a few common essentials that everyone should have (and test!) before every electric bike commute:

There’s some gear that you won’t need to pack, but you will need to test. For example, always check your e-bike battery level when you’re done riding for the day, then charge it as necessary.

4. Bike defensively and understand the rules of the road.

E-bike rules and regulations vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to check the laws in your area. Beyond that, it’s necessary to always be on the defense when commuting by e-bike:

  • Always make sure you’re visible. Reflector vests and lights go a long way.
  • Remember that you still won’t be visible to some. Watch out for parked cars where the door is about to open!
  • Practice Hand Signals. Let drivers and other bikers know where you’re headed.
  • Stop completely at signs and red lights. You are a motorized vehicle, and you have to follow the laws of traffic.
  • Look before you leap. Check and signal accordingly when making lane changes.

5. Set goals within reason.

You don’t have to get an electric bike and suddenly start taking it everywhere. Start small as needed by setting reasonable expectations for yourself, such as “I’m going to bike to work once a week.” You can always add onto your goals (or adjust as necessary), but ultimately your goals should make you excited — not feeling disappointed.

If you have a crazy week where there’s a blizzard in March (looking at you, Colorado!), you need to work super late, and you don’t feel comfortable biking in the dark, or any other thing comes up, have the flexibility and self-compassion to realize that sometimes life gets in the way of plans. You will get back on the e-bike and commute regularly again soon enough.

To sum it all up…

E-bike commuting is extremely fun and a great way to get the blood pumping before work — but not pumping so much that you’re exhausted, sweaty, and ready for a nap. You can find more resources in our city commuting blog. Have fun testing out your commute!
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