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How to Ride an Electric Bike

Chase Barrett

“Is riding an e-bike scary?”
“What is the Pedal Assist System?”
“Can I charge the electric bike battery while it’s off of the bike?”

While not a new invention, electric bicycles have only recently become more of a household name. E-bikes are increasing in popularity for good reason, but there are a lot of people who have understandable reservations. When you grow up riding something as standard as a classic Schwinn bike, trying an electric bike can feel somewhere in between exciting and nerve-wracking. But do not fear! Our blog is coming in hot with a play by play on how exactly you ride an e-bike.

Rest assured, riding one of Schwinn’s e-bikes will quickly feel just as second nature as riding the traditional (or analog) bike you’re used to. In fact, we’re pretty sure you’ll end up preferring it to your old bicycle.

Here is what we have for you!

  1. Step-by-Step Guide to Riding an E-Bike
    a. Charge the electric bike battery.
    b. Understand the pedal assist system (PAS).
    c. Get ready as you would for a regular bike ride.
    d. Turn on the PAS.
    e. Start pedaling.
  2. FAQs

Step-by-Step Guide to Riding an E-Bike

1. Charge the e-bike battery.

Keep in mind, you can ride a Schwinn e-bike without any power at all, just like you would an analog bike. But, that won’t give you the true electric bike experience!

Your e-bike comes with a battery, a charger, and a charging cord. Plug the cord into the charger, then plug it into the battery and, finally, plug it into the wall. The battery can be charged while it is on the bike, or you can remove it to charge the battery in a different location, like your office after commuting to work. A light located on the battery will turn on to let you know that it’s charging properly.

3. Understand the pedal assist system (PAS).

The Pedal Assist System, or PAS, is a feature of your e-bike that provides extra power behind each pedal. It all runs through the LCD display located on the handlebars, from here you can toggle between one of 7 levels of assistance and turn on the PAS. Once you turn it on, the system engages each time you pedal on the electric bike. If you don’t press the power button to turn on the PAS, it will feel like you’re riding a regular bike when you pedal.

While your e-bike battery is charging, take a moment to study up on the PAS. A couple things to review:

  • Find the power button to turn on the display
  • Locate the arrows on the keypad

A Schwinn e-bike only activates extra power when you pedal and when a PAS level is turned on.

3. Get ready as you would for a regular bike ride.

Prepare for your e-bike ride as you would for any other: put your helmet on, check your brakes and seat height, and run through the regular pre-ride checklist.

Need a helmet? Check out our Energy Reduction Technology Helmets. There are many different types of ERT helmets that might be a great fit for you! Click on one of the helmets below to see some of our options.

4. Turn on the PAS.

Once you get on your e-bike, hold down the power button for 2 seconds to turn it on. Press the up arrow to choose the level of pedal assist you want. It’s perfectly fine to start low. You can easily increase your assistance level when you feel more comfortable using the PAS and want to try riding longer distances or going uphill.

5. Start pedaling.

You’ll immediately feel a little extra “push” while pedaling with the PAS activated. Test it out a little — stop pedaling and you’ll immediately feel that “push” wear off. Do this until you feel comfortable to take your e-bike for a longer ride!


Is riding an e-bike scary?

Riding around on electric bikes might feel a little surprising at first, but most people who try it love it. One of the reasons it’s not scary (and not all that different from riding an analog bike) is that you can turn off the pedal assist at any time, and that as soon as you stop pedaling, you lose that extra power.

Do I have to brake differently on an e-bike?

You can brake the same on an electric bike as you would on any other bicycle. Some e-bikes come with disc brakes which have extra stopping power, so you might not have to brake as hard. However, the method of braking is exactly the same. And, since you brake while coasting (not pedaling), there isn’t any extra power that would affect your braking.

What’s the difference between the throttle and the Pedal Assist System?

The main difference between the throttle and the Pedal Assist System is the force that is responsible for moving the bike forward. With the throttle, the electric bike will accelerate under its own power and does not require any pedaling to get going. This is accomplished with the hub drive motor on the bike. Now, with the Pedal Assist System, the force responsible for going forward is you pedaling. The motor still comes into play here and provides some assistance by giving an extra boost each time you pedal. Using PAS, the bike will not accelerate without use of the pedals like the throttle does.

To sum it all up…

Just like we went from pushcarts to wagons and from wagons to cars, the evolution of the bicycle is ultimately an exciting advancement. Riding an e-bike is a natural progression from riding an analog bike — trust us, you’ll love it!

Click here to shop all Schwinn Electric Bikes!
E-Bikes 101 How To

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