Ebike Tips and Myths, Discussing with a Professional

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Ebike Tips and Myths, Discussing with a Professional

While being fitted for the Specialized Turbo Levo I got to pick Erik’s brain about the differences between normal bikes and electric bikes. He helped me to address the myths and rumors about ebike performance and forecast the space. Erik has participated in Specialized Bicycle University (SBU) and earned multiple certifications (including Level 1 Fitting). He worked for Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins, Colorado when this interview took place.

Erik is an avid cycling fan, he loves unpowered bicycles and was able to present a balanced perspective on the space in my opinion. He got his first bike at age 13 and learned on his own how to tune them and build them. He now works at the professional level. Here are some of the myths we discussed:

– Drivetrain Care: always make sure it’s lubed and cleaned, if you crash it’s important to go to a local bike shop for a tuneup and checkup. This is especially important for mid-drive ebikes if you crash on the drivetrain side. If your ebike doesn’t have a kickstand (as many electric mountain bikes do no) gently lay it down on the non-drive side.
– Disc Brakes: they aren’t as difficult to work with or expensive as some people think, they don’t require as frequent tuneups because alignment stays and there’s no cable stretch. Don’t pump the brake levers if the wheel is off, the disc rotor should be in there.
– Full Suspension: you can actually climb better with suspension at times even though it seems like “wasted energy” if it’s setup properly with sag, the new valving technology improves your traction and you get better comfort.
– Suspension Lockout: you don’t need a solid true lock, a bit of give and movement can be good and reduce damage on parts and valves.
– Tubeless: there are many benefits to going tubeless these days (reduced weight, no snake-bite flat tires, can run at lower tire pressure), this is a big benefit for plus sized tires which pops tubes a lot with lower PSI. Reduce weight, improve control and also improve braking.
– Electric Assist: doesn’t spin out and wreck trails, it does have a soul and allow people to go further and ride if they have an injury, you’re not accelerating hard or slipping tires… you can still skid on an ebike or regular and that causes the most damage (along with riding in mud).

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