5 Tips to Refine Your eMTB Craft

Even if you are already confident and hammering trails, pay attention to these basics to refine your eMTB craft.


1. The correct cadence.

Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch - 20 November - E-Bike do’s and don’ts during a Bike Network photoshoot with Myles Kelsey. Photo by Gary Perkin
Avoid grinding along in a heavy gear.

eBikes are more efficient and you get a better workout if you use the gears just as you would on a regular bike and maintain a cadence of around 60 to 90rpm. Avoid grinding along at low cadences, it reduces range and drivetrain life.


2. Avoid under-sprung suspension setups.

Pay attention to the indicator O-rings when riding to see how often you are running deep into the travel. Using all of the travel is not a bad thing but if your average ride height is deep in the travel it will compromise the handling.

The average eBike is around 10kg’s heavier than your regular bike and that extra weight is suspended by your fork and shock. You should set the suspension up a lot firmer than on a regular MTB. We suggest experimenting with a higher psi, more air volume spacers and compression settings to get the best dynamic handling.


3. Be nice by not smoking past regular MTBer’s, especially on climbs.

Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch - 20 November - E-Bike do’s and don’ts during a Bike Network photoshoot with Myles Kelsey. Photo by Gary Perkin
Be respectful of other riders, slow down and say hi.

Don’t be ‘that guy on an eBike’ who smokes by regular MTB riders on the climbs. Rather show respect by easing off the gas a little and reducing speed as you overtake them. It’s better to be nice.


4. Soft-pedal shifting.

Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch - 20 November - E-Bike do’s and don’ts during a Bike Network photoshoot with Myles Kelsey. Photo by Gary Perkin
Apply some finesse to the shifting process, try soft-pedaling for a split-second as you change gears.

Shifting gears without easing off of the pedals puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the entire drivetrain unit. Try ‘soft-pedal’ for a split second as you shift gears – your bike (and bank balance) will thank you.


5. Getting the correct tyre pressure.

Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch - 20 November - E-Bike do’s and don’ts during a Bike Network photoshoot with Myles Kelsey. Photo by Gary Perkin
Invest in a tyre pressure gauge and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures before every ride.

The correct tyre pressure for you is dependent on where you ride and how you ride. With eBikes, you will need to run the front tyre a little harder (say 15%) and the rear tyre a lot harder (say 25%). As a guideline, aggressive riders will go up to 40psi on the back. Using tyre inserts [like this FOAMO] is also a good idea to improve performance and protection.


| IMAGES: Gary Perkin | LOCATION: Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch |

| BIKE: Commencal Meta Power 29 |


1 Comment

  1. I’d suggest 15% for the front and 25% for the rear is much to hard (assuming your starting point on a non-E bike is correct in the first place). Rule of thumb: plus 10% on the front and rear works for most riders weighing around 65 to 90 kg. Riding style, terrain and weather can alter your 10% slightly up or down.


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