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