There’s hardly a more freeing feeling than hopping on an electric mountain bike (emtb), kicking the pedal—hard—and feeling the quiet motor come to life. So writing a blog post about what NOT to do on your pedal assist mountain bike sounds a little counterintuitive.
We’ll look at it like this: if practicing smart and considerate etiquette on shared trails, setting yourself up for maximum fun, and loving your bike so it loves you back come at the expense of learning a few rules and guidelines along the way, we’ll take it.
Before you dig into the “don’ts” check out the full lineup of full-freeing-fun QuietKat electric mountain bikes. And, if you find yourself asking the burning question:
What Is an EMTB & What Not To Do With It?
We won’t skip a beat and direct you straight towards the all-new Jeep E-Bike emtb with a range up to 50 miles, 9-speed Shimano gears, and a 750w Ultra-Drive Motor.
- Don’t Ride on Restricted Trails
Before you hop on and hit the trails, it’s important to understand the three different classes of e-bikes so it’s easier to know where your new pedal assist mountain bike can take you and when to steer clear.
Class 1: Pedal-assist only, no throttle, max assisted speed is 20 mph.
Class 2: Max speed is 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted.
Class 3: Pedal-assist only, no throttle, max assisted speed is 28 mph.
Generally speaking, bikes that are categorized as Class 1 can generally go anywhere e-bikes are allowed and can—in many places—access the same trails a traditional mountain bike can go. Class 2 and Class 3 bikes are more restricted. And, if you don’t know, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Don’t Blast Pass Climbers on Traditional Mountain Bikes
It’s no secret: it’s more fun to climb with an emtb. But, on shared trail systems, it’s important to be respectful and courteous of riders working harder than you on traditional mountain bikes (even if you could blast by with just a few powerful pedal rotations). Because electric mountain bikes are still relatively new on many trail systems, there are still many different types, speeds, and abilities when it comes to riders you’ll encounter, and it’s up to every rider that hops on a saddle to make sure the trails remain open and welcoming to all.
- Don’t Turn Your Bike Upside Down
With a traditional mountain bike, flipping it over and resting it on the saddle and handlebars is an easy way to work on the drive train. But be extremely cautious if you find yourself going for the same move with an emtb. We know a handful of poor unknowing riders that have badly scratched the screen doing this—don’t make the same mistake!
- Don’t Ride with the Wrong Tires
If you’ve put in your time in the saddle of a traditional mountain bike, don’t be so sure you can depend on the same gear and components when you go to work on your pedal assist mountain bike. We highly recommend choosing heavier tires when you’re upgrading your emtb. We love the Kenda Juggernaut Fat Tires for all-mountain riding. When the weather takes a turn for the worst, we switch out to Vee Studded Tires for an excellent grip even when the trail gets icy or snowy.
- Don’t Force Shifting
This is a golden principle for all bikes, but especially for your emtb. If you force shift an emtb you’re going to jam your drive train. Yikes. It’s so easy to put a pedal assist mountain bike under a ton of load—because speeding uphill is a total thrill—but you run the risk of breaking teeth and running yourself a steep shop bill. We recommend staying on the safe side and putting in a few strong pedal rotations, relaxing the intensity for a brief moment shifting, waiting to hear it catch, then rolling on.
- Don’t Go Too Long Between Trips to the Shop
Just like your traditional mountain bike, your emtb needs regular maintenance to run smoothly for the long haul. If you find yourself feeling at home with a wrench in hand, be sure to take some time to learn about routine maintenance for e-bikes to add to your repertoire that applies to your traditional bike quiver.
- Don’t Ride it Hard and Put it Away Wet
Because there’s so much more torque on an emtb, so much more destruction can happen to your chain if you ride while it’s dirty. Truly, just one long ride on a gritty, muddy, grinding chain can wreak havoc on your drive train. Good news: this is easy to avoid. Just be sure to clean and lube your chain and drivetrain between rides.
- Don’t Store Your Battery Completely Dead or Completely Full
It’s a universally known truth: electric bike batteries are truly amazing, and kind of finicky. Thankfully, it’s easy to take care of your e-bike battery and ensure years of 50-mile rides if you follow a few simple rules. First, don’t store your battery completely dead or fully charged, doing so will degrade your battery cell capacity over time. Additionally, e-bike batteries exhibit longest lifespans when they’re stored in areas with little moisture and stable temperatures.