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Ebikes and safety

At my shop here in East Grinstead I have been having regular conversations with customers about eBikes and whether they are dangerous. This was an eye opener for me as I couldn’t imagine why anyone would ask such a question – but with recent press coverage of fires in the home started by eBike batteries I thought it best to talk about this more in an open way.

From my own personal research, it seems that many of the bikes I could find out about were bikes that either never left the factory with a motor and had one fitted retrospectively, or were of very low quality that had little information written about them and had certainly never been tested by a well-known publication.

I adore eBikes and cannot rate them highly enough. They have been a game changer for many riders, some of which hadn’t ridden a bike for years or simply had lost their motivation to ride. I wanted to keep the positivity up on them so have made a few points below.

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Firstly, I would like to highlight that reputable eBike manufacturers adhere to strict safety standards and regulations. eBikes are generally subject to safety testing and certification processes to ensure they meet specific safety requirements. The ISO standards are as follows:

ISO 4210: This standard pertains to safety requirements for bicycles, including electric bikes. It covers various aspects of the bicycle’s design and construction to enhance safety.

ISO 8098: This standard addresses safety requirements for bicycles for young children. While it may not be specific to electric bikes, some general safety considerations may apply.

ISO 13849: This standard deals with safety of machinery and includes requirements for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems, which could be relevant to e-bike electronics and control systems.

  1. Quality Brands: We encourage consumers to choose eBikes from well-known and established brands with a good reputation, for example we supply Trek, Orbea, Marin and our sister shops supply Cannondale, Specialized and Frog and all are considered reputable with high quality components. Established manufacturers often prioritize safety in their designs and production processes.
  2. User Responsibility: We emphasise the importance of following manufacturer guidelines for charging, maintenance, and usage. Users should be reminded to use the correct chargers, avoid overcharging, and store the eBike in accordance with safety recommendations.
  3. Safety Features: Many eBikes come equipped with safety features, such as thermal protection, overcurrent protection, and short circuit protection, to minimize the risk of electrical issues. Encourage users to be aware of and appreciate these safety features.
  4. Regular Maintenance: We cannot stress enough the importance of regular maintenance checks. Inspecting the battery, electrical components, and overall condition of the eBike can help identify potential issues before they become serious safety concerns.
  5. Consumer Reviews: I must point out that reading reviews from other users can provide valuable insights into the safety and reliability of specific eBike models. Positive reviews can help build confidence in the product and more than ever we need to reinforce this.
  6. Recall Awareness: I encourage consumers to stay informed about any recalls or safety alerts related to their e-bike model. Manufacturers typically issue recalls promptly if safety concerns are identified. We are updated frequently here at the shop with the latest information from our suppliers.
  7. Educational Resources: There are plenty of educational resources on safe e-bike usage, including proper storage, charging practices, and riding precautions. Many accidents and issues can be prevented through user education. The information is very easy to find on the dealer sites as well in the industry publications and articles. 

It’s important to note that while incidents may occur, the vast majority of eBikes are safe when used correctly and in accordance with guidelines. By promoting responsible ownership, awareness, and informed decision-making, you can help reassure people about the overall safety of eBikes.

I hope this information helps to address some of the concerns by those that have raised it with me and if you ever want to come in a chat about this, please do. I am always happy to reassure you and help you get out on that bike!


1 comment

  • David Furdet
    Posted 15 December 2023 at 10:23 am

    I’ve just tripped over this article and I’m very glad I had. I was due to buy an eBike but had been scared off by what I had read in the recent press. I haven’t seen this addressed like this before but I certainly appreciate it. I will once again proceed with buying an eBike now my mind is more at rest. Thank you.

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