It's always fun to look forward to your next electric bike ride and adventure! There are always new routes to explore and new things to see along the way.
As with any outdoor activity it is important to be prepared for the ride with the right gear to make it a good experience no matter what challenges may come your way. Your ride could go longer than expected with a new place you want to check out. The weather could become less than perfectly sunny and calm. You could get a flat tire or other mechanical issue. You might get a little off course and need to reroute with help from your smartphone map. You might need to lock your eBike with a stop to a tasty restaurant along the way. And you might be riding until dusk and need some lights to guide you home.
In this article we will cover the main essentials to pack for your next eBike ride to make it a great one.
1. Helmet: Safety first! There are many helmets to choose from that can be stylish, comfortable, and literally cool. There are many colors and styles to choose from, including some helmets that look like hats. When you're riding a faster, more powerful Class III eBike, using a helmet may be legally required, depending on your age and location.
The fit of the helmet can be adjusted with the side straps and fit system that is usually a band at the back of the head that can be adjusted with a dial to give the helmet a comfortable and secure fit. Many helmets also have a lot of ventilation to give you a cool feel as the air flows through the helmet.
Taking safety a step further, there are some helmets with built in front and rear lights that can also act as turn signals. These are helpful for adding more lights that car drivers and others can see you with. These lights are very noticeable as you move your head around too.
Also, some of the newer helmets have built in technology like smartphone connectivity that can facilitate features like phone call integration, music playback, or receiving GPS navigation instructions through built-in speakers and a microphone. And taking technology a step further there are some high-tech helmets that feature crash detection, heads up display, built in cameras, and activity tracking.
Overall you want a helmet that is comfortable and visually appealing so that you will wear it on every ride. Denago recommends that everyone should wear a helmet every time they ride.
2. Food and Water: Next up on the list of things to bring on your eBike ride is your fuel! Make sure you bring enough food and water to enjoy your ride or plan your route to grab some additional food and water along the way.
There are a lot of energy bars available that are relatively compact and lightweight while providing a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat. You could also take some trail mix with a good assortment of nuts and dried fruit as a nice snack option.
It’s important to stay hydrated by carrying an adequate amount of water. You can take water in a water bottle and cage on the bike and there is also the option of more water in a hydration pack. Hydration packs are nice because you can easily drink from the bite valve and drink more often. Also, many of the packs have extra storage for carrying the gear we are covering in this article.
For riding on hot days you may also want to drink some electrolytes like what is found in Gatorade or Nuun tablets.
3. Mobile Phone: Make sure you take your phone! Smartphones are the preferred way to go with their ability to check ride routes and take pictures along the way. With social media you can share your ride when you are out and about.
If you run into a bike problem along the ride that you can’t fix you can always call family or friends for some help. And if you have a real emergency you can call 911 for help. Additionally, some smartphones can recognize if you have had an accident and notify your contacts or emergency services for you.
Got a smartphone? Join the Denago club on Strava and share your rides and routes with others using the Strava iOS or Android app.
4. Identification, Cash, Credit/Debit Cards: Along with your phone, make sure you take your drivers license or other form of identification with emergency contact information just in case you do have an accident. It's also good to have some cash or credit/debit cards with you for grabbing some food and/or drinks along the way.
Instead of throwing your driver's license away when it expires, throw it in your bicycle saddle bag instead, so it will always be with you.
5. Tire Pump, Spare Tube, Patch Kit, Tire Levers: Flat tires can and do happen so it's good to be prepared for that eventuality. The tools to get you back on the road are generally:
- A wrench for wheel axle nuts if applicable. Your eBike may have quick releases on both wheels which would not require a wrench.
- A spare inner tube that fits your bike's tire size and valve type. Also bring a patch kit as a backup to the new tube just in case.
- Tire levers assist in removing tires, making it easier to change a flat.
- A compact bike pump to inflate your tires when necessary. Make sure it's compatible with the valve type on your tubes.
Don't know how to fix a flat? Bring these tools and spare tube anyway! A good Samaritan might help you out.
6. Bike Multi-Tool: A multi-tool with various wrenches and Allen keys can help you make adjustments or minor repairs on the go. These are pretty compact and offer a lot of options for adjustments during the ride.
7. Pack: With all the gear we have covered it's good to have a pack that you can carry it all with. As we previously covered, hydration packs are a great option because they can carry a lot of water plus food, phone, tools, and more. There are also many other pack options such as a backpack, fanny pack, frame pack, seat pack, and more. Here is an article with more ideas on how to carry cargo on your electric bike.
It's always a good idea to carry a first aid kit in your pack just in case you or another rider needs some help along the ride.
A hydration pack, like the Camelbak brand, can do double duty, carrying both your water, tools, phone, and so on.
8. Extra Clothing: If you think during your ride you will have a chance of cooler weather and/or rain it's a good idea to pack some warmer clothing and a rain jacket. There are a lot of compact cycling clothing options and rain gear that can easily fit in a pack just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Better to be prepared!
9. Lock: If you will be stopping somewhere along the way it's a good idea to bring a lock so you can explore the area with your eBike being securely locked up. There are a wide variety of locks depending on the strength of security you need.
For a short stop along your ride you may be able to get away with a compact and lightweight lock. Here is an article with ideas on locks and more ways to secure your electric bike.
10. Bike Lights: If you plan to ride in low-light conditions or during dusk or dawn, bring front and rear bike lights to see the road better and increase your visibility to others on the road. Many bike lights are compact and light and will fit nicely in a riding pack. They generally have a quick way to install them on the bike for use.
Many Denago eBikes come with lights included which run off the primary eBike battery. If your eBike doesn't have them built-in, add some that can be charged via USB instead, and make sure to bring them along if there's a chance your ride will extend into the evening.
Bonus! 11. Extra Battery or Charger: For long rides an extra battery can be just the way to go. You can carry it in a bag on your bike or in a backpack. Another option is to carry your eBike charger with you to charge your battery if you are making a long stop, say stopping for lunch. City libraries are another great spot where you might be able to sneak a quick recharge.
Be Prepared for Fun
Electric bike rides are super fun and having the right gear to be prepared for anything can really give you the confidence that you are ready for any challenges that may come up.
This list of essentials is a good foundation of gear to bring and you can add to it as your riding needs develop.
Enjoy your rides!