August 31, 2021 3 min read

Riding your ebike at night can have some advantages. It can improve your riding skills, keep you cool during the summertime, and teach you to take new paths on a well-known trail. However, for many riders, especially those who are new to electric bikes, riding an ebike at night might be scary. So we've gathered some tips to get you prepared for riding at night. 

7 Tips for Riding Your Ebike at Night

1. HAVE ADEQUATE LIGHTING

We recommend using a high-powered headlight and tail lights are required on the street. Additional light can be added to your helmet or handlebar to enhance night time vision. Sometimes it is helpful to aim your ebike headlight at the road in front of you and an additional light further out. With a helmet-mounted light, you can add the benefit of seeing where you are looking.

2. SET UP YOUR BIKE DURING THE DAY

Now that you have some decent lights, spend some time learning how to use them and how to mount them on your bike or gear during the day. It's important to have a strategy so you don't end up fumbling about in the dark looking for a ride. This is a perfect moment to double-check that your light mounting brackets aren't loose or out of place. It's never fun when your light goes out or is in the wrong spot on your first-night run. It's also crucial to make sure the light on your helmet is hidden beneath the padding or does not obstruct a protection liner like MIPS.

3. WEAR THE APPROPRIATE BIKING GEAR

Since it gets colder at night, it's essential to make a plan beforehand and stay informed about the weather conditions you might encounter. A lightweight jacket, a head sock, thicker gloves, warm socks, and even an emergency blanket are all useful items to have when riding in the dark. While wearing sunglasses can help shield your eyes from the sun, it's also worth investing in a pair of glasses with a clear lens to keep any unexpected debris out of your eyes. This is especially important for the speeds possible with ebikes.

4. RIDE ON FAMILIAR TRAILS

While a map can help you enjoy new trails, it's important to stick to familiar routes when night riding. Objects can appear new or different at night and in poor lighting so having prior information is important to avoid getting lost. A phone might seem useful for looking at maps but it is even more important at night to stay focused, so it should only be used while at a stop.

5. HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM

While riding alone might be relaxing, cycling with friends is not only more enjoyable but also safer in the event that someone gets into an accident. If no one else is available to ride and you must go, at the absolute least, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return safely. If you go on solo rides on a regular basis, it's worth the time and effort to set up a location-tracking software like Strava's Beacon or a Global Hotspot from Somewear Labs.

6. BE AWARE OF YOUR BEAM

At full power, these high-output lights are no laughing matter. Other riders may become blinded if you direct your lights right into their faces. Look at your riding companion's feet or change the direction of the beam with your hand to avoid this. There are also times when you'll need to lower the brightness because the high-lumen lights can produce glare when they reflect off the path's foliage. Finally, while we all like following a riding buddy during the day, the powerful light from behind will cast a shadow or black patch on the cyclist in front at night. To avoid unexpected mishaps in the dark, you must back off and give the rider ahead of you some space.

7. MANAGE YOUR BATTERY LIFE

Aside from remembering to charge your lights, it's also crucial to understand how to manage your battery life while riding. When uphill, we recommend switching off the helmet light and utilize the bar light at its lowest setting. Bring a third backup light if you anticipate your ride will last longer than your two lights can at their highest output setting. Turn off the lights if you're taking a break. To reduce overheating, most cycling lights, especially those with higher lumens, are designed to keep cool through ventilation.

Related: How to Keep Your Ebike Battery Healthy

Trails are undeniably fun at night. We hope these simple tips become part of your night-riding habit to keep the stoke alive.

Dean DuMez
Dean DuMez


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