Water Proof! Programmable! Built-in controller! 48V 1500W electric

Electric Bicycle Accessories

Electric Bicycles / May 7, 2016

Electric bikes are great but depending on your budget, intended use and environment the bike alone may not completely serve your needs. That’s where accessories come in! But before we dig in, I want to stress that if you live in a rainy environment and intend on commuting to work or ride frequently in the dark it might be worth paying more up front to get integrated fenders and lights. These will look nicer, rattle less, be more difficult to steal and won’t require stand alone batteries… which can run out unexpectedly or simply slow you down with the need for frequent recharging. I meet a lot of people out there during my travels who settled for a “bargain” ebike but end up spending way more after purchase trying to get their setup perfect. This process can be fun and result in something very special but conversely, sometimes waiting a bit longer to choose a product that fully suits your needs can result in greater fulfillment and utility.

Just below is a gallery with one image for each of the ten categories listed below. I chose these pictures based on the products I have tried and like and I link to them (and other great options) in the full list:

Indeed, there are some amazing electric bicycles out there today like the Moustache Lundi 26 that comes standard with a suspension seat post in addition to tubular fenders and integrated lights. Bikes like the BULLS Lacuba EVO E8 that are easy to mount with deep step-thru frames available in multiple sizes with features like an adjustable stem, quiet belt drive and streamline suspension fork. Some of these features cannot be added easily post-purchase. And so, regardless of the e-bike you choose, here’s a list of what I consider to be essential accessories. Keep in mind, shops and rental outfits frequently report that ebikes are ridden further and more frequently than pedal powered models. I also tend to think that they ride more consistently at higher speed and all of this adds up to more stresses and strains on your body. Comfort and safety are key here.

  1. Helmets are extremely important, regardless of speed or riding condition, and these days you can get them with integrated lights for added safety like the Torch Apparel helmet here. I recently purchased the Specialized Centro LED helmet for myself and appreciate how sleek and light weight it is. The alternative approach is adding a stand alone LED light to your existing helmet.
  2. Water is probably the next most important accessory and it relates back to safety in a way, nobody wants to get heat stroke… and if you’re mountain biking on an ebike and end up with a flat far from civilization, water could save your life. Unfortunately, many electric bikes have tighter frames so squeezing a bottle in can be tricky. I recommend the side-load cages for this. But if your bike doesn’t have bottle cage bosses at all then consider adding an adapter to your saddle rails or a clamp on your seat post or on the handle bars. A couple of alternative ideas are trunk bags with bottle holsters that can easily be added to a rear rack (if your bike has one) or stand-alone hydration packs that are worn as light weight backpacks, allowing you to drink through a flexible straw conveniently as you you ride. I recently purchased the Osprey Syncro 10 and did a review here, this pack has a light weight but rigid frame inside with mesh cooling layer so it stays off your back, the straw connects magnetically and the water reservoir inside is very easy to remove and clean… it also has reflective fabric woven throughout and a light clip on the back so it actually improves safety (and keeps your back clean if you don’t have a rear fender!)
  3. Lights are important for both safety and utility… some are designed to help you be seen while others illuminate your path and help you to see. My favorite lights tend to be those that are pre-installed and run off the main ebike battery like this Supernova set on the Stromer ST2 S or this Spanninga set on the e-Joe Gadis. Not all ebikes offer this kind of integration but a handful of shops can tap into the battery and add them aftermarket for you if you pay a bit more. For everyone else, there’s a whole wide world of aftermarket bike lights. Most use LEDs because they draw very little electricity and are long lasting. My favorite are the rechargeable models and I try to get two from the same company that use the same charging standard so I can use the same cables. Other ways to increase your visual footprint are to choose light colored bike frames (like white or silver) and get reflective tires and clothing with reflective striping or patterns. For those who want some advice on lights that actually help you see the trail, I have had good luck with the Cygolite series which comes in a range of strengths. Here’s a Cygolite review article I wrote a while back with some video footage of the smaller Dart and larger Metro lights side by side.
  4. Locks ensure that your investment will last… or at least they increase the chances that a thief will overlook your bike and move along to something a bit easier. Electric bicycles tend to cost way more than standard bikes but the interesting thing is that they aren’t as easy to sell as used without all of the included parts. That means the charger and a key to get the battery pack off. An unwitting second-hand buyer might actually be completely locked out through software and some models now offer GPS theft recovery. Still, if you can avoid the hassle by not getting your bike lifted in the first place that’s probably preferable. I like the rubberized coating on Blackburn’s U-Locks because it will protect your frame, this lock also comes in several lengths to accommodate fatter tubing and both sides lock so it takes twice the effort to cut through. Here’s a quick guide I wrote covering the proper way to use a ulock with a cable (to secure the wheelset). Blackburn also offers a Kevlar cable for use with their locks and a combo pack which includes both items. These days you can get accessories like the Boomerang CycloTrac that sound an alarm based on bike motion, send you a text alert and even track the bike using GPS so you can chase down a would-be thief. Another layer of protection is bicycle insurance which not only covers your investment but might help cover injuries in the event of an accident.
  5. Flat Protection and air are especially critical on ebikes because they tend to ride further and weigh more than unpowered bicycles. Whether you pump Slime liquid sealant into your tubes, buy pre-Slimed tubes, opt for a tubeless setup with flat protection sealant or upgrade to puncture protection Kevlar-lined tires (also called GreenGuard from Schwalbe, GatorSkin DuraSkin from Continental, K-Guard from Schwalbe and Armadillo from Specialized) you’ll need some air to keep the bike running until you get home. This is where portable pumps and CO2 cartridges come in. Prevention is huge but walking a 50 lb electric bike home is a lot less fun than hopping off and pumping every mile or two. Note that on all of my reviews here the valve stem type is listed (Schrader is the fat old-fashioned style and Presta is the new skinny one). You need to get a pump or adapter that fits your tube or tire type and I’ve had great luck with the new mini-pumps that have a flexible stem that screws on to the tube valve. CO2 cartridges are fast and light weight but once they are spent, that’s it, and you can’t tell the pressure as easily… I love the portable hand pump with the pressure gauge so I can be sure not to over-inflate. Note that there are now solid bicycle tires that do not require air. Even Specialized is getting into the game but currently only uses them for urban bicycles. Solid bike tires tend to offer less comfort and can even bend rims and break spokes if you hit a hard angle at higher speeds. Air has the flexibility of being adjustable so you can dial it in based on your own weight and ride environment… typically lower PSI for soft terrain and higher for smooth hard pavement.
  6. Glasses keep your eyes focused by reducing dryness due to wind, squinting due to the sun or harsh lights and physical contact with particulates and bugs. While this isn’t exactly a “bicycle accessory” per say, it is very important and oft-overlooked. I frequently ride with clear lenses at night because there are times when bugs get thick or the wind picks up and dust gets blown around. Surprisingly, cycling specific glasses can be very inexpensive these days but the world of biking has lots of fancy options too, some frames that even offer swappable lenses so you can go from clear to dark tinted. I think they key is to find some that are comfortable with your helmet (they shouldn’t collide with the front of the helmet and they should be too tight on your temples). Note that some people put the glasses arms under their helmet straps while others go over (I go over). Some people opt for goggles and I’ve heard others who use anti-fog products with their glasses during the winter as they often ride with scarfs around their necks… that’s another great accessory there, a gator or face mask, even a pollution filtering face mask if you live in a busy city. As someone with light asthma, I’ve tried these masks and felt better about the air being inhaled during heavy...

Source: electricbikereview.com