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Finding the right balance for electric bikes and kids safety

E-bikes have now entered the mainstream, and they are not just having their moment but very much owning the micromobility turf. Their battery-powered motor sails you up the hills, goosing up pedalling and taking you further without the need to sweat. The average e-bike can reach speeds up to 25km/h, a feat the humble everyday bicycle cannot compete with. And while they are relatively safe compared to other motorised rides, taking a closer look at electric bikes and kids' safety can help you take better precautions.   

Choosing the right bike

The size matters. The bike frame should be compact enough for kids to comfortably reach all parts, including the handlebar, brakes, pedals, and display panel. E-bikes can be heavier than the standard bike. A heavier bike can be harder to pedal in case of battery failure. Make sure they can easily grip the handlebar. Ergonomic design and finish are useful features for children to handle the bike. Aluminium alloy is a sturdy metal yet lightweight enough for easy handling. You might want to buy them a bike with off-road capabilities, too, as some e-bikes double as both a road and mountain bike.

Speed Controls, Efficient Brake System, and other Safety Controls

The maximum speed recommended for e-bikes is 15.5 miles per hour. However, your child does not require a powerful motor for their electric bike unless they are old enough to go on long-distance rides. Speed controls ensure your child does not ride at top speeds. When there’s the increased weight and power to go fast, you need a responsive brake system that does not fail. Disc brakes are used in professional cycling and have enhanced stopping power in wet conditions. Choose a lower pedal-assist mode. Higher pedal-assist settings create more power and acceleration. Rapid acceleration can put kids out of ease. A lower pedal-assist mode slows down the ride for a smoother and steady riding experience. It also extends the total riding range.

Giving Comprehensive Training to the Child

Your child might already know how to ride a standard bicycle, but they need some prep and training when it comes to an e-bike. Start with bike safety tips that include a demonstration of manoeuvers and controls of the bike. Teach them hand signals such as extending the arms as they take turns. They should know how to stop and park the bike by the roadside away from traffic and other vehicles when they get a flat tyre. Children need to learn to watch out for opening car doors and look behind before overtaking, turning, or stopping. When riding on country lanes or off-road, they should be mindful of animals. They should not ride beside another cyclist on a narrow road. Most electric bikes are water-resistant and will not get damaged by low-key splashing. However, it is best to avoid puddles, streams, and mud whenever possible.

Rules and Regulations

To legally ride an e-bike on UK public roads, your child must be 14 and above. You can ride a pedal-assisted electric bike without a licence, and it doesn't have to be registered, taxed, or insured. It cannot exceed 250 watts of power or be able to propel when riding over 15.5mph. The bike must show the motor power or the manufacturer of the motor, as well as the voltage of the battery or the maximum speed. You can ride an electric bicycle on cycle paths and places that allow pedal bikes. You must always ride the bike on the left side of the road. When riding with the traffic flow, kids must know traffic and road safety rules and always stop for red lights.

Mapping out a Biking Route

When your child is riding alone, they will be much safer on less busy roads and quieter neighbourhoods. Try out different routes with kids in tow and map out the safer ones for solo or group cycling.

Regular Inspection of the Bike by an Adult

Check tyre inflation; it should be at max. It helps maintain the range and control of the bike. Replace any worn-out tyres to ensure the gripping power of the bike retains. The chain should be clean and well-lubricated. Make sure the battery is topped up, and always charge it the night before a planned ride. Pay special attention to the brakes to see if they are in top working order. Make sure the lights work – it can get dark when they are out cycling with friends.

GPS Tracker

It enables you to know where your young riders are at all times. The e-bike battery powers the tracker. The GPS tracker has an additional battery to supply power when the bike battery is switched off or removed. You can control and monitor GPS tracking using your smartphone, PC, or laptop. It provides info on the bike's location in real time and the travelled routes.

Safety and Protection

Even though it is not compulsory, riders should wear a helmet to protect themselves from critical injury in accidents. Elbow and knee pads, trainers, and cycling gloves help minimise injury.

Let kids have their share of electric transportation that will soon be the future. Find the latest e-bikes with lasting battery life, durable build, and plenty of safety features at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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