Please share some ebike riding tips.


Local time
3:15 PM
Aug 15, 2020
My mountain and fat bike experience is 3 years so i consider myself an advanced beginner.
The trails are starting to dry here so i am brand new on my E 27.5+ 120 mm hardtail.
I read many brands have 3 assist modes/levels if we do not consider the walk option nor the no assist. Are you mostly using the middle one for single tracks? Mine Yamaha 2017 has 4 and frankly i am mostly using 2 or 3. If 1 is the less assistance should i be more on 2 or 3?
I know about managing the range, here i mean managing the power output to be in control.
By the way i am used to 4 hrs non assisted rides so my Erides will be 30 min to 4 hrs. Thanks.
Shimano motor in my Intense Tracer with eco, trail & boost. Through Shimano’s app: eco is not adjustable, trail set to low assist and boost high. When I ride with non-ebikes, I stay in eco.
IF I’m shooting for 2plus hours or over 3k of elevation I stay in eco.
Boost is reserved for super quick steep climbs or DH trails.
Trail is my go to mode, set low last about 20 to 25 miles with about 3k elevation.
Eco is for endurance days or really trying to push cardio.
I’m 50, when done most of my rides ave HR is about 135 to 140 & usually about 2hrs long. I ride almost everyday, just like I did before ebikes. I’ve had my ebike for a few months and have not ridden the non-ebike since.
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Is Your Shimano the 8000? Can you compare with others, i sometimes go near bird watchers i read it emits more noise?? Is the eco mode set at 80% of assist or do you know the %? My lowest is probably for people not in shape if i set it there my legs are doing 100%. I used it this winter on ice without winter tires and for climbing to train. Thanks.
Yes, Shimano 8000 and the motor does have a low hum to it. Tried parking lot test a Giant Yamaha and I remember thinking it sounded about the same. Road behind a 2018 Levo a Brose in eco and I couldn’t hear it. Don’t know what the Brose sounds like in higher modes. Other than that only a few months experience on the Shimano, yes I wish it was quieter, but you get use to the low hum.
Pedal at a higher cadence to increase your range, 70 to 80 rpm. Below this range the motor is less efficient; above this range torque on the Yamaha motot drops off rapidly.

Until you get used to the higher traction, climb steep hills in “Standard” mode, not “High” to better manage traction.

Put a smaller chainring on; Race Face 34t 104bcd narrow-wide works well.

Assist levels are 50 percent, 100 percent, 190 percent, and 280 percent but this may have been customized by your bike manufacturers.

Take the battery out when you put your bike on a rack.

Put your battery back in with the key out if it swivels into the upper latch so that you can hear the latch click; otherwise it might not be fully locked in and might drop off onto the ground when you are riding.

Charge the battery off of the bike so that you don’t forget to unplug the bike when you wheel it out of the garage.

When starting out on a hill, apply rear brake to control traction while you get back on the bike and balance.

Slow down in a headwind or your battery will drain extremely quickly.

When shifting up, back off on pedalling for a second; the inertia of the motor will finish the shift for you and this will be a hard slam if you don’t wait long enough.

Watch your speed in residential areas especially around side streets where people don’t expect a fast-moving bicycle.

Use your power switch as a shifter for a temporary boost going up shorter steeper sections; then dial it back so you’re not overtaking other mountain bikes.

Your bike isn’t as loud as you think it is (and mine has gotten quieter as the motor has worn in). Slow down and say hello when you pass hikers; they might not know that you’re there.

Stop once in a while to look around and enjoy the scenery.
My ebike uses the Bosch system but these principles apply to all ebikes; try and use the lowest assist possible* and use the gears as you would on a normal bike ie don't stay in a high gear and just use more power at low speed as it will cause more stress on the drive system (motor, chain, cassette, hub etc) and won't allow the motor to work at it's most efficient cadence.
I tend to use the gears more than altering the assistance level and this also helps increase the range.
Also I've found the best way to restart on a steep incline is to ensure you're in a low gear and assistance, once you've got both feet on the pedals then quickly add assistance and change up. Before this I was trying to get going with too high assistance and the bike was leaving me behind!

* YMMV but I use my bike to explore and need range rather than high speed.
ebike next to stone monuments.jpg
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I always ride my eBike with cadence selected on the display.

Good point about wear and tear being less at high cadence; I’d like my eBike to last a long time; 1700 miles already after about six months.
Ya, i am into distance and i enjoy climbing. Without a car often i ride 10 minutes to the trails and 10 minutes back. I also pedal 60 minutes to other trails and back to spend 90-120 min. in those trails or 45 minutes to some other network. Going down full speed is not my priority. I am adjusting to a heavier bike and lower pedals. Thanks for the many pointers. (y)
Many pedal strikes on eMTB's are caused by the riders reluctance to let off so much that the PAS cuts out so they just keep cranking away and hope for the best.

A trick that I have used for years on analog bikes transfers over nicely to eBikes. When looking to time your cranks give a slight amount of pressure to your front, or rear, but I usually use the front brake just enough so that you can maintain even pressure on your cranks while slowing their rotation to time them as you need without enough pressure to slow you down much. By doing this and keeping pressure on the cranks your PAS will stay activated and when you release the brake you will have instant engagement. I have been doing it so long that I don't even do it consciously and I didn't even realize how it was benefiting on the eBike for awhile until it dawned on me one day.....May or may not work for you but at least worth a try. I use 170 cranks and other than nasty hidden crap I get very few pedal strikes and am able to use the same length cranks on all my bikes.
I am sorry but i do not know the meaning of PAS.
On my Yamaha system there is no delay, as son as pressure is applied the assist is engaged. I think most manufacturers end up with lower BB. Maybe part of the reason there is less room between the bottom of my Ebike and my bikes is some kind of plate to protect the system and i think there is a bit of room to avoid over heating. Maybe it is to help us deal with the heavier weight?? But i looked at many manufacturers and some use 165 arms on all frame sizes wich is different than regular bikes.
I just like to avoid bangning my rides on rocks, trees, etc... Sometimes i just accelerate before so i can stop pedaling but that option is not allways available and if my assist is minimum racheting can only go sofar. Anyways i place myself in challenging situations to improve my skills. I started to use my brakes to go forward wich sounds funny but makes sense.

Edit: is Power Assist System the meaning of PAS?
I think bigwheel means torque PAS or torque sensing if he's on a mid-drive.

Two main types: traditional pedal assist on hub drives, where the actual generated power is completely independent of the pedal power, except that you simply need to pedal to keep the hub drive power. In other words you can barely pedal at all (ghost pedal) at maybe 20-30 rpm, or even backpedal, and still have all the power you need, because the power is usually on a 1-5 level button, not eco-normal-high as on a mid-drive. You really only pedal to keep the motor running, not to dictate how fast you go. Pedaling harder may only make you go 5-10% faster since the bike is heavier than a normal one. However, pedaling up a trail is very important just like it would be on a normal bike.

I think PAS however is a very stupid and misleading term for e-mountain bikes, hub or mid-drive, because it's almost impossible to use a throttle 100% of the time on dirt, too many obstacles and changes in elevation off-road, not to mention either spinning out or bogging down, so you have to pedal. A 40-60 lb e-bike is way more influenced by the terrain than a 200 lb dirt bike. You don't pedal a hub drive e-mountain bike for assist, you pedal all the time, and then change the level of electric assist for the elevation changes, so it's really the other way around: it's electric assist. This PAS term misinforms people about how an e-mountain bike really works. If they understood the above information, they would realize that e-mountain bikes are pedal bikes with electric assist, not throttle motorcycles with pedal assist. If the term PAS didn't exist we would not have so much confusion about what an e-mountain bike really is.

2nd is torque assist, where the power is relatively proportional to the pressure on the pedals. More torque on the pedals = more power from the mid-drive. The pedal power is directly linked with the electric power output, as opposed to the hub drive above. My Bafang hub drive has an imitation torque assist option but it doesn't work, probably because the bottom bracket stayed stock during the conversion. No matter.
OP, PAS simply stands for Pedal Assist System. It can happen in several ways as indicated but as I was a bit vague only referring to "slight pressure on the cranks" in my mind that indicated a torque sensing system was involved which is primarily the system in discussion on this forum.

I have never ridden a Yamaha system so I have to take your word on instant activation of the PAS but others I have tried there is a slight lag of around 1/4-1/2 a revolution before it activates and thus my suggestion that there may be a way around this using those systems.
There is no lag on the Yamaha; I can feel the motor cog if I put my foot down too hard waiting in traffic. The torque sensor is nearly instantaneous and torque modulation is excellent. I rode a motorcyle trail today with grades up to 20 percent without spinning out; it’s pretty crazy how you can sustain a climb on an eBike.