Electric Bike Braking Techniques
Bicycle brakes are important for safety, traffic and speed control. We’re going to help you learn how to use them most effectively. You can also learn how to have more fun when your riding aligns with your brakes!
Most of your braking power is in your front brake, about 70-80 per cent. This is because as you brake, the weight transfers to the front wheel and lessens on the back wheel. For the most efficient braking, you should always apply both brakes at the same time.
Where there isn’t a chance of skidding, you can apply the front brake more strongly to stop very quickly. Where there is a chance of skidding, it can be better to apply more back brake to avoid the front wheel slipping out. A back-wheel slide is much easier to control than a front wheel slipping out!
Also, if you only apply your front brake it can end up with you flying over the handlebars (an “endo”). While some people do that for fun, it’s generally not recommended!
Braking from high speed can be a complex skill and nothing beats practice. However, as with cars, defensive driving/riding is the most important skill; be aware of potential risks and slow down in anticipation.
Winter Braking Techniques
Winter riding is a whole other ballgame; we ride with studded tires here at Pedego which enables braking more safely in icy conditions. However, with skill, it is possible to safely ride non-studded tires in winter. Fat tire bikes with low-pressure tires are used a lot in winter to give better grip. Braking is definitely more of an “art” in winter and skills like feathering the brakes in a slide come into play.
Different types of brakes
There are two types of disc brakes depending on your type of Pedego: mechanical or hydraulic.
The key difference between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes is how the force applied at the brake lever is transferred to the brake unit.
Mechanical brakes have a cable running from your brake lever to the brake, so when you press on the brake lever the cable mechanically forces the brake pads to clamp on the rotor.
Hydraulic brakes have a tube filled with oil running from the brake lever to the brake, so the fluid pressure increases as you touch the lever and that pushes the brake pads together. Pedego bikes with hydraulic brakes include the Platinum Interceptor, City Commuter Platinum Edition, Ridge Rider, Elevate and Conveyor.
People tend to find hydraulic brakes more sensitive than mechanical disc brakes i.e. they typically require less force to achieve same amount of braking. Ask your local dealer which bikes your Pedego has, or ride different models and brake repetitively to feel the difference.
For more reading see https://pedegoelectricbikes.ca/electric-bike-brakes-tutorial/