How to ride an e-bike safely at night? Important safety tips
Most of us ride an e-bike around town during the day when there is enough light and it is safe. However, when we cycle after dark, we need to think not only about our destination, but also about being visible – for the safety of other road users and for our own. How can you ensure your safety on the bike?
Lights – the most important part of an e-bike for riding in the dark
The first rule of riding an electric bike at night is to see others well and be visible to them. Therefore, you should first make sure that the bike is properly equipped with lights.
The most important thing without which you should not ride an electric bike at night is a white light in the front and a red light in the rear. They must be active elements of the lighting, i.e. they must be powered by a 6 V/3W generator, or if it is a battery-powered light, the power must last for at least 1.5 hours. Bicycle lights should be clean, solidly mounted and should not blind other road users. The front light should also shine at such an angle that it does not point straight ahead, but illuminates the road in front of you. When mounting the rear light on the bicycle, remember that it should be neither too low nor too high. Do not mount it lower than 25 cm, but also remember that if it is mounted high – for example, directly under the saddle – it will not be visible if you are wearing a long skirt in the summer or a long coat in the winter.
In addition to active bicycle lighting, i.e. lighting that shines with its own light, you also need bicycle lighting that shines with reflected light, so-called “reflectors”. The following must be fitted on an electric bicycle:
one white reflector in the front,
one red reflector in the rear,
yellow reflectors on both sides of the pedals,
yellow side reflectors – these can be on the spokes or on the sides of the tyres.
When manufacturing the BZEN electric bikes, we have naturally taken all these requirements into account.
Bicycle lighting in BZEN e-Bikes
That’s why every BZEN electric bike comes with a set of active, battery-powered and reflective lights. As they are connected to the battery, you will know how long they will stay on (there is a battery charge indicator on the Control Panel on the handlebar). Both the rear light and the front light are very robust, stable and shine with a light that complies with the legal standards (including the German StVZO), so that they ensure your safety. You don’t have to worry about visibility from the side. Thanks to the front and rear lights with the side view and the reflectors on the Continental tyres that we equip our e-bikes with, you are clearly visible. The rear light is mounted on the rear carrier so a long skirt, coat or even a child seat won’t cover it. To switch on the bike light, just hold the „+“ button for 3 seconds. Or simply wait until it gets dark – when the bike is running, the light switches on automatically.
Be visible on the street!
The lighting of the BZEN electric bikes complies with the legal standards and is sufficient to make you visible on the road in the dark. However, we recommend that you also use additional accessories to improve your visibility, such as a reflective waistcoat, wristbands or other reflective clothing. Safety and caution always remain the most important!
Always wear a bike helmet
As you probably know, it is always a good idea to wear a bicycle helmet – even if there is no obligation. The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of our body, and even a slight fall from a bicycle can lead to serious injuries. That is why it needs special protection in the form of a bicycle helmet.
Of course, it is worth wearing a bicycle helmet no matter what time of day you cycle – but the truth is that you are much more likely to fall or collide when cycling at night because you see much less than you do during the day (even if you have bicycle lighting as good as the BZEN’s). At night it is not difficult to overlook a lying branch, a curb or other obstacles. It’s often harder to see other cyclists – especially as not all of them obey the rules and may not be as visible as we are.
Riding your e-bike in the dark – what else can you do to protect yourself?
When you ride an electric bike in the dark, you have to be much more concentrated and careful, as you not only see less, but are also less visible to others, especially cars. However, sometimes you cannot avoid riding in the dark – for example, in winter when it gets dark just after 5pm and many of us cycle home after work. You can make it easier for yourself by reaching for extra precautions:
- Ride on cycle paths when possible. Although you are legally obliged to ride on them, they are not everywhere and therefore sometimes you need to ride on normal roads.
- Take the headphones out of your ears. In the dark, it is better to fully concentrate on riding and to hear as much as possible of what is going on around you. Headphones with music can make this difficult.
- Rule of limited trust. This rule, known from driving a car, also applies to riding an e-bike, especially in the dark. For example, when approaching an intersection or a pedestrian crossing, you should automatically assume that someone will cross and you should slow down – even if you do not see or hear anyone.
- The principle of limited trust also applies to yourself – even if you are confident in your riding abilities and the road conditions are good, you should slow down and ride slower than you would during the day.
- Stay on the main paths and roads. Being in the city after dark is by itself less safe than during the day, especially for women. Therefore, it is better to stay in busy places and streets at this time and avoid deserted and empty places.
If you follow the tips in this article, riding the BZEN electric bike will not only be enjoyable and comfortable, but also safe – and that is more important than anything else.