Familiarize yourself with handing and operation

DEKRA Info May 2018

Switching to a Pedelec

E-Bike boom continues

The success story of the pedelecs continues. In 2017, their numbers grew by about half a million in Germany to approximately 3.5 million. According to the cycle industry association, it is especially the variety of models, modern design and innovations in the drive and battery technology that customers appreciate the most. The trend overall is heading towards higher quality and better equipment.

However, newcomers should take it easy for the first few kilometers and take their time on a test ride to acquaint themselves sufficiently with the handling and operation. "There are a few differences compared to a normal cycle and riders need to be aware of them when they get on an e-bike for the first time," Andreas Richter at the Center for Electromobility at DEKRA.

  • One important point is the difference in ride characteristics; e-bikes handle differently in curves, for example.
  • The brakes are more powerful and need to be carefully applied so that excessive braking does not cause blockage.
  • One definitely desirable effect is that the pedelec rider is usually out and about faster than somebody without electrical aid. Nevertheless, this calls for more attentiveness and proactive cycling, because more speed means less reaction time in a critical situation and, if the worst came to the worst, greater risk of injury.
  • In addition, the speed of an e-bike is continually underestimated by pedestrians, motorists and other cyclists.
  • Above all and in view of the higher speed, DEKRA believes it is definitely advisable to wear a helmet when riding a pedelec.

Moreover, it is recommended, especially before undertaking a lengthy trip, to give the bike a quick once over so as to ensure you arrive safely at your destination without problems. Here, for example, the rider should check the thickness of the brake pads, the function of the lights as well as the state and pressure of the tires.


Tilman Vögele-Ebering

Press officer Industrial


Phone +49.711.7861-2122

Fax +49.711.7861-742122

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