Ebikes for kids are a great way to get your child from point A to point B without the expense of a car. They’re fun, they’re speedy, and they’re quiet. For most children, riding an electric bike is far more safe than riding a motorcycle or a bicycle, mostly because an ebike is so much smaller than a motorbike. It’s also a great introduction to riding a two-wheeled vehicle for younger children because it’s such a gentle ride. Many parents report that their children have a more safe and enjoyable ride on an eBike compared to other four-wheelers.
However, an eBike is no different than an electric powered ride at heart. There are safety risks that an eBike can be as likely to cause injury or death as a motorcycle out in the boonies. The following are things to look for to help keep kids safe on ebikes:
Safety Check: One of the biggest issues when it comes to ebikes for kids is the danger of the safety battery. While the eBike can be charged right out of the garage, some jurisdictions require that you disconnect the battery while it’s running. You should make sure that your child receives extra battery time just in case of a battery emergency! The general rule of thumb is to give kids about two hours of charge time between trips if using a non-maintenance free lithium battery, but you’ll want to check with your local regulations to confirm this.
Pedal Bikes Are Different: Although most Ebikes for kids look and operate similarly, there are some subtle differences. Some Ebikes allow you to pedal both the front and back brakes. Other have different shifters to let you shift gears. The general trend in ebikes seems to be toward larger, more powerful single speed drives with direct drive systems that provide more power to the pedals. On the flip side, many pedal bike enthusiasts are turning to higher performance hybrid drive systems that combine the efficiency of an electric bike’s chain with the ability to use both front and rear gears.
Pedal Assist: Some Ebikes come standard with pedals that can be used for emergencies or as a manual mode. If you choose an electric motorized bike with pedals, make sure that your child is very familiar with them and is comfortable using them. Some Ebikes have a separate pedal assist system that is designed to make the experience more comfortable for novice riders. Public roads that are designed for adult traffic may not be suitable for use with an eBike because it would be too powerful for the amount of traffic on public roads.
Higher Speeds: The higher speeds of many eBikes for kids result in injuries or fatalities when they are being used for extended periods of time. There is no escaping the danger of falling off a bike as your speed increases, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of serious injury or death when this happens. Look for bikes that feature a larger front wheel grip, wider tires, and better suspension. These will help prevent the rider from tipping forward and causing serious injury.
Top Speed: Although it doesn’t make a difference whether you are riding on paved or dirt streets, a higher top speed does affect how quickly you can ride. When you choose an eBike, look for ones that offer a maximum top speed of 17 mph or less. That means that you will not have to worry about going as fast as possible, which is important for younger riders. Consider the size of the motor; some are small and can only handle a small maximum top speed. Your child should also be able to ride the motor easily and comfortably.
Safe Tires: One aspect of safety for children is wearing appropriate, high quality, safety tires. The type of tires that you choose will depend on the riding conditions and the type of terrain. When you are selecting eBikes for kids, remember that some models will have a limited range of speeds and will have different tire pressures. Be sure that your child has the appropriate tires for his or her age and ability.