Ever since the authorities banned the use of e-scooters on pedestrian pathways on 5 Nov 2019, some of the riders switched over to ebikes such as MINI 16 and ECO DRIVE.
ebikes are also known as electric bicycles and Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) in Singapore.
e-scooters and ebikes are fundamentally similar. They use a battery to run a motor which provides power to move the mobility device. But in terms of regulations, they differ.
Before an ebike can be sold in Singapore, it has to be type approved by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). After which, all subsequent ebikes have to be sealed at LTA authorised center and registered before it can be used on public paths. For more details, please read the article “Thing you should know about ebike before you buy“.
An ebike cannot have a throttle and the motor must stop assisting if the speed exceeds 25 km/h or when the rider stop pedalling. On the other hand, e-scooters can have a throttle and the maximum speed is capped at 25 km/h.
An ebike can be legally used on the roads, cycling paths, shared paths and Park Connector Networks (PCN). But e-scooters can be used only on cycling paths, shared paths and PCN.
Therefore riding on roads is a new experience for most e-scooters riders. In the past, you were concerned about making sure pedestrians and other riders hear and see you. A simple bell, a stock front light may be all you need. But now, you have to make sure that the cars can see you from afar, hear you when they move too close to you. The simple bells, stock front light and rear reflector are just not sufficient.
Some of you may also wonder why retailers cannot include the accessories when they sell the ebike. The reason is simple. There are so many designs and specifications available. Therefore it is more logically to let the riders choose then to include what they do not like.
So here are the top 5 ebike accessories you must have before you hit the roads
This accessory is not a choice. The law states clearly that you must wear a helmet while riding on roads.
If you do not have a helmet, stop reading, go out and buy one immediately.
There is a wide range of helmets to choose. You are spolit for choices. In general, the more expensive they are, the better quality they are.
Find one that fits well and is pleasant to your eyes. If you are into internet of things, then get one with bluetooth connectivity like the SH55M smart helmet, where it can connect to your smartphone to receive calls and play music.
Some helmets can also increase visibility with rear mounted red lights or even signal lights.
Singapore is one of the few countries where almost every road is brightly lit to the extend that car drivers sometimes forget to switch on their headlights.
A brightly lit road does not mean drivers can see. As long as the driver is a human, do not assume all is well.
The stock lights and reflectors on most ebikes are not sufficient. This may be sufficient for use on cycling paths or in countries where there are dedicated cycling lanes on the roads.
But on Singapore roads, make your ebike glows!
Start with a front white led light. A front light improves the visibility ahead and also allows other users from the opposite direction or around bends to be aware of your presense.
Though most would prefer a lighting system which integrates with the ebike battery, we do not recommended this. Ebikes in Singapore are tested and conformed to EN15194. Therefore modifications to the ebike will void the certification and also the warranty.
Moving on, keep the existing rear red reflector and add a flashing red light with sensor or even anti theft alarm like FEDOG F-110 anti theft alarm with rear light.
If you wish to have more, you can consider adding rim lights, reflector strips, signal lights and handlebar lights.
Unless you have a third eye on the back of head or supernatural powers, a mirror is neccessary to keep an eye on the traffic behind you.
A mirror comes handy when you are changing lanes or looking out for vehicles drifing into your lane. Yet again, you have many choices for this ebike accessory.
You can consider handlebar mounted convex or flat mirrors or even sunglass or helmet mounted mirrors.
(Pic: ebike flexible side mirror)
Whatever design you prefer, it does not matter. Importantly is to have a mirror, preferbably a pair.
4. Bell or horn
That little pink bell that gives out a “ring ring” sound is never going to work with the cars. The drivers will not be able you to hear you unless you throw the bell onto their rear windscreen.
You will need to get an electronic horn which is equaivelent to those used by motorcycles like the FEDOG F-118 horn with anti theft alarm (as shown in the picture).
Having said that, keep the classic little pink bell. Use it when you are cycling on the shared, cycling or PCN. The pedestrians would certainly prefer and appreciate the “ring ring”.
The primary reason for buying an insurance is to protect yourself, your family and persons / things you cared about. The ebikes accessories mentioned earlier prevent an accident from happening. On the other hand, ebike insurance is probably the only ebike accessory that has to be renew yearly and does not justify its usefullness until an accident happens.
We wrote an article, “Are you wasting your money buying an e-scooter insurance?”, on e-scooter insurance which discussed about who should buy what kind of insurance. Though the same advice applies to ebike riders, it is more critical now that you are riding on the road.
In addition, invest in an action camera like GOPRO and mount it on the ebike or helmet. It will come handy when you need to produce evidence to claim the other party in an accident.
An ebike is generally more expensive than an e-scooter. The cheapest ebike is around $980 thus you need to secure it.
Almost all the ebikes in Singapore come without anti theft alarm or immobiliser. And this is a far cry from e-scooter where a $500 e-scooter may already been equipped with ignition key lock and anti theft alarm.
The reason is ebikes originate from bicycles where a physcial lock is still the recommended way to secure. In other words, even with an ignition key lock and anti theft alarm, the thief can carry the entire e-scooter and ran away. And if your ebike is secured with a good physcial lock, the key lock or anti theft alarm may not be triggered at all.
Generally, the U lock is the most secured but least flexible lock. This is because of its rigid frame.
Alternatively, a chain lock is also secure and flexible. But as chain lock is very heavy. Most riders do not find it practical.
A good alternative is the folding lock like the Golden Key retractable compact lock (as shown in the picture). Though it is not as secured as U lock, it is lightweight and flexible enough for daily use.
Finally, there is the classic cable lock which can be easily cut by a blot cutters. But cable locks are probably the lightest lock available.
Time to get your ebike accessories
It is clear that you have so many choices.
Take your time to evaluate the usefullness, functionalility and price.
At the end of the day, you are better off having these ebike accessories than to have none.
Ride safe. Stay safe.
For MOBOT accessories, click here.