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Now What??

Owner's Guide to the care & feeding of your ebike

On this page

Getting started - How to ride & take care of your ebike

Security - Don't lose that new bike

Road Service - Breakdown on the road? How to get help

Advice from other riders  - Stories & blogs with help & inspiration

FAQ - Answers to lots of your questions

Riding in the SF Bay area - places to ride in San Francisco & the nine county area, where to park, how to take transit and more

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How to ride & take care of your ebike

Security - Don't lose that new bike

Register your bike 

  • Bike Index is a free national database for registering bikes,

   reporting stolen bikes, and connecting stolen bikes with their owners.

   Increase your chances of recovering your bike if it is stolen.

Locks

  • The Best Bike Lock - Comprehensive guide to keeping your bike secure. Includes thorough listing of 3rd party tested bike locks. and many excellent tips for storing and locking your bike. Updated annually, last confirmed revision September 2022.

  • Best bike lock by Bikeradar  D-locks, foldable locks and chain locks tested and rated by BikeRadar. Updated annually, last confirmed revision May 2022.

  • Ways To Theft-Proof Your Wheels & Secure Components Locking Security Skewers, Seatpost Locks and more. April 2016.

Trackers

Secure racks & lockers

  • BikeLink provides card operated secure bike lockers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, plus locations in Davis, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Tahoe, Southern California, Oregon, Washington, Las Vegas, Utah, St Louis, & Burlington VT. For the SF Bay area, see San Francisco Bay Area e-bike info page​ for more on safe parking.

  • See Secure Bike Parking  for secure self locking rack and cage manufacturers.

Breakdown on the road? How to get help

What do you do when you get a flat tire or break a chain or a cable or your bike just won't work?

If you are up to minor tinkering, you can get your self going from many of the problems that a bike might have with a universal bike tool (a Swiss army knife like tool with screwdrivers and wrenches), a spare tube, tire irons, a pump and some latex gloves to keep your hand clean. Check with your local bike organization for classes or many of the ebike review magazines for articles on how to repair your bike. 

But if a quick fix is not an option (bigger problem, or tinkering is not your thing, or you are dressed up for work and can't get messy), then - as with cars - there are services that will pick you and your bike up and take you home or to a bike repair shop.

 

Better World Club Is a vehicle club formed as an environmentally active alternative to AAA. The road service has included Nationwide Bicycle Roadside Assistance from the beginning.

Coverage: Two service calls per year per covered member of up to 30 miles each in the US or Canada. They will pick up you and your bicycle and take you home or to a shop but do not offer repairs. They are working with some retailers as part of a service contract on new purchases. Ebikes are not explicitly referenced on the website, but customer service assured me that the service covers bicycles, tricycles, recumbents, and ebikes and that they will be adding more explicit language soon.

Pricing: Bicycle only policy $42 + $18 for each additional member. Or add on to one of the auto plans for $18 per member. Auto plans are $63 Basic with 5 miles of auto towing plus $39 for each additional member or $115 Premium with 100 miles or auto towing + $60 per additional member. Some price matching options for AAA.  (Jan 2024 pricing).

AAA (American Automobile Association) - If you are a driver, you may already have a AAA membership, including road service coverage to tow your car when it breaks down. If so, your current policy might be useful for your bike or ebike as well. AAA offers Bicycle Roadside Assistance in at least some regions, which covers transporting you to a repair shop, your home, or another safe location.

Coverage: Transport you and your disabled bike to a safe location. No repair services and no pick ups of tired cyclists. Maximum mileage covered per year depends on the the membership level. See the Terms and conditions for the full set of service exclusions for bicycles. If you live outside of the Northern California region (or are traveling by bicycle out of the region), check the website for your region to confirm the coverages and rates.

Pricing: Bicycle assistance is included in all 3 membership levels. Classic is $65/year for up to 5 miles towing + $45 for each additional member, Plus is $100 for 100 miles + $65 for additional members, and Premier is $125 + $85 for additional members (early 2024 rates for the western US region (Northern California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska) ,

Be forewarned that the AAA is still in catch-up mode on bicycle coverage and the message is not out to all affiliated towing services. Anecdotal field reports indicate that some dispatch services and tow truck drivers are not aware that they are supposed to provide bicycle service. Check with your regional AAA to confirm coverages and consider keeping a link to (or a printout of) this page and/or the relevant pages from the AAA website on your phone or in your bike bag to present if needed. Additionally, AAA customer service has given us mixed messages about serving ebikes.

Here is what we have learned about AAA & ebikes:

In October of 2023,  customer service covering Northern California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska explicitly told us that their policies do not cover ebikes. In the  AAA policy comparison only the Premier 200 mile membership at $125/year explicitly includes "motorcycle towing" and hence might cover an ebike. (The Motorcycle Roadside Assistance goes beyond simple towing/ride service to include fuel delivery and flat tire services, but don't count on a battery charge or tire change for your ebike). 

When we pushed back with customer service and pointed out the differences between gas powered motorcycles or scooters and ebikes as defined by many state laws around the country, AAA shifted policy and customer service assured us that their standard Bicycle Roadside Assistance service now would cover ebikes.

As of January 2024, however, there is no explicit mention of ebikes (or trikes) in the language on the AAA website. Again, keep a link to this page in case you need to convince a dispatcher or tow truck driver to pick you up. Check with your region if you are outside of the NorCal region states.

Advice from other riders

Blogs & articles with tales from riders about what it is like to ride an e-bike and how it can change your life, as well as blogs about maintaining and upgrading your bike and about policies to help more people get on e-bikes. Plus ways you can help share your story

FAQ 

Our growing collection of the questions people ask: Cost? Rebates?  Good or the environment? How far & how fast? What about theft? Is it cheating? Will my ebike catch fire? Can I recycle my battery?

San Francisco Bay Area info - where can I ride? (& park)

​To find info on where you can ride - and places to safely park and what transit you can take your e-bike on, see the San Francisco Bay Area e-bike info page​

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