Tips for Riding your Roadster
By Julian Ilich, Co-founder of Tiller Rides
Whether you’ve been riding bikes for years, or the Roadster is your first foray into two-wheeled transport, there can be an adjustment to riding an eBike for the first time. While it is similar in many ways to a traditional push bike, the added oomph of the motor and battery can make riding an eBike a different experience.
Since I’ve been riding Roadsters (and all its prototypes) for a while now, I’ve had time to discover the little things, or not-so-obvious-things, that make riding the Roadster more enjoyable. This article will cover all my tips for riding a Roadster.
Read more, The Hurtfree Dozen: 12 Ways to Ride eBikes Safely in your City
Finding the Right Seat Height.
To kick things off, it's worth ensuring you have the seat at the right height.
Seat height on a bike is a funny one - too high and you can topple over, but too low and your legs bend too much, making it feel awkward to ride. It's normal to want your seat a little lower at the beginning, but once you get more confident riding your Roadster we recommend moving the seat up.
Ideally, you are aiming for your leg to be fully extended when the pedal is in its lowest position. To check this you can sit on the seat and straddle the bike; your toes should be able to touch the ground, with your heel lifted about 60 degrees.
If you prefer the security of a flat foot on the ground when stationary, I have known riders that slide off the seat when stopped so they can stand securely - best of both worlds!
You have probably noticed that it is easier to change to higher gears than lower gears; you aren’t doing anything wrong - this is just the way the internal gearbox is designed. To make it easier to change down the gears (for example, 5 to 3) just back off your pressure on the pedals while you twist the gear shifter.
Compared to a pushbike, riding up hills on a Roadster is different. On a pushbike, you generally use a low gear that allows you to pedal fast and make a bit of power. On the Roadster however, the power assistance is based on the pressure on the pedals, meaning if you spin your pedals fast you won’t get much power assistance.
Therefore, I ride up hills in a gear or two higher than I would on a normal bike - for example I ride up most hills in gears 3 and 4, leaving gear 1 and 2 for the really steep hills or when going really slow.
Balancing Assist Levels
Another thing you may be wondering about is why you sometimes find it hard to ride up a hill just after you have rolled down the previous one. This happens because the assist only kicks in once you get back down below 25km/hr (the legal speed limit), and the last hill likely pushed you over this speed limit. What I do in this situation is roll up the hill a little while pedalling gently until the bike slows down enough that I can feel the power come back on - then you just ride normally.
The Roadster is my car replacement, so I’m often buzzing around at 25km/hr in full assist; however, there are times when I don’t want that extra boost. For example, when approaching tight corners - such as the narrow chicanes at the North Fremantle train line crossing - I back it off to level 1 for more control. I also do this when riding along a busy path where people and/or bikes are moving in their own ways. While it is possible to use full assist in both scenarios, I find there is a little less controlled and prefer to ease off the assist level.
Using the Front Light as my Flashlight
Another little trick I often use when I ride home and it's dark outside is to park the Roadster and leave the light in the ON position until I open the door and get inside. I then either arm the bike from the Tiller App on my phone or leave it to Self Arm in 5 minutes, which will automatically turn the lights off. Of course, we don’t recommend using Self Arm unless you have no fear of theft for those 5 minutes..
Using the Quicktether Cable Lock when you don’t have anything to latch it to.
Ducking into a shop and there aren’t any poles around? One handy trick is you can reach the Quicktether Cable Lock through the rear wheel and back into the lock. (I find this works perfect for the fish and chips pickup.)
Charging your Phone on the Roadster
Lastly, we often get asked how long the cable should be for charging the phone. We have found that 300mm (30cm) is a great length as it allows the handlebars to turn without pulling the cable tight. USB-C cables are sold at Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi, and most tech/office stores. If you are going to use the cable a lot you may consider permanently attaching it to the stem riser to minimise the chance of getting caught on the cable.___
Well that’s all the tips I have for you so far. If you have any more suggestions you think we should share with other Riders who have just got their Roadster, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.