Gearing can be sometimes overlooked when purchasing an ebike in comparison to the power of the motor or the size of the battery. However, as is the case on a regular bike, it will make your ride easier and more enjoyable when riding hills in addition to optimizing your battery usage.
On your Furo X or Aventa your computer will detail your PAS (Pedal-Assist System) level which can be changed using the controls on the left, and on the right shifter, your controls for your mechanical gears.
Using gears on an electric bike is very similar to using them on a regular cycle and allows you to adjust your pedalling effort. The 9 speed Shimano cassette offers a large number of gears and will help you to maintain a comfortable cadence regardless of the gradient you are tackling along with increasing your cycling efficiency.
Low gears are for easy climbs and where there is more resistance. You will want to shift to higher gears by clicking the shifter on the handlebars to increase your speed on the flat or downhill – this will allow you to pedal slower, but with more force. Lower gears mean the motor must work harder and use more power, whereas the higher the gear the more leg power you will have to put in to supplement the battery putting less strain on the motor. For example, when approaching a hill you will want to go for a low gear level for the motor to do the work.
You will want to shift gears and change pedal-assist to match your speed and terrain. Take some time to play around with shifting and see how it feels to ride in different gears to find the cadence you are the most comfortable with. Note that a low cadence will drain power quicker. Make sure you spin rather than grind and always anticipate shifting gears before the terrain changes and remember to keep pedalling when changing gears in order for the chain to move from one gear to the next.
While your pedal-assist sensor provides you with 5 different levels of assistance – from eco to sport mode. When you start rotating the pedals, the motor will smoothly give you the selected power. Unlike mechanical gears, you can change the level of electric assistance while at a standstill. If you are pedalling and reach the top motor speed, the power will fade out and require leg power to keep going at those speeds.
Many riders keep their bikes in a low pedal-assist system in addition to the gears to maintain a certain level of exercise and not entirely relying on the motor to do the work, therefore using less energy from the battery. It will also work if you aim for longer rides where you will want to get the most out of your battery.
Maintenance is key when you are using your bike regularly. To get the best of your gears and chain, ensure to maintain them! A lubricated and clean chain is essential for keeping your bike’s drivetrain running smoothly. Check that no dirt or dust has built up as this could disrupt the shifting systems.