Do I Need a Special E-Bike Tool Kit to Carry?

Do I Need a Special E-Bike Tool Kit to Carry?

Do E-bikes need special tools that should be carried every time you ride?  Lets explore this question a bit and give you the knowledge you need to ride your E-Bike safely and with confidence.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

If you have joined the thousands of New Zealanders riding an E-Bike you will know how much fun this experience is and what it opens up for you.  Being able to ride further, faster or over challenging terrain (hills) is something that many people have taken too with much enthusiasm.  But like any bike you are vulnerable to mechanical failure and you need to prepare yourself for this.

Bike Tools you should carry with an E-Bike

For the most part you need to be prepared for the same types of things any bike rider experiences.  Flat tyres, seats that need adjustment, bolts that have loosened, chains snapping…  This means tools should be carried that match your needs and ability to help yourself or group.

Tool Kits should get bigger as distance from help increases.  This is just sensible stuff and allows you to ride and be safe.  See our range of Bike Tools Kits to get a better understanding of this. 

The minimum you or someone in your group should be carrying…

  • Spare tube/s or a puncture repair kit
  • A pump
  • Tyre levers – set of 3
  • A simple Allen/Hex Key or basic multi-tool
Choose the correct chamois

What makes an E-Bike different?

Obviously, the main difference to a standard bike is the fact you have a battery.  You can choose to purchase and carry a spare battery with you but for most people this added expense and weight is not practical.  If your battery is charged and performing as it should you will be able to ride wherever you want.  You do need to understand your battery – how far can you ride?  What do the different power levels do to your battery charge level?  If your battery goes flat can you still ride your bike?

Part of choosing to ride a bike with added elements is the commitment to understanding the bike and the specific needs it has.  Regular maintenance and care is important and will increase the life of your bike and lessen the likelihood of problems occurring.  Take advantage of the bike shop you brought your bike from.  They should have the knowledge and hopefully the workshop you need for servicing and more major repairs.

The most common side of the road issue that E-Bike riders face, that is different to a standard bike, is damaged/loose battery cabling disrupting the power to the bike.  This is where tape and cable ties can be very useful in your tool kit for on the go repairs.  If tour riding or riding over multiple days, and your group has the capabilities, you need to consider carrying extra cabling.

Choose the correct chamois

What goRide Recommends:  

Always take tools. If you carry a tool you should know what it is for and how to use it.  Your aim does not have to be a comprehensive fix but a way to safely get home or closer to help. Add some tape and/or cable ties to make your kit more E-Bike specific. 

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Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

To follow is a list of some of the bike jacket technical terms you may come across when looking at bike jackets.  Knowing what these terms mean will help you to decide whether your bike jacket or jackets need to be waterproof or breathable… or both!  Hope this helps and if you want anything else explained, please get in touch….  CONTACT goRide

OUTER LAYER TERMS – Wind proof, water proof, water resistant, seam sealed, breathable, thermal, reflective, bright

Includes rain jackets, thermal jackets, waterproof trousers

An outer shell or hard shell jacket designed for riding doesn’t do much to actually keep you warm except for keeping out wind. Its primary function is to protect the inside layers of clothing from getting wet.  Most cycling jackets are made up of an outer shell and maybe an inner membrane.  Very few have insulating layers as they are designed for active use not to help keep you warm.

WATERPROOF

Technically, being waterproof means that it is impermeable to water, no matter how much time it spends in water.  No water in or out. A waterproof jacket will have a coating on the outer fabric called a DWR (Durable Water Repellant).   This will help the garment shed water and prevent saturation.

A garments level of waterproofness is measured in millimetres.  The range between 5,000 mm and 10,000 mm is great for spending long days outdoors through cold and wet weather conditions. It can withstand rains and winds, making it ideal for most outdoor activities including cycling. Waterproof ratings beyond 10,000 mm are excellent.

BREATHABILITY 

This is a measure of how quickly moisture vapour, generated from your body when you are exercising, is able to pass through a fabric from the inside to the outside environment.  A waterproof jacket that has no breathability will trap all this vapour which will then condense and make you feel damp and sweaty, and potentially cold on a bike.  A jackets breathability will vary depending on the use it was designed for.  As a guide breathability can be measured in g/m2 so depending on the level of activity you want to perform on a regular basis you can buy a jacket that matches.  Most jacket companies will have their own guidelines but to give you a general idea…

  • 5,000 – 10,000g/m²: This level of breathability is fine for light activities, but will get a bit clammy during high-intensity riding or hill climbing.
  • 10,000 – 15,000g/m²: Jackets in this range are suited to more adventurous, moderate to high levels of exercise.
  • 15,000 – 20,000g/m² & above: An extended back country trip, protection in warm climates or otherwise working hard and perspiring heavily will require a jacket this breathable.

Breathability can also be aided with vents, zips, mesh lined pockets.

What is your activity level?  How important is a breathable jacket?

Bike jacket or vest. Be seen
Control Moisture

Why do you need to control moisture? Once your clothing is wet, in warm conditions, it will lead to chaffing.  In cold conditions, it will lead to hypothermia. The combination of wet clothing & wind is dangerous and riding creates a draft without any help from the actual weather conditions.

WATERPROOF & BREATHABLE

Most waterproof breathable fabrics are layered. This is what distinguishes them from the rest of the jacket options.  The layers will be made from laminate materials, which usually consist of

  • an inner fabric optimised for wicking moisture
  • a waterproof membrane
  • an outer face fabric with a DWR treatment
Town Poncho information chart. goRide

Layered fabrics are common in waterproof & breathable jackets

Related Technical Terms:

Seam Sealed – Taping is used to seal the seams in a waterproof jacket on the inside. It does add bulk and reduce a jacket’s breathability.

Water Resistant – This type of jacket will be able to resist the penetration of water to a certain degree but not entirely so is considered water resistant or water repellant or showerproof. It will often bead up rainwater, forming drops on the surface because the surface of the fabric will be treated/coated.  A large range of jackets fall into this category and are generally more budget friendly – cheaper.

Wicking – Allows moisture to move through the fabric weave, pulling it off your skin onto the surface of the fabric to evaporate which is cooling. These types of fabrics have a direction of pull so don’t wear them inside out!

Thermal – A thermal jacket works extremely well as a light jacket for the transitional seasons, but it is also perfect as an insulating middle layer when it is really cold or wet. Thermal jackets can be breathable, windproof and water-repellent, making them practical and suitable for all kinds of weather. See Thermal Jacket

Reflective – Also called Hi-Vis, Protective or Safety Clothing.  It will have one or both of the following properties.  The fabric of the jacket will be made entirely from, or have elements of, high luminescent colour that is easily discernible from any background.  Or it will be considered ‘Reflective’ because it will be reflecting back toward its source any light that plays on it.   This last property works well in strips or bands. See Visibility Jacket / Vest

Thermal Jacket - reflective banding. goRide

A fitted thermal bike jacket for wind or chill protection

Visibility bike jacket - commute or traffic riding

Water resistant, packable & hi-vis bike jacket

SO, WHAT SHOULD I GET?
Depending on the conditions, activity and personal preference the right jacket will vary for each rider.  See more at The Best Bike Jackets for Cycling in…

Many people only need a water resistant jacket as a windproof outer layer.  This jacket will protect you if you are caught out by rain on your ride.  It will provide an adequate level of protection to get you home or back to the car somewhat dry.

If you need a good all-season jacket for protection from wind & chills while riding then a soft shell thermal jacket will work well. This type of jackets bridges the gap between fleeces and waterproof jackets (or hard shells).  This is a jacket for people who do not intend to ride in the rain.

Waterproof Options:

Commute or urban riders using bikes for transport will generally be looking for jackets with high waterproof ratings where breathability may not be so necessary.  These bike journeys will be short (<1hr) with coverage and protection from the jacket being important.  See Waterproof Poncho for Town Riding 

If you are doing a high level of aerobic activity in the rain then you will want something more lightweight, breathable & waterproof.  Look for higher breathability ratings but lighter weights.  These jackets are for dedicated riders who continue to cycle even in ‘bad weather’.  For example road riding, anyone training for an event.

If you are going to be outside in more extreme conditions, for instance, longer and more exposed riding, then a hardshell with excellent waterproof capabilities is your best bet.  Think more isolated, back country riding where you have a responsibility to keep yourself safe.

Jacket Fit & Care

Construction plays a big role in how well your jacket will perform.  Water can also get in through poorly sealed seams or zips, or via the collar or sleeves if they don’t fit correctly.

DWR treatments wear off over time, accelerated by abrasions (e.g. rubbing from a back pack) and some detergents.  This makes it really important to read all care & wash labels when you first get your jacket.  It may also need to be re-treated to maintain its water proof properties. If the treatment does wear off, the outer fabric no longer causes water to bead and will become saturated and heavy.  Absorbing water from both the external rain water and your internal sweat.

For more information see How to Wash a Bike Jacket

get Safe and goRide – Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained
get Safe and goRide – Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

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The Best Bike Jacket for….

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The Best Bike Jacket for Cycling…

The Best Bike Jacket for Cycling…

If you are in the market for a new jacket a bike specific one could be a good option and a great investment to keep you riding.  What would be the best bike jacket for cycling?

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

 

All bike jackets will be designed with a specific function or combination of functions in mind – keeping you dry, keeping you warm, deflecting the wind, making you more visible.  They will probably share some bike specific features like good pockets, reflective strips, vents for airflow.

Staying warm on a bike can be challenging as the temperatures drop following a change of season.  Combine this with rain and/or wind and being comfortable requires some planning and the right type of gear.  We would love to see you riding all season round but to do this in a way that makes you want to ride, or to keep you smiling while riding, you need protection.

Technical Terms Explained

 

Waterproof – Technically means that it is impermeable to water, no matter how much time it spends in water.  No water in or out. It will have a coating on the outer fabric along with fully taped seams (seam sealed, see photo) and it may have a built in membrane lining.

Resistant – This type of jacket will be able to resist the penetration of water to a certain degree but not entirely so is considered water resistant or water repellant or showerproof. It will often bead up rainwater, forming drops on the surface.

Breathability –  Is a measure of how quickly moisture vapour, generated from your body when you are exercising, is able to pass through a fabric from the inside to the outside environment.

For more detailed information on this important subject see Waterproof or Breathable – Bike Jackets Explained

Choose the correct chamois

 

To follow are a few types of bike jackets explained in more detail.  Hopefully this will help you choose a jacket that will match closely to the type of riding that you do most often.  Having more than one jacket is always an option as well…

The Best Bike Jacket for Cycling in Traffic
 

Town riding usually sees you in everyday style clothing as you do chores or commute to work.  Jackets will need to be waterproof to get you to where you are going and still be relatively dry… Choosing a long length or combining your jacket with waterproof pants is a great idea for committed commuters. An urban jacket should help with your visibility so choose a bright colour with lots of reflective elements.  For many cyclists it is important this type of jacket is light weight and packs down.  This makes it really easy to carry when it is not being worn.

Any bike jacket style can be best in category for visibility.  This is all about your colour choice and reflective stripping or bands.  Bright colours that will attract the attention of drivers include anything fluorescent, orange, yellow, green, bright blue or red.  Reflective materials are picked up by car lights in limited visibility weather or at night time.  These can be placed on the back or front of the jacket and piped around edging.

See our Visibility On The Bike page for lots of ideas…

Choose the correct chamois
The Best Bike Jacket for Warmth
 

A thermal or wind/chill protection style of jacket is a great choice for warmth  These types of jackets work well for days when you know it’s not going to rain but it’s still cold.  You may also be a recreation rider who only chooses to go out riding when the weather is relatively good.  Look for warm fabrics, built up neck protection & zips finishing under you chin.  Any additional windproof protection through the chest area is also a bonus.  Known as soft shell jackets, they offer water resistance, breathability and warmth. Great as a lightweight outer layer or a breathable mid-layer.  This is a jacket for people who do not intend to ride in the rain.

thermal bike jacket
The Best Bike Jacket to Carry
 

A jacket that is lightweight and easy to carry can be a great addition to your cycling wardrobe.  These jackets will provide a wind block and be water resistant so can be worn for a variety of different reasons.  Most will pack down into a pocket making them extremely easy to take with you incase you need some extra protection while riding.  A vest can also be a good choice in this category. 

thermal bike jacket
The Best Bike Jacket for Dependable Performance
 

When you plan to ride your bike into places that are remote you need to have performance level bike gear that will keep you safe.  A waterproof jacket for protection against being wet is essential.  Because you will be working on your bike – in these types of locations – breathability is key to keeping you dry on the inside of the jacket as well.  This balance of waterproof yet breathable is a fine balance that many jackets do not achieve.  So know what you are buying. This jacket will use a 3-layer construction with a durable face fabric that will be very resilient in a wide range of conditions.  Seam & zip sealing becomes very important.

It will also need to pack down well so it is easy to carry.  These jackets are generally expensive.  They will have many added features like seam sealing, zippers for venting & waterproof fabric treatments/membranes with high ratings.

Choose the correct chamois
Be Safe – Signs of Hyperthermia

 

If you are bike touring in conditions with a significant Cold Challenge – Temperature, Wetness, Wind combined with fatigue, poor food intake and/or dehydration you need to be aware of the risk of mild hypothermia

  • Watch for the “Umbles” – stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles which show changes in motor coordination and levels of consciousness
  • Shivering – not under voluntary control, not easily stopped
  • Can’t do complex motor functions (single track riding) can still walk & talk
  • Numbness in periphery (hands, feet)

Heat Retention + Heat Production is less than Cold Challenge = Hypothermia

What can you do for mild hypothermia?
 
  1. Reduce heat loss by adding layers of clothing, getting dry clothing on, increasing physical activity or providing shelter.  Use a survival blanket
  2. Add fuel & fluids. It is essential to keep a hypothermic person adequately hydrated and fuelled
  3. Add Heat – Fire or other external heat source.  Body to body contact. Get into a sleeping bag, in dry clothing with a normo-thermic person in lightweight dry clothing

(Source: Outdoor Action Guide to Hypothermia & Cold Weather Injuries.  By Rick Curtis)

This advice gives you a starting place to help someone who has injured themselves or is showing signs of mild hypothermia.  Nothing replaces training, so if no-one in your group has training or a medical background consider adding this to your list of things to “get better” at before you go bike touring or on multi day adventures.

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Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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The Best Bike Helmet for Kids who Mountain Bike

The Best Bike Helmet for Kids who Mountain Bike

The mountain bike trail network is expanding. Most regions have trails to support the recreation/sport of mountain biking and these trails are catering for wider capabilities and a wider age range. This offers kids the opportunity to be exposed to mountain biking at a younger age. To keep kids safe as they learn and develop in the recreation/sport of mountain biking its imperative that we match their level of performance on the mountain bike trails with the appropriate equipment.

A priority is having a bike helmet to match their level of performance on the bike.

The BEST bike helmet for kids who mountain bike should mimic features of an adult mountain bike helmet. It needs to have features that will provide a similar performance level of protection.

Please note: you will need to consider an adult mountain bike helmet when their level of performance or their head size is not compatible with a kids bike helmet. See Mountain Biking Helmets for more information.

GiroTremor performance features story goRide
KEY DESIGN FEATURES to support SAFETY in a Mountain Bike Environment

A performance bike helmet with performance features for kids who mountain bike is important.

Performance protection & strength – Kids are riding in environments and at speeds similar to adults… so they need to ride wearing a helmet that has a similar level of protection to an adult mountain bike helmet. A kids mountain bike helmet should include protection such as MIPs, an impact protection system, a high quality inner foam and a shell moulded to this foam to adequately absorb the forces they may be exposed to when riding.

Shape – The helmet needs to have good head coverage.  This means it should cover their head from above the eyebrows through to base of the head/start of the neck.

Adjustable – The helmet needs to fit snug to their head and have good adjustment with the straps and a superior, easy to use, rear adjustment system.  Kids need to be able to use this system every time they put the helmet on and understand why it’s important that their helmet is in a good, secure position.

Breathable – Kids will be working hard/performing while riding so good breathability and airflow with good venting is an important feature.

goRide’s Bike Helmet for Kids who mountain Bike is…
GIRO TREMOR, available in one size only 50-57cm
Light weight and good ventilation. Good head coverage with good adjustment. Performance protection to match performance in the mountain biking environment.
get Safe and goRide –  The Best Bike Helmet for Kids who Mountain Bike 

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Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?

The right Kids Bike Helmet?

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The Best Bike Helmet for a Kids Bike Seat

The Best Bike Helmet for a Kids Bike Seat

A kids bike seat allows you to get back on the bike and to share this rewarding experience with your baby/toddler. There is always some anxiety and apprehension from the both of you when you set out on this new experience… some of those feelings can be eased if you have the right equipment and you feel good about using it.

The BEST bike helmet for a Kids Bike Seat should  have the following features.

  • Lightweight
  • Good head coverage
  • Good ability to adjustment the size to fit to their head
  • Round like the shape of their head (flat back) with a pinch guard
  • Bright and fun graphics
Toddle helmet features Kids Bike Seat goRide
KEY DESIGN FEATURES to support SAFETY

A good bike helmet for a kids bike seat can help you feel comfortable as you share this rewarding experience.

Lightweight. It wasn’t too long ago that they developed the strength to hold up there head.. so we don’t want to add a lot of weight to the head.

Shape and Style – The helmet needs to be round like the shape of their head. It must have no protrusions at the rear (a flat back) so they can comfortably lean their head back on the bike seat. The helmet should cover their head from above the eyebrows through to base of the head/start of the neck

Adjustable – The helmet needs to have adjustable straps and a mechanism at the back of the helmet that turns/slides to help fit to the head or different thickness of pads to insert into the helmet.

Bright and fun graphics – to help them be seen. If they love their helmet they are more likely to want to wear it . That means you can both enjoy the experience and do it more often.

goRide’s Bike Helmets for Kids Bike Seats are…
Toddler Helmet – Extra Small & Small.
Light weight. Good head coverage with good adjustment. Available in bright and fun graphics.
Kids Traffic Helmet – Extra Small & Small 
This is the best helmet option for towing kids through traffic – tow frame, tow bars, trailing 1/2 bikes. Great head coverage, bright colour options & a rear light in the size adjustment dial. Fits toddlers through to kids.
get Safe and goRide –  The Best Bike Helmet for Kids Bike Seats

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?

The right Kids Bike Helmet?

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When Should You Use Chamois Cream?

When Should You Use Chamois Cream?

The idea of using a chamois cream may be a bit confronting.  This story will help to explain what the benefits of a cream are.  It will tell you when you should use a chamois cream & let you know what to watch out for.  Being comfortable on your seat is a really important part of riding, so I’m glad you are taking the time to read this.

What is a chamois cream?

Basically it is a lubricant that you place between your skin and your riding pants to ease friction, build up of heat and/or pressure.  These things happen as you spend time on your bike repeatedly pedaling.  I will just remind you here that you do not wear underwear with padded riding pants.

Chamois cream can also be used to soothe & heal symptoms of skin irritation, inflammation and points of tenderness.  Chamois creams that are natural (like BioMaxa in the photo) are better for your skin and the health of your whole pelvic environment.  Those that include anti-bacterial properties will control build up of problem causing bacteria & reduce infection of your skin and hair follicles.

Who should use a chamois cream?

Chamois creams can be used by anyone that rides a bike.  They are particularly relevant if you are new to cycling, trying to build up distances quickly or “breaking in” a new saddle (getting used to the shape and where the saddle contacts your body).

Chamois creams are often used by cyclists who are planning long rides and/or repeated days of riding.  For example; touring, bike packing, multi day riding or regular long commuting.  Also by anyone racing long distances or participating in an endurance type event.

Friction & pressure are created at points of contact with your saddle. Image courtesy of Bontrager Saddles

Why you should use a chamois cream

A chamois cream works in several different ways

  • reduces friction
  • minimises inflammation & occurrence of saddle sores
  • decreases the likelihood of ingrown hairs caused by rubbing
  • stops the build up of bacteria
Use as a Lubricant

This is the best way to use your chamois cream as you are trying to prevent any negative effects of spending time on your bike.  You don’t have a problem and want to keep it that way.

Use to Soothe

Keep an eye out for feelings of tenderness and any burning sensations.  Pain and discomfort are generally indicators that something is not right.  Redness, inflammation, swelling etc…see section below on SADDLE SORES.  You will now want to use your chamois cream liberally to assist in your ability to ride in comfort and to prevent worsening of the issue.  After cleaning post ride consider using small amounts to assist with healing.

Use to Heal

If you do have an issue it will be as a result of time riding and sometimes it is just one of those things that riders have to deal with. Some riders are more susceptible to skin irritations.  If you have a problem it means it’s time to rest.  Keep the problem area clean and well ventilated.  A natural chamois cream can now really help with the speed of your recovery.

Terry Touring Capri. 3:4 padded bike pants. goRide

The correct type of padded pants are important – Endurance 3/4 Padded Pants

Watch out for Saddle Sores

The main thing that chamois creams are trying to prevent is saddle sores. The definition of a saddle sore covers several different forms of irritation to the skin.   A saddle sore is the outcome of the combination of heat, pressure and friction created while riding a bike.  It can present in several different forms.  The most common are

  • hard painful lumps
  • fluid filled cysts or abrasions (like a friction burn)
  • infected hair follicles

 

Prevention is the best action

Using a natural chamois cream is the best form of protection from getting a saddle sore.  If you are serious about the health of this region of your body you must also consider your saddle and your padded riding pants. Do they both support comfort for the type of riding that you are doing?  Saddles and padded pants come in all sorts of designs so it is best to match their features to your riding style.

Learn more about Bike Saddles… here

Learn more about Riding Pants… here

get Safe and goRide –  When Should You Use Chamois Cream?

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How to Use Natural Chamois Cream

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