| by Kenneth Chase | 16 comments

How And When To Change Gear On Your E Bike | E MTB Shifting & Mode Selection Explained

– If you’re new to e-mountain biking, one of the most essential skills to learn is how to use your gears
and your mode correctly, and once mastered, you’ll really be able
to see your potential and just what an e-bike can do. (upbeat music) And starting off with gearing, now you need to be able
to spin your e-bike at the right cadence. Now cadence means the rate at which you’re
spinning your pedals, because most e-bikes operate at their best at between 80 and 120
revolutions per minute. Okay, so here’s an example of cadence. I’m now spinning at between 90 and 100
revolutions per minute, and my bike is really loving that, it’s working at an optimum rate. However, knock it down into a higher gear, I’m not down to 40 to 50
revolutions per minute, and whilst it’s quite
a good workout for me, my bike’s not going to like it, it’s not going to be
working at it’s optimum. It’s a bit like driving
a car in the wrong gear. (upbeat music) I’m going to start off with
some of the basic mistakes people do on their e-bikes. First of all, you can
actually pedal too quickly. I’m now doing about 125
revolutions per minute, which actually means the bike
stops giving you support, and that effort is all your own. (upbeat music) Second up, riding in turbo or boost mode, with all the time in the world. And why not, if you need
to e-mountain bike in, just remember, you’re going
to be burning that battery. (breathes heavily) Now this next one is probably
the most basic error, and it doesn’t matter if you’re
riding sooth tarmac roads, or on a single-track
technical trail in the hills, like those above me. And this is what it’s all about, this not anticipating
hills and changing gear to suit that hill. Let me show you what happens
if I’m in the wrong gear for the hill above. This all works fine, but as
soon as I get to the hill, it just simply won’t go up there. Now my gear is fine here, but
as soon as that road steepens, (groans) I really do run out of gear. Now I’m going to show you the correct way. I see the hill, I change
gear into an easier gear, it doesn’t matter what mode you’re in, that e-bike will get you up there. Hundred raw RPM. Woo. (gentle music) But remember, the biggest sin of all is actually to change
gear at the wrong time. Which puts huge amount of stress on you and especially your gears (groans). An e-bike then is pretty much like a car. You keep a car revving, and
you keep an e-bike spinning. Let those revs drop or
let the spinning drop, and it simply comes to a halt. Now on a traditional mountain bike you can sometimes grind it out, and it actually feels pretty good. But on an e-mountain bike,
that simply does not work. (upbeat music) Time then to talk about mode. Now, mode is that button
on your handle bar, which controls eco, trail, or boost mode. Or that could even be on your display. Now most of the time on flat
or gently uphill terrain, I’d actually use eco, because after all, eco’s still significantly easier than our standard mountain bike. Now, I can see now that my revs, my cadence is dropping below about 80, so I’m going to switch
from eco, up into trail, and you can see my cadence rising. (upbeat music) What about boost mode? Well I was doing about
15 kilometers an hour, but now, I’m doing 35! So I’m actually going under my own steam! Why do you need boost? (upbeat music) So, if you do find yourself beyond that 25 kilometer
an hour restriction, going downhill or on
the flat in turbo mode, which you most likely will be, then simply pop it back
into trail or eco mode, and don’t forget to alter
the gear and to go with that. Now, a really good tool to use if you need to e-mountain bike in, is actually a display,
which shows your cadence, and also your speed. And then that way you can match
your spinning of the pedals and also your gearing to suit. Now I’ve used the road
to show you the basics of gearing and mode, but the fundamentals of
this applies off-road, as it does on-road. I’m going to leave you
then with two videos to show you just what these
e-mountain bikes are capable of. Time to hit the trails, and change gear. (laughs) Woo!


Electric Mountain Bike Network

Mar 3, 2020, 1:33 pm Reply

Are you as good as you could be with gear and mode selection? Let us know 👇

matthew fryer

Mar 3, 2020, 1:47 pm Reply

My Haibike doesn't show cadence can you recommend an add-on for this?


Mar 3, 2020, 2:12 pm Reply

I live in a fairly flat town so my peddle assist fittings went in the bin on my home build and stay in the maximum gear. Not changed gears in well over 4 months now 😀

Uras Tus

Mar 3, 2020, 2:16 pm Reply

Shimano e8000 seems to back off when I reach 100 rpm – it's like the power drops off about 25% or so. Merida eOne Forty

Frank Hartmann

Mar 3, 2020, 2:59 pm Reply

Do not shift under load!

John Nonrev

Mar 3, 2020, 5:50 pm Reply

I only ride a road e-bike, so this might be a little different than off road. But I have found that the bike motor makes certain sounds when you are not in the correct cadence. High pitch and loud when you are spinning too fast. No sound at all when you are too slow, like on a hill and too high of a gear. Just a low noise when you are in the sweet spot. Unless you have a bike computer to see your cadence, it takes a while to get it right. You can of hear it in the video with the whining of the motor.


Mar 3, 2020, 9:37 pm Reply

WTH Jones, did you even have your bike turned on? I ride my entire 20 mile loop in turbo mode, still have 2 bars left at the end of it, and I keep it in the highest gear most of the time, even up hills, come on man, you are on an E BIKE!

Guns N’ Loaded

Mar 3, 2020, 10:57 pm Reply

Good video


Mar 3, 2020, 12:23 am Reply

Great to see a facts/information based video rather than another opinion/BS piece about the latest bike/equipment/etc.

Lawrence Lo

Mar 3, 2020, 4:03 am Reply

On a Hub Motor, what is the difference between Power(W) and Torque(Nm)? How come they don't usually mention torque for hubs?

# Coach2win

Mar 3, 2020, 5:32 am Reply

I prefer trail mode and eco mode at 80-90 cadence

Marc Church

Mar 3, 2020, 11:58 am Reply

#askembn I'm from England, if I get the euro tunnel into France do you know where the nearest ski lift is with good trails which I can take my ebike on? Thanks

William Green

Mar 3, 2020, 3:22 pm Reply

1X systems have 'dumbed down' new riders. You can consider the e-mode as a front derailleur, and find the proper range for the terrain.

Other things to consider is shifting under a load, such as climbing into a lower gear (bigger cog) – slightly increase cadence before the shift and back off the cadence when you shift – it will save your chain and cogset. If you hear a grinding while climbing (which is your chainwheel overtightening with your chain), you are in too high of gear and need to shift to a bigger cog.

As a super-clydesdale rider, I break things more than most. I use Deore XT 11sp cogs, because they last. I have broken teeth off of SLX cogs, and the SunRace cogs (which work well on my regular bikes) are too soft of material for the extra torque of an ebike under load, and the teeth will bend if you downshift (go to bigger cog) under a load.

sss e

Mar 3, 2020, 9:32 pm Reply

Why is your dropper always in low position when climbing?

julian shepherd

Mar 3, 2020, 10:46 am Reply

Top gear, full power, maximum rock and roll unless absolutely necessary

Korrey Foisy

Mar 3, 2020, 10:40 pm Reply

Oh my god your bike blows.. You guys really need to push your legislators for more wattage.

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