How to Shift Gears and Select Support Modes on an E-bike
with CAROLINE WASHAM, Liv Ambassador and Professional MTB Skills Coach
The first time I ever hopped on an electric bike, I was having so much fun I forgot one of the basic skills of riding a mountain bike: how to shift gears. It’s easy to do, because with the added boost of power from the motor, you can actually get up most hills without shifting… that is, until you can’t. I came around a tight left-hand switchback to an unexpected punchy, rooty climb. I took one pedal stroke, but when I tried to take a second my cadence had slowed to a crawl and I stalled out. Luckily, my instinct kicked in and I came out of my clip-in pedals before tipping over in front of a group of my fellow coaches. Whew!
When introducing others to the joys of riding an E-MTB, this is always the first story I share. Discovering how to use gears on an electric bike in addition to the motor support modes is the first step to learning how to operate and ride an E-bike. Here’s how to get started: