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Why Ottawa Is a Great Place to Get an E-Bike

A few years ago it was almost unheard of to know someone who owns an e-bike. Since then they’ve grown in popularity and it’s not uncommon to see a few riders sporting e-bikes on the pathways across North America. Here are our top 5 reasons why you should get an e-bike today.

They Help you Explore Your City

With a city that spans as wide as Ottawa does and offers views and scenic areas like the Parliament Buildings, Dow’s Lake, the locks by the Chateau Laurier, and so much more, it can sometimes be hard to travel around to take them all in.

An e-bike can help you avoid traffic and the pains of trying to find parking, all while allowing you to take in the sunshine and get up close and personal with the nature surrounding the expansive bike paths neighbouring the rivers that take you almost anywhere you need to go in Ottawa.

Go Further and Longer

Not to mention get there faster. E-bikes are great for those of us that don’t necessarily want to exert ourselves while taking in the sights. That being said, electric bicycles offer many of the same exercise benefits that regular cycling does. And, if you want to, you can still give it your all, you’ll just be going faster and further than those on ordinary bicycles.

Great for Hills

If you’ve talked to other cyclists in Ottawa, you’ve probably been asked if you’ve been out to Gatineau Park yet. Although most will agree it’s completely worth the effort to get up the hills, it can be a little daunting to us regular folk who aren’t used to the effort necessary to pedal up an incline.

The variety of power modes available to assist your pedalling on an e-bike make facing those climbs a lot easier–not to mention, you still get to take full advantage of the downhills.

Great for Crosswinds and Headwinds

That small motor backing you up will make a huge difference when nature decides to work against you, not for you. A headwind can really put a damper on your ride—unless you’re riding an e-bike that allows you to change a few settings and keep riding as if the wind is at your back.

They’re Fun to Ride

Sure regular bikes are fun to ride as well, but e-bikes give you that extra push, that extra boost while you’re riding which can make it much more enjoyable. Let’s face it, e-bikes will keep you from having to put in that extra effort, which will allow you to be more relaxed and take in your surroundings.

Would you rather be the guy suffering on the bike path or the guy with a smile on their face cruising by?

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3 Common At-Home Bike Repair Mistakes

Bike repairs in Ottawa

 

Although taking your bike to the shop for small repairs isn’t always necessary, if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, a simple fix could turn into a bigger problem. Luckily, our bike mechanics are always happy to help with any problem big or small and offer advice to get the job done right next time. Here are three of the most common at-home bike repair mistakes:

1. Too Much Air in Your Tires

Yes, overinflating is a thing. While your tires have a maximum pound per square inch (psi) indicated on the sidewall of your tire, it doesn’t mean you should always take it to heart. Most tires will specify around 120 psi but inflating your tires to the maximum pressure could cause your ride to be a little bouncier than is comfortable. Of course, this depends on a number of factors like the type of tubes and tires or terrain you’ll be riding on. Lowering your tire pressure by 10-30 psi could improve your comfort level and reduce the chances of getting a flat tire. If you aren’t sure what the optimal psi is for you, ask your bike mechanic—and always make sure you’re using the right type of tubes and tires.

2. Overtightening Bolts

While you’re probably just trying to make sure all the bolts are secure on your bike, overtightening can be a real issue—especially if you’ve taken the plunge into the wonderful world of carbon frames or components. Your first instinct, when faced with loose bolts, is likely to reach for your Allen keys or wrench, but your best bet is to invest a little $ into a torque wrench. Making sure you tighten your bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications could cost you less than the damage caused from overtightening.

Pay attention to your pedals too, bolts aren’t the only thing you have to worry about overtightening. Installing pedals too tightly or without grease could cause a lot of grief when you try to remove them later on.

3. Using the Wrong Lube

This one is pretty common for those of us new to at-home bike repairs. Despite what our dads might have told us, WD-40 shouldn’t be your go-to lube for everything, especially bicycle chains. (Unless you’re using their relatively new cycling-specific products mostly only found in bike shops.)

Using non-bike-specific lube for your chain will cause it to collect dirt and gunk it up in no time. Make sure you’re using appropriate wet or dry lube and keep it clean by wiping it down with a clean rag after every ride. It might seem tedious, but your bike—and your mechanic—will thank you. Not to mention your chain and drivetrain will remain in working order much longer.

Check out this video on how to keep your chain in top shape:

These are only three of the most common bike repair mistakes you can make at home. Don’t forget that no matter how big, or small, your repairs seem, there is always a mechanic at your favourite bike shop in Ottawa, or elsewhere, that’s more than happy to help or offer advice.