Electric Bike Accessories
If you’re like me and use your electric bike regularly, you will have accumulated a few accessories over the years. The most popular accessories for e-bikes change with the purpose of the bike.
If you ride a hunting bike, the best electric bike accessories are rifle holsters and trailers , while commuters prefer heated handlebar grips, mirrors, and backup batteries.
Whatever you ride, you may be interested in some of the more useful electric bike accessories. So, what kinds of accessories can you get for your ride?
Rifle holsters are the most common bike accessory for electric hunting bikes. They are most commonly attached to the rear of the frame behind the rider, or to the front suspension strut.
There are, however, some rifle holders which attach above the handlebars of the electric hunting bike. Having the rifle connected to the handlebars provides quick access to the weapon when you spot game. Handlebar rifle mounts have a quick release to provide instant access when you need to take action.
Besides providing quick access, mounting the rifle above the handlebars clears space for storage on other parts of the bike. For many, fitting the rifle in a prominent position is a statement. It lets everyone know that your bike is ready to take care of business.
A word of caution here. The butt and barrel on handlebar mounted rifles will often protrude beyond the end of the e-bike handlebars (unless you have a firearm with a folding stock – see Bonestock). There is potential for damage or injury if you drop your electric hunting bike.
This brings me to our next accessory.
Mirrors are great e-bike accessories for commuters who ride in heavier traffic but they can be useful for electric hunting bikes.
Rugged handlebar mirrors can attach to the end of the bars. Strong extension mirrors can protect handlebar mounted rifles or bows should you drop the bike.
The world of bags is a vast arena. Not only are bags made to carry your gear, but there are electric bags that discreetly conceal additional battery packs while providing lots of space for additional storage.
Most bike bags are used to carry riding gear, but they can also pack hunting equipment, traps, and fishing rods. There are even bags made to carry electric bikes.
The number one most useful bike accessory for electric bikes is a bike lock. The obvious benefit is the peace of mind. You can’t leave your bike unsecured even on remote hunting trails in case an opportunist happens upon your e-bike.
I prefer good quality bike locks that lock with a key so you don’t have to worry about someone testing the combination on tumbler locks.
There are several unusual bike locks available, but I carry a solid steel hoop lock that clips to the saddle stay.
Having a permanent location for the bike lock means that you will never forget to bring it along. I rarely use the position behind the saddle stay for storage, and, if it is, the lock is still usually out of the way.
Electric Bike Trailers
Trailers can be an awesome accessory for an electric bike. They help your e-bike haul heavy gear for camping, or carry traps, bows, or rods, for hunting and fishing trips.
Trailers can also carry backup batteries, chargers, or solar panels, to extend the travel range of your e-bike.
Electric hunting bike owners who stalk deer, moose, or elk need a trailer to return their game after the hunt. To make life easy, top brand electric hunting bikes come with a hitch to connect, and disconnect, trailers.
There are a range of trailer options for electric bikes to choose from. The larger the trailer, the more gear that you can haul on your trip. The drawback is that heavy gear and rough terrain can reduce the range you can achieve on a single charge of your e-bike battery. Heavy loads will also reduce the speed and intensity that your e-bike can achieve.
The thought of charging your e-bike from solar panels is very popular. Be aware, however, that using solar panels to recharge your e-bike is not as effective as you would imagine.
To calculate the wattage of the solar panel, let’s start with some basics:
- How many hours of powered riding you want to achieve in a day and
- The power of your e-bike motor.
For example, if you want to ride a 500 Watt for 4 hours a day and do not need to power any other appliances, then you would would look at a system that can generate 2000 Watts every day.
Assuming the use of 100% efficient solar panels in full sunlight with no inverter, battery or charging losses, a 500 Watt solar panel will require a minimum of 4 hours of full, strong sunlight to provide engine charge for a day’s ride.
In reality, solar panels will need to have at least double their rated capacity to provide sufficient charge. For our goal of 4 hours with a 500 Watt e-bike, we would aim for 1000 Watt solar panels and sunny days.
A solar battery can be a useful addition to increase the practicality of solar panels.
A backup battery can provide enough power to recharge your e-bike battery for an extra day’s ride. We can charge invertor batteries from solar panels, mains electricity, or even the cigarette lighter on your truck.
It may be easier to get a second battery for your electric bike, rather than an invertor or solar system. A second battery is more compact than an inverter, generator or solar panels, and may be all that’s required to complete your trip.
There are some great battery options on the market, and they come in different sizes and with a variety of features. Extra batteries are great for the long weekends and hunting season.
If you have ever ridden a bike in winter, you will know how quickly your hands can freeze. Last winter I rode 20 minutes to work every day and then suffered over a radiator for 15 minutes while life painfully returned to my hands.
Gloves by themselves just are not enough to combat sub-zero conditions with the added wind chill from an e-bike.
There are a whole raft of heaters that make life a lot more comfortable for e-bike enthusiasts. There are hand grip heaters, electric heated gloves, heated vests and even heated saddles to prevent Jack Frost from getting into your bones.
The whole setup is simple, inexpensive, and they work!
Hand grip heaters run on 12 Volts for use on motorcycles. The good news is that many e-bike controllers have a 12Volt circuit designed for headlight and tail light bulbs. We can splice hand grip heaters into the e-bike light circuits.
Most hand grip heaters are 24 Watt systems which is well within the typical e-bike’s wire and controller rating.
If your e-bike controller does not provide a 12 Volt circuit, it is simple to connect the device directly to the e-bike battery. You will need to add a resistor in series to drop the e-bike voltage running to the heated grips. To establish what resistor you require, use the fundamental electrical equation:
R = V^2 / P (Resistance = Voltage squared divided by Power)
First, calculate the resistance of the device.
Say it is a 12 Volt device which consumes 24 Watts of power. The equation gives us:
R = 12^2 / 24 = 6 Ohms.
Now you know the device is 6 Ohms, your series resistor needs to be 2 times the resistance (12 Ohms) to drop a 36 Volt battery down to 12V. Similarly, 3 times the resistance (18 Ohms) to drop a 48 Volt e-bike feed down and 4 times the resistance (24 Ohms) for a 52 Volt e-bike.
One of the more unusual accessories is a heated saddle. ‘Sweet Saddle’ mold their saddles from vented carbon fiber. They then pump hot air through the saddle to warm the rider.
In summer, the system can simply blow cool air onto the rider’s butt.
I have an 18 Watt light bar with bright white LEDs fitted under the handlebars of my e-bike. The light bar is bright enough for me to see just about anything for 20 meters, and doesn’t interfere with my rifle mount.
I ran wires from the e-bike ignition through a simple on/off switch. The unit was simple to install, and it provides heaps of light. I also use the light bar to light up my campsite for a few hours after dark.
If the weather has been a little wet, a day of off-roading will cover your e-bike in mud. A good scrub cleans the bike but water and detergent can’t get the grit out of your chain.
There are, however, a great range of chain cleaners that can clean the grit from your chain with no mess. After removing the grit, a little graphite grease, or specially formulated lube, will keep your chain in tip-top condition.
Click here for an in-depth guide to the best chain cleaning systems.
And last on our list of electric bike accessories, there are long travel shock absorbers. Long travel shocks have travel between 180 mm or above.
Most eMTBs have forks with150 mm (or less) travel. 150 mm travel gives electric mountain bikes greater agility and improves feedback to the rider.
Most MTB enthusiasts agree that 150 mm front fork travel is the sweet spot for stability when shredding rough, off-road tracks with quick switchbacks.
Longer travel forks (180 – 200 mm) feel a little soft for fast eMTB trails, resulting in the ride feeling a little lazy for most trails. 180-200 mm forks provide more comfort for eMTB enthusiasts, and can give the rider more confidence when tackling bigger rocks or extreme jumps on extreme downhill trails.
If you have an electric hunting bike, or are looking for a smoother, more comfortable ride, long travel forks are the way to go. Especially when you have an extra 20 pounds of gear to carry, agility is usually not high on your list of features.
Long travel forks compliment the fat tires of electric hunting bikes with few drawbacks.
Whether you’re a regular hunter or just an occasional rider, the accessories on the market today for electric hunting bikes will not disappoint.
The best e-bike accessories vary with how the rider uses their bike. Commuters, hunters, tourers, and mountain bike enthusiasts will all have different requirements.
For hunting bikes, the best electric bike accessory is a handlebar rifle holder. For commuters who ride in winter, heated handlebar grips are the best e-bike accessory. If you are a long distance tourer, a trailer is essential, and eMTB enthusiasts would opt for battery upgrades if the price was not a barrier.