A Guide for New Electric Cargo Bike Owners

Header photo credit: Tern Bicycles

Are you about to buy a new electric cargo bike? Here are all the things I wish everyone did on their new e-bike day. Make sure to print this checklist and bring it to the bike shop!

New Electric Bike Guide to Get Started

Follow these steps with your e-bike at the bike shop

  • The very first thing you should do is check your bike fit. Make sure your seat height feels good, you can reach your handlebars and brakes comfortably.
  • Next, your shop should do a walk-through of the entire bike with you including how to shift, how to brake, and how to use the e-bike system including your controller, locking and unlocking your battery, and charging that battery
  • This may sound silly, but make sure you test-ride the bike. Does that bike fit feel right while riding? Do you understand all the directions they gave you on braking, shifting, and the e-bike system?
  • Next up are your accessories and unique bike features. How do you use that fancy kickstand or front rack? 
  • Review your warranty, and take notes on any actions you need to do
  • If it is a Bosch e-bike, ask for a “Bosch Diagnostics Report” – this report will show you info about your bike, the key number, and they should have programmed your phone number on the motor
  • Understand your service plan. What comes with the bike? If it is a 30-day tune-up see if you can schedule it now so you don’t forget and they aren’t scheduled out when you need it.
  • If possible, ask them to print and email you the receipt for the bike and all your accessories.

Steps for when you get home

  • The first thing I want you to do when you get home is to email yourself the following things:
    • Include a photo of the bike with all the accessories – ideally with you in the photo.
    • Receipt 
    • Serial number, the key numbers for your bike battery and locks
    • Any Warranty info
    • Hit send on that email 
  • Before you are done with the computer:
    • Fill out any warranty info needed – for example – with tern, you can double your warranty if you complete the Tern care registration within 30 days
    • Do you have home or renter’s insurance? Contact them now about adding it to your insurance plan.
    • Is there a bike registry near you? In the US I am a big fan of Bike index and some cities allow you to register locally
  • Find all your paperwork, and put your extra battery and lock keys, and owner’s manuals someplace safe. I store mine in a ziplock bag with the bike info written on the outside

Storing your new electric bike

This is the moment to set yourself up for biking success. We want to remove any friction from you being able to hop on your new bike and ride!

  • Set up an area to store the bike:
    • Put your floor pump in that area
      Keep your key riding accessories like a helmet or glasses there
  • If your storage area isn’t temperature-controlled, think about where you can bring your battery in when it’s too cold or hot outside.
  • And lastly, where are you going to charge it? Ideally inside. I’m a big fan of the kitchen counter. Find a place near there to store your charger.

Okay, you are ready. Happy new bike day🎉 Let me know what questions you may have below!

Video Run Down

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