Skip to main content

The best e-bike accessories and upgrades

Pivot Shuttle e-mtb
(Image credit: Pivot)

No one does you quite like, well, you. Your electric bike might be one of many that came from the same factory, with the same design, but that doesn't mean you can't make it uniquely yours. No bike comes from the factory perfect for the new rider and we have some suggestions for making it yours. 

The trails and terrain you tackle are a little different for everyone. No one rides exactly the same way and everyone has their preferences. A great bike feels comfortable and familiar and the right upgrades and accessories can bring that feeling to your electric bike. 

An Extra Battery 

Is there anything more unique to an electric bike than battery management? The whole point of electric assist is to add to your rides. Longer days, bigger hills, no need to wait for a ride back up the mountain. The last thing you want to deal with is a dead battery cutting things short.

The battery life your ebike manufacturer quotes on the spec sheet may, or may not, have any basis in the reality of what you get. Spend a bunch of time cruising along a mellow trail doing a lot of the work and you might even exceed the battery life you are expecting. On the other hand, if you spend your day chasing people up every hill you can find you might come up drastically short. Instead of worrying about it just being an extra battery with you. If you run low, you can swap it out and there's nothing to worry about.

Tires 

Tires are one of those things that are super specific to you. Depending on when you pick up your electric bike, and how specific the design is, the tires it comes with might work for a while. There's just so many options and so many different use scenarios that no single tire will ever be right for everything. 

Not only are tires pretty specific to different kinds of riding but they are also hugely important. They are your connection to the terrain and optimizing the tires on your bike will reap big benefits. Go faster in the summer and slip less in the summer. Stay on your bike through fast corners and do everything more comfortably. It's all within reach with the right tires and we've got the guides to help you find what you need.

Tubeless Burst Floor Pump 

Along with tires comes the pressure decision. In order for tires to do their job effectively the pressure you set them at has to be right. Before every ride you are going to want to check your tire pressure and that means you need a floor pump for home use.

Even if you have a pump right now, is it a tubeless burst pump? Modern off-road bikes use tubeless tires. The low pressures that tubeless tires allow will absolutely transform your riding. Tubeless also means less punctures you have to deal with. The only downside to tubeless is that it requires new tricks and tools. One of those is a pump with an air chamber to help you get new tires seated. 

As time goes on tubeless tires and tubeless wheels are getting better and better. These days you can often get tires seated without the burst feature. You never know when it will be an issue though. If you are getting a pump anyway, make sure it has the features you need for the times you need them.

Fenders 

When the sky turns gray and the rain starts falling there's no reason you have to stay home. There's a lot of fun to be had riding through the rain and mud of a perfect trail. If you want to stay comfortable though fenders are a must. 

Some bikes, typically drop-bar gravel bikes, will have actual fender mounts. If you have the option of mounting more substantial fenders then take advantage. The better coverage will leave you more dry as well as keep your rear wheel from spraying anyone behind you. If you don't have fender mounts then clip on fenders are another option. They don't do much to protect the bike, or your riding buddy, but they will keep you quite a bit cleaner. 

Not all electric bikes come with fenders included. It's an inexpensive upgrade that lets you ride farther when the weather is bad. Just make sure whatever you go with leaves room for mud build up on the tires.

Lights

You've got that extra battery, put it to use. The last thing you want to do is find yourself with extra battery life, extra miles to cover, and extra fun to be had when the sun starts to peak behind the ridge. The right light for your bike means you can keep riding even if it gets late. 

With the right lights, you can also start your ride after the sun goes down. Riding trails at night is an entirely new experience. No matter how many times you've covered a favorite trail, riding it at night is new. Many of the markers you've come to know are completely erased when the moon is high instead of the sun. The adventure is fresh again and you aren't dependent on long summer days. 

Shoes 

If tires are the bike’s connection to the trails, then consider shoes your connection to the bike. There are, of course, other touch points but shoes are a big one that often gets overlooked. The right shoes keep your feet warm, dry, and connected to the pedals. 

For some people shoes for bikes means cleats and pedals that let you clip in. That's a great way to go and it brings with it a huge discussion of pedal systems and shoes choices. It's not the only option though. Many people prefer to ride with flat pedals. 

Even if you choose to go the flat pedal route, shoes are important. The right shoes will stay connected to the pedals even if they aren't locked together. The right shoes will also give plenty of stiffness to push against and make for comfortable all-day riding. 

Josh Ross

Josh Ross is our American tech writer. He hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States and lives cycling and the culture that accompanies it. He will happily talk for hours about the minute details of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races these days - if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer is ALWAYS yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Look 795 Blade RS, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Priority Continuum Onyx