This Bike Pic Thursday, we caught this biker chick out having fun along the Minnesota River bottoms near Bloomington, MN.

Can I ride an e-bike in inclement weather?

Electric bikes, like most standard bicycles, are water-resistant and can be used in any type of inclement weather. Though, you may need some accessories (like rain gear or studded tires for winter) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. So bring in your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it if possible. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside in the winter at any time.

Riding an e-bike in rainy weather

This Monday mornings bike pic shows the wet road surfaces after another round of rain shower last night, hope you are staying dry!

STAYINGING DRY WHILE RIDING IN THE RAIN

An electric bike’s system, including the motor, battery pack, display, and connection points are usually designed with closed units to accommodate wet weather. This normally protects the electrical system from getting wet while riding in the rain. The key distinction here is that e-bikes are water resistant, but not waterproof. So for this reason it’s a good idea to avoid heavily flooded roads, streams, and deep puddles that could submerge your bike’s electrical components.

As different electric bikes might have different limitations and wade depths, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual or check with your manufacturer for the IP rating of your bike first. If you live in an area that experiences frequent wet weather, you’ll want to make water resistance a top factor in your purchase decision.

Riding an e-bike with ice and snow conditions

riding an e-bike fatty in inclement weather

Yes, you can ride your e-bike in the winter, in the extreme cold, snow, and icy conditions. Doing so will require a bit more maintenance, protection, and care.  With advancements in tire technology and clothing warmth there are fewer reasons not to take your electric bicycle out and enjoy the winter season. Any e-bike with can handle winter riding, but the wider the tire the better. Especially if studs can be installed on your bikes tire for icy conditions. That said, it’s important you follow the key points we have listed below to ensure you enjoy riding your ebike during the winter.

Use The Right Tire

Just like a regular bike that you might use for winter riding, the tires that came with your electric bicycle are great for most dry pavement riding , but not for winter. Manuvering a bicycle (with or without a motor) requires a tire that handle both ice and snow. Then add studs to that winter tires and have transform your e-bike into an amazing winter vehicle! Great riding on plowed roads and for hard-packed or icy conditions. If you have, or are looking at a fat tire e-bike for winter riding make sure to ask the dealer if studs can be added to the tires currently on the bike.

Battery Care

  • A centerpost battery for an electric bike

    A CENTER POST BATTERY MOUNT IS COMMON FOR MANY ELECTRIC BIKE MODELS

The general rule with a 36 volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. On low assist, you might be able to get 60 miles or more on a single charge. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge the battery when it’s near empty. Then ride your e-bike a lot and charge it often.

Before charging make sure your battery is in a room above freezing, otherwise you could harm the cells. It is no problem to ride the bike in below-freezing conditions (it doesn’t harm the battery), just make sure you let the battery warm up slowly before charging. When you are riding an e-bike in very cold weather, you will notice a drop in power and range. Don’t worry, this is normal and expected in riding an e-bike in the winter.

It’s good to get to know the battery life and performance in cold weather of your e-bike. If you intend to commute to work, or use the bike for a back country experience, test it out to determing the change in range with colder temps. And the steps you would take to ensure continued performance. For instance, purchasing a neoprene e-bike battery cover might be an option. Also if you stop midway on your jurney to warm up, bring the battery inside whenever you aren’t riding. This keep the temperature of the battery up an give you an extra bit of power!

Avoid riding through slush

Riding your electric bike through snow is not only possible, it’s super fun! (See Pedego video below for proof) What’s not fun is riding through slush. The watery, salty snow gets splashed up into your gears and can seep into hard-to-reach areas, causing rust to form. If you do have to ride through slush, be sure to wipe the entire bike down and lube the chain etc. afterwards and, if possible, store in a warm, dry location.

Don’t let winter pass you by, get your e-bike ready for some nordic fun!

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