One of the great things about electric bikes is that they can be ridden all year round. This means you can take full advantage of the busy holiday season and continue making deliveries in the winter. In fact, you can even ride your e-bike in the rain, provided you follow the right rules. Keeper reading to find out what they are.
Bike fenders, which are also known as mudguards in some countries, are very important for delivery drivers especially once the winter kicks in. As the name implies, they’re designed to protect the rider from mud and water splashes and while they won’t prevent you from getting soaked, they do have their uses in a downpour.
Riding your e-bike in the rain means you are likely to get soaked through, which can be an unpleasant experience, to say the least. That’s why it’s important to weatherproof yourself so that you can stay as dry and warm as possible while riding in the rain.
Luckily, there are clothes you can wear to help you stay dry. Wool and synthetic fabrics are particularly effective when it comes to staying dry in the rain.
You can go the extra mile and also weatherproof your riding gear. If you have gadgets i.e. phones and music players, you can put them in sealable plastic bags while anything bigger can be stashed in a shoulder bag or backpack.
Many people will be using the same road as you are in the rain. For those people to see you, you’ll need to have lights that will act as a signal showing where you are. That will help other bikers, car drivers, and pedestrians to steer clear of you or give you enough space to bike in the rain. In many areas, it’s actually required by law to have lights on an electric bike.
Your headlights should be bright enough to be visible from as far as 500 feet away. They should also face straight ahead, nowhere else. As for the taillights, those should also be bright and seen from as far as 500- 600 feet behind you. While the taillights must be red, your headlights should emit white light. Apart from these two, you can have lights on your rack, bag, handlebars, and your helmet.
If you’re planning to break, do it gradually and not at once. Keep in mind that electric bikes come with disk brakes rather than the rim brakes found on traditional bikes. These disk brakes work well, especially in the rain but that is not an excuse to brake early while riding in the rain.
You’ll also want to slow down when making deliveries in the rain, especially in a downpour. It’s better to be a few minutes late than arrive with a damaged delivery. If you go too fast, stopping abruptly could cause an accident due to poor visibility.
If you plan on riding your e-bike in the rain, make sure to adjust your tire pressure to match the weather and the road conditions. Lower tire pressure is ideal for riding in the rain as it gives the e-bike more grip. Lower tire pressure also allows your bike’s tires to maintain contact with the road. It’s even more important to reduce your pressure tire and leave it at low or on mid-pressure when carrying delivery loads.
Riding a bike while it’s raining requires caution, that much is known. But it’s even more important to exercise this caution when turning on corners. Slow down when approaching corners and make sure you’re slower than when you’re out making deliveries on a normal day.
Apart from being cautious when turning corners, be cautious around potholes, metal tracks, white lines, and every other lane marker, not forgetting mud puddles, oil puddles, and crushed leaves. These tend to be very slippery when wet.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of having lights on your bike and making yourself visible to everyone on the road. You can improve visibility even further by wearing reflectors. Luminescent clothes or neon clothes make for good reflection in the dark, making you visible to all road users.
This is important as rainy days equal poor visibility and you need to do everything possible to be visible while riding in the rain.
Make sure to also follow traffic rules and regulations. Considering the low visibility, recklessness will only end with you in an accident and that should be the last thing on your mind when making deliveries.
As tempting as it might be to take shortcuts, it’s essential to avoid routes that have loose gravel, stones, and even cracked pavements when biking in the rain. Steer clear of these and go for routes that will protect you from debris and filth. Gravel and loose stones are bound to fly up into your bike parts, thus preventing you from enjoying a smooth ride.
You should also avoid using routes with puddles of water because you may not have a sense of how deep the water is. If that is your only route, it’s better to cross it while walking alongside your bike. Make sure to switch off your bike's electronics and walk into the water with the power off.
After your bike ride, make sure to clean and dry it to prevent the build-up of mud and dirt. If your bike is only wet with no mud, simply wipe it to remove moisture from the frame. Should the battery get wet, be sure to wipe both the battery and its cabin dry. Apart from that, it’s not necessary to wipe your bike after a ride, especially if it didn’t get dirty or excessively wet.
Part of cleaning your e-bike is applying lubricant to the chain. Doing this ensures smooth riding and you’ll want to do so after cleaning your bike or just after taking a spin in the rain.
Bike riding in the rain is okay. It’s manageable as long as you understand how to do it right. E-bikes with an IP code (Ingress Protection code) of 66 and higher are the ones most preferable for riding in the rain. They’re safe to use on a rainy day because they work at a low level of voltage. Now, this doesn't mean the bikes can be fully submerged in water because some of the components may still get ruined if you do so.
Making deliveries in your e-bike during a spot of rain is alright as long as you follow these instructions. Make sure to clean the battery points and lube the chain after each ride. Lower your bike's tire pressure, brake slowly, be visible, and weatherproof yourself.
Do not forget to be cautious around corners, plan a safe route and use bike fenders. Most of all, clean your bike and store it in a dry place, preferably indoors. This will help to prevent corrosion and easy degradation.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about any of that with Whizz bike rentals. Our bikes are kept in a secure facility and maintenance is included in your subscription. Plus, you can have your pick of different bikes and any accessories you may need to make your deliveries that much easier.