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Care and Maintenance

Can I Ride an Electric Bike in Winter?

By Konstantin Kaliuzhnyj

Table of contents:

How to Maintain E-bikes During Winter How to Protect the Battery Keep it warm Clean your e-bike regularly Use tires specially designed for winter riding Always check your brakes Put protective fenders on your e-bike Wear proper winter e-bike riding gear Conclusion Can I ride an electric bike in winter? How does cold weather affect e-bike batteries? What maintenance should be performed on an e-bike for winter riding? Are there any special accessories recommended for winter e-bike riding? You Might Also Like

While winter is a worrisome season for most electric bike riders, this doesn’t mean you should stop making deliveries at the first sight of snow. There are steps you can take to keep your bike working in ship shape while keeping yourself safe during the winter.

This includes making certain safety checks, being vigilant, and dressing properly, to name but a few. Keep reading to find out how you can keep making deliveries this winter while protecting the integrity of your bike.

How to Maintain E-bikes During Winter

  • Store your bike properly. Make sure the battery is stored at the right temperature and charged well. The bike should also be stored indoors, away from harsh weather conditions that may cause rusting.
  • Know which conditions are safe for your e-bike.
  • For the health of your bike's battery, avoid storing it while fully charged.
  • Make sure to clean your bike to remove any filth and snow clinging onto the bike.

How to Protect the Battery

Keep it warm

The best temperature for storing and charging an e-bike battery is 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59-68F). It’s important to keep the battery at this temperature range as switching to below-freezing temperatures can damage the battery’s inner cells.

Make sure to remove the battery and keep it where the temperatures are ideal every time you ride your bike. This will make it easier to keep the battery’s temperature as high as possible.

When you want to charge it, make sure the terminal is not cold but dry, and do not use a heater to get the battery warmed up before charging it. Battery power and your e-bike riding range reduce significantly during the winter season, but the battery does not need to suffer any damage during winter rides.

Clean your e-bike regularly

After every bike ride, clean your e-bike. It’s important because there will always be snow or mud that clings to the bike during a ride.

Considering that salt is mostly used to melt ice from sidewalks and roads during winter, the mud that clings to the bike will be full of it, and if not cleaned well, it can leave a salty glaze on the bike, resulting in rust.

To avoid this, use anti-rust sprays sparingly from the winter through spring and follow up with wet and light lubricants. Why is this important? Because these types of lubricants are able to reach the chain and remove debris and dirt on the way.

You’ll also want to clean your bike at room temperature and avoid using a pressure washer as this can be too powerful for an e-bike. You can always wash your bike outside if the weather is mild and sunny. Just don’t wash it outside in below-freezing temperatures.

Use tires specially designed for winter riding

Snow is a relentless force that will work against your tires during the winter. That’s why it’s important to pick tires that are versatile and resilient enough to handle the elements, no matter the season.

E-bike winter tires are a great example of this as they’re designed to be resistant to cold temperatures. You want to go for tires that are fat and knobby, as they’re good for riding through soft or loose snow.

If you’re riding through ice and hard-packed snow, then studded tires are better for your bike. Fat tires also have lower pressure and increased air volume.

Getting the right tires for your e-bike also means you’ll avoid losing traction on the ice. Unlike a car, losing traction on ice while riding an e-bike can lead to a hard and very unpleasant fall. Yes, these tires do not come cheap but are worth the investment.

The good news is when you rent a bike from Whizz, you don’t have to worry about replacing tires or even cleaning your bike. All of that is included in the subscription, thus taking all the guesswork out of making e-bike deliveries.

Always check your brakes

Cold temperatures will inevitably make your brakes less efficient. So if you want to take your e-bike for a spin in cold and wet temperatures, be sure to check your brakes to make sure they’re functioning properly.

Check the brake levers and make sure they’re in good working condition. Also, check the grip to ensure that your hands won’t slip off and if they do, consider tapping sandpaper on them. This quick fix can help to prevent slips while providing a good grip. Lastly, check the cables for any accumulation of moisture.

Put protective fenders on your e-bike

Since you never know when it might start snowing, it’s essential to put protective fenders on your e-bike just to be safe. They keep the snow out of your face and back while protecting your apparel and even the precious cargo you’re carrying.

Wear proper winter e-bike riding gear

Just as with any other profession, biking comes with certain riding gear and apparel that’s designed to make e-bike riding comfortable no matter the season. These clothes offer protection from winter conditions and they often come with layers that are easy to put on. Wearing all these layers is essential if you want to stay ready for unpredictable winter weather changes.

A few important items include a helmet to protect your head, and in the winter, you’ll want to wear it with a hood or beanie hat underneath. This will help to keep your head warm even in those spots that a helmet doesn’t cover.

When it comes to the face, consider covering it with a ski mask or mask balaclavas. These will help to keep the face warm while you ride. Mask balaclavas are preferred because they are comfortable and amenable and breathing comes easily in them.

Ski goggles or anti-glare sunglasses are also a necessity because they offer a significant improvement to your vision during the bike ride while protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare. They can also deflect any debris and snow that may be targeting your eyes. Do not forget to find sunglasses that won’t fog up and mess with your vision during the ride.

You’ll also want to cover your neck with a neck garter, a tube scarf, or an ordinary scarf. Although if you're covering your face with a mask balaclava, it'll probably reach down to the neck and cover it up too.

For your hands, find yourself at least two pairs of windproof gloves with varying warmth levels. You can wear thermal gloves with double layers as they also work well. This will help to keep your hands and fingers warm and free from hypothermia while making deliveries.

What’s more, you should lways wear wind and waterproof clothes during winter bike rides. Of course, you don’t want to wear too much clothing or you’ll end up sweating underneath all of it.

Wear waterproof trousers and shoes. These will help to keep melted snow at bay while keeping your feet are dry during the ride.

Most importantly, the clothes you choose for bike riding should be chosen with care. They shouldn’t be the type that brings about sweating. They should also be comfortable and made from high-quality materials that don’t cause any itching or discomfort.

Lastly, make sure to wear your riding gear in layers so you can easily strip some off if it gets a tad hotter, and put them back on just as easily if it gets colder.

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Riding your e-bike during the winter comes with certain benefits that you don’t get with other seasons. For starters, you get to experience certain scenes and views that aren’t visible in the spring and summer.

To make the most of your e-bike rides in the winter, follow the tips mentioned above and make sure there’s enough lighting on your bike from the back and front. Winter days are short and darker and the lighting helps with visibility on your track.

Make sure to dress according to the season. Don't underdress as doing so might lead to a bout of hypothermia, whereas too many layers can cause you to become uncomfortable and sweaty.

Be sure to always check your bike's brakes and levers before riding. Clean the bike properly to remove debris, filth, snow, and salty mud, and use a spray that coats and prevents rust from setting in.

Use the right tires and do not be overconfident while biking. It could lead to speeding, slipping, sliding, and falling. Always start slow and proceed like that, especially on turns. Be a responsible biker and you’ll be one of the best-rated delivery drivers in your city.

Can I ride an electric bike in winter?

Yes, you can ride an electric bike in winter, but it requires some preparation to ensure safety and protect the bike's components. Proper insulation for the battery, using winter-specific tires, and regular maintenance checks are essential to handle colder temperatures and potentially slippery conditions.

How does cold weather affect e-bike batteries?

Cold weather can significantly impact e-bike batteries, reducing their efficiency and capacity. Lower temperatures can decrease the chemical activity within the battery, leading to reduced range and power output. It's crucial to keep the battery insulated and, if possible, remove it and store it in a warmer place when not in use.

What maintenance should be performed on an e-bike for winter riding?

Winter maintenance for an e-bike should include checking and cleaning all electrical connections to prevent moisture-related issues, lubricating moving parts with a low-temperature lubricant, and ensuring the tires are suitable for winter conditions, such as using studded tires for better traction on ice and snow. Regularly cleaning the bike to remove road salt and grime can also prevent corrosion.
For winter e-bike riding, consider using accessories such as waterproof panniers for carrying items, bright lights and reflective materials for visibility in shorter daylight hours, and handlebar mittens or heated grips to keep your hands warm. Studded tires can also provide better traction on icy surfaces, enhancing safety.

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