If you love riding your ebike, chances are you will not let the cold of winter keep you from enjoying your bicycle. However, such frigid weather necessitates adequate preparations for you and your ebike. It would be best to acquaint yourself with correctly prepping your ebike for winter.
So, how should you ready your ebike for winter?
You must consider all its essential components, especially the battery. It would help if you cleaned the bicycle, protecting it from corrosion. Also, invest in winter tires so that the bike does not skid when riding on the snow and ice, which you also should avoid. Remember not to leave the bicycle out in the cold and store it when the battery is fully charged.
Temperatures drop drastically, and the nights are longer and frigid during winter. Transport options often become a messy affair; still, you can manage to get out and about if you have an electric bicycle. It is a reliable transportation option for some people. It will be a fantastic means of beating the traffic congestion that worsens during winter.
Riding will be an opportunity for you to exercise, which can be an exhilarating experience when doing it in winter. The chilly conditions will put your motivation and electric cargo bicycle to the test. However, if you do it correctly, you will enjoy jumping on your ebike through the winter season and into spring.
Below are some handy insights on the steps to take when prepping your ebike for the cold season.
• Caring For The Battery
The battery is a crucial and susceptible component in your ebike. It requires special attention, which calls for caring for it when the conditions are so frigid that the outdoors are freezing. You do not want your battery to freeze, which is vital, especially before you charge it. Therefore, always check the battery before charging it to avoid damaging the cells.
The battery is unlikely to sustain cell damage when you ride in below-freezing temperatures because it is active, powering your bike. However, things are different once it is time to store the bicycles. Take the time to warm up the battery before charging. Never try to speed up the process by cracking up the heater to warm the batter faster; it could damage it.
Also, please note that the battery’s power and ebike range drop slightly during cold conditions. You can mitigate this by storing the battery indoors, where it will stay warm whenever you are not riding your electric bicycle.
• Regularly Clean Your Electric Bicycle
The Winter season means cold and wet conditions that are likely to see your bicycle get dirty than other months. Sand, salt, and gravel ensure the roads are not covered in snow and ice but will not address the wetness. Sometimes the road maintenance crews will use magnesium salt, which is more aggressive than regular salt, to get the job done. But all that salt is not suitable for your bike.
Therefore, it is best to clean your ride, washing away the salt and dirt and wiping it dry before storing it away. Use the recommended lubricant on your chains and other moving parts that need greasing.
• Protect Your ebike Against Rust
Your ebike is at risk of getting corrosion because the winter season comes with substantial water and moisture in the air. You will need preventative products to help you deal with this looming problem. Therefore, ensure you get quality products like Rust Check for the automobile stores and make sure your supplies are on point when winter comes knocking.
Spray the spoke nipples (the points where the wires and rim meet) and other exposed metal parts. It will limit the build-up of salty water on your bicycle’s metal parts. Exercise caution and be attentive to avoid spraying electronic components. Also, inspect it regularly when cleaning to check for rust fix and lubricate the affected areas. Here’s a guide on treating rust.
• Use Winter Tires
The standard tires on your ebike are for dry conditions synonymous with the summer and autumn seasons. Vehicles also face the same predicament, needing different tires when winter comes. Your bike also will need a tire change to ensure it handles when in the snow and ice.
Studded tires are best for slippery conditions where the roads are icy, hard-packed, or plowed and muddy. Fat tires with no studs might suffice if the snow is softer.
• Avoid Riding Through Slush
Winter is cold but loads of fun given all the snow, and what better way to enjoy this than jumping on your ebike and riding through the snow!
But as fun and exciting as it might sound, what you do not want is riding through slush (salty, watery snow), which can splash into metal parts, seep into hard-to-reach places, and cause them to rust. Therefore, hose down your electric bicycle to wash away the slush upon arrival. You then should wipe it dry, lubricate the chain and other moving parts, and apply Rust Check on the exposed metal parts.
Here’s a good general guide for eBike storage
Five Cold Weather Pro-Tips For Your Electric Bicycle
#1. Do not leave your ebike’s battery out in the cold
Lithium batteries are affected by cold temperatures below 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore, do not leave your ebike’s batter out in the cold for longer than necessary least it becomes less efficient.
The frigid condition can make the battery pack less power which means you will cover fewer miles when enjoying your winter rides. Keep the battery warm by bringing it inside the house and warm it a bit before charging to ensure you maintain its optimal performance.
#2. Do not charge the battery after it has been exposed to the cold for long
Experts recommend not charging your ebike battery when the conditions are less than 10 degrees Celsius. And if you must charge it, then consider doing so using a lower current.
Also, slowly warm up the battery over a heater before charging. And please note that the freezing conditions will impact your battery, degrading its performance over time.
#3. Charge the battery more frequently
Since it is best to store your battery when fully charged during the winter, it means you will be charging it more frequently compared to the summer season when the weather is warmer. People will make fewer trips during winter, which means they use their transportation means less often.
If you are in the same predicament, it means your ebike will mostly go unused through the week. But your battery cannot store that much energy when the weather is cold compared to warmer. As such, expect the same charge that lasts you a week during the summer to serve you for a shorter period in winter. Overall, you must charge the battery more frequently and store it when fully charged. Electric bikes are extremely green
#4. Properly store the battery
The number of ebike rides will dwindle in winter but spike up in summer. They will store their bicycles and use them less often. If you are putting yours away, leave the battery fully charged when keeping the bike.
Suppose you will not use your electric bicycle for longer; lower the voltage to roughly 70% – 90%. It will help the battery last longer since it is not fully charged when being stored for an extended period.
#5. Ride slowly in winter
The conditions during the winter are not ideal for riding fast. Other road users will not see you, the roads are slippery, and it gets dark fast than expected. Go easy on your bike, ride slowly to avoid mishaps. It also keeps you from battling the cold wind and makes it easier to avoid slush on the roads.
Tips For Storing Your ebike In Winter
If you are not planning to take your electric bicycle for a ride during much of the cold season, you should consider storing it properly to ensure it will function optimally after winter. Below are some storing tips worth considering:
• Clean your ebike thoroughly
• Partially charge the battery before storage (keep it at 70% -90% charge)
• Inspect your bike for rust or wiring damage, fix anything that needs repair
• Apply preventative corrosion protection on metal parts and lubricate the chain
• Store your ebike in a warm, dry place