Maintaining your e-bike during winter can sometimes be tricky. The days are shorter, the visibility is lower, the roads can be icy or even snowy. All these elements are impacting the way you should prepare your electric bike. We are here to help you understand how to take care of your electric bike and keep it riding during these cold months.
To ride safely in temperatures below 0°C, you need to think about 2 different aspects: the technical aspects and the comfort and safety.
The technical aspects
The first thing you should do is to make sure that your e-bike is in perfect condition. Take the time to check that your transmission and brakes are working correctly and do some try out away from traffic and with low speed to see how the bike reacts on cold or icy roads. You do not want any bad surprises while riding.
If you are not sure how to make sure that the transmission and the brakes are in good condition, don’t hesitate to get your bike checked by professionals at STEPfix.
Another very important technical aspect is your battery. There are several points of attention regarding an e-bike’s battery that you need to be aware of.First of all: your battery does not like the cold. It will have an impact on the autonomy but, rest assured, it will come back to its full potential when temperatures rise again. To avoid losing too much range, you should keep it inside whenever you are not using your bike. When you go for a ride, it is possible, but not absolutely necessary, to use a neoprene cover to protect it.
Secondly, you need to wait a couple hours after you come back from a ride before charging the battery to avoid any temperature shock.
Lastly, if you decide not to use your e-bike during winter, you still need to charge your battery regularly, every 2 months at the very least, to avoid completely emptying the battery which would then need a kickstart, a special procedure strictly done by an expert.
When it comes to the tires, just like cars, e-bikes are safer with winter tires to ride on icy roads or snow. If you don’t have the possibility to change your tires, you can still reduce the pressure to get a better grip at the road.And since we are talking about icy roads, it is good to know that the salt used to defrost the roads can be a problem for your e-bike. While you’re riding, the salt sticks to your bike and it can get stuck in the components. It is a real issue because this salt mixed with the snow is very corrosive and it can lead to rust. To avoid any technical issues due to this salt, you should clean your bike regularly with a wet wipe.
Comfort and safety
To ride safely, you need to be comfortable. During winter, when the temperatures drop below 0°C, it can be difficult to keep yourself warm. And if you are shivering, your reflexes will be slower and you will be less focused on the road.
Here are the main things to do to make sure that you won’t be freezing while riding:Be an onion: layering is very important to keep yourself warm. A minimum of 3 layers is a must if you want to ride when the temperatures drop below 0°C. Thermal underwear are your best friend!
→ A pair of good gloves and even under gloves if you are easily cold.
→ A hat or even a ski mask to protect you neck and your face
→ Warm socks
→ A good helmet, if you have one that protects your ears that’s even better!Know yourself: if you are not comfortable riding in the cold, don’t put pressure on yourself.
Last but definitely not the least: visibility.Winter means that it’s already night by 5:30pm. You need to make sure that the light on your bike works properly. You can also find a variety of reflective equipment such as a jacket but also stickers for your bike or helmet, shoelaces, bicycle rays reflectors or even badges. You can also add a light on your helmet for extra visibility.
Well done. You are now fully prepared to use your electric bike safely during winter!