With ebikes exploding in popularity over the last couple of years, and with Canada’s cold winters, it is imperative that you keep your ebike well maintained during winter so you can ride them even under less-than-ideal conditions. Thankfully with technology advancements in tires and clothing, there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t take your ebike for a spin even in minus temperatures.
However, it’s important you follow some key points that we’ve outlined in this blog to be safe.
#1. Battery Care
When charging your battery, always do it indoors during the winter. The reason is that it can harm the battery cells if you charge in below-freezing temperatures.
Also, while it is no problem to ride your bike in sub-zero, you do need to make sure that you give your ebike time to warm up. Just like your car, it wears your bike out faster if you just hop on it and start using the motor immediately.
Another thing to be aware of is that when you are riding in cold temperatures, you may notice a drop in power and range. This is normal and is to be expected so don’t worry. You can avoid this by bringing your bike and especially the battery inside whenever you aren’t riding it to keep the temperature of the battery and motor up which will ensure that they both last longer.
#2. Maintain Your Electric Bike
While this may seem self-evident, you’d be surprised at how keeping your ebike well maintained can help the performance of your ebike. Of course, in winter, your electric bike will likely get dirtier than during the drier months. The mud will get into the gears and other moveable parts. In winter, not only do you have the rain but you also have to deal with mud, snow, and dirt. When it starts to snow and the city salts the roads and sidewalks, it can really damage the tires of your ebike if you’re not careful. It’s important you keep your electric bike clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth regularly, using a bicycle-specific lubricant for the chain.
#3. Rust Proof Your Electric Bike
Rust is the oxidation of metal that occurs over a period of time. Rust eats away at the metal, weakening it, and if left unattended, it will make your ebike unusable. Thankfully there are ways to prevent rust from occurring. You want to keep moisture from settling on the bike so if you take your ebike out in the rain make sure you wipe it down afterwards. Another way to prevent rust is with a protective coat. You can also spray it on any exposed metal before riding to help prevent salt water build up on various parts of your bike. Just be sure to keep the spray away from the LCD screen and any of the electronics. Leave a coating of the spray and wipe it away in spring. Check your bike’s body and chain regularly for rust and reapply lubricant as needed.
#4. Use The Right Tires
Chances are the rubber tires that came with your electric bicycle are excellent for most summer riding conditions but, as with a car, winter ice and snow requires deeper tread. In the east coast of Canada, studded tires are amazing and transform your bike into a full winter vehicle The studs are great on plowed roads and for hard-packed or icy conditions.
#5. Wear Winter Attire
Of course, you will want to dress appropriately for the weather regardless of the time of year. There are plenty of waterproof clothing that will keep you dry even in the worst rainstorms and even snowstorms. If the weather gets colder, you should wear a toque, gloves, and a warm jacket. In addition, because it gets darker earlier, you will want to use a light or wear a reflective vest so you are visible to traffic.
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