Many avid cyclists love to ride both regular and electric bikes during the spring and summer.
Who could blame them?
It’s typically sunny and warm outside, making for a gorgeous and fun bike ride.
However, when winter comes around, we see lower temperatures and longer nights. Many cyclists store their bikes away and opt for other modes of transportation to stay warm. However, that doesn’t need to be the case for you with your electric bike!
Yes, you can safely ride your e-bike in the colder months, though it will take a little bit of extra work on your end to make sure your ride is fun but safe.
So how can you prepare your electric bike for winter?
From the appropriate tires and clothing to have as well as safety tips for cycling on the slick roads, this guide will break down everything you need for your electric bike in the winter!
How Can You Keep The Battery Running On Your Electric Bike During The Winter?
Even though there will be significantly lower temperatures outside, you can still use an e-bike as a means of transportation or for exercise in the winter.
These bikes will work just fine, but you will have to pay extra attention to the battery, specifically, to cycle safely.
Charge The Battery More
For rides in warmer weather, most cyclists typically only charge the battery a few times a week for trips.
In winter, it’s important to charge the battery more frequently.
During the cold weather, the battery is unable to store as much energy as it typically does in the warmer months.
Keep a close watch on your battery charge so that you don’t run out of juice while riding on the road.
Properly Store The Battery
If you don’t plan on using your electric bike as much in the winter, it’s important to store the battery correctly. You can buy a neoprene battery
Neoprene Ebike Battery Covers for Cold Weather
It’s fine to leave the battery fully charge for up to a week if you’re not riding. However, if you won’t be riding for a long while, you should lower the voltage of the battery down to lower than a charge of 90% (typically around 70%). You won’t have to replace your battery for a while if you don’t store it at a full charge.
Don’t Leave The Battery Out In The Cold
The battery for your electric bike will not last long if you leave it out in the cold. It will ultimately have less power than it typically would, which means your bike won’t have high performance.
If you do happen to leave the battery outside for a while, you may be tempted to charge the battery straight away. However, charging it at a low temperature will lessen the quality of the battery over time. Bring the battery inside and let it warm up for a bit before charging.
Other Ways To Prepare Your E-Bike For The Winter Months
Get Winter Tires
The primary thing you need to do, if you plan to ride during the winter regularly, is investing in a pair of snow tires for your electric bike. Bike tires that function well on a slick, rainy day will, most likely, not fare well when it’s cold and snowing.
There are many winter bike tires out there, including studded tires, which can be very helpful when the roads are icy. Studded tires should be used only for heavy snow days, while regular winter tires should be used on lighter days.
The studs on the tires can be worn down quickly if you ride on the bare pavement, which will slow your e-bike down.
It’s ideal to have two complete sets of tires with rims, though it can be a little costly. A winter tire, regular or studded, can range from $75-mid $100s.
There is an incredible collection of winter tires for your e-bike on Amazon.
Do A Maintenance Check Before You Ride
You should always check out your bike before you ride, but especially during the winter months. With the roads potentially slicker than they usually would be, it’s vital that the parts on your bike are up to par.
In addition to keeping the battery charged for a ride, regularly inspect the chain, brakes, rotors, tire pressure, and other parts and ensure that they are working properly.
Also, be sure to clean your bike periodically! Dirt and debris that has built up in the e-bike will harm the bike’s motor and performance in the long run.
Protect Your Bike Against Rust
Another tip for preparing your e-bike for the cold is to protect it from rust. Due to the water and moisture in the air, the e-bike is at risk of rusting.
There are many products to help prevent or fix rust like the Finish Line 1-Step Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Lubricant, which can be found online or at automobile stores.
These can be sprayed on the exposed metal parts but not the electronic parts!
Invest In Bright Lights
While riding your e-bike in the winter, there is a big chance that you may be riding in the dark while commuting to work or heading home.
To ride safely, you should buy some bright lights for your bike to see any obstacles ahead.
Here is a collection of lights for electric bikes, many of which are under $20!
Best Electric Bikes For The Winter
While there are many great e-bikes out there, there are some that are more suited for riding in the winter months.
These four bikes come at a hefty price but, with their features, will certainly help you manage the rough terrain during the freezing season.
Check them out below.
|Cyrusher XF690 750w-1500w Fat Tire Electric Bike
|MOTOR: 48V/750W-1500W Rear Geared Motor
MAXIMUM SPEED: 37 MPH
BATTERY RANGE: 25-55+ miles per charge
BATTERY CAPACITY: 48V/614.4Wh
TIRES: Kenda Fat Tires 26 x 4.0 with puncture-resistant liner
Motorcycle style suspension front fork, smart bike computer, soft rear suspension, double suspension seat,
|Jeep®e-Bike powered by QUIETKAT
MOTOR: 48V/750W-Mid-Drive Motor
MAXIMUM SPEED: 40 MPH
BATTERY RANGE: 40 miles per charge
BATTERY CAPACITY: 48V/14.5Ah
TIRES: 26″x4.8″ Fat-Tire
|Tektro 730 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc brakes, RST 150mm inverted air suspension forks, 10-speed wide-range gearing,
|Eunorau FAT-AWD Electric Bike
|MOTOR: 48V/250W+350W Geared hub motor installed in front&rear wheel
MAXIMUM SPEED: 20 MPH
BATTERY RANGE: 40 Miles with a single charge
BATTERY CAPACITY: 48V/15.6Ah
TIRES: Krusade Sport Tires 26 x 4.0 with K-Shield Protection
|Motor selector switch (Front, Rear or Both), LED display, removable battery, metal fenders, lights, rear rack to carry light cargo
|Big Cat Fat Cat XL500 Electric Bike
MAXIMUM SPEED: 20 MPH
BATTERY RANGE: 30 Miles with a single charge
BATTERY CAPACITY: 48V/12Ah
TIRES: Kenda 26×4.0″ tires
|Controller King Meter KM-529 with 5 Level pedal assist, 160mm Mechanical Disc Brakes F/R, Shimano Acera 7 Gear, rear Pannier rack
Safety Tips When Riding In The Snow
Of course, conditions on the road can be unpredictable at any given time but especially during winter. Here are a few tips to keep you safe out there!
This should go without saying but avoid riding fast in winter. Not only are the roads slippery, but it also gets pretty dark earlier, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. This makes it difficult for drivers to see you as well, and they are unable to stop as quickly as you can.
Riding slowly on your e-bike will not only allow you to foresee any potential accidents or danger ahead, but you also won’t have to deal with so much of the winter air hitting your face.
Lower Your Seat
Another tip: lower your seat on your electric bike to help keep your feet closer to the ground in case you catch yourself on a slippery road.
If you find yourself losing control, all you have to do is stop pedaling and hover your feet close to the ground for an emergency stop in case a tire slips.
Don’t Ride Through Slush
We previously discussed checking your e-bike for rust regularly. During the winter, riding in the snow is perfectly fine with the right bike and tires. However, riding through wet slush is a definite no-no.
It’s highly likely that slush can find its way into hard-to-reach areas of your bike and cause rust. If you can’t avoid it on the road, then take the time to clean your bike and lubricate the chain and metal parts once you get home.
Another good investment to avoid slush from getting on the bike (or in your face) while riding, is to invest in front and back full fenders. If you want to use your e-bike still to commute each day to work, fenders will help with a more comfortable ride.
Staying warm in the cold weather is vital if you expect to ride your e-bike regularly. Windproof clothing, specifically jackets and windbreaker pants, will help keep you warm as you cut through the wind.
You should probably layer up a bit, especially if you’re heading out for an early morning ride.
Other accessories you should keep handy are gloves with a windshield outer layer as well as anti-glare sunglasses or goggles (for improved vision and protection from debris).
It’s also recommended that cyclists get a pair of waterproof shoes to keep their feet dry. These shoes can cost from $15-$100, depending on your taste and budget. However, they’re definitely worth the investment, since it would suck to get your feet wet when wearing regular shoes.
Of course, be sure to wear a helmet to protect your head during your ride. A full hood or face mask that covers your ears and face can also be worn under your helmet to keep your head warm.
Also, while you’re on your ride, rock some bright colors with reflective strips so that others can see you, especially at night time.
There’s no reason why you can’t still have a great (and safe) ride even in the winter months. Just be sure to keep all of these tips in mind as you’re out and about.
Also, leave a comment below on what other safety and maintenance tips you may have for fellow riders for the winter ahead!