As the days get shorter and we transition into the fall and winter seasons, you will need to prepare your ebike. People tend to abandon their bikes until spring because riding can be difficult as the weather changes, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. A little cold has never stopped Canadians from going outside, and we are here to give you some tips to get the best ebiking experience during the winter months.
Preparing Your ebike For The Winter
With all types of weather, you must do a complete check of the ebike. Make sure the lights, brakes and gears are in proper working order. Water will not have any harmful effects on an ebike since the components are protected against rain, but be aware of riding through salt, grit, slush, and sand, as the magnesium in the salt can be harmful to your bike. A clean ebike is a happy ebike.
Protecting The Battery
The most sensitive component of the ebike is the battery as it can lose capacity at lower temperatures limiting the ebike’s range. In harsh weather conditions, a neoprene cover can help to protect the battery. After your ride, we recommend storing your bike indoors. To prevent the battery from freezing in below zero weather, remove the battery and keep it at room temperatures between 10°C-20°C.
Be careful when removing and reattaching the battery because any ice or frozen areas can cause it to crack, allowing water to soak in. When reattaching, ensure the battery is dry and do not put a cold battery back on your bike. Allow a few hours for it to warm up as you should never charge a Li-ion battery from freezing, and keep it warm between rides to extend its health. If you plan to have extended breaks between rides, store the battery partially charged (more than 40% but less than 100%). Storing a fully drained battery can be harmful as the Li-ion will slowly discharge over time. It’s a good practice to check your battery and charge once a month because if the voltage drops below a certain point, this can cause the battery cells to deteriorate.
Cleaning Your ebike
To maintain the longevity of your ebike we recommend doing regular cleanings. As the temperature fluctuates and weather changes, there will be an accumulation of slush and dirt. To avoid build-up and rust on the gears and chain, make sure to clean your ebike regularly to support a smooth ride. Every time you wash your chain or store your ebike away for the season, use a light lubricant in your cleaning to keep your chain running smooth. Ensure you lube your ebike more often and give it a gentle wipe down or wash to remove accumulated dirt. Remove the battery before washing, and to prevent water from freezing, do not wash the bike in below-freezing temperatures.
Dress For Success
One of the most important things we can do to have a fun and safe ride is dressing appropriately for the weather. Make sure you have a base layer and top layer to keep you warm and dry. Combining both synthetic and wool fabrics can keep you warm, odour-free and wick away moisture. Your outer layer should be breathable and waterproof while insulating heat, allowing airflow to pass. Your hands get cold very quickly, so gloves that have a good grip and are weatherproof are another essential to include. Headbands and wool hats provide extra warmth and fit snugly beneath your helmet, which is an absolute must in winter. As it gets darker earlier in the evening, wearing bright clothing with reflectors is essential to be visible to others. When you are riding, the last thing you want is cold feet – literally. Waterproof shoes are excellent options to help you stay dry in rain or snow. Equally, waterproof pants also keep your legs dry and serve as an outer layer that blocks the wind.
In extreme weather conditions, such as black ice or drifting snow, a reminder to be cautious and ride at your own expense. Sometimes it is best to leave the bike at home and take another mode of transportation or call in a snow day! If you are determined to get out in the extreme weather, check out our new Envo Snowbike Conversion Kit – perfect for your winter adventures.