Okay… let’s face it. The days are getting shorter and colder. Fall is officially here and winter is not far behind.
If you ride an eBike, you may be wondering about whether your bike can handle the cold. Well, the short answer is yes. However, there as several things you should consider to help keep your bike running properly and efficiency during the cold weather months.
Get your eBike ready for Winter
It is highly recommended that you first give your bike a complete check-over. This is to ensure that your lights, brakes, gears, motor, etc., are all in proper working order. (Not sure who to do this… drop by any Gears Bike Shop or your local eBike Dealer)
Its important to know that rain and snow will have little effect on the bike as all your motor-drive and electrical components are well protected.
However, the salt used on many roads in Canada to help clear ice, can have a highly corrosive effect on your bike. Especially your drive train components (i.e.: chain, cassette, etc). It is advisable to wash down your bike with clean water after a messy ride and then dry it off with a rag. Using a “wet” lube on your chain will also help it to shed moisture. Many veteran eBike riders also get a neoprene cover to protect the battery from extreme cold. (i.e.: when the temperature drops below zero)
Your Battery and the Cold
While the battery on your eBike is robust and built to take the day to day effects of riding, it is susceptible to the cold and can easily loose capacity when used during low temperatures. The the temperature drops below zero, it is highly advised that you remove the battery (when not in use) and store it at room temperature – ideally between 15° and 20°C.
When charging the battery, the same rules apply – Lithium-ion batteries should be charged at room temperature.
Not all of us want to brave the cold and many would prefer to store their eBikes during the winter months. Should you wish to do so, there are a few tips one should consider:
- Store the bike in a place that is protected from the elements. such as a garage or basement.
- If the bike is to be stored in an area that is unheated, be sure to remove the battery from the bike and store it inside. Ideally in a dry place where the temperature does not rise above 20°C (high heat and extreme cold will lessen the lifespan of the battery)
- The battery should also be stored with 30 to 60% capacity and it is advisable to check this a couple of times during the winter. Do not store the battery at 100% charge for long periods of time.
Embrace the winter and don’t be afraid to get out there and enjoy your eBike. And remember… there is truly no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. (which is something we’ll address in a later blog posting)