Six steps to winterproof your electric bikeNovember 6th 2020
Winter and electric bikes: two things that shouldn’t mix? Absolutely not! An electric bike is an amazing tool all year round, and although really bad weather can occasionally mean that it’s safer to keep the bike locked away, e-bike riding is safe the majority of the time.
While wintry conditions can be tough on two wheels, with new potential hazards to navigate, many can be dealt with easily and effectively. So to help you keep riding this winter we’ve put together our six steps to winterproof your e-bike!
- Fit lights
There’s no getting away from it: the onset of winter means shorter days, with nights drawing in sooner (often when you’re still at work) and dawn coming later and later. Add this to often darker skies, and the available light can be low.
Lots of e-bikes come with lights built-in that run off the battery pack, but in order to make sure you’re seen it’s worth fitting an additional light to draw extra attention to yourself. Any front and rear light combination that includes flashing modes (so-called ‘disruptive’ modes because they contrast more against natural lighting) will help draw more attention to you on the road.
- Fit mudguards
There’s nothing worse on a ride than coming across an unavoidable puddle and getting sprayed up your back with splashback from the tyres. Luckily for some, many e-bikes and standard city bikes come with mudguards pre-fitted, but they’re a real must for those that don’t have them already.
Good quality mudguards not only protect you from unwanted spray, they also protect your e-bike’s frame and components by keeping the spray under control and localised to the area around wheels. The great news is that this helps reduce bike and clothes washing, while reducing wear on the bike itself, saving you money and effort over the course of the winter!
- Fit winter tyres
Winter can be especially tough on tyres, and it can be tempting to use worn tyres through the winter and push back replacing them until the weather improves. However, winter is the time when tyres are most exposed to wear and damage from dirty roads and paths.
This means that you’re more likely to get punctures, and that chance is multiplied if your tyres are already worn. At the same time, more slippery road conditions mean that lower tread, potentially worn rubber can give lower grip than some dedicated alternatives.
So, we recommend fitting a fresh set of specific winter tyres. Look out for tyres with added puncture protection and good levels of tread that can displace standing water, while ensuring that they fit your wheels. A good way to check is to look on the sidewall of your old tyres for the dimensions that will fit your wheels. Otherwise, you can pop into your local Pure Electric store and we’ll be able to help!
- Protect the battery
Your motor and battery system is designed to work in typically wintry conditions – heavy rain is no problem, while cold weather shouldn’t stop your e-bike from working either.
However, it’s important to protect the battery’s cells from prolonged exposure to very cold conditions. While we’d always urge caution when the mercury starts to dip towards zero degrees, your battery’s performance can suffer significantly if left to chill, even if it’s fully charged.
So, we recommend removing the battery if your e-bike is stored in a non-insulated area (like a shed) and the temperature is set to be especially low. If your e-bike is wet after riding, then towel down the battery and surrounding area before removing it to avoid water getting to the connections.
- Regular cleaning
Regularly washing your e-bike is a really effective way of maintaining it. Your e-bike is exposed to water and dirt, of course, but all kinds of other materials including oil, salt, grit and grime get splashed onto the frame and components, which cause excess wear if left to settle.
This can lead to annoying creaking and squeaking noises, while the efficiency of the e-bike can suffer too – by the end of the winter, you can be faced with replacing lots of components because they’ve stretched and worn beyond their working range.
To help avoid this, ideally wash your e-bike after every wet or dirty ride. However, if you’re time-pressed, a simple rinse off with a low-powered garden hose or a weekend clean will help to maintain your e-bike.
Note: Remember, if your e-bike has a chain-based drive system, this will need re-lubricating regularly too!
- Check in for a regular service
Sometimes, it can be easier to keep your e-bike in tip-top working order by having an expert technician take a look at it regularly. In combination with these basic e-bike winterproofing tips, you can ensure that it keeps operating perfectly.
We offer great servicing deals in store, where we can check and fix faults, as well as diagnose potential wear issues before they become a ride-ending problem. Plus, we can offer advice and support on any of the tips discussed in this article!
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