Can you ride an electric bike in the rain?

Do you need to take special precautions when riding an electric bike in the rain?

Can you ride an electric bike in the rain?

As we move into the colder and wetter months of the year, it becomes harder to venture out on our bikes for pleasure – and easier to find excuses to stay indoors or revert to the car for essential trips. Problem is, if we only take to the saddle in fine conditions, we could waste many months’ worth of cycling opportunities each and every year.

As a rider, you can invest in a good set of waterproof layers to shrug off the worst of the wet weather. And, even if you do get soaked, it’s nothing that a hot bath and a cup of tea won’t put right. But what about your bike? Do you need to take extra precautions on an electric bike? In fact, should you even be riding it at all in a downpour?

The good news is that most manufacturers say it’s safe to ride electric bikes in pretty much the same conditions as conventional bikes. It’s sensible to avoid deep puddles, flooded roads and streams – anything that would completely submerge the electric components of your bike – but don’t use it as an excuse to stay at home!

Clean with care

Your electric bike’s motor, battery pack, display and connection points are well sealed and should weather the sploshes and splashes you’d expect on a normal ride. When it comes to cleaning, don’t spray it with high-pressure air or water jets that could penetrate the bearings or frame. You can rinse with an outdoor hose and wipe with a rag or invest in some proprietary bike cleaner, if you prefer.

Give it some love

Once everything is clean, you might want to re-grease your chain so that it runs smoothly. Lift the bike on to a rack and rotate the pedal while shifting through the gears, at the same time gently dribbling a de-greaser, followed by a lubricant, on the chain. You can get special chain-cleaning devices to clear out the gunge between the links. If you don’t have a stand or would rather leave it to the professionals, it may be worth having this service performed at a trusted cycle shop (one specialising in electric bikes).

Go the distance

Naturally, inclement conditions will take their toll on your electric bike – as will generally clocking up the miles. But wear and tear is par for the course. You should schedule regular services (as you would with your car) but with the help of a basic cleaning routine and a bike stand, you should be able to stay on the road, whatever the weather. Make friends with your e-bike service shop and ask for expert advice if you’re concerned about specific damage – from salt and grit, for instance.

Tips for keeping your electric bike in good shape during the winter months

·       Dry the bike with a towel or cloth after cycling in wet conditions

·       After a wet ride, remove the battery and dry the base and electrical contact points

·       Avoid leaving your bike outside in the rain unless it’s well covered

·       If you can, store the bike indoors – a dry room or outbuilding

·       Grease the contacts to help prevent corrosion and contamination

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