If you live in stormy conditions, you may be hesitant to purchase an electric bike. After all, E-Bikes have sensitive components that may be affected by harsh weather. So, do you need to waterproof your E-Bike, and how do you do it?
Most Electric bikes are water resistant, but it’s best to store them inside to avoid water and heat damage. If storing outdoors, consider buying a tarp to store your bike under. For riding in the rain, consider accessories like splash fenders and, extra lights, and adding extra waterproofing.
Waterproofing an electric bike is a relatively straightforward process. All it takes is a few products to add ample protection. Those in especially wet conditions will need to do so to properly maintain their bikes. So, what do you need to know? Read on to find out!
Do You Need to Waterproof Your Electric Bike?
One question that comes up whether you own an electric bike or not is, “Are electric bikes waterproof?” The follow-up question is, “Should I waterproof my electric bike?” These questions are understandable, as e-bikes come with many electrical components.
Electric bikes are water-resistant. Something being water-resistant doesn’t necessarily mean it’s waterproof. However, there are electric bike models that have waterproofed electrical components.
You don’t necessarily need to waterproof your electric bike. A rainy day or some rogue water droplets won’t fry your battery. Waterproofing an e-bike comes with obvious benefits, but most electric bikes can handle rainy and wet conditions.
Can You Leave an Electric Bike in the Rain?
Although electric bikes can handle wet conditions, they shouldn’t be left out in the rain for long periods of time. Like traditional bicycles, e-bikes frames can suffer from rust and other damages. On top of that, the electrical hardware on an e-bike may suffer damage as well.
Consider bringing your electric bike inside during the rain and other wet conditions. If that isn’t a viable option, you can always invest in a bike tarp.
Bike tarps can act as a great line of defense from rain, debris, and even thieves. Not to mention, bike tarps are incredibly affordable, and you can find options under $20 (on Amazon).
Can you Store an Electric Bike Outside In the Weather?
Properly storing an electric bike is a vital part of the maintenance and care required. Without proper storage, an e-bike can suffer from damages to the frame and electrical components.
Rain: As mentioned earlier, storing your e-bike in the rain isn’t the best idea. Electric bikes can traverse through rain and harsh conditions. However, leaving them out in these conditions for long periods of time can leave you with a damaged ride.
Snow: Storing your electric bike in frigid conditions also isn’t the best idea. Intense temperatures can damage e-bike batteries. Electric bike batteries should not be stored below 14°F (–10°C). Additionally, the melting snow can cause other damages to the frame and motor.
Ice: Just like snow, storing your electric bike in icy conditions isn’t a great idea. Ice can cause rust, cracks, and damages to the electrical components. It’s best to bring your e-bike inside in the event of this kind of weather. Alternatively, you can always invest in a bike tarp (on Amazon) to add another layer of protection.
Intense Heat: Electric bike batteries do not like extreme heat. High temperatures can damage an e-bike’s battery, causing loss of charging performance. Avoid storing your e-bike and battery in temperatures above 140°F (60°C). You may also want to consider bringing your e-bike inside with temperatures around 90-100°F (30-40°C) just to be safe.
How to Waterproof Your Electric Bike
Waterproofing your electric bike comes with obvious benefits. Waterproofing provides an extra layer of protection to your bike frame and electrical components. There are multiple ways to do so. From aftermarket parts to waterproof sprays, and there’s sure to be something that fits your needs and budget.
Electric bikes aren’t going to short circuit from a few puddles. The batteries are designed to work well in rainy and wet conditions. That being said, fenders are a great first line of defense in protecting your e-bike from water and debris.
Fenders are made of metal, plastic, and other materials. Plastic fenders and the like are best suited to rainy conditions. Products like the TAGVO Bike Fender Set (on Amazon) are a great example of a rainy day fender.
Metal fenders can rust and accrue damage over time, causing you to replace them often. However, other fenders will require proper cleaning and maintenance to work correctly. If you’re in a rainy region and a regular e-bike user, you should highly consider purchasing a set of fenders.
Panniers are bicycle bags that are best suited for hauling everyday necessities, camping gear, or other items on long-distance rides. Waterproof panniers provide ample storage space for all your gear whilst keeping it dry.
You can find budget-friendly options like the Roswheel Essential Series (on Amazon) for under $40. Alternatively, you can opt-in for something more luxurious and with more space, like the MaxMiles Bicycle Pannier Bag (on Amazon) for under $100.
Stepping onto your e-bike for your morning commute in the rain can be a daunting task. The frigid air and wet weather leave can you uncomfortable and cold. Staying warm and dry is essential when riding your electric bike.
To waterproof yourself, you can begin with a cycling hat. Cycling hats (on Amazon) go under your bike helmet, providing another layer of warmth and protection. Some cycling hats have visors to protect your eyes and face from rain and debris.
Additionally, you will need a quality pair of cycling gloves. Water-resistant gloves (on Amazon) will keep your hands warm and dry during your most demanding commutes. You may even want to consider getting two pairs and keeping one in your bag while you travel.
Finally, you’ll want to dress for the rainy weather. Water-resistant raincoats and jackets will provide you with warmth and protection. You can try layering different materials to stay warm on especially cold days.
Waterproofing Your Gear
You can go the extra mile when it comes to waterproofing your items. Although products like waterproof pannier bags and backpacks work well, they’re only one line of defense.
Tossing your phone and other valuables into a ziplock bag is an excellent strategy during rainy conditions. You should consider keeping a few ziplock bags on hand just in case. Additionally, waterproof laptop cases and backpacks should also be considered.
Waterproofing doesn’t end with bags and clothing. You can also spray your e-bike and valuables with waterproof materials. You can find different waterproof sprays online (on Amazon) or at your local hardware store.
Spraying your bag, shoes, and battery packs with a waterproof spray will provide them with an extra layer of protection during harsh conditions. Be sure to check with your manufacturer before using a waterproof product, as it could potentially damage the electrical components of an e-bike.
How to Safely Ride Your Bike in the Rain
Drivers can get on edge when it starts to rain. Harsh conditions can lower visibility making it more dangerous and stressful to drive. So, as an electric bike rider, how can you stay safe in such situations?
Preparing Your Bike Properly
Waterproofing: If you’ve made it this far in the article, you know that waterproofing yourself and an electric bike is beneficial. Waterproofing yourself keeps you warm and dry, allowing you to perform at your best.
Additionally, waterproofing your valuables will keep them operating in peak conditions, even in the harshest climates.
Proper Maintenance: Riding in the rain and other wet conditions can cause your e-bike to build up muck and grime. After riding in the rain, be sure to properly clean and service your electric bike.
You should always do the bare minimum of drying your electric bike after a rainy commute. Additionally, you can do a bit of servicing to the chains and gears. You can also consider taking your bike into your local bike shop for a complete tune-up after an especially harsh ride.
Use Lights and Reflectors: Rainy weather lowers visibility for every commuter on the road. This is why it’s important to use lights and reflectors to signal your location to other drivers. You can purchase bike reflectors, vests, and other reflective materials for relatively cheap. There are even customizable LED options (on Amazon)!
Lower Tire Pressure: Lower tire pressure can improve traction on harsh roads. More traction in rainy conditions will help you avoid hydroplaning and slippage. Consider lowering your tires PSI by about 10 to have more grip and control during rainy weather.
Safe Practices for Riding in the Rain
Slow Down: Although you may want to ride faster to get to your destination quicker, it’s best to go slow in rainy conditions. Take your time and stay calm during harsh conditions. Lower visibility brings less reaction time, so it’s best to give yourself ample time to react.
Break Early: Again, lower visibility creates less reaction time. In the rain, it’s best to brake early and carefully. Waiting for the last minute to brake can cause you to lose control or get into an accident. Stay alert, react carefully, and stay calm when riding in harsh weather conditions.
Watch the Road: Rain and wet weather can cause oil and gasoline to rise to the surface of the road. Oil and gasoline can create slippery spots. Watch for areas on the road that have a rainbow-like sheen to them, as these can be very slippery.
Metal grates can also be dangerous when wet and cause your tires to lose grip. On top of that, rain can bring debris and other objects into the road. Be sure to stay alert and watch for anything you need to avoid while riding in the rain.
Don’t Lean Into Corners: During rainy weather, you’ll want to adjust how you ride. Although sharp turns can be incredibly fun and exhilarating, in the rain, it’s best not to go too fast on them.
Be sure to take turns and corners slowly during harsh conditions. This style of riding will keep your tires on the ground, netting you more traction and control.
These are the main strategies you can implement to ride safely in wet conditions. Remember to ride slow and stay calm during harsh climates.
If things become too unsafe, you can always pull over and wait out the storm. As always, be sure to check with your make and model before purchasing any aftermarket products.