E-Bikes and the Rain: 5 Do's and Don'ts

December 14, 2020

E-Bikes and the Rain: Do's and Don'ts from Electric Bikes Brisbane

Wondering if its ok to ride or drive in the rain with your e-bike? The short answer is yes! Like everything though there are some do's and don'ts that will help you to stay safer and trouble-free. 

The electric system on an e-bike is designed to withstand bad weather. Three million + ebike riders in Europe, where it rains way more than here, can testify to that.

However, with the massive, sudden downpours and 'rain events' that we get in Australia it is fair to ask whether electric bikes are safe to ride in our rain.

Fear not. If you have a well built ebike you won't have a problem if you get caught in a storm or need to get home from work in one of our rain events just because you are on an electric bike.

Like everything though there are some do's - and one big don't - that you should bear in mind. There are also some things to consider if driving with your ebike on a carry rack while raining. 

1. The one big 'Don't'

Don't ride ebikes in water that submerges your battery

Riding an ebike in the rain is the same as a normal bike except...

Do not ride through water that will submerge your motor and battery. 

Your battery in particular is susceptible to shorting out if submerged for any length of time. Something to be avoided :). Like any vehicle though, avoid riding through flooded water if you can, particularly fast moving water. 

We also recommend that you don't leave your ebike outside in the weather for any length of time. This includes storing it in a dry place at home. 

2. DO. Be More Cautious

E-Bikes and the Rain: 5 Do's and Don'ts from Electric Bikes Brisbane

Being more cautious with how and where you ride sounds like a no-brainer however it is worth repeating. The roads are far more slippery, visibility can be poor and there are also likely to be unexpected objects on the roads. 

The key things to be more cautious with are: 

  • Speed. Riding more slowly than usual gives you time to anticipate and avoid potential problems, plus helps you stop quickly if you need to. 
  • Braking. It always takes longer than usual when its wet so brake early and brake smoothly to avoid locking up your wheels and skidding. 
  • Angles eg. try not to lean into corners or ride up gutters and driveways on an angle. Try to keep as much of your tire rubber on the road as possible.
  • White lines and metal tracks and potholes. Very slippery in the wet. Also look out for places where there may be oil or petrol, mud and leaf matter on the road and avoid. 
  • Deep puddles and potholes. If there is or has been running water its hard to know whats in them or whether they have changed. For example, walk across a creek if you have to (and can) vs ride. Best to not even try it if its fast flowing water. 

3. DO. Get the Right Gear 

Safe riding in wet weather with high vis

At a minimum the right gear in the wet can make your life a whole more comfortable, and at the extreme it can help save your life. 

We're talking about things such as: 

  • Safety gear - for example, lights and high vis clothing. A helmet is mandatory anyway but it has the added benefit of keeping water out of your eyes if it has a visor. Clear glasses or goggles are recommended too. 
  • Tire pressures - lowering your tire pressures so you have more traction in the wet can be a huge advantage. Aim for lower to mid pressure, depending on how much load you are carrying. See this article on tire maintenance for how to check recommended tire pressures. 
  • Weatherproof gear - having mudguards in the wet can help keep you and your bike clean. (There are lots of good removable options if you don't like to normally carry them so feel free to ask us.) Furthermore having waterproof panniers to hand and some spare ziplock or silicone bags can help protect your valuables, especially if you tend to travel with things such as laptops and tablets. 

4. DO. Clean Your Bike and Battery Points

Clean your ebike drive chain

A quick clean of your ebike after riding in the rain only takes a few minutes and will pay dividends on your service bills down the track. 

A wipedown cleans it and helps you spot if there is any damage but there are two things that you can do that will really make a difference. These are: 

  • Clean and re-lube your chain and drive train. If you don't like crunchy or slipping gears then this is a must. Have a look at #5 Rear Wheel, Chain and Gears in our EBike M Check for more info. 
  • Battery contact points. If you are concerned with crud getting into your battery surrounds then take your battery out, wipe down with a soft clean cloth and clean the contact points with contact cleaner.  

If your bike is really wet and you are concerned that water has gotten into the battery contact points then use a leaf blower to disperse the water after you take the battery out.  Leave the battery out of the bike for a few hours to let the system completely dry. 

5. DO. Cover Your Battery and Display If Travelling

EBike Travelling on Rear Bike Carrier

If you are travelling somewhere in the rain with your ebike mounted on an external carrier then take care with moisture getting into your battery or display. This is more of a concern for longer trips however something to be aware of as when on or behind a moving car the force of the rain is multiplied, a bit like a gurney.

Displays and batteries can be susceptible to getting moisture so for longer trips it is recommended to protect them. 

There are bespoke covers available that you can purchase and you can also make your own if handy. For example a neoprene cover with velcro. 

Battery protector on Riese & Muller Multicharger

If you remove your battery and put it in the car then, for some styles of batteries,  you can purchase battery plates or pin covers to help keep the weather out.

Riding an EBike in the Wet Can Be Fun

Rainy weather, even a rain event, is not a reason to stop riding. In fact it can be great fun, especially if you don't have an accident or damage your ebike!

We hope these tips help make your next (rainy) ride just as enjoyable as your sunny ones.

If you have an issue that you would like our service centre to take a look at you can book your ebike in HERE>>

Tips for EBikes in the Rain from Electric Bikes Brisbane 

 




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