Can I ride an electric bike in the rain?
Of course you can. Regardless of the weather, e-bikes can take you zipping through the city streets or through the wooded trails. Not only are they multi-water resistant, they should also provide you with a complete sense of security and relative comfort from start to finish during your ride.
But there are a few things every rider should be aware of when riding an e-bike in the rain. Whether it's about the type of clothing you wear or how you set up your e-bike, staying safe while riding in the rain is paramount.
Before your next rainy ride, esoulbike gives you some tips to make sure your ride is safe and enjoyable.
1. Use bicycle mudguards
Using bike fenders to ride in the rain helps keep your clothes dry. While e-bikes are largely waterproof - the drivetrain or motor can withstand heavy splashes and the battery won't fail due to moisture - you may want to consider adding fenders to your e-bike in order to avoid getting your clothes dirty, or consider adding fenders to your e-bike. Not only will this help protect you from road debris, but it will also protect your bike, battery and other components.
2. Wear weatherproof clothing
One of the most challenging parts of riding in the rain is the rate at which your clothes get wet. Because of this, it's best to wear a lightweight, waterproof rain jacket. This will allow you to arrive at work or at a party without being a mess. Secondly, a riding hat will also help in the rain. The brim of the hat will just keep the rain out of your eyes so you can still see, or find a helmet that fits you. In addition, you may want to consider wearing gloves to keep your hands warm and dry and to prevent slipping.
3. Weatherproof your gear
Keep things safe and dry with waterproof baskets and bags. As mentioned earlier, when you ride in the rain, water ends up getting everything wet. So make sure your equipment is weatherproof. For most e-bike riders, a sealed, waterproof dry bag is the best way to achieve this goal. Whether you're carrying a laptop, MP3 player or GPS on the trail, you can be sure your device stays dry.
4. Use headlights and taillights
When you ride an e-bike in the rain, each rider has more challenges to deal with, such as blurred vision and poor visibility, making it more difficult to ride on roads or forest trails. Visibility and lights will help in these challenges. In fact, in many places, you are required by law to have your e-bike lights on when riding in the rain. Typically, you need a frontal white light that is bright enough to point this headlight forward to see at least 500 feet away, and you need a red tail light that can be seen from about 500 or 600 feet. To do this, consider adding a flashing light to your helmet, rack, handlebars or panniers.
5. Lower Tire Pressure
Many experienced cyclists, including those on e-bikes, adjust tire pressure to suit road conditions. "On new roads, your tires may feel great at 100 psi, but on rough roads, they may roll faster at 90 psi," Lee McCormack and Joe Lindsey wrote in an August 2018 cycling article. In wet conditions, you may need to run 10 psi less than usual to improve traction. The idea is simple. Slightly lower tire pressure allows more tire contact with the road, which provides better grip for your e-bike.
6. Early braking
Closely related to slowing down when riding an e-bike in wet weather is the fact that it takes more time to brake. You need to slow down gradually in advance. "The purpose of adding a motor to an e-bike is to provide the rider with an additional source of power. Most e-bikes allow the rider to control when the motor starts and how much power it provides. This allows for a variety of riding options, from full-leg power pedaling, a combination of pedaling and motor assist, and full electric riding, allowing the rider to fine-tune her riding experience to meet her specific needs and requirements," write the authors of "The Complete E-bike Buyer's Guide. So the extra power provided by an electric bike requires a better braking system, which proves to be a significant advantage over some conventional bikes in the rain. Many e-bikes include disc brakes rather than the rim brakes commonly found on conventional bikes. Disc brakes perform much better in the rain. Add some caution and early braking to your more powerful braking system and you can experience a safe ride, even in pouring rain. Remember, when riding your e-bike in the rain, you need to brake as early as possible.
7. Don’t Lean into Corners
Electric bikes are arguably more fun than traditional bicycles because the extra power they provide can radically enhance the riding experience. However, when riding an e-bike in the rain, you need to be careful about the power you use, especially when turning. Approach corners in the rain much slower than usual and try to prevent yourself from leaning too far into the corner, leaving as much of the tire on the ground as possible.
8.Avoid smooth spots
When it rains, the ground becomes slick as all the oil is not washed away and your ride can become unpredictable with many smooth spots that you may not see immediately. And when riding in the rain, you usually want to avoid puddles or standing water, but pay special attention to "rainbow" puddles, which can be filled with slippery lubricants or fuel. Also, avoid painting lines (i.e., lane markings) on the road. Lane markings can become especially slippery when it rains. Railroad tracks are as slippery as ice, so be sure to avoid them as well. Finally, watch out for debris. When you're riding your e-bike in the rain, something as seemingly safe as a falling leaf can cause a slip and fall.
9.Plan a safe route
Before you start your ride, try to plan a route that is as safe as possible. For example, if you typically ride on roads with gravel, loose rocks and cracks, try to avoid these areas when riding in the rain. This decision will not only help ensure your safety, but will also protect your e-bike from debris and other road elements that are not visible due to poor visibility in wet conditions.
10. Clean your e-bike after riding
Finally, make sure you take a few extra minutes after each rainy ride to clean up all debris and dry your e-bike. Doing so will benefit your e-bike's battery, motor, sprockets, etc.
Although e-bikes are a cost effective means of transportation, they still need to be maintained in a timely manner. Taking the time to clean and dry your e-bike, including the battery, after a dirty ride over the years can go a long way towards extending its life.