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How Cold Weather Affects Electric Bikes

How Cold Weather

The winter is marvelous for sightseeing. The whole snowy aesthetics is one of those rare reasons why people actually love this season. And when forests and whole cities are covered in snow ‒ isn’t it a beautiful sight?

Winter rides are a good opportunity to see the wonders of nature in rare conditions. That doesn’t mean it will be as easy as taking your usual ride ‒ the weather directly impacts eBikes maintenance and durability.

Low temperature and snow

A temperature that nears 0F is actually dangerous not only for people but also for vehicles ‒ especially eBikes. 

The main problem is in the Li-Ion battery ‒ temperatures below 30F significantly influence the charging cycle and battery’s durability. By charging cycle we mean a period of time when the battery goes from fully charged to fully discharged and then to fully charged again. Low temperatures interrupt this cycle, making the discharging phase shorter. Even when the temperature gets back to comfortable, the battery won’t be able to discharge the way it used to before.

The snow is another problem every rider faces during the winter. Roads get slippery, and sometimes they even get that icy covering from temperature changes. Installing winter tires and generally taking care of your eBike will minimize the impact on your driving during wet and snowy times.

Taking care of your eBike during the winter

You’ve probably seen our eBike maintenance guides ‒ this time, we’ve got another one made especially for winter (and there are more to come ‒ make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter).

As we’ve established a few paragraphs earlier, the main problems of using an eBike during the winter are low temperatures and snow. These maintenance tips are really important in order to protect your eBike from harmful impact:

  1. Don’t ride in subzero temperatures. 0F and everything below is simply dangerous for your eBike because the battery can give up really fast and it won’t be something you can fix in a few minutes. 
  2. Don’t leave your eBike outside when it’s freezing below 30F. When you’re driving at this temperature, the battery at least has the chance to warm up a bit and minimize the damage. When you’re not, it can get frozen without the ability to perform within its usual range. Find a better solution for storing your vehicle: a garage, a thermal cover, or simply take the battery out to store it at room temperature somewhere inside.
  3. Check the tires. Apart from installing winter tires that have better traction than summer ones, you have to check the pressure in them before every ride. It’s a universal rule, but in winter it gets even more important.
  4. Do a major check-up before you start driving. Clean the dirt off, make sure the chain is lubed, the brakes are in good condition, and the battery is fully charged. 

See, it’s not that bad. You’ll basically have to make a few adjustments to your previous maintenance routine. But as for riding, some things require special attention.

Tips on winter driving

Weather conditions like that change the driving style. The traction is different thanks to snow and ice, the braking distance is way longer for exactly the same reasons. This is why you might want to slow down a bit, especially in the city.

Winter tires will make driving a lot easier for you, but it doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same things you feel while driving in late fall or early spring. The snow always interferes with traction ‒ be aware of skidding on turns.

Also, keep in mind these basic safety rules apart from slowing down and minding the terrain:

  • the light day is really short ‒ wear bright or even reflective clothing if you’re out in the city;
  • for the same reason make sure your front and backlights are turned on;
  • even if you’re pedaling without assist, you need to dress warm ‒ make sure you wear gloves, and your head and neck are covered.

For more on riding specifics throughout the year, check our short guide.

Ride responsibly and safely ‒ we’ll make sure to equip you with the best advice we have for that. For more useful guides and maintenance tips, subscribe to our newsletter.

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