Can you ride an electric bike in the snow
You bought yourself an electric bike, great! Now you want to get out there and use it. But what if you bought it in the summer and then when the first snow falls in the winter, you wonder if you can ride your e-bike in the snow?
Maybe you’re worried about how the cold will affect the motor, or if mud and salt will damage your bike. After all, you wouldn’t be an adventurer if you didn’t think about your gear and its maintenance.
Can I ride an e-bike in the snow?
Just like conventional bikes, you can ride an e-bike in the snow. You’ll need to take extra precautions and equip yourself and your bike with some specialized equipment, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t enjoy the freedom of e-biking in the winter.
Can I leave my e-bike outside in the snow?
Like all bikes, e-bikes are designed to be waterproof. You can ride them in snow and rain without worrying about parts getting damaged. You can even leave them outside for short periods of time, but due to the sensitivity of their electronics and batteries, it’s best to bring them inside when not in use.
The biggest concern is the bike’s battery and electric components. These are not designed for long-term exposure to cold and snow.
E-bike batteries are usually lithium batteries and they don’t cope well with extreme cold. Also, keep in mind that your e-bike battery won’t charge in temperatures below -32 degrees Celsius (0 degrees Fahrenheit), so it’s best to bring it indoors.
How cold is too cold for an e-bike?
Generally speaking, e-bikes cannot run their batteries at temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit); the closer you get to this temperature, the shorter the battery’s range will be. If the battery stops working, so does the pedal assist, so the effective operating temperature of an e-bike is the battery operating temperature.
Another good tip is not to store your e-bike at temperatures below -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). The stress on the parts, battery and motor can cause damage over a long period of time.
All bicycles, especially e-bikes, should be stored in a dry and cool place. Rust and corrosion are enemies to be avoided.
Tips for riding your e-bike in the snow
With a few modifications to your e-bike and some protective gear, you’ll be riding like a champ in the wet and snow.
Here are our top tips for riding an e-bike in the snow:
Check your brakes before riding
You need to check your brakes because they may have gotten wet from rain or melting snow the last time you were out.
Any water that gets into the braking mechanism can freeze and cause the brakes to stiffen or get stuck open or closed. Obviously, you don’t want your brakes to get stuck while you’re out riding, so be sure to check that they’re completely dry and in good working order before you leave.
Don’t forget that your braking distance in the snow will be much longer than when it’s dry, so make sure you take this into account when riding your e-bike in the snow!
Choose the right tires for snow and ice
The right tires can mean the difference between a fun ride and a trip to the emergency room. Let the snow tell you which tires are best: use studded tires on your e-bike when you know you’ll be riding on ice or hard-packed ice, but fat and knobby tires are best on soft snow.
Experienced riders recommend using wide tires for better grip. In addition, a small amount of air is expelled from the tires and this increased surface area will provide you with more grip than hard pump tires.
If you’re heading out into the snow, no one needs to tell you about wind chill and harsh snow conditions. Snow gear similar to what you would use on a snowmobile or ski slope will suit you just fine.
A warm fleece and windbreaker are a must, but don’t skimp on protection for your head, hands and feet.
You’ll need an insulated helmet and possibly goggles. A balaclava or ski mask will protect your face and neck, and be sure to keep your jacket completely on!
For your hands, big even-fingered gloves and thick mittens can make upshifting and downshifting and using brake levers a nightmare. Instead, attach guard gloves to your bike. This way you can wear thinner gloves and still get everything done with your fingers and thumbs as you would in the summer.
Finally, don’t neglect your feet. Remember, they come into contact with more water, melting snow and mud than any other part of your body. Waterproof, warm shoes are a must!
Slow down and drive carefully
Snow and ice can be dangerous. Even experienced riders use more caution when riding in snow than any other type of riding. Even if you have the right tires, the likelihood of accidentally skidding or hitting a hidden hazard in the snow increases exponentially!
One of the best safety tips for riding in the snow is to slow down and be cautious. Remember, the fun is in the biking, and snow can present an extra challenge. Being grounded and steady is the key to winning the race!
When you’re out in the snow on your e-bike, you want to be seen, not only to show off your riding skills, but also because it’s safer.
The more visible you and your bike are, the safer you are. Staying highly visible is beneficial for two reasons: first, you are far less likely to be hit by other riders and cars if they can easily see you. Second, if a problem arises, you will be more visible in the snow in a high visibility undershirt or bright colors.
Avoid hills and steep slopes
In the summer you may think you’re the king of the hill and that you can tackle hills and steep slopes without hesitation as long as you turn on the pedal assist, but in the winter and on snowy days you should think twice before you do so.
Not only are slopes slippery because of the snow, but when you ride your e-bike up a slope or hill, your center of gravity shifts from the front to the back of the bike. This can make driving more difficult, especially in an emergency.
If possible, it’s best to go around hills and slopes.
Take care of your battery
The battery is arguably one of the most important parts of your e-bike. The better you look after it, the further it will take you. If you abuse it, you could lose valuable pedal assist miles when you need them most.
Be sure to charge your battery properly between rides. When you ride your e-bike in the snow, be sure to remove it from the bike and store and charge it indoors at room temperature. Check that the connection points are dry and store the battery upright before reconnecting it.
As we mentioned above, since the battery has a lithium case, it should not be charged at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and should be charged at temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius (- 4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Consider using winter accessories
Our top four winter accessories for your e-bike are:
Good winter tires
Handlebar heaters, and Fenders
You should consider using one or all of these accessories to improve the safety and enjoyment of your ride.
Clean Your E-Bike Regularly
While this is not a tip to help you ride better, you can have the best possible biking experience if you clean your bike regularly.
Few people enjoy cleaning their bikes. After all, you bought your bike to enjoy the ride, not to spend hours cleaning it.
But remember, good maintenance is about more than just safety. Parts that are in tip-top shape will give you a better riding experience, last longer, and you’ll get the satisfaction of a well-oiled machine every time you go out for a ride.
Due to the cold weather, water left on the bike may freeze during use. The expansion and contraction of water may damage your bike, so make sure it is dry and wiped clean before storing.
When it comes to cleaning, it’s best to get into a habit or routine. Make cleaning and maintaining your e-bike after every ride your mantra!
Riding an e-bike in the snow can be fun, but there are some very serious considerations and adjustments you need to make to your bike before you head out. The right gear, protective clothing, tires and riding method will play an important role. Come on out to the snow!
If you want to know more about Shuangye electric bikes or have any questions about our electric bikes and their components, please feel free to reach out to our customer service. We are always here to assist you.