Prepare your eBike for the Winter Weather
Welcome, snow! After our first big snow storm of the season, we feel the time has come to winterize our eBikes and traditional bikes for commuting and leisure riding through the winter weather. While Denver offers a relatively mild winter to commute and ride in, you may be riding in snow and wet conditions – and your eBike requires a little extra TLC to brave the conditions. It’s important to keep your eBike clean and dry throughout the winter months to prolong the life of the battery and the components.
If you enjoy commuting to work year-round or plan to leisurely ride around Colorado’s many trails this upcoming winter, here are some tips to help you.
Consider Winter-specific or wider tires
If you do not feel comfortable riding in snow a few days a year with your regular tires, then there is always the option of studded tires. Schwable makes their Marathon Plus Tire with metal studs to better grip in snow and ice. This being said, studded tires are often expensive and are louder on dry pavement, so they are recommended for riders who plan to ride in the snow regularly. Continental Top CONTACT Winter is a great option for riding on slippery, snowy roads. Continental is also now offering a Puncture Proof Guarantee with the purchase of their Top Contact Winter line.
- GTC labor cost not included in protection plan
- Tube must be of equal or lesser value of existing Continental Tube
- Only tires mentioned on flier are included in program
Keep your ebike in a cool, dry place when not in use
The most sensitive component of the eBike is the battery. Lithium-ion batteries must be kept in a location that is not extremely cold or hot, therefore it is often recommended to take the battery out of the bike if storing it in a non-temperature controlled garage or unheated shed. Storing the eBike in cold temperatures can shorten the lifespan of the battery and cause preventable damage. In regards to charging the battery, Bosch explains “the lithium-ion cells should be charged at room temperature.”
If the temperatures drop below zero, it is recommended to have a neoprene sleeve to cover the battery. For the Bosch powerpack, Bosch recommends keeping the charging capacity between 30% and 60% if the eBike is not actively in use during the winter.
Install a bike fender
Our snow does not stick like other cities further north, meaning that the paths are often wet with snow or the snow on the sides melting onto the path. Fenders will help keep your feet and back dry and can help prevent ice build up on your cassette, especially in all of our wet, slushy spring snow days. Stop by the shop and we can order and install the correct fender for you. Fenders can either be bolted on or easily removable. The eBikes are waterproof, but the back of your shirt may not be!
Clean your bike especially if you plan to put it away for a long period of time
Your eBike will get the dirtiest during the winter, as road management techniques can be messy in order to keep the roads drive-able. Any salt or residue that collects on your bike will only sit and corrode the metal even further if you let it sit over the winter months. If you ride it frequently through the winter, clean it regularly to keep the drivetrain, brakes, and other components working well. A damp cloth for the frame and some bicycle lube for the chain will provide you with what you need to keep the bike in tip-top shape. It also can be helpful to have a few old ripped T-shirts handy in order to clean the grease off the chain and derailleur. Do not pressure wash the bike as this can push dirt and salt into sensitive areas of the bike (stanchions, motor, etc.) or strip away grease on the chain and the bearings.
Ride with caution
Start riding with the motor in the off-mode or at a low setting to ease into riding in Winter weather. Slick patches of ice can be unpredictable, and it is best to ride slowly before you know the terrain you will be riding in. If you start riding the bike while it is in turbo mode, or the highest pedal assist mode, you run the risk of the tires slipping out. Also, consider adding LED lights to the bike in order for drivers to more easily see you. We offer a few options in the store that will help light the way for you during your Winter travels:
Knog Lil’ Cobber Front and Rear Light
Knog Plus Rear
Whether you decide to commute during the winter weather, take leisure rides, or intend to store your eBike away for a few months, planning is key to prolonging the life of your eBike. Remember to only ride in conditions that you feel safe in. As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, eBikes become an excellent resource to get to places quickly – if you don’t mind the wind in your face and the extra layers required. In extreme conditions, opt to leave the eBike or traditional bike at home.
To learn more about the process of actually riding your eBike or traditional bike to work everyday, check out our blog post “Winter Health: Braving the Winter Commute.“