While weather can make bike riding dangerous, certain tips can ensure you stay safe and have fun. Here are tips for riding electric bikes in the rain.
Electric bikes are becoming the preferred mode of transportation for many people across the country. With sales rising, more people are riding electric bikes than ever before.
If you're a beginner to e-bikes, then you likely have some questions about how they work. One of the biggest questions beginners ask is whether or not it's safe to ride their bikes in the rain.
Rest assured, e-bikes function as normal in the rain, but there are a few safety concerns to keep in mind. They're all simple to overcome with a little preparation.
Keep reading to learn all the information you should keep in mind when you take your e-bike out in the rain.
1. Avoid Large Puddles
A little bit of rain isn't going to do much damage to your e-bike, but large pools of water are far more dangerous. Submerging the electronics in your bike will end up ruining them and they may stop working altogether. Depending on the location of the electronics on your bike, even a smaller puddle might be enough to do damage.
This is why it's important to steer clear any time you notice a collection of water. Riding at safe speeds gives you plenty of time to spot the problem and avoid it.
Your e-bike is as water-resistant as possible, but it's not waterproof. Always make sure to check your bike for any cracks or holes in its frame where water might get through and seal them up right away.
If it's impossible to go around the puddle, don't linger within it. This minimizes the potential risk of damaging the bike.
2. Install Water Protection to Vital Areas
Even with all of the built-in safeguards found in high-quality e-bikes, it's still prudent to provide extra protection to the connections and controls. All the precautions you take go far in keeping your e-bike working for years to come.
A water-proof bag is a good way to protect the controls and connections. Never let your bike stand idle outside in the rain without something to protect these areas.
Sometimes the splashback from driving on wet roads is enough to pose a problem to e-bikes. Installing fenders is a good way to prevent all of that water from splashing upwards towards the delicate parts of your bike.
As a bonus, it keeps you from getting drenched as well.
3. Watch for Dangerous Elements
Whenever the weather is bad, riding at safe speeds is a given. It gives you more time to react to anything problematic, and it keeps everyone safer on the road.
While going at these slower speeds, keep an eye out for any potential dangers on the road. The rain makes even innocent things turn into something dangerous and slippery.
Debris like fallen leaves, for instance, are terrible for the grip of your wet wheels and can cause them to spin out if you're not careful. Pothole lids are similar, with their smooth metal coating.
It's also good to avoid the iridescent shimmer of oil on the road. On a normal day, they're no big deal, but rain makes them more of a risk.
4. Apply Grease to Contacts
Like many other kinds of electric vehicles, the electric contacts are an important part that needs to be protected. There's no real danger if those contacts get a little wet, but it does tend to corrode or rust after prolonged exposure.
Slathering grease over those delicate areas is enough to provide a coating of protection and ensure that your contacts stay pristine. Even a little bit of grease is enough to make a big difference in the longevity of your e-bike.
Dielectric grease is the perfect substance for this job. It repels water and fights against corrosion of all kinds.
Sooner or later, the grease will need replacing. It's a good idea to clean off and re-grease the area every time you do regular maintenance on your bike.
5. Increase Visibility
While you're on the lookout for all the potential dangers on the road, you want to be as visible to other drivers as possible. You're in a much smaller vehicle compared to most cars and trucks, and it's good to ensure that they always see you even in the heaviest of rains.
Always have your headlights turned on at the slightest hint of rain. A drizzle of rain is deceptively dangerous and needs as much precaution as a downpour.
Another good way to make certain you're seen is to have reflective tape on your bike and clothing.
6. Always Have a Bike Riding Emergency Kit
No matter if it's sunny or raining, your e-bike should always have an emergency kit on board. All vehicles need them, even traditional cars and trucks.
They could be the difference between life and death. Even with all of the safety measures we take, there's always a risk every time we hit the road. That's why the emergency kit is a non-negotiable item.
It's a beautiful thing if you never once get into any kind of accident and never need to pull out the kit. If you do need it, however, then it must be in easy reach and well-stocked.
It should include items such as:
- Emergency pre-paid cellphone
- Towel or cloth
- Pain killers
- Light tools for easy bike repairs
- Extra batteries
- Nonperishable food
With these items at your disposal, you'll be well-prepared for any problems that come your way.
7. Increase Tire Grip
If you have easy access to change your tire pressure, then you'll want to lower the pressure in your tires whenever it rains. With more wetness comes slippery conditions, and the more tire grip you're able to get, the safer you'll ride.
Lowering the tire pressure by only 10psi is enough to make a big difference on the road. You don't want to lower it too much, or else the wheels won't function properly. Remember to bring them back up to the original number once the weather is sunny again.
8. Plan Your Trip Beforehand
You should get into the habit of knowing the exact route you'll travel on a day-to-day basis. This gives you a better understanding of places to avoid and roads that you should skip.
If there's a place you cross all the time that has a lot of potholes, you'll want to find a different route when it's raining. Those potholes are only annoyances on a good day, but during bad weather, they are safety risks.
Road maintenance is another thing you'll want to keep an eye on. The debris and unpaved areas are a big danger to bikes.
If these places are unavoidable during your ride, make sure to drive slow and steady until you reach a regular road once more.
9. Dress for the Weather
It's impossible to stop yourself from getting a little drenched when riding electric bikes in the rain. This is why investing in some warm and water-proof gear is a good idea for anyone with an e-bike. Keep the gear handy so that you're always able to slip it on when the weather goes bad.
A single well-made jacket could mean the difference between a soggy or damp arrival.
Don't neglect your hands when looking out for gear. Wet conditions make the chances for blisters go even higher, and your hands are at a big risk. Water-proof gloves are your best friend during a rainy day.
Always wear a helmet, as well. They're a vital way to keep you protected, and even more so when the weather makes things a little riskier. Finding one with a visor helps keep your vision clear and the rain out of your eyes.
10. Dry Your Bike After a Rainy Ride
Once you've arrived home, your bike needs a little extra help before you can stash it away. Even though it is water-resistant, leaving water clinging to its parts leads to eventual corrosion and other problems. The nice thing is that there's an easy fix to this problem.
Take an absorbent towel and run it over every part of the bike. This clears away all of the water and grime that coated itself onto your bike as you rode throughout the town.
This extra step only takes a few minutes but increases the longevity of your bike by a large margin. It ensures that your bike is raring to go the next time you want to go out for a wonderful ride. Plus, it'll look great too, without any caked mud from the road!
Riding Electric Bikes in the Rain Only Takes a Few Precautions
Even though your bike uses electricity, riding electric bikes in the rain is no big deal. As long as you follow the advice listed above, you'll have no trouble biking in any kind of wet weather. These few precautions are enough to give you all the protection you need.
Whether you're commuting to work or going for an enjoyable ride in the moody storm, e-bikes are great for all occasions. They make perfect alternatives to traditional vehicles, regardless of the weather!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us right away!