Electric bikes are designed to be used in all types of weathers and on all terrains. That said with the changes to our climate, sometimes the weather can get extreme so you do need to keep some perspective on what you can expect from your e bike. Riding through floods, ice, fires or tornados may sound positively biblical but is unlikely to do you or your ebike much good for a range of reasons.
So let’s take a look at riding in a variety of weather conditions and how to keep safe on an all weather electric bike.
Riding an ebike in wet and rainy conditions
No ebike is 100% water proof because this technology does not yet exist. The good news is that some ebikes are water resistant. All Hovsco bikes are highly water resistant which means that the battery and electrics are fully insulated and protected from water damage.
You can ride your Hovsco bike in the rain. All bikes in the range have an IP rating of 4 5 which is the highest water resistance rating in the industry. This means your ebike is protected from water spray in any direction including low pressure water jets and is the highest level of water protection you can expect from an ebike.
This means you can ride your ebike in rain and splash through puddles with no problem. If you get caught out in a rainstorm you should be fine to make it home.
However it is important to keep safe when riding your ebike in wet conditions for your own safety and comfort as much as for your ebike.
- Wear waterproof clothing. That way when you reach your destination you will still be warm and dry. Waterproof gloves are also a good idea as they will prevent your hands from becoming too cold and wet to use the bike safely
- Hi Viz jackets are a must when visibility is low. Make sure you can be seen by other road users.
- If you regularly ride in the rain, fit a bike fender to your back wheel. It prevents mud and spray from splashing up your back and generally adding to the misery of getting wet
- Make sure your ebike has lights so that other motorists can see you in less than perfect visibility. Blinking lights can be a good choice as they are more noticeable than a straight beam.
- Keep to a reasonable speed. It can be tempting to speed up to reach the end of the ride but wet road conditions can become slippery and unsafe. Be especially careful when taking corners.
- Apply the brakes earlier than you would in dry conditions. You don’t want to skid or force to bike to hydroplane.
- Once you get home, take time to dry your ebike and make sure it is clean for next time. Never remove the battery if the bike is still wet or water could enter the battery housing.
- If there is a torrential downpour while you are on the road, take shelter if possible until it passes. Likewise if it is raining extremely hard before you leave home, consider using another method of transport and leave your ebike at home.
- Always check the weather conditions before you head off on your bike.
Riding your ebike in extreme heat
Your ebike is designed to be used in all weathers. Riding your ebike in extreme heat may seem like something that only a mad person would want to do , but if you fall into this category and you do want to ride in temperatures over 105 F , there should be no great problems to your ebike. However it is important to take some precautions before you leave in order to keep you and your bike safe.
Sunlight can overheat the battery so make sure your battery is fully charged before you set off and keep an eye on your battery levels. If it becomes critically low, take a break in the shade and wait for it to recharge. Alternatively switch the batteries if you have a spare. Always take your charger with you so that you can quickly recharge somewhere else should you need to.
If you wish to ride your ebike across the desert or the beach, you will need a model with fat tires. The Hovsco bike range includes many fat tire models such as the Hov Alpha and Hov Alpha Step Thru and these all weather ebikes are perfectly adapted to riding on loose materials such as sand and gravel. Always ensure you are using knobbly tires in order to grip these types of friable surfaces.
Other points to consider when you are riding an ebike in extreme hot weather
- It is important to stay hydrated in heat so make sure you have plenty of water with you.
- Always wear a hat and loose fitting clothing and don’t forget to apply the sun screen on a regular basis because it can wash off with sweat. The movement of riding your ebike can feel cooling so it is easy to overlook sunburn.
- Take plenty of breaks in the shade. This will give you and your ebike a chance to cool down.
- Extreme hot weather is not suitable for challenging yourself with extreme challenges such as hill climbs so always take the easiest route when you are riding in extreme heat. Likewise keep your speed down and don’t expect to break your personal best record for getting from A to B in record quick time when the mercury is high!
- If you feel too hot and uncomfortable after around 10 minutes riding, take a break until you cool down.
- If you can avoid going out on your ebike throughout the hottest period of the day, do so. A ride on an ebike is not worth the risk of sunstroke and dehydration. And although your ebike may cope with the heat, the same can not always be said for the rider.
Riding your ebike in extreme cold
An all weather electric bike is built to withstand a wide range of temperatures and riding conditions. Your ebike battery will function at -5 F although it is important to point out that you cannot charge it unless the temperature is above freezing point.
It can be fun getting out on your bike in cold weather. However cold air will have a detrimental effect upon your battery and you will find that it runs through the charge extremely quickly. This means that it is important to plan your trip accordingly and to ensure that your battery is on 100% before you set out.
Another useful option is to buy a cover for your battery so that it continues to function at a stable temperature and you won’t have to worry about your range.
Many people wonder if you can ride an ebike in the snow. The answer is yes but only if you are riding with fat tires. The Hovsco range of all weather electric bikes includes many fat tire models to choose from. The Hovsco Alpha, the HovBeta Foldable and the Hovsco are three great models that can be ridden on snow and as long as you have the right knobbly tires, you really can go anywhere.
If you are planning to stay off your ebike until the weather gets warmer, it is a good idea to remove your e bike battery and store it at room temperature such as in a utility room. That way you can be confident that once you are ready to ride again, your battery will be in great condition.
Points to remember when riding your ebike in extreme cold
- Always wear layers of warm clothing including a hat, scarf and gloves. That way you will manage to keep warm over the course of your ride.
- Make sure you are visible to other road users so a high Viz tunic over your coat or jacket will ensure you are seen in the worst conditions.
- Ride slowly. If there is snow on the ground you never know whether there is black ice too so take it slowly and use the pedals as much as possible.
- If cold weather riding is something you intend to do regularly, consider winterising your cable connections and heat shrink your LED screen for further protection.
- Always tell someone else your proposed route so that if you do come off your bike on ice and are injured, your loved ones will know where to come and pick you up.
- Always check the weather before you head off. In winter the weather can be unpredictable and worsen very quickly so make sure you have looked at the weather forecast before you leave.
Riding an all weather ebike can be great fun but going out in extreme weather conditions is not for the faint hearted. Not many people are all weather electric bike riders so just because your ebike can cope, it doesn’t mean that you have to cope with it too.