Can you ride an e-bike in winter?
What about cycling on your electric bike in the middle of winter? Are special measures required for your E-bike? Can you just drive through the snow and salt with your electric bike? Can the battery actually withstand the cold? How can you best clean your E-bike? Are your brakes up to par for the winter conditions? What to do in case of slippery conditions? We answer all these questions:
The electric bike and frost on the ground
Of course, you still have to be careful on an electric bike in slippery conditions, but because the electric bike is a bit heavier than a normal bike, it also has a slightly more stable road holding on snow.
Is it raining or snowing? A gray December day with thick dark clouds does not make it easier for a motorist to see (electric) cyclists. Therefore make sure that you are clearly visible with a good front and rear light. You can never have enough reflectors on your E-bike. Fortunately, most E-bikes today have very good lighting.
Cleaning your e-bike regularly
Of course, it is great if the bike lanes have been cleared of snow and salt. That way you can go to school or work on your e-bike, instead of having to take the car or the bus. Only, that salt is not so good for your electric bike. That is why it is important that you regularly clean your e-bike and grease the parts that can rust often. If you yourself want to lubricate the chain, ask your dealer which oil is best for the winter period. Read more about the maintenance of your electric bike.
Checking the brakes
If it is slippery due to snow and frost you will have a longer braking distance and then it is extra important that your brakes work properly. Therefore, check whether your brake pads are not worn (then they must be replaced), and make sure that there is no moisture in the brake cables; if they freeze, they get stuck and you can no longer brake. Grease doesn’t freeze as quickly as water, so grease them well.
E-bike batteries and cold
Can you ride an e-bike in the winter? Of course, you can ride your electric bike in the winter months, even when it is freezing. But the battery can’t handle the cold well. The colder it gets, the less powerful it becomes. If you are used to being able to get to work and back on a full battery, remember that you will travel 30% less far in the freezing cold. So take your (fast) charger with you. If you park your e-bike in the cold, take your battery inside. If you start cycling with a warm battery, the battery is more powerful and your range extends. If you have just cycled in the cold and your battery needs to be charged, take it with you inside and let it warm up for half an hour first before you charge it. If you don’t like the cold and you prefer to take the bus in winter, then store the battery indoors and charge it every month, that way the battery will last much longer. Read more about the E-bike battery range.
Tips for slippery conditions
It is freezing and it can be slippery outside. But walking to the bus stop is just as dangerous and your partner has to go to work and they take the car with them. So if you really can’t avoid it and you have to cycle through the harsh winter conditions, follow these tips:
- Lower your saddle so you can always put your feet on the ground if you need to.
- Let some air out of your E-bike’s tires. Softer tires are wider at the bottom, providing more grip on the road in snow and slippery conditions.
- Look out for the road surface: if cobblestones or asphalt glisten, there is a good chance that there is a layer of ice. Then you have to be careful.
- Do not cycle too close to the curb, because there is often ice or frozen snow there. The road markings can also be extra slippery.
- Make sure your tires have a good thread. You can also have winter tires fitted to your bike.
- Ride carefully and not too hard, especially when cornering.