You can still ride your electric bike in winter, but there are a few things you should know about and prepare for. Understanding your accessory options will certaninly help you make the right choice for warmth and safety.
You can still ride your electric bike in winter, but there are a few things you should know about and prepare for.
So, in this post, we will go into electric bike winter riding gear that will make your rides more comfortable and safer.
What It Is Like To Ride An Electric Bike In The Winter
Riding an electric bike in the winter is similar to riding a regular bike. However, there are some differences.
The motor assists your pedaling; therefore, you don't work up a sweat like you would on a regular bike. This means you may be cold during your ride if you don't dress appropriately.
When you pedal your electric bike, the motor provides you with lots of torque. Therefore, you need to be careful on slippery surfaces, as you can experience wheelspin and extended stopping distances.
You may notice that your battery range is reduced significantly in cold temperatures. This is because lower temperatures can make your motor and battery system less efficient, causing your battery to run out of energy more quickly.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to counter the negative effects of riding your electric bike in the winter.
Keep Yourself Warm
Most cycling clothing is designed for regular bike riding, not electric bikes. Therefore, you need to add extra layers to suit the temperatures you are riding in.
Layering allows you to add and remove layers according to your comfort level. Start with thermal base layers made from merino wool or breathable synthetic material. These fabrics wick sweat away from your skin and dry out quickly. This means you can stay warm and comfortable.
Next, add a mid-layer. This can be a hoodie, but you may want to opt for a down jacket. Down jackets are lightweight and incredibly warm, so they are ideal for long rides and exceptionally low temperatures.
You should wear a waterproof and breathable outer layer too. The breathable fabric will allow moisture to escape, but the waterproof coating will keep rain and snow out. When it comes to outer layers, you get what you pay for. Jackets with Gore-Tex are the best but be prepared to pay extra.
The faster speeds associated with riding an electric bike make your hands even colder when riding in the winter. Therefore, you need to wear gloves, or your ride will be horrible.
If you ride in exceptionally low temperatures or have poor circulation, you can use fleece waterproof handlebar mitts. These fit over your handlebars, so you can slip your hands in to keep them toasty and warm.
Prepare Your Electric Bike For Winter Riding
As we mentioned earlier, cold temperatures affect your electric bike's battery life. Therefore, it is good to bring your battery inside when you are not riding. This will protect the cells and extend the battery's usable life.
But you can also protect your battery from the cold while you ride. For example, you can cover your battery in a neoprene tube. These tubes do an excellent job of insulating your battery from the cold. Therefore, your electric bike's range should not be compromised too much.
When you prepare your electric bike for winter riding, you should pay attention to your tire choice. Summer tires and those with shallow tread patterns are terrible on snow and ice. Therefore, you need to choose appropriate tires for the conditions.
If you intend to ride on snow and ice, you may want to consider winter studded tires. These ones from Schwalbe have a tread pattern designed to clear snow from the tire, increasing grip. But they also have metal studs that increase traction further by digging into the ice and snow.
You may be a dedicated electric bike rider who wants to ride all year round, or you may not have a choice. Either way, if you prepare yourself and your bike, your winter riding experience doesn't have to be a bad one.