Electric bikes are a boon to bike riders all around the world. Not only do they allow you to zip around faster compared to a regular bike, but they’re also clean just like their regular counterparts. They’re more ergonomic and made from sturdier materials. They’re the whole package. However, can electric bikes be ridden in the rain? Do they rust like regular bikes or don’t they? Can you leave them out without a cover and find them completely ready to ride afterwards? Let’s find out.
Can an Electric Bike Get Wet?
Can an Electric Bike Get Wet? The short answer is, yes it can. However, there are ways to make sure that it survives every rain spell you put it through.
There are two basic things to note when you buy an electric bike for the rain. The first is the IP rating. That allows you to see whether your electric bike is dust and water-resistant.
The other is checking the features of the bike you’re purchasing. If you want an electric bike that lasts long, check what it’s built for. Don’t take a normal street bike out for mountain biking or vice versa.
Buy the bike that you need and not what’s popular. You should get your money’s worth too. Don’t decide on a bike with a lot of bells and whistles only to find out the subsequent investment you need to put in.
Electric Bike IP Ratings
All electrical and mechanical enclosures have an IP rating. You may have heard of an IP rating for smartphones before. It basically tells you about whether an electrical or mechanical enclosure is water and dust-proof. The higher the rating, the greater the protection.
IP means International Protection. This is an international code that classifies how protected your enclosure is against intrusion of any kind. This doesn’t just cover water and dust either. It includes accidental contact with electrical enclosures too.
For electric bikes, that last one is really important. What if it comes in contact with the wrong kind of socket? What then?
An IP rating is made of two numbers. IPXY. The X represents the dust resistance, and the Y, the dust resistance. For dust, IP Ratings go from X (not tested) to 6 (Dust tight). For water, the IP Ratings go from 0 (not protected) to 8 (Protected against continuous immersion in water).
Whenever you buy an electric bike, you should look at its IP rating. That way you’ll know whether riding an electric bike in the rain is a good idea or not.
Getting an E-Bike Built for Your Climate
The second thing you need to keep in mind is the climate. Does it rain a lot where you live? Does it snow a lot? Or is it all dry, all the time? All these things will help you pick out the e-bike of your dreams.
You may enjoy riding an electric bike in adverse weather more if it’s built for your climate. Certain electric bikes are even built for the right terrain.
For example, if you like going mountain biking or going biking on a hilly road, your choice of a bike may differ. Those kinds of e-bikes don’t just need to have the right IP ratings, but more features too. They need to have puncture-resistant tires and mudguards. They also need to have dual disc brakes, as well as a premium quality build.
Getting the right E-bike for your climate may sound expensive, but it’s the price you pay for safety. Otherwise, you’ll get a bike that breaks easy and that’ll hurt you worse than any feeling of emptiness in your wallet.
Learning About Your Bike
Find out as much as you can about your electric bike. Different companies imbue their products with different features. Your bike may have a super braking feature or extra slip protection. It may also have some faults that other bikes don’t.
The more that you learn about this bike, the more likely it is that you can protect yourself in the rain.
The Dangers of Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
Can an electric bike get wet? It sure can. And that produces a lot of dangers for the normal biker. While electric bikes can get wet during the rain, you can ride them throughout a rain spell. You just have to take the normal precautions.
Electric bikes are usually tested throughout their manufacturing process. Individual materials and different parts of the bike are all tested to ensure they’re waterproof. Little rain, the inconvenient puddle or to, etc. can all be braved. However, don’t actively seek to drench the bike when you’re out enjoying the rain.
There are two main things that you should watch out for when riding your electric bike in the rain.
Slipping is the most obvious danger that you face when riding bikes in the rain. Any sharp turns or bends or any slippery patches on the ground can spell trouble for you.
So don’t intentionally seek out those places when you’re riding your bike. Also, make sure that you don’t take routes which are under construction. Avoid them altogether.
During the rain, visibility is usually reduced. In particularly heavy spells, people don’t see other vehicles as clearly as they can in daylight.
Also, it’s very hard to see things if there are blackouts in the area. Instead of tempting fate, always keep a firm grip on brakes and keep your headlights on.
That way, you’ll reduce your chances of crashing into or getting crashed into by other vehicles or pedestrians.
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Follow These 10 Tips for Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
If you must ride your bike in the rain, you should take care of certain things. These 10 tips will help you take care of your bike, and yourself when you’re riding in the rain.
1. Don’t Ride Your Bike During Heavy Rain
Be smart and don’t ride your bike in very heavy rain. If it’s raining cats and dogs and there’s a power outage, don’t be foolish and set out. Just keep safe inside and wait for the rain to subside.
Also, make sure that you have an alternative for transport. If you have no choice but to ride your bike, at least make sure that the rain and lightning have lessened.
To be extra prepared, check the weather reports in your area. If they highlight very heavy or continuous rainfall throughout the day, choose another mode of transport.
2. Weatherproof Everything
Remember that riding in the rain is no picnic, no matter how much you enjoy it. Once you get riding, it’s not so bad, but the first few pedal strokes are brutal. Hence, remember to stay warm and dry when you’re riding an electric bike in the rain.
A raincoat won’t cut it in this situation. It’ll just hamper your progress.
You should start with a cycling cap which can keep the rain out of your hair and face. You can modify that with a small pair of goggles. Even cheap ones will do. Just make sure they cover your eyes through and through. If you want to go even further, you can get a helmet. If you’re still not satisfied, get some ear flaps too.
If you’re looking for some great weather proof clothing, go for some water resistant gloves and a gore-tex coat. You can also look for some neoprene. If you don’t like either of those materials, you can go for bamboo based fabrics or layering fleece, wool, or even polyester. Add rain paints and some waterproof shoes to complete the outfit.
Weatherproof Your Accessories
If you’re riding to school or to work on a bike every day, then getting some weatherproof gear is necessary. Try getting some weatherproof bags for yourself. Don’t just buy one. That’s a big mistake. If one gets damaged, you should have a backup. This will keep your important accessories and essentials dry throughout the entire ride.
3. Put on Fenders
Electric bikes may be generally resistant to rain, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide them with protection. Their batteries don’t fail because of raindrops or water damage alone.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should ride through puddles or on dilapidated roads. Unless you want to find out the answer to “can an electric bike get wet?” the hard way, you should put on fenders.
If you’re a regular bicycle commuter, it’s not just great for your health, but for the environment too. However, if you want to keep your purchase going for the longest time, then don’t ride in regions prone to rain.
Also, don’t ride in regions which don’t have the proper infrastructure. Places, where there’s a lot of construction and badly built roads, are never a good idea. However, even if you’re riding in areas with a lot of great infrastructures, fenders are a good idea.
4. Use the Lights
Make sure you have a good pair of headlights on your bike. You will be sharing the roads with thousands or hundreds of thousands of other people.
There are cars, buses, trucks, vans, lorries, etc. all looking to get home, to work, or somewhere else. Each traveler will also deal with the others in the same capacity that you do.
Hence, the least you can do is to keep your light on to give fair warning to other people. Typically, you should have a front facing light that is white and bright enough to be seen at least 500 feet away.
That way, you won’t surprise someone when they’re far away in the dark. Remember that power outages occur all the time when it pours. Be prepared for that eventuality.
Consider getting a helmet with a blinking light, or attaching one to your helmet. You can alternatively get lights that attach to your pannier bags, handlebars, and even your bike rack. That way, other people can recognize it from afar and stop themselves from crashing.
5. Deflate Your Tires a Little
Many a great cyclist including the ones on electric bikes adjust their tire pressure according to road conditions. When you’re riding an electric bike in the rain, it’s common practice to deflate your tires a little. On the new pavement, your tires can feel great at 100 psi.
However, on the road, they roll faster at 90 psi. In wet conditions, they’re more likely to slip if they’re too inflated. Deflating them to about 80 psi or a little lower is better.
With the lower tire pressure, more of the tire’s surface can come in contact with the road. That way, your e-bike will gain a better grip and be more stable throughout the ride.
6. Ride Slow
Riding the rain may feel great, but that doesn’t mean you should go full throttle. You should slow down to a leisurely pace and just enjoy the rain. Don’t execute any sharp turns or test fate when it’s raining. In each case, you should try to avoid going very fast when you’re riding your bike in the rain.
Wet roads and bad visibility in the rain spell trouble. This can be even more true on e-bikes than when you’re on conventional bikes. The reason is that electric bikes have a pedal assistant and power-on-demand capabilities. They have the potential to get a higher average speed in weather conditions.
Hence, it’s better to exercise more caution than you would on a regular bike.
7. Keep a Firm Grip on the Brakes
Make sure you keep a firm grip on the brakes. If you’re riding your bike in the rain, the friction between the road and the tires is lessened significantly. That means that it’ll take you more time to brake than normal.
Plus, your electric bike will give you more power to accelerate. In the rain, that can be very dangerous. That makes it possible for you to skid or to achieving a higher braking distance than normal. When it’s raining, you need to be very cautious when you’re pedaling.
However, electric bikes also have better braking systems than normal bikes. Hence, they can be very effective at slowing you down. Just make sure that you brake in advance, just to make sure. That way, you’ll experience safe riding when there’s a downpour.
8. If You Lean into the Corners You May Slip
As specified earlier, you shouldn’t make sharp turns. When you have the extra power of an electric bike, you can crash when you lean into corners. Even pro cyclists don’t corner in the rain. So make sure you slow down before you turn and choose a line that lets you turn with minimal leaning.
9. Watch Out for Slippery Spots
Oil and gasoline come to the surface when it’s raining That’s why you see so many shiny puddles. That’s not the color of the water, that’s oil suspending on it.
To avoid the extra slippage, just avoid puddles and slippery spots altogether. Avoid painted lanes as well. The paint can come to lose and make for very slippery conditions on the road.
Finally, do watch for debris. Sometimes mud and gravel and other materials can mix with water to create a mush. That will not just damage your bike, but cause you to crash. These conditions are all slipping hazards when you’re riding an electric bike in the rain.
10. Clean Up Your Bike After a Rainy Day
You may have seen this coming a mile away, but it’s not obvious to a lot of people. The more you maintain something, the more you’ll get out of it. When you’ve ridden your bike on a rainy day, make sure that you clean it up and dry it. Don’t just leave it out in the rain or leave it wet. Even the best, most waterproof bikes can eventually wear down.
Drying your bike after a rainy day is extremely important. Wiping it down is not enough. Make sure that you dry it off using a hair dryer or simply putting it near a fan. Getting all the moisture out of those nooks and crannies is extremely effective when maintaining your bike.
Whether you’re just wiping it down or giving it a full wash, every little bit counts. Even inspections every few weeks can help you identify areas that need work.
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- When to Charge an Electric Bike
- How Long Does a Battery Last on an Electric Bike?
- How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go?
- How Long Does an Electric Bike Motor Last?
- How to Turn Your Bike into an Electric Bike: A DIY Guide
- How Much Cargo Can an eBike Carry in 2021?
- Major Electric Bike Problems
Using this guide, you can keep your electric bike running like a Swiss watch. Make sure you take care of it so that it takes care of you in the rain.
I am Michael, an avid rider and bike expert. I am here to provide, biking tips and expert advice on in-depth bike reviews covering features, capabilities, price range, and much more. Specially on electric bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, etc. I will provide honest product reviews, along with expert advice on purchasing, training, and maintenance. Check out my complete profile.