Riding an electric bike every day is an excellent form of physical exercise that can help save transportation costs.
Although riding on slippery wet roads could be difficult, an electric bike is designed to be water-resistant. Its electronic components are well-covered, and its tires have a great grip.
Certain tips and preventive measures can make an electric bike riding trip safe and enjoyable for the rider.
Can Electric Bikes Get Wet, or Can Electric Bikes Be Used in the Rain?
E-bike manufacturers have designed the electric bike to be water-resistant; however, it is not waterproof. But what’s the difference?
What Is the Difference Between Water Resistant and Water Proof?
The terms water-resistant and waterproof are usually used for electronic gadgets and devices. They define how much water an electronic device can withstand before being damaged.
If an electric bike is waterproof, it will be impermeable to water. This means that a rider will be able to submerge their electric bike in water for a certain amount of time.
However, in reality, an electric bike is water-resistant and can resist and prevent water penetration to a certain extent.
When exposed to water beyond that extent, its different parts and electric components might get damaged.
Hence, riding an electric bike when it is raining outside is safe for riders and electric bikes. However, submerging its electric components by riding it through flooded roads will become an issue.
Protecting an electric bike from damage during the rainy season does not end with caring for its electronic components.
Riders must also prepare to ride their electric bikes against strong winds and on slippery roads.
Continue reading to learn about twelve safety tips for riding an electric bike during the rain. This information is especially essential for electric bike owners living in regions with frequent rainfall.
Tips For Riding an Electric Bike Safely During the Rain
1. Check the Weather Forecast Before Hitting the Road
Most countries in the world have specific seasons when it rains. Electric bike riders are usually well-prepared for riding during those seasons. However, it is not unusual for it to rain during the off-season.
To ensure that the unexpected rainfall does not take the rider by surprise, one should always check the weather forecast before hitting the road.
The weather forecasts available online are updated every day and are very reliable.
According to weather experts, a five-day forecast is almost 90% accurate. On the other hand, a ten-day forecast is accurate almost 50% of the time.
Hence, the rider should not rely on the weather forecasts they checked more than a week ago and should instead browse online for any forecast updates.
Doing so will inform the rider regarding the estimated chances, amount, and duration of rainfall.
2. Prepare Themselves and Their Stuff for Riding During the Rain
Getting drenched in the rain when riding to work can be horrible. Hence, if the weather forecast indicates a high chance of rainfall, the rider needs to weatherproof themselves and their stuff accordingly.
Wearing a large raincoat or a waterproof jacket, pants, and boots are an excellent way of making sure the rider and their clothes remain dry.
If the person has to ride to work, they can keep a pair of office shoes in their bag and change out of their rain boots when they reach their workplace.
Moreover, wearing a waterproof cycling cap or a rain hat can help keep your hair dry and protect your eyes from rainwater splashes. This is crucial for keeping visibility clear while riding an electric bike.
Furthermore, riding in the rain requires a strong grip on the electric bike handles to ensure sharp reflexes.
Hence, the rider should wear water-resistant gloves that help maintain grip and keep their hands dry and warm.
Apart from weatherproofing themselves, riders also need to protect their baggage or gadgets from water damage.
You should invest in a seam-sealed waterproof bag to carry all your stuff when riding your electric bike in the rain.
Moreover, the rider should put all their water-sensitive gadgets, such as phones, laptops, headphones, etc., in plastic Ziplock bags before storing them in the bag.
If the rider does not have the appropriate bag, a waterproof luggage cover properly fastened around the bags will be alright as well.
3. Invest in Electric Bike Fenders
An electric bikes’ battery is its most sensitive and expensive component. The e-bike is nothing more than a super expensive traditional bike without a properly functioning electric battery.
Electric bike fenders are easily affordable accessories that can help protect the electric bike battery against rainwater damage.
Although the battery’s external casing is water-resistant, fenders can protect it from strong water sprays, mud, and debris.
4. Use Your Electric Bike Head and Taillights
The rainy season usually comes with a thick cloud cover that blocks excessive sunlight. As a result, clear visibility is the first to be compromised while riding in the rain.
Moreover, the rainwater entering the eyes will further affect the rider’s ability to see. Hence, a rider should ensure that their electric bike’s head and taillights are working properly before starting their trip.
Using both the lights will allow the rider better visibility, improved navigation, and sharper reflexes.
Moreover, the electric bike’s head and taillights will also help other vehicles on the road easily spot the e-bike during heavy rainfall. As a result, severe road accidents and e-bike crashes can be prevented.
According to experts, the headlight of an electric bike should be bright white while the tail light should be red.
Furthermore, either of the lights should be strong enough to be visible for at least 50 to 70 feet.
5. Reduce the Air Pressure in Your Electric Bike’s Tires
Properly inflated electric bike tires help reduce friction, which helps with acceleration and handling.
Although high air pressure is preferred in regular conditions, the opposite is advised when riding in the rain.
Riding on slippery wet roads can be challenging for electric bike riders. In this situation, they need to increase their tires’ friction and traction to maintain control of their bike.
Reducing the air pressure in the electric bike’s tires causes the tires to become wider. As a result, they have more surface area that comes in contact with the road’s surface.
This gives the tires a better grip on slippery roads and helps the rider avoid skidding.
Hence, when it is raining or expected to rain, reduce your e-bike tires’ air pressure by 10 psi. You can do this with a standard e-bike tire air pump.
6. Ride Your Electric Bike at Controlled Speeds
Riding an electric bike at high speeds can be exhilarating. However, the dangers of driving at high speeds during the rain do not make the adrenaline rush worthwhile.
Regardless of the rider’s experience, riding an e-bike at high speeds on slippery roads can cause riders to lose balance and slip instantly. In many cases, the crash is severe enough to be fatal.
Hence, you should ride your electric bike at low speeds. Moreover, the reduced visibility and compromised reflexed could become a bigger problem when you’re going too fast.
Slower speeds increase the rider’s reaction time and can help reduce the chances and severity of a crash. Hence, keep your speed low, even if you’re getting late for work in the morning.
7. Hit the Brakes Early
Riding your electric bike at slower, easily-controllable speeds during the rain will help you slow down and come to a stop if needed. Hitting the brakes at high speeds could cause the bike to flip or spin out.
The table below shows the results gathered by the Australian Mathematical Science Institute to study the relationship between a vehicle’s speed, its reaction and braking distance, and the potential consequences.
|Vehicle Speed (km/h)||Reaction Distance (meters)||Braking Distance||Potential Consequences|
|50||22||12||Stops in time|
|55||25||15||Stops in time|
|60||28||17||Vehicle touches the object ahead|
|65||29||50||Vehicle hits at 32km/h|
|70||30||58||Vehicle hits at 46km/h|
Electric bikes already are designed to have stronger brakes than conventional bikes. Unlike conventional bikes with rim brakes, electric bikes have disc brakes.
These brakes are designed to allow the e-bike to come to a smooth stop, especially during the rain. However, despite the well-designed braking system, hitting the brakes suddenly can cause the e-bike to lose balance.
Hence, the rider should always try to hit the brakes a few seconds earlier for a smooth, skid-free halt.
8. Refrain From Riding Beside Heavier Transport Vehicles
When the roads are flooded with rainwater, cars or heavy transport vehicles cannot control the water splashed by their moving tires.
If a large vehicle is going at high speeds, its tires could spray huge amounts of rainwater on either side, which could completely drench an electric bike and its rider.
Moreover, a large car or an HTV can cause water to slide toward the e-bike, reducing its traction and affecting its grip on the road.
Hence, an electric bike rider should try to steer clear of such heavy vehicles when riding in the rain.
9. Avoid Riding Through Flooded Roads
Some areas do not have a proper drainage system and can get badly flooded during the rainy season. The excessive rainwater will reduce an electric bike’s traction and easily cause it to slip.
Moreover, the amount of rainwater might get enough to reach over the electric bike’s battery and motor. The water could penetrate the different electrical components and cause water damage in such situations.
Furthermore, the water damage could cause the electric bike’s motor and battery to seize. Many times, the damage is irreversible, and the only option is to replace the bike entirely.
10. Control Your Balance When Making a Turn
An electric bike rider is always discouraged from leaning in too much while making a sharp turn. Doing so while riding over slippery roads could easily cause the rider to lose balance and the e-bike to crash.
Moreover, the rider should reduce their speed when making a turn to maintain control and prevent slipping.
11. Avoid Unnecessary Trips During Excessive Rainfall
Although an electric bike is water-resistant, making unnecessary trips during heavy rainfall should be avoided. Doing so eliminates the chances of e-bike crashes and severe accidents.
Moreover, if the rainfall is heavy and the rider has to go somewhere urgently, they should just get a cab. This will save the rider from unnecessary risks and help them reach their destination in time.
12. Clean Your Electric Bike
The last tip is to always clean out the electric bike thoroughly after ending a trip. The rider should wipe off all water from its different parts and frame to prevent rusting.
Moreover, the rider should remove any debris or mud stuck in the fenders or the tire ridges to prevent it from building up. Doing so helps maintain the electric bike’s quality and total lifespan.
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An electric bike is water-resistant and can be used in the rain. However, to protect the e-bike from damage and minimize the chances of a crash, you should ride at low speeds, hit the brakes early, use the bike lights, and invest in fenders. Moreover, reducing the e-bike’s air pressure and covering the luggage with a waterproof sheet are other ways to ride comfortably during the rain.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.