How to stay safe riding an e-bike in wet weather
Spring has sprung!
The Spring Equinox saw the UK bathed in sunshine, with temperatures clearing 20 degrees in more than one location.
And if the forecasts are to be believed, there are more balmy spring days to come.
So why are you guys writing about how to stay safe riding an e-bike in wet weather, you ask?
Well, for one, don’t forget this is the UK! The weather is highly changeable - particularly at this time of year (April Showers, anyone?).
Wet-weather riding is also a topic our experts at Eco Bike Co. are asked about regularly, with some people having preconceived ideas about possible risks of riding e-bikes in such conditions.
Before we go any further, let’s clear that up: If it’s not too wet to ride a conventional bike, it’s not too wet to ride an e-bike. The only thing is you need to avoid fully submerging the battery or motor of your e-bike.
So, no excuses and staying in on those showery April days!
That said, there are certain precautions to take when cycling in wet weather, whatever kind of two wheeled transport you have - as well as various maintenance actions and tips to ensure your safety.
Read on for our guide to how to stay safe riding an e-bike in wet weather.
Basic maintenance and cleaning are key
Both conventional and e-bikes require a certain level of maintenance, whatever the time of year and weather conditions.
Keeping your bike in good working order reduces the chances of potentially dangerous issues occuring while out on the road..
Arguably, e-bikes require a little more attention, given some of their technical components.
Once home from a wet-weather ride, there are a few actions to take before you head to the sofa.
Give your bike a rinse down with warm soapy water.
Although the battery is sealed, we’d tend to remove it for peace of mind and ensure the electrical contact points are well dried.
After drying your bike, it’s time to show the chain some love. Dribble de-greaser, followed by a lubricant, on to the chain, while being sure to remove any dirt from in-between the links.
If you’re not too confident about maintaining some of the moving parts of the bike, you can always take it in for a service - ideally somewhere that specialises in e-bikes.
We’ve compiled some other handy e-bike maintenance tips here.
Make sure you’re wearing appropriate kit
Wearing the right clothing makes a huge difference to cycling, whatever the weather.
When it comes to the rain, it’s simply vital.
Suitable cycling gear not only makes riding an e-bike in wet weather more comfortable, but it makes it safer too by reducing the risk of catching a chill, uncomfortable chafing or getting rain in your eyes (we’re big fans of cycling caps for that very purpose).
Gloves are a good shout in wet weather, not just to keep your hands warm, but to ensure sufficient grip on your handle bars.
It’s worth shopping around for a quality jacket. Lightweight with a high level of water resistance should be top of your wish list. High-vis is also a plus..
Make sure whatever you're carrying is waterproofed, too. You don’t want to be arriving at the office to find your laptop or important documents are soaked through.
Different cyclists have different preferences for cycling baggage, but at Eco Bike Co. HQ waterproof panniers are our preferred choice for riding an e-bike in wet weather.
Consider some additional accessories for your e-bike
A key consideration to staying safe while riding an e-bike in wet weather is visibility.
As mentioned above, high-vis clothing is recommended, but we’d also strongly advise fitting lights to your bike.
Both front and rear lights are really non-negotiable in wet weather.
Take a look at our range of lights here.
It’s worth thinking about installing a mudguard or fender to your bike, too. While the battery and motor on your e-bike will be highly water resistant, there’s no harm in having some extra protection - as well as keeping splashes from coating your back too.
Some cyclists in very wet weather may consider changing their tires. However, Eco Bike Co. e-bikes all come with top-of-the-range tires, so this really isn’t a necessity in all but the most extreme conditions.
Take care and adjust how you cycle
In rainy conditions, GCSE physics comes into play!
Wet weather means greater stopping distances due to reduced friction between the bike and the road.
Slow down to ensure you maintain control of the bike. Remember to break early, as it will take longer than usual to come to a safe stop.
We’d avoid leaning too heavily into corners too, due to the reduced grip you’ll experience in wet conditions.
Ensure dry transportation and storage of your e-bike
To avoid your bike getting excessively wet, make sure it’s well covered when transporting it.
You don’t need anything fancy, but a decent quality, water-resistant cover is a must for any length of journey with your bike exposed on the back or roof of your vehicle.
When storing your bike at home in wet weather, make sure it’s not somewhere damp.
Damp, humid conditions will accelerate wear and tear on your e-bike and should be avoided where possible.
How to stay safe riding an e-bike in wet weather
Most of the principles for staying safe when riding an e-bike in wet weather are straightforward and easy to adopt.
Remember, wet weather necessitates a little more care and attention for your bike.
You’ll also need to consider how you’re riding - as well as what you're wearing.
If you’d like to discuss wet weather cycling further with our team, or to get some guidance on our wet-weather ready range of e-bikes, get in touch today.