4 Ways To Winterize Your Electric Bike
Here in Canada we’re blessed with four distinct seasons and for most of us, Spring, Summer and Fall are the times when we love to get out and ride our Pedego electric bikes. Throughout those seasons, especially during the rainy and muddier Spring months, it’s important to keep our ebikes clean by following these “How to Clean Your Electric Bike” rules. However, when it comes to winter, there are other specific rules to follow in order to winterize your electric bike.
Of course, with the help of studded tires and the super-wide tires offered on the Pedego Trail Tracker, we can now ride our electric bikes all year long. If you’re one of those who enjoy riding through the snowy months, here are a few things to remember:
- Be aware of riding through salt and grit. Even in provinces like British Columbia, that primarily use sand and gravel on the roads, there’s a magnesium salt within that material that can be even more aggressive than regular salt. So be sure to clean your bike regularly to avoid rust and grit build-up. You can also use rust prevention products like “Rust Check” and spray it on every spoke and exposed metal before riding to help prevent salty water build up on various parts of your bike.
- Avoid riding through slush. The salty water can seep into hard-to-reach areas of the bike and cause rust to form.
For those of us who aren’t keen on riding through the snow, follow these 4 tips to winterize your electric bike and prepare it for the chilly season.
#1. Clean Your Bike Before Storage
As we’ve already touched on above, it’s important to regularly clean your electric bike but most especially before storing it for the winter because over time any residue salt/water can cause corrosion on metal parts. Follow the guidelines and watch the fun video on our “How to Clean Your Electric Bike” page to learn how best to clean your ebike. (Remember: don’t use high-pressure water!)
#2. Store Your Battery Partially Charged – But Not Too Low!
No matter what time of year it is, you should always store your battery partially charged. Storing a fully depleted battery may be disastrous because a lithium-ion battery will slowly discharge over time even when you’re not using it. If the voltage drops below a certain point this may cause irreparable cell damage, depending on the time it’s left sitting. Ideally, when storing the battery for a long period ensure it has less than 100% charge (5 bars, if you have an indicator on your battery) but more than 40% (2 bars). Some chargers have a lower ‘storage’ voltage setting, so just switch to this before charging it for storage. An easy alternative is to take the bike for a short ride after you’ve charged it fully and before storing.
It’s also important to check your battery about once every couple of months. If you notice that the battery indicator has dropped to one or two lights (out of five) give it a bit of a charge. If you don’t have a battery indicator, it’s probably a good idea to charge the battery for a half hour or so every few months. Again, try not to put the battery away fully charged (but it won’t be the end of the world if this happens.)
#3. Lube Your Chain
This is touched on in the “How to Clean Your Electric Bike” blog but it’s important to reiterate here: every time you wash your chain or put your ebike away for the season, you should put a bit of bicycle-specific chain lube on your entire chain. Do not use other lubricants like WD-40 as they tend to attract grit whereas bicycle specific lube (available at any bike store) repels grit.
#4. Keep Your Electric Bike in a Dry Place
Although your Pedego electric bike is weather-proof, it’s a good idea to store it in a cool, dry place away from the elements like a basement or garage. It’s especially important to keep your battery in a cool place, preferably below 20°C (68°F) as high heat or extreme cold will lessen its lifespan.