Don’t let the cold weather stop you from enjoying your Pedego electric bike. Here are six tips for those of you who still want to have some riding fun during the winter months.
The most obvious tip for winter riding is to make sure you’re dressed properly to bear the weather conditions. Put your layers on and don’t forget your scarf, hat, and gloves. Remember, you’ll be riding at fast speeds in windy, cold temperatures so be prepared.
Wear bright, reflective clothing to be more visible to motorists who might otherwise not see you through their foggy windows. Make sure you have reflectors on your bike and use your headlights, taillights, and flashing lights on cloudy days.
It’s essential to stay hydrated during your winter ride. We recommended your replenish your body with a bottle of water every hour. Although you may not feel thirsty, every time you see your breath, think of it as water leaving your body.
If you don’t have them already, we’d recommend getting fenders to help direct much of the snow, water, and ice off your bike. If you plan to ride in snow, make sure you’ve got studded tires to grip the icy surface. For a Pedego Comfort Cruiser or Pedego Interceptor, we recommend the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Tires.
Look out for road debris such as broken glass, and metal parts that usually accumulates on curb areas. Watch out for areas with melted snow since these are likely places to find black ice.
Not only will it help you pass the time and make your ride more enjoyable, having a bike buddy makes it more convenient should you come across an issue.
And remember, Pedego electric bikes are waterproof but it’s important to clean and maintain them, especially through the winter months when salt residue on roads can get into your chain and the metal parts of your bike and cause rust. Read our “How To Maintain Your Electric Bike Through The Winter” blog to learn more about preventing winter corrosion.
We’ve had a few queries from various Pedego owners around Canada about how to change an electric bike tire, specifically the rear tire that’s connected to the electric motor drive. This is a really great question and one that requires a step-by-step guide. If you have no interest in getting your hands a bit dirty and using a wrench for a few minutes, however, then we’d recommend you take your electric bicycle to a professional to have the tire changed. However, sometimes you might get a flat tire on one of your rides so it’s important to at least know the basics.
The front tire of all Pedego electric bikes are similar to those found on regular bicycles and so removing it is an easy process that involves these steps:
- Turn the bicycle upside down so it’s resting on the seat and handlebars
- Unscrew the lever or nuts holding the axle to the frame
- Gently remove the wheel from the frame, ensuring the disk brake slides out of it’s housing without bending
- Deflate the tube completely
- Loosen the tire beads from the rim by squeezing the tire together all the way around the rim
- Use a tire lever (or a spoon or similar flat object) by easing it under the wheel rim and levering out the edge of the tire
Once that’s done you can change the inner tube (if it’s flat) or the tire if installing studded tires in preparation for winter riding.
The rear tire on a Pedego electric bike is different from regular bicycles, however, because of its connection to the motor drive. Therefore it’s really important to follow these steps to ensure there’s no damage to the electric connections. To help illustrate the steps, we enlisted Marley Bassett, a happy new owner of a Pedego City Commuter living in Nelson, British Columbia. When the snow fell she changed to studded tires so she could continue commuting to work throughout the winter months. (Alternatively, you can watch the video created by Pedego Greater Long Beach about how to change a tire. See below.)
Step 1: Ensure your bike is in the highest gear so that your chain is furthest away from the rear hub.
Step 2: Place your bike on a stand or turn it upside down so it’s resting on the handlebars and seat or battery rack. (IMPORTANT: Take care not to damage the LCD console or other components on the handlebar.) This will allow you to access the tire easily.
Step 3: Using two hands, unplug both sides of the electric motor cable located under the chain guard. (You will need to snip the zip ties on either side of the connector.)
Step 4: Remove the rubber cap that sits over the bolt holding the wheel to the frame.
Step 5: On the opposite side of the hub, take an allen key and unscrew the 2 bolts holding the brake assembly in place.
Step 6: Remove the brake assembly and let it hang off to the side.
Step 7: Return to the other side of the hub and take note of where the axle sits in relation to the frame inset. When it comes time to reinstalling the wheel, it needs to go in the same place. Normally this will be with the tab on the locking washer butted up against the end of the frame inset.
Step 8: Using a wrench, unscrew the two bolt attaching the wheel to the hub. (There’s one on either side of the wheel.) IMPORTANT: Take note of the way the washers are placed as you’ll want to reinstall them in the same way.
Step 9: Gently lift the tire out of the hub while pulling back the chain so it unhooks from the chainring.
Note: When it comes time to putting the tire back on the frame, you’ll want to ensure the tail of the washer is seated in the frame inset.
Once the rear wheel is off you can remove the tire and replace with a different one or fix or replace the rubber inner tube. For video instructions, have a look at the film below, produced by Pedego Greater Long Beach.
Even though Pedego electric bikes are designed to handle most Canadian weather, there are those who’d prefer not to Prepare an Electric Bike For Winter Riding and would rather put it into storage from December to March.
If you fall into this category please note there are certain things you need to do in order to prepare your bike for winter storage. It’s not enough to just put it in the shed or garage and forget about it for four months as this’ll eventually cause unnecessary wear on your frame and your battery.
Here are three tips for winter storage:
#1. Clean Your Bike Before Putting It Away
It’s important to regularly clean your electric bike by following the steps laid out in our How to Clean Your Electric Bike blog. This is especially true when preparing your electric bike for winter storage because any residue salt and/or water can cause metal parts to corrode. Take a damp cloth and wipe down the frame, dry the chain and gear components and lube the chain with a bicycle-specific lubricant as this’ll prevent rust. (Don’t use WD-40 or another household lubricant as they tend to attract dirt and grit.) Likewise, if you plan on storing your bike in an outside shed, it’s a good idea to spray a rust preventative such as Rust Check on the spoke nipples (where the spokes meet the wheel) as well as on exposed metal.
#2. Store Your Battery Partially Charged
As with any other time of year, it’s important to take care of your battery. Follow the tips outlined in our “3 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Battery” blog and the ideal storage charge for the battery is somewhere between about 80% and 40%. 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 ride after you’ve charged it fully and before storing. The most important thing is not to put your battery away flat, as it may not be recoverable in spring.
Also, don’t leave your battery on the charger for long periods of time, as storing it at 100% will reduce the life of the battery. You should check your battery every couple of months over winter. If you notice that the battery indicator has dropped too low, you can give it a quick charge to bring it back to the ideal storage voltage (this is unlikely to be needed if the battery was at 40% or above). If you don’t have a battery indicator, it’s probably a good idea to charge the battery for half an hour 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. Store 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 such as a basement, garage or shed so it’s out of the elements. 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.