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Tips for Riding Your E-bike in the Rain

Introduction

The asphalt is soaked in raindrops, and small puddles line the roads and streets, waiting to get splashed over by bikers and pedestrians alike. The rainy season has graced the country, leaving grasses, plants, and trees lush green.

If you are a biker, you are not likely to list riding in the rain as your favorite pastime. However, regardless of why you are doing it, you will find yourself riding in a downpour at some point. There is no doubt that low visibility and slippery roads are some of the key factors that often make riding an electric bike in the rain quite challenging and difficult. However, that should not stop you from riding your e-bike in the rain.

Rather, you need to be fully prepared and equipped with the right gear, such as gloves, to make sure the rain would not hinder your ride. While wet rides are not typically something you may look forward to, you can surely take some steps in order to make them more fun and enjoyable, lessening any adverse impacts they may have.

For example, as an e-bike rider, you should invest in an excellent set of waterproof layers. This will help you shrug off the worst of the inclement and wet weather. Also, even if you get soaked, remember that it is nothing that a cup of coffee and hot bath won’t put right.

It is worth noting that the rainy season is not all bad for bikers. This is because it finally gets pleasant, cloudy, and breezy after several months of pedaling under the scorching sun. And just because it gets a little soggy and mushy from time to time, it does not mean you have to shy away from your electric bike!

Can You Ride an Electric Bike in the Rain?

You don’t have to worry about riding your e-bike in the rain. This is because e-bikes, just like most pushbikes, are water-resistant. So, if you can see clearly and ride safely in the rainy season, your e-bike is fine to ride. Did you know that the batteries in many electric bikes are in a top-notch, water-resistant casing?

As a result, there is no need to glad wrap the battery if the weather unexpectedly takes a turn. Note that when it is raining, the conditions will usually be darker with reduced visibility. And this means that car drivers and other bikers and cyclists will likely have more trouble seeing you. This is why it is important to wear high visibility gear. It would help if you also turned on the front and backlights.

Keep in mind that rainy and damp conditions also mean considerably longer braking time than usual. So, it is vital to give yourself plenty of room. You should also refrain from maxing out your bike speed. It is no secret that metal, wet leaves, or wood may also wreak havoc for bikers, so you should be wary of these surfaces.

However, as long as you are careful, riding your electric bike in the rain is safe. Most electric bikes can get wet without any shortcomings because of their impressive water-resistance feature. Note that you’ll continue to feel quite safe and comfortable riding in the wet season, provided you take all of the necessary precautions.

Tips and Best Practices for Riding Your Electric Bike in the Rain

You know that an unexpected downpour will likely ruin your commute or prevent you from rushing to the grocery store or supermarket until it subsides.

However, simply because it is raining, it does not mean that you cannot ride your electric bike. You just have to take some helpful steps that will keep your bike ride pleasant, enjoyable, and safe.

Buy an Excellent Waterproof Jacket

If you are a rider, one of the most important clothing items for battling heavy rains is a jacket. This is because a great waterproof jacket will not only keep the torso dry it will also help you regulate and maintain an ideal body temperature during the ride. In most cases, you should ideally look for something that’s both breathable and waterproof.

Also, note that the breathability of your coat or jacket will help ensure that you do not overheat while on your e-bike, while the waterproof fabric keeps your torso nice and dry. And it is essential to factor in temperature and humidity levels when choosing your layers. No one likes to get soaked from the inside out.

You will be happy to know that Gore-Tex is one of the best materials as it is both waterproof and breathable. A soft and breathable material is crucial as it ensures that you do not overheat. You can also use a thinner rain jacket with the correct layers underneath.

Use Rust Protection Spray

If you think you will need to leave your electric bike outdoors while it is raining or want to ride while it is pouring, it is best to spray the bike surfaces with an excellent rust protection spray. You should purchase it from a reputable brand like 3M.

Use Mudguards

While mudguards might not look too good and may even rattle, note that they are essential if you are riding in the rain. The best thing is that mudguards will help keep all that dirty water on the roads off of your lower legs, feet, and back. Investing in an effective pair of mudguards for the e-bike tires will prevent pesky mud splashes on your clothes.

Did you know that mudguards play a crucial role in protecting the e-bike battery from splashes? And even if you are lucky to avoid the rain, remember that the roads and streets will remain wet. The filthy water often gets flicked up by your bike wheels, making you wet and cold. If you add a flap to the front guard, it will give you more protection.

Lower Your Tire Pressure

According to experienced cyclists as well as electric bike specialists, it’s essential to adjust your tire pressure to match the road conditions. This is because lower pressure allows more of your bike tire to maintain firm contact with the road. And this allows you to maintain a better grip during the rain.

You should know that the most effective way to match up a soggy or wet road is to reduce the tire pressure by about 10 PSI to 15 PSI in order to experience better traction. And when you’ve an optimal air pressure on the bike tire, it will be more stable and will not get slippery.

Prevent Blisters

You may know that excessive moisture can easily exacerbate saddle sores. It is essential to make sure that your electric bike seat is comfortable.

You can apply chamois cream or use anti-chafing treatments. You can also wear moisture-wicking materials before riding in the rain. Also, waterproof gloves will help prevent nasty blisters from forming on the hands.

Watch Your Speed

You can be tempted to speed along wet and damp roads with significantly lowered friction. However, it would help if you kept a tab on how much you speed. There is no doubt that a combination of throttle, Pedal Boost, and human effort on slippery and wet asphalt culminates in very high speeds.

Riding your electric bike in the rain can be invigorating, and you might want to paddle your bike more in order to keep the body warmer. While it might seem harmless to go fast, note that it can be dangerous. Moreover, the visibility is lower in the rain; so, if you are riding your bike on a busy road, it might become risky. Although many bikes are equipped with e-brakes, it is best to only ride at reasonable speeds that you can safely control.

Wear Gloves and Overshoes

Bear in mind that your extremities are often the first body parts to be affected to maintain a core temperature. Also, when your feet and hands get wet, damp, and cold, you will likely feel disproportionally uncomfortable.

To keep comfy, you should invest in water-resistant overshoes and gloves.

You will be happy to know that waterproof overshoes will help keep you more comfortable and prevent your fancy and expensive bike shoes from getting covered in dirt and muck! While a good pair of cycling boots is essential for the cold and wet weather, bike gloves will undoubtedly come in very handy when you are riding around town.

When buying bike gloves, you should ensure that they are thick enough to adequately protect you from the cold wind and rain. However, your gloves must not be too thick as they will hamper you from using the brakes or adjusting your bike speed.

Did you know that neoprene gloves are the best and most popular choice among bikers? This is because they are thick and water-resistant but not overly thick to hinder or compromise your dexterity.

Increase Your Visibility

It is vital to use front and rear safety lights as they make your electric bike more visible in poor weather and low-light conditions. You can use a handlebar-mounted headlight to safely navigate around any deep puddles or obstacles.

Another way to increase visibility when riding in the rain is to wear luminescent or brightly-colored garments that are water-resistant and have reflective materials on the back, arms, and legs. You should add reflective strips to your e-bike rack, handlebars, fenders, and helmet.

In most cases, you will prefer a front-facing white light. This light should be bright enough to be seen at least 500 feet away. It is crucial to aim this headlight straight ahead. Also, you’ll want a red tail light that people can see from about 500 to 600 feet.

You will find plenty of high-quality and lightweight LED lights that you can discreetly clip to your electric bike. If you are riding at night, you will likely need LED lights that meet all legal requirements. Note that flashing LEDs are also a good addition.

Slow Down

There is nothing more important than your safety and well-being, even when you are in a rush. Note that riding your e-bike too fast may help you reach your destination on time. However, because of poor visibility as well as the loss of grip, you may end up slipping and hurting yourself.

Use Fenders for Your Electric Bike

This is another vital tip that will keep you safe on the road. Most electric bike models are usually water-resistant. This is why they can perform well in almost any weather condition.

However, it does not mean you should take your bike into the rain without any precautions. It would be best if you used fenders as they will protect you from the water and mud.

You can use a metal or plastic fender. Keep in mind that plastic fenders are ideal for rainy conditions and are better than metal fenders. The problem with metal fenders is that they are prone to rust. A plastic fender, however, will only need proper cleaning before it can protect you from the rain again.

Clean with Care

You should know that your e-bike’s motor, display, battery pack, and all connection points are effectively sealed. As a result, they can weather the splashes and sploshes you would expect on a routine ride.

So, when cleaning your bike, never spray it with water jets or high-pressure air that may penetrate the frame or bearings.

However, you may rinse your bike with an outdoor hose. After that, wipe it with a rag. You can also invest in an excellent proprietary e-bike cleaner if you like.

Have an Emergency Kit Handy

When riding in the rain, make some room for a portable and lightweight first-aid kit and keep it in a dry compartment of a pannier or day bag. This is because you never know when you will need bandages, antibiotic ointment, topical anti-chafing treatment, or butterfly closures on a ride.

Use Chain Degreaser for Your Bike

After riding in the rain, it is essential to immediately shower and then dry yourself. And the same goes for your bike chain. You should cover the chain in degreaser and vigorously wipe it down using a clean rag until it is dry. A couple of drops of good lube will protect it on your next ride. Doing this can double the lifespan of your bike chain.

Also, it is an excellent idea to spray various other metallic moving parts as well. Some of them are rear and front gear mechanisms as well as brake calipers. However, try to keep the chain degreaser away from brake blocks, hubs, and bottom bracket.

Stay Away from Standing Water

We all know that heavy rain often causes flooding without warning. You should look out for any deep puddles and refrain from riding through standing water. Did you know that moving water that’s only a couple of inches deep may cause you to wipe out?

So, if you have to cross low water, it is best to switch the power off and pedal your electric bike like a traditional bike. And if your e-bike falls over in a deep puddle, quickly turn off the power. After that, remove the bike battery and controller until all of the parts are dry.

Keep Your Legs Dry

Many people often wear high-quality waterproof trousers over the clothes whereas others prefer to deal with wet legs. While waterproof over-trousers can make your legs sweat, if your electric bike ride is short, they can be a major plus.

Plan a Convenient and Safe Route

When riding in the rain, you should pay attention to various things on the road, like gravel and rocks, large puddles, wet leaves, cracks, and twigs. While some people like riding their e-bikes through puddles, don’t forget that these puddles can be four-inch deep.

Do not Lean into Corners (learned that the hard way..)

Riding an electric bike is fun and exhilarating. Also, the extra power noticeably improves your riding experience. This is why even an e-bike commuter in a suit may feel a bit like a pro rider hitting the corners hard.

However, you should not emulate professional cyclists, such as Alejandro Valverde Belmonte, or Peter Sagan, whenever you corner in damp and wet conditions.

Rather, it is better and safer to gradually brake as you approach a corner. You should choose a line that will let you turn easily without leaning. Also, it is crucial to keep as much of your bike tire on the road as you possibly can.

Use a Cycling Cap

You may know that air vents in your helmet are excellent in the heat, but they are not ideal in heavy rain. You can wear an affordable cycling cap under your helmet as it will provide a sound barrier for your head, and the peak will give extra protection and safety for your eyes and face against the spray.

You can also use a skull cap (they do not have peaks, though) or a good aero helmet as most of them have reliable plastic covers and fewer vents.

What should You do After Riding Your E-Bike in the Rain?

Note that there are a couple of things that you should do after riding your e-bike in the rain. This will keep your bike and its components in good working condition so that you are always ready for your next ride:

  • It would be best if you store your electric bike in a dry place. This will ensure that any parts or components of your bike that got wet can dry out
  • It is essential to rinse off any grimy or muddy bits of your bike and your gear. You can do this easily when everything is wet than when it is dried or caked on
  • You should wipe down all wet surfaces on your electric bike
  • Immediately change out of your cold and wet clothes

Have you been riding your bike in salty conditions? If yes, it is a good idea to rinse your e-bike with clean water and wipe it down. After that, allow your bike to dry indoors or in any covered area. It is worth noting that you will likely encounter salty conditions because of riding in cold regions where sand and salt are used during the winter season, but rain is also common.

For example, in the Pacific Northwest, de-icer sprays are used on the roads. Keep in mind that the presence of salty spray on your electric bike can be quite corrosive, which can considerably reduce the lifespan of various components.

Final Thoughts

You have no reason to stop riding when it is raining in your area. Actually, it can be very nice and refreshing! By following our tips and tricks, you will be able to soldier on with ease, whatever the weather. The most important thing is to enjoy and have fun in the rain without worrying too much.

Using an e-bike is an excellent way to better maneuver through busy roads and heavy traffic with more speed and freedom. Note that if you are starting to ride your bike in the rain, usually it is harder to stroke the first pedal compared to riding your bike in motion.

Although an e-bike is completely fine and safe in the rain, you have to keep it in top shape with proper care. To improve your safety, you should keep yourself visible on the road. Also, it is vital to weatherproof all your tools and other things you carry and beware of slippery roads. Invest in a good jacket and wear gloves and a cap to keep yourself safe.

Also, do not lean in the corners and avoid slippery spots while riding your bike in the rain. Use these tips and best practices to prevent hassles or safety hazards during the wet, rainy season.

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