Electric bike riders should be ready for any surprises the weather may bring. From investing in an electric bike rain cover and all-weather gear and accessories to planning out emergency routes with minimal flooding, more lighting and less traffic, here are 10 tips for riding electric cruiser bikes more safely in rainy weather.
Most electric bikes are water-resistant, but it is still a good idea to limit exposure to precipitation. A few electric bike rain preparations can make a big difference, such as installing fenders to stop puddles from splashing up as you ride. You should also wear water-resistant riding garments. If it rains often where you live, consider a canopy or handlebar umbrella.
Protect Your Cargo
A growing number of cargo-carrying solutions are designed with ebikes in mind. Consider carrying a water-resistant pannier in addition to a day bag. While it is recommended that you remove your belongings once you arrive at your destination, a water-resistant bike cover can protect the best ebikes and cargo carrying solutions.
Cover Your Bike
Get in the habit of shielding your ebike from the elements when you’re not riding. If you have to park an ebike in rain, look for a heavy-duty vinyl cover with a drawstring. A cover may prolong the life of clamps and wires that would quickly corrode if left exposed to the elements.
Excessive moisture can exacerbate saddle sores. Make sure the seat of your electric bike is comfortable. Consider applying chamois cream or anti-chafing treatments and wearing moisture-wicking materials prior to a ride in the rain. Waterproof gloves can prevent blisters from forming on your hands.
Front and rear safety lights can make an electric bike more visible in bad weather or low-light conditions. A handlebar-mounted headlight can also help you safely navigate around deep puddles and obstacles. You should also wear brightly-colored or luminescent garments that are resistant to water and have reflective material on the arms, back and legs.
Carry an Emergency Kit
Make room for a lightweight first-aid kit in a dry compartment of a day bag or pannier. You never know when you’ll need antibiotic ointment, bandages, butterfly closures or topical anti-chafing treatment on a ride.
Follow Traffic Rules
You should also know how to ride an electric bike in rainy conditions. Wet surfaces weaken grip and increase safe braking distances. Experts recommend that riders do not exceed 15.5 miles per hour in rainy conditions.
Plan the Safest Routes
If you regularly travel the same route, pay attention to uneven pavement, potholes and places where deep puddles accumulate and avoid these locations during rain. Try to ride on roads with more lighting and less traffic.
Steer Clear of Standing Water
Heavy rain can cause flooding without warning. Look out for deep puddles and do not attempt to ride through standing water. Moving water that is just a few inches deep can cause you to wipe out. If you must cross low water, switch off the power and pedal your ebike like a standard bike. If an ebike falls over in deep water, turn off the power and remove the battery and controller until all parts are dry.
Maintain Your Ride
A well-designed and maintained ebike can withstand occasional rides in the rain. If you regularly take rainy rides, use silicone sealant to coat contacts or apply moisture-resistant lubricant to battery outlets to combat corrosion. Hand-wash and dry your ebike after a wet outing.
Always account for skill level and familiarity with routes when taking a ride in the rain. These tips can help you avoid accidents or discomfort and help you prepare for any challenges you may encounter.
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