Electric bikes are quickly becoming the preferred mode of transportation for many city dwellers. But what happens when it’s raining? Can you ride electric bikes in the rain?
The short answer is yes. You can ride an electric bike in the rain. Most e-bikes are designed to be ridden in the rain. That said, there are some things to consider before hitting the road on a rainy day.
In this article, we explain how to safely ride electric bikes in rain. We’ll cover how to care for your e-bike while riding in the rain. In addition, We’ll also discuss how to care for your electric bike after riding in the rain to ensure its longevity. Hopefully, this guide helps you enjoy many rainy rides on your e-bike.
Table of Contents
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike in the Rain?
- Are Ebikes Waterproof?
- IP Ratings and Water Resistance
- Are Ebike Batteries Waterproof?
- Are Ebike Motors Waterproof?
- Is it Safe to Ride an Ebike in the Rain?
- How to Transport an Electric Bike
- How to Choose the Right Electric Bike for Your Climate
- Tips for Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
- FAQ About Riding an Ebike in the Rain
Can You Ride an Electric Bike in the Rain?
Yes. You can ride an electric bike in the rain. E-bikes are designed and tested for wet weather. They are water-resistant. The motor and battery are sealed to keep water out. In general, an electric bike can be ridden in the same conditions that you can ride a regular non-powered bike in.
Having said that, not all electric bikes are built the same. Some models can only be ridden through a light sprinkle. Others can handle a full-on downpour.
Exactly how heavy of rain your e-bike can handle depends on how well it’s sealed. Some e-bikes are sealed better than others.
To determine the weather conditions your e-bike can handle, look at the IP rating (ingress protection rating). This is a water resistance rating. I’ll talk more about this more in-depth in the next section.
There are also some precautions you should take when riding in the rain. You don’t want your electric bike to get too wet, even if it is well-sealed. The electrical components are sensitive to moisture. Electric bikes are not completely waterproof.
You should also never store your bike out in the rain. When it’s raining, park your e-bike in a covered space or place a waterproof cover over it. Better yet, bring it indoors. If your e-bike sits out in the rain for a prolonged period, there is a chance that water could seep into the display, motor, battery, or control unit. If you leave your e-bike out in the rain, give it plenty of time to dry out before turning it on. Also, keep in mind that moisture could cause irreversible corrosion.
When riding an ebike in the rain, you should never ride through water that is deep enough to submerge the battery, the motor, or any other electrical component. Avoid puddles and streams. Even though the electrical components are sealed, water can still seep in. If water makes its way in, the bike could short out. Deep water could ruin your e-bike.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to ride through deep water and there is no alternative, you should shut your e-bike off first and ride or walk through the water with no power.
After passing through the water, you won’t know if any moisture has made its way into your bike’s motor or battery casing. To be safe, you should not turn your e-bike on again until you are 100% sure that everything has dried out. This means riding home without power. If you turn the bike on and there is moisture inside, it could short out.
Are Electric Bikes Waterproof?
No. Electric bikes are not waterproof. They are water resistant. There is a significant difference.
When something is waterproof, water can not get in. When something is water resistant, it is difficult for water to get in but not impossible. Water can make its way into your e-bike’s electrical components and cause damage.
Most e-bikes offer enough water resistance to ride in light to medium rain. They can also handle some light splashing water. E-bikes usually are not designed to be ridden in heavy rain or through deep puddles. E-bikes cannot be submerged underwater.
After riding an electric bike in wet conditions, you should dry it off with a clean and dry cloth. If you can’t dry the whole bike, you should at least wipe down the electrical components including the motor, battery, and display unit. Remove the battery and wipe down the metal leads. This will help to prevent moisture from seeping in. It will also reduce the likelihood of corrosion.
You should never wash an electric bike with a pressurized hose. Some e-bikes are waterproof enough to hose off with a non-pressurized hose but it’s best not to do this, to be safe. It’s best to simply wash your e-bike with a damp rag.
How Water Resistant is Your E-bike?
Most electric bikes come with an IP rating that tells you how water-resistant your bike is. The IP rating is a standardized rating that is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission.
According to this guide, “An IP Rating (also known as an Ingress Protection Rating or International Protection Rating) is a way of showing the effectiveness of electrical enclosures in blocking foreign bodies such as dust, moisture, liquids, and accidental contact (2022).” This is important information when it comes to riding an electric bike in the rain. The better the IP rating, the heavier rain you can ride in.
You can usually find the IP rating on the manufacturer’s website. It may also be printed in the bike’s owner’s manual. If you can’t find it, you can call the company that made the bike and ask. You could also ask at the bike shop where you bought the bike. They should be able to find out for you.
Not all electric bikes have an IP rating. Lower-end models may not have been tested and rated. All mid-range and premium electric bikes have an IP rating.
How to Read IP Ratings: The Higher the IP Rating, the More Water Resistant the Bike Is
To make sense of an IP rating, you need to know what each number represents. IP ratings are standardized. Most IP ratings have two numbers.
The first number indicates how resistant the e-bike is to solid objects, such as dirt, dust, and sand. The second number indicates how resistant the e-bike is to liquids, like water.
The higher the number, the greater the resistance. An IP rating might look like this: IP65. In this case, 6 represents the resistance to dust and 5 represents the resistance to water.
You can find an in-depth chart of the meaning of each IP number on this website. According to the chart, an electric bike with an IP rating of IP44 is “Protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimeter” and “Protected from water spray from any direction.” An e-bike with an IP rating of IP55 is “Protected from limited dust ingress” and “Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction”. An e-bike with an IP rating of IP66 is “Protected from total dust ingress” and “Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction.”
What is the Minimum IP Rating for an Ebike?
The IP rating gives you a good idea about how much rain your electric bike can withstand. Generally, if your e-bike has an IP rating below IP54, it should not be ridden in sustained rain. You may be able to ride it in a light sprinkle or scattered showers. If it starts raining heavily, you should bring your bike under cover until the rain slows down.
If you plan to ride your e-bike in sustained rain, you should look for a model with an IP rating of IP55 or better. Electric bikes with this rating will have been tested in the rain. If you plan to ride in heavy rain, you should look for an e-bike with an IP rating of IP66 or better.
It’s important to remember that no e-bike is waterproof. You should never submerge an e-bike in water or clean an e-bike with a pressurized hose, regardless of the IP rating.
If you’re buying a new e-bike, you’ll want to consider the IP rating before you buy. Consider the climate where you live and how often you ride in the rain. If you ride in the rain frequently, look for a model with a higher IP rating that can survive the moisture. If you live in a dry climate or if you rarely have to ride in the rain, the IP rating may not matter too much.
It’s a good idea to buy an e-bike with a minimum IP rating of 54. This way, you don’t have to worry too much about the bike if it starts raining while you’re out riding. You can simply find cover before it starts raining too hard.
If you already own an e-bike, use the IP rating as a guide to determine whether or not you can ride your bike in the rain. If your bike has a high IP rating, you can safely ride it in the rain. When riding a bike with a low IP rating, you will need to exercise additional caution if the rain becomes more than a sprinkle.
Keep in mind that IP ratings may not be completely accurate. I would trust the rating from a major manufacturer like Bosch or Shimano. I wouldn’t trust the rating from a no-name manufacturer. Some companies exaggerate the rating or simply lie about it.
It’s also important to note that the IP rating may not be valid for the life of the bike. The seals that make your e-bike water-resistant can degrade or get damaged over time. For example, if your e-bike is older, the seals could dry out or crack. If you have to open up your battery or motor for whatever reason, you could accidentally damage a seal.
If your e-bike has a high IP rating when it’s new, it may not have the same rating when it’s 8 years old. Older e-bikes may not be as water-resistant as new models.
Are E-Bike Batteries Waterproof? How to Care for E-bike Battery
No. Electric bike batteries are sealed but they are not completely waterproof. They are only water-resistant. Water can seep in. The battery can be damaged if it is exposed to excessive rain or if it is submerged underwater. Most quality e-bike batteries have an IP rating of IP66 or IP55.
Some manufacturers do offer batteries that are water-resistant enough to submerge in up to a meter of water. This is the case with many of Specialized’s e-bike batteries. They are rated at IP67.
Even though the battery may be able to survive submersion, it’s best not to test it. Try to keep your battery as dry as possible to be safe. If it gets wet during a ride, dry it off when you return home. When washing your battery, never use a hose. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you’re transporting your e-bike on a car-mounted rack, remove the battery and store it in the vehicle.
Are E-bike Motors Waterproof?
No. Electric bike motors are not waterproof. Premium e-bike motors, like motors from Bosch, come with an IP54 rating. Some Bafang motors come with an IP65 rating. Some manufacturers exaggerate the rating.
These motors are only designed to be water-resistant. Ebike motors are mounted low on the bike either in the hub or between the cranks. It is expected that they will suffer some splashes while riding through puddles. They are not designed to be submerged. Even electric mountain bike motors can not be submerged. You also should never wash an e-bike motor with a pressure washer.
If you were to submerge one of these motors, water would seep in and cause damage. If just a small amount of water seeps in, it will most likely dry out and the motor will be fine. When a large amount of water seeps in, it will most likely ruin the motor by causing it to short out.
Even if the motor does survive some water seepage, the moisture could cause corrosion. This will shorten the life of the motor.
To get the most life out of your e-bike motor, it’s best to keep it as dry as possible. You can ride in the rain but avoid heavy rain. Never allow the motor to be submerged underwater. That means avoiding water crossings. Never hose your e-bike off. After riding in the rain, wipe excess moisture off of the motor to prevent water from seeping in.
For more info on e-bike motors, check out my guide:
Are Electric Bikes Safe to Ride in the Rain?
Yes. It is safe to ride an electric bike in the rain. Just like any other bike. You do need to take some additional precautions to stay safe and comfortable.
Rain makes for low visibility conditions. While riding in the rain, use lights to improve your visibility. You should have one forward-facing headlight and one rear-facing blinking red light.
You also need to change your riding style while riding in the rain. Brake early. Don’t lean too far hard while cornering. This is necessary because the road can get slippery when it’s wet.
To stay comfortable in wet weather, wear a rain jacket, rain pants, waterproof gloves, and waterproof shoe covers. This will keep you warm and dry. Consider installing mudguards to prevent water and mud from splashing on you and your bike.
Riding an electric bike in the rain can be a somewhat risky endeavor if your e-bike is not very water-resistant. Exposed electronics such as lights, the display, and other components may be susceptible to electrical shorts if they come in contact with moisture. It’s not safe to ride lower-end electric bikes in the rain for this reason.
Exactly how much you have to worry about this depends on the quality of your e-bike and its IP rating. If you’re riding a premium e-bike, you shouldn’t worry too much about a little rain. If you’re riding a cheap entry-level e-bike, it’s best to limit yourself to only riding in light rain.
For more general info on e-bike safety, check out my guide: Are E-Bikes Safe?
How to Transport an Electric Bike in the Rain
If you’re transporting your e-bike on an external carrier, such as a roof rack, you need to take some precaution to keep water out of your battery, motor, and handlebar-mounted display.
While driving, the water pressure of the rain hitting these parts is higher, due to your speed. Moisture can more easily make its way into electrical components. To keep these parts safe, it’s best to cover them. Particularly during longer trips.
Many manufacturers sell covers that you can install on the battery, display, and motor while transporting your bike. These are usually simple neoprene covers that attach with hook and loop, straps, or elastic. This Ebike Battery Cover would work well for externally frame mounted batteries.
This NC-17 Connect Universal E-Bike Motor Cover would work well if you ride a mid-drive e-bike.
Different types of covers are available for different battery and motor sizes and placements. If you can’t find covers for your specific e-bike, you can buy generic covers. Alternatively, you can make your own covers if you’re handy. All you need is a bit of waterproof fabric and a sewing machine.
The covers just need to block the rain from hitting your e-bike’s electrical components at speed. They don’t need to be completely waterproof. If a bit of water seeps into the cover, it’s fine.
Another option is to remove the battery and carry it in the car. This is also fine. In this case, you should still cover the pins where the battery connects to prevent corrosion. You can buy a battery plate or pin cover or make your own.
How to Choose the Right Electric Bike for Your Climate
Not all electric bikes are built the same. Some perform better in wet conditions than others. It’s important to choose an e-bike that is designed for the conditions that you plan to use it in.
When selecting an electric bike, consider the climate you plan to ride in. Your bike needs to handle the moisture and weather conditions you expect to encounter.
Wet climates can be especially hard on electronic components, so it is important to choose a model that is designed with adequate water resistance built in if you intend to ride in wet conditions. If you don’t intend to ride in wet conditions, you don’t need to worry as much about water resistance.
To make sure you are getting the proper protection, look at the manufacturer’s IP rating for your bike. The higher the rating, the better protected your e-bike will be in wet conditions.
If you expect to ride in the rain frequently, you will want to look for an electric bike with an IP rating of IP56 or better. This ensures that the components inside of the bike will remain safe in wet or damp climates.
Not all electric bike riders need a water resistant bike. If you don’t intend to ride in wet conditions, it’s still a good idea to choose an e-bike with some water resistance. That way, if you get caught in the rain unexpectedly, you don’t have to worry about ruining your e-bike. You’ll also have some time to get out of the rain. Look for a model with an IP rating of IP44 or better. The bike will be able to hold up to some light rain.
Electric bike Use
Also, consider how you plan to use your electric bike and how often you will ride. If your ebike is your only mode of transportation, it needs to be water-resistant enough to ride in the rain. Some days, you’ll have no choice but to ride in the rain.
If you plan on driving or using public transportation on rainy days, you may be able to go with an electric bike that is less water resistant. You can leave your ebike at home on these days. If you only ride for recreation and never plan to ride in the rain, you may not need a water resistant e-bike.
Price is also an important consideration for most buyers. Quality water resistance will often come with a premium price tag as these bikes require more engineering. The electrical casings require additional sealing to keep water out. However, if you live in a wet climate, this price tag may be worth it when considering how important it is to keep all of your electronics functioning properly and safely over time.
If water resistance isn’t important for your use, you can save some money by choosing an e-bike with a lower IP rating or no IP rating.
When shopping for an e-bike with moisture resistance built in, make sure to look closely at any additional features that may help protect it further from water damage. Look for waterproof lighting and a waterproof handlebar display. Also, be sure to check out any additional seals around exposed wiring and connectors to ensure they won’t corrode or short out due to continued exposure to wetter climates.
Investing in a quality e-bike designed specifically with wet climates in mind should give you peace of mind knowing that your investment is safe and secure over time while providing reliable transportation whatever conditions come your way.
For more help choosing an e-bike, check out my guide to the different types of e-bikes.
It’s important to remember that electric bikes require regular maintenance regardless of where you live. If you live in a wet climate, this becomes even more important as failure to address small issues can lead to larger problems down the line that could significantly decrease or shorten its lifespan.
For example, if a small amount of water seeps into your motor, it may not cause any immediate problems. Down the line, it could cause corrosion, which reduces the lifespan of your bike. Be sure to dry off your electric bike after riding in the rain, even if it has a good IP rating.
When riding in wet conditions, you will also have to clean and lube your chain more frequently. It’s a good idea to dry your chain off and apply a bit of fresh lube after every ride in wet conditions.
Safety Tips for Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
In this section, I’ll share some useful tips to help you stay safe and improve the longevity of your electric bike while riding in the rain.
1. Use Mudguards (Fenders) to Keep Dirt and Water Off Your Bike
Mudguards can prevent water and mud from spraying over your bike’s drivetrain, motor, and other electrical components. As a result, these parts stay cleaner and dryer.
When you use mudguards, it is less likely for water or debris to make its way into your bike’s motor and electrical system. This can improve the longevity of your bike. You also won’t have to do as much cleaning after riding in the rain.
In addition, fenders will also keep you cleaner and dryer while you ride. You won’t have a big strip of mud down your back when you reach your destination. Fenders also help to keep spray out of your eyes so your vision stays clearer. This allows you to see the road better while you ride.
If you expect to ride in the rain frequently, fenders are pretty much mandatory. Many electric bikes that are designed for commuting come with fenders installed from the factory. You can also buy and install aftermarket fenders on pretty much any ebike.
2. Weatherproof Yourself
To stay comfortable riding in the rain, you have to dress for the situation. You’ll want to wear a good rain jacket. Your rain jacket should be both waterproof and breathable. It needs to be waterproof to keep the rain out. It needs to be breathable to allow your sweat to vent away. If it’s not breathable, sweat will build up and you’ll get wet and uncomfortable.
Some cyclists prefer wearing a cycling poncho instead of a rain jacket because it offers better breathability. A poncho can also cover more of your body. For more info, check out my guide to rain jackets vs ponchos.
If it’s raining heavily, you may also want to wear rain pants to keep your legs dry. This can also keep you warmer and improve comfort.
Also, wear a cycling cap with a large brim under your helmet. This will help keep the rain out of your eyes. If the rain is heavy, it’s also a good idea to wear glasses or goggles.
You should also wear gloves to keep your hands warm and dry. Gloves can also improve your grip. Look for waterproof neoprene or Gore-Tex gloves. Choose a pair that offer enough hand dexterity to work the gears and brakes.
If you’re taking a long ride, consider wearing a pair of neoprene shoe covers to keep your cycling shoes dry. These Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier WxB Shoe Covers would work well.
3. Weatherproof Your Stuff
You also need to protect your belongings from the rain. When buying cycling luggage, such as panniers or a backpack, choose waterproof models. Most cycling luggage is seem sealed. Many models also come with a built-in rain cover.
When you’re carrying items that are sensitive to moisture, such as a laptop, wrap them up in a waterproof bag before placing them in your backpack or pannier. A trash bag or freezer bag will do. Alternatively, you could buy a dry bag.
4. Avoid Riding Through Puddles and Potholes
Riding an electric bike through puddles and potholes can be a risky business. The potential damage that can be caused to your electric bike’s components due to water splashes or particle contaminants can be substantial.
You never know how deep a particular puddle is before attempting to ride through it. Puddles can be deeper than expected. Your motor or another electronic component could be submerged in a particularly deep puddle, depending on where it is mounted. Moisture and contaminants such as dirt, mud, and dust could splash into these components as well.
For times when you do have to go through a particularly deep puddle or a large number of smaller ones in succession, try using lower speeds than usual so that less water can splash up on your bike’s components.
When needed, you can also dismount and walk around any deep pools of standing water instead of trying to go through them with your e-bike. This will minimize the risk posed by extra moisture getting into sensitive electronics while also keeping yourself safe from potential accidents caused by unforeseen conditions lurking beneath the surface of a pool of water.
5. Use Lights
One of the most important safety precautions to take when riding an electric bike in the rain is to make sure you have properly functioning lights. Not only do bright headlights and taillights help you see ahead on a dark, wet day, but they also make it easier for drivers and pedestrians to spot you. When you ride a bike, you have to share the road with cars, trucks, motorcycles, other cyclists, pedestrians, and more. You need to ensure that everyone can see you.
When choosing lights for your electric bike, make sure you choose waterproof models. Your lights should also be visible from all angles so that you can be seen in even the worst weather.
Your front-facing light should be white. It should be visible from at least 500 feet away. Your rear-facing light should be a red light that can be seen from 500-600 feet away. It should also flash.
Most electric bikes that are designed for commuting come with built-in headlights and tail lights. The lights are wired into the electrical system so they feed off of the bike’s battery. This way, you never need to worry about charging the lights or replacing their batteries.
For extra visibility, consider adding a blinking red light to your helmet, rear rack, or pannier. You can also use reflectors to improve visibility. You may also consider applying reflective tape to your jacket, panniers, or helmet for added visibility. Another way to make yourself more visible to drivers is to mount a flag to your bike. The more visible you are, the safer you’ll be.
6. Lower Your Tire Pressure When Riding in the Rain
Lowering the tire pressure on your bicycle is a great way to improve traction and stability when riding in wet conditions. When tire pressure is reduced, the tires can better conform to the surface of the road. The softer tire can flatten out at the contact patch so more tread contacts the road. This increases the friction between the tire and the road, greatly improving grip.
When lowering the tire pressure, make sure not to reduce it too much. Try dropping the pressure by around 10 psi. If you drop the pressure too much, it can cause excessive wear on the tire’s sidewalls. You can also get pinch flats. This happens when your tires bottom out and pinch your tube against the rim, causing a puncture. Your tires could also bottom out and cause rim damage if they’re too soft. It’s best to start with a moderate decrease in air pressure. You can always increase or decrease the pressure as needed.
If you decide to reduce your tire pressure in the rain, make sure you’re carrying a pump so you can re-inflate your tires when the road dries out or if accidentally let too much air out.
7. Brake Early
When it comes to riding electric bicycles in the rain, one of the most important things to remember is to brake early. Wet surfaces reduce friction, making it harder for your tires to grip the ground. This means you need more time and distance to slow down or come to a complete stop when riding in wet weather conditions. You should start braking early to give yourself plenty of time and space to slow down safely.
It’s also essential to apply pressure to the brake lever progressively while you brake. Gradual changes in pressure will prevent you from locking up your wheels and losing control of the bike.
You should also use both brakes evenly. This helps distribute the braking force more effectively and optimize your bike’s grip on the road.
If you plan to ride in the rain frequently, choose an e-bike with disc brakes rather than rim brakes. Disc brakes provide more stopping power and function more reliably in wet conditions.
8. Don’t Lean into Corners
When riding an electric bike, it is important to be especially careful when navigating corners. As you approach a corner, brake gradually so you don’t lock up your tires and lose traction. Slow down more than you normally would in dry conditions.
When selecting a line, try to choose one that allows you to turn without having to lean into the corner. This will help reduce the risk of your tire sliding out from under you. Try to keep as much tread on the road as possible.
Never accelerate your e-bike through a corner. Some electric bikes don’t accelerate smoothly. This is common with electric bikes with cadence sensor pedal assist. The motor kicks in and supplies a surge of power to the wheel. You can’t control exactly how much power the motor provides. While riding on a slippery surface, this surge of power can cause the wheel to lose traction. You could skid out and fall. To stay safe, simply coast through the corner and then accelerate again after completing the corner.
9. Keep an Eye Out for Slippery Spots While Riding on Wet Roads
Riding an electric bike in rainy conditions can be a bit tricky. You always need to keep on the lookout for slippery spots. There are a few types of slippery spots to be aware of.
While riding your electric bike in the rain, avoid painted lines on the road. Lane markers can become extremely slippery when wet. Metal grates and manhole covers can also become very slippery in the rain.
Some roads may also be covered with a thin layer of motor oil and other automotive fluids that rise to the surface when wet. It is important to watch out for these areas. They may become particularly slippery when wet. Avoid these spots whenever possible.
Rainbow-colored puddles are a telltale sign that there could be motor oil or another automotive chemical present on the road surface. If you see a rainbow effect in the water, it is best to take extra caution. It’s always best to avoid riding through puddles and standing water while riding an electric bike.
Also, try to stay away from any loose gravel that could increase your chances of slipping or sliding. Wet fallen leaves can also be dangerous as they become extremely slippery when wet. It is important to pay attention and watch out for them on the path ahead.
While riding your electric bike in the rain, always remember to ride at a manageable speed. This gives you enough time and space to react, should you come across any slippery spots during your journey. If you’re riding too fast, you may not have time to react to slippery spots or obstacles. If you can’t avoid these obstacles, ride over them slowly and carefully.
10. Clean and Dry Your Electric Bike After Riding in the Rain
After riding in the rain, it’s a good idea to take the time to properly clean and dry your electric bike. This will help prevent water from seeping into electrical components and deteriorating them over time. It will also help keep out contaminants like dust and sand particles.
If you leave contaminants on your bike, they can make their way into the components and cause further wear and tear. They can also damage the seals over time, making your bike less water-resistant. If you leave water on your e-bike, it can seep into the electrical components and cause corrosion.
Start by wiping down the motor and battery with a cloth. Remove the battery and wipe down the contact points to prevent corrosion. It’s also a good idea to apply some contact cleaner to the contact points.
It’s also important to clean and lube your drivetrain after riding in the rain. Water can wash the lubricant away. Dirt and mud can also splash up onto your chain and cogs and stick to them. This can cause abrasion, which can wear your chain and gears out prematurely.
After riding in the rain, use a rag to wipe down your chain and gears then apply some fresh lube and remove any excess. If you ride in the rain frequently, you can buy bike chain lube that is designed for use in wet conditions. This is known as wet lube. This Finish Line Wet Bike Lubricant would work well. It’s designed for use in rain and other extreme weather conditions.
If you don’t have time for a full cleaning, at least make sure to dry off any of the electrical components with a clean cloth or microfiber towel. You shouldn’t put your e-bike away wet. At least dry off the motor, battery, and display unit. You don’t need to clean and lube your chain after every single ride.
You should never spray an electric bike with pressurized water from a pressure washer or garden hose. Some electric bikes are waterproof enough to hose off with a non-pressurized hose but it’s best not to test the waterproofing. You should also never use compressed air to remove water from your e-bike. The air pressure can push water into the electrical components and bearings. These parts can wear out faster as a result. To be safe, it’s best to simply wipe your e-bike with a damp cloth or sponge.
11. Don’t Charge Your Battery When Your E-bike is Wet
It is important to avoid charging your e-bike’s battery when it is wet. Charging a wet battery can be dangerous. If the connections are wet, you could permanent damage to the battery or the charger itself. Charging a wet battery could also increase the risk of sparking a fire or electric shock.
In order to safely charge your e-bike’s battery, you should always make sure that it is completely dry before plugging it in. If you notice any moisture on the surface of your battery, use a soft cloth to wipe it off then let the battery air dry for at least 15 minutes before attempting to charge it up.
12. Increase the Water Resistance of your Electric Bike
It is possible to increase the water resistance of your electric bike. One great option is to use dielectric grease or tune-up grease. This non-conductive silicone-based grease repels moisture and helps to protect electrical components from corrosion. Alternatively, you could use liquid electrical tape to cover your e-bike’s connections. This works similarly to dielectric grease.
To apply dielectric grease or liquid electrical tape, simply follow the instructions on the packaging. You apply it directly to electrical connections. This can extend the life of your electric bike by preventing corrosion. This Permatex Dielectric Tune-Up Grease would work well.
13. Check All Seals Before Riding Your E-Bike in the Rain
Most electric bikes are sealed to protect them from the rain. There are seals on all ports and around electrical connections. To ensure that your bike is water-resistant, give the seals an inspection. If they look damaged, worn, or old, the bike may not be water-resistant.
It can be hard to tell whether a seal is water-tight or not just by looking at it but if you find that a seal is obviously damaged, you can repair it or replace it.
14. Don’t Turn Your E-bike on If You Believe an Electrical Component Got Wet.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where your motor or battery get wet, it is essential that you turn off your e-bike immediately and not turn it back on again until you are absolutely certain that it is completely dry. This may be necessary if you ride through a deep puddle that submerges your motor or battery or if you accidentally leave your e-bike outside during a heavy rainstorm.
When in doubt, never turn on an electrical component that may have gotten wet. Doing so could cause permanent damage to the component. Your ebike could short out. This could ruin your bike or even cause a fire.
It may take several days for your ebike to dry out completely if it gets wet. On some models, you can open up the motor and battery and inspect them to ensure that they are free of moisture. This isn’t always possible. Sometimes the motor and battery are sealed and are not easy to open. If your ebike gets wet, keep an eye out for any changes in performance or behavior. This could indicate there’s still some moisture present.
For more tips, check out my guide to cycling in the rain.
FAQ About Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
In this section, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about riding an e-bike in the rain.
Will Rain Damage My Ebike?
Generally, rain alone won’t damage your electric bike. Most electric bikes are built to handle some rain. They are sealed to keep moisture out. Excess moisture can damage the electrical components. Avoiding puddles and standing water is the best way to protect your bike from any long-term damage. You should also never leave your e-bike sitting out in the rain.
Can You Leave an Electric Bike Out in the Rain?
It’s not recommended to leave an electric bike out in the rain for prolonged periods of time. Over time, moisture could seep into the motor, battery, control unit, or display. Excess moisture can damage the bike’s components.
In the long term, it can also lead to corrosion. If you leave your bike out, the chain, cassette, frame, and other metal components can rust. Corrosion can also occur in the motor or battery if water seeps in.
It’s best to keep your electric bike in a garage or covered area when it’s raining. Many electric bike riders bring their e-bike indoors. If you do have to leave your electric bike outside, make sure all the components are protected from the elements. A bike cover works great for this. This TeamObsidian Bike Cover would work well.
Will Riding My E-bike in the Rain Affect My Range?
Riding your e-bike in the rain may reduce your range. There are a couple of potential reasons for this. Lowering your tire pressure can reduce your range due to increased friction between the tires and the road. Softer tires have more rolling resistance. Riding through standing water could also reduce your range. The water creates drag. It’s important to take this into consideration if you’re taking a long ride. For more info, check out my guide to e-bike range.
What If My Ebike is Damaged by Riding in the Rain?
If you ride a low-end ebike and it’s damaged in the rain, you may be out of luck. It can be difficult to find someone who will work on no-name electric bikes. Cheap components often can’t be repaired. You may be able to send the bike back to the manufacturer but this could cost you $400-$500 in shipping alone plus the cost of repairs. It’s not worth it in most cases.
If you ride a high-end e-bike, it is unlikely to be damaged in the rain. If your bike does suffer from water damage, you should check the warranty to see what’s covered. In some cases, damage caused by moisture may be covered or partially covered. If it’s not, you’ll have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
Most damage can be repaired but it can get expensive. For example, if you need a new battery, it might cost $800. If you need a new motor, it could cost $300-$500. When buying an electric bike, it’s a good idea to buy a model with a dealership nearby so you can get repairs done if necessary.
Final Thoughts About Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
Many electric bikes can be ridden in light rain. The electrical components are sealed to keep moisture out. Some electric bikes are not designed for use in wet weather. Before you ride your electric bike in the rain, it’s important to check your e-bike’s IP code to determine how much rain your bike can handle.
Riding an electric bike in the rain does require more precaution than riding on dry days. Make sure to dress for wet conditions with waterproof outerwear and store all of your belongings in waterproof luggage. Check that all of your bike parts are functioning properly, especially the brakes.
There’s no reason not to enjoy the freedom of traveling by electric bike in any weather. With proper planning and preparation, you can make sure your rainy ride is as enjoyable as a sunny one.
Do you ride your electric bike in the rain? Share your riding experience and tips in the comments below!
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