Tips for riding your e-bike in Canadian winter

There are so many reasons why you may be interested in riding an e-bike. Talk about the ease, the speed, among many others, e-bikes are simply fun to ride. These bikes make you go longer and faster than you otherwise would with conventional bikes. 

In fact, many people who ride e-bikes are said to exercise more than those using ordinary bikes. However, all these myriads of benefits that come with e-bikes can be cut short when winter creeps in. 

Related article: Health Benefits of Riding an E-bike

With winter comes a lot of rain, ice, snow and other conditions that make e-bike riding a slippery prospect. This causes electronic bikers to abandon their bikes as riding becomes quite difficult to do. 

However, winter should not stop you from enjoying your biking experience. In recent times, several provisions have been made for e-bikers during the period of winter so that they may continue to enjoy their bikes. Coupled with these, there are tips you can make use of to get the best of your biking experience during winter. 

In this guide, we will be sharing with you relevant tips on riding your e-bikes in winter. These tips will help you manage the uncomfortable weather that prevails during winter. However, if you are a beginner electronic biker, or you are not so confident with riding under difficult conditions, it may be better for you to simply adopt the conventional bikes that do not require power to run. That way, you can side-line the troubles that come with e-biking during winter.

Related article: Using an E-bike in Canada: Safety Tips and Precautions

 

Tips for riding your e-bikes during winter in Canada

When you are considering optimizing your electric bike experience during winter, there are a few factors that you have to put into perspective. They include winter tyres, batteries, maintenance and care, safety, front-drive. Adequate incorporation of these guarantees you a quality e-biking experience.

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

These tips will help you stay safe while riding in winter.

Install quality winter tyres

If are interested in riding your e-bike in winter, then it is a must that you get good winter tyres. This is because many tyres that come with your bikes are weather selective. While they may be good for dry seasons, they are most likely not usable for the cold season.

Interestingly, in the world of today, there is an increasing number of winter tyres in the market for e-bikes. Getting a pair for your e-bike is completely doable. When you make use of proper winter tyres, you enjoy the following benefits:

  • You get better traction with ice, snow, and water, with a customized tread designed for each specific condition. 
  • You get better puncture protection: Snowy and rainy weather tends to come with the washing of debris to the road. This debris may puncture your bike’s tyres. Good winter tyres protect you from this scenario. 

Also, if you are going to change the wheels on your bike, you should be getting tyres for every scenario. You should get a pair of good snow tyres for snowy days, and a pair of studded tyres for heavy snow and icy days. Studded tyres are perfect for icy days. 

However, while these tyres optimize your biking experience during winter, they do not come cheap. The good news, however, is that they guarantee your safety. You really can’t put a price on safety. 

Always dress for winter

One of the most important things you should do when riding in Canada winters is to dress appropriately. Canada winters can be brutal. You have to consider the fact that the weather is icy cold in your dressing. Your bike may be running very well, and you may have very great traction. However, if you are feeling cold or miserable, your biking experience definitely will not be fun. 

While it is easy to dress like a biker during summer, it is not quite the same during winter. Knowing fully well that the weather alternates, and temperature changes, you have to update the list of items you consider before choosing your outfit.

Related article: Gearing up for a trail ride: Must-have accessories for E-bikes in Canada

If you are the kind who bikes daily, then there is no way to avoid riding in the rain or snow. As such, you have to consider the following clothing items that will be highlighted below

  • A good helmet: Generally, you are required to put on a helmet while riding your bike, and winter is not an exception to that rule. Making use of a helmet will give you very great head protection, and keep you safe. 
  • The use of gloves: During biking, your hands are almost always out in the open. If you want to have nice biking experiences, then you have to consider protecting those hands. In many cases, you most likely will need to wear a glove all through the year to attain adequate protection.

When purchasing your gloves, try to own more than a pair. Having multiple pairs of gloves at hand makes you balance up with the change in temperature very easily. It helps you adapt quickly. Also, buy two-layer gloves, as they are ideal for efficiency. One layer will help you with warmth, while the other protects and ensures your grip.

  • A pair of sunglasses: One of the accessories you want to have with you while riding your e-bikes in winter are sunglasses. A pair of anti-glare sunglasses are very nice items to have around across the year to optimize your biking experience. You may wonder why you need these. Well, the reasons are not far-fetched. 

They enhance your vision during the days that are really sunny. Equally, they protect your eyes from getting hit by debris that may spring up while riding on the road. Squinting and straining your eyes to see while biking is not a concept you want to get familiar with. It takes away the fun in your biking, and it is absolutely dangerous for you at large. 

  • Face masks: Riding in the cold can be frustrating and unpleasant when your face is exposed to the cold weather. Your nose and cheeks can get cold in rainy and windy weather. However, with a face mask, you can avoid all these effortlessly. 

Manufacturers now make several face masks that allow you to breathe easily while riding your e-bikes in winter. You can also buy neck protection such as a scarf which keeps your neck warm and prevents debris from finding their way down your jacket. 

Always ensure you adjust your face masks so you can breathe out through it. If you do not adjust it very well, you may end up fogging your sunglasses. Also, ensure you do not use long scarfs. They may be cool in photos but they can get caught up in the spokes and compromise your safety

  • Windproof clothing: Something very important you should hold dear is windproof clothing. Windproof clothing helps to break the wind while still keeping the warmth. Windproof clothes are designed to keep you warm for a very good part of the winter season.

Considering the fact that winter days are often short, it is advisable that you select a bright colour which reflects easily for the purpose of safety. At the very least, this will help drivers notice you while you are biking in snowy conditions. This is because cars on the road may not be able to stop very fast on icy roads. So, the faster they can spot you, the better it is for your safety.

As much as possible, you should layer your outfit during cold weather. In Canada, it is usually colder in the morning compared to the afternoon. So, when the temperatures rise, you can just remove one layer of clothing. 

 

  • Water-proof shoes and windbreaker pants:  When you are biking, the last thing you want to suffer is cold feet- literally. This may not be so bad during the summer. But, when you ride with cold feet during the winter, you are going to have bad riding experiences. 

 

Water-proof shoes are very great options to be used in this case. They help you stay dry come rain or snow. These shoes are worn over your existing shoes to keep your feet dry. Their prices may be low or high depending on the quality.

Equally, water-proof pants also keep your legs dry and serve as an outer layer in blocking the wind and serving as water protection. These wind-breakers are very mobile – light and compact. 

Install fresh brake pads

It is very important that you ensure your brake pads are in good shape. Winter is not the right time to have brake pads that you are skeptical about. As such, it is very important that you ensure your brake pads are changed, and that they are tuned up quite alright. 

Also, take note that lower areas in your bike’s cable housing tend to collect water which may end up freezing. This is why it is necessary that you should check your cables regularly and make sure that there are no cable runs that are capable of containing and collecting water. 

Related article: Riding your e-bike in the rain: All you need to know

Lower the height of your bike seat

Lowering your seat helps you keep your feet closer to the ground when you are riding. That way, you can easily balance while riding especially when you hit an ice patch on the road. 

When riding during the winter, you are bound to face more challenges than when you are riding in good conditions. As such, to prevent yourself from crashing, you need to be able to stick your legs out very quickly and easily so as to gain balance. 

Pay due attention to your battery

There are no two ways to it.  You have to invest time in maintaining your battery. You may have noticed that when temperatures drop, you will not derive as much energy as expected from your battery. You should ensure that your battery is not kept in a place that leaves it too hot, and neither should it be too cold. During winter, you should bring it inside so as to keep it warm.

You should, however, be careful when removing and fixing your battery. Ensure that it is dry when fixing back, do not put a cold and freezing battery back into your bike. This is why you should keep your battery in a cool dry place. You can even go as far as having the battery wrapped in insulation to ensure it stays warm. 

Always clean your bike

Maintenance is important for your bikes during Canada winters. Ensuring that your bike is always cleaned is one of the most important things during the winter. The temperature fluctuates during the winter. A key issue that results from these is the accumulation of dirt, slush and the likes. These unwanted elements can find their way to moving parts in your bike, and eventually, clog them thereby preventing smooth operation. 

As such, during winter, you should use very light lubricant in your cleaning schedule to remove dirt Also, you should ensure than you lube your bike more often. You can also wash your bike to get the accumulated dirt off it. Note that it is not advisable to wash your bike while it is freezing. 

Furthermore, if you make use of your bike daily, there is no way to avoid the accumulation of salt on your bike. Regular washing can help reduce the salt levels, but it may still remain a little. It is advisable that you make use of spray products which can help with the thorough removal of salt deposits.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

 

Final thoughts on riding your e-bikes during winter

While you may have good traction and very nice tyres, it is important that you slow down while riding during winter. This is largely for your own safety and nothing more. 

Note that car drivers equally find it hard to slow down during winter. Also, if you are not wearing reflective clothing, you may not be easily noticed. All in all, it is vital that you exercise care while riding your e-bike during Canada winters.

If all tips here are taken into careful consideration, then you should have a nice and more importantly, a safe biking experience during winter.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

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