Wintertime can be hard on an electric bike. It is an electric powered vehicle after all and snow, ice, and cold is not electricity’s friend. If you live in a climate that it is not feasible to use the e-bike in the winter you’ll need to store it. There are several factors to keep in mind in this process.
When storing it, there are critical procedures to ensure that it does not deteriorate. Remember, spring is just around the corner and you don’t want to have major issues in need of repair before the peak bike riding season.
Place of Storage
Whether you are planning on storing your electric bike inside your garage, basement, or house, there are a few steps you should take to make sure it's protected during this off season.
It’s important to remember that you should never store your e-bike outside over the winter. Even fully covered, the elements will take their toil and condensation will accumulate on the parts of the bike. Water and condensation are raw metals worst enemy.
Even a storage shed might not be the best place for the bike as cold and moisture find its was in and cause issues. Attached garages or enclosed porches are fine as long as they get some heat and protection from the elements.
Properly Inflate Tires
The first step is to make sure your tires are fully inflated. Under inflation of the tires will cause rubber degradation and cracking. When the tires are not properly inflated, all the weight of the bike will be pressing the rubber against the rim and weakening it.
Inspect and Clean the Frame
Start cleaning your electric bike by using a soft bristle brush or toothbrush to rubdown the metal parts. This will knock off dirt and debris that might have accumulated during the riding season. Be careful not to disengage any of the wiring or brush too severely damaging the paint or other components. Here again, an old toothbrush will work great for the small and tight areas.
Go over the entire bike with an old clean rag to catch any areas that you might have missed as well as loosened debris and dust. Make sure you get that extra grease that might have accumulated on the chain, crack set, and derailleur.
After you have done all the cleaning, check for any structural issues that might have arisen, loose wires, broken parts or bent metal. Look for any signs of cracking or metal fatigue as well. Carefully inspect the lower areas of the bike for these issues as these areas typically might have this type of damage.
Apply Lubricate to Cables and Chain
Cables can typically build up rust very quickly during months of disuse leaving them inoperable when riding season arrives. Take a bit of time to lubricate the brake cables. A few drops of lubricate on a rag should do it. Don’t use too much as it could build up and attract dust and dirt.
Next, lightly apply a nice coating of lubricate to the chain and gears as well. Here again, be especially mindful to not overdo. Too little is better than too much. When you use the bike again next season the lubricate your applying now will work itself through the system.
Store Your Battery
By now you should know that an electric bike battery is extremely sensitive to heat and cold. It should always be stored in a temperature controlled environment. Remove the battery from the bike and give it a good dusting and then light damp cleaning with a cloth.
Before you put it away, give it a charge to at least 70% of its power. Store the charger with the battery and that way you will know where it is for next season.
Wipe Down Other Components
Take a slightly damp cloth and wipe down everything else to remove any residual dust or dirt. The seat, handgrips, and frame are all areas to get a good wipe down. Make sure you get the tires as well. They get very dirty during the riding season and might have small rocks or metal in the tread and could cause problems later.
If you have noticed any major issues while going through the winterization process you might want to take the bike to a local bike shop for repair. This is actually the best season to do it as they will be less busy than during peak season.
Now your electric bike is ready for the off season. You’ll have it in tip top shape when warmer weather approaches. Remember, as long as you take care of your e-bike it will take care of you.
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