Even though most ebikes are designed to withstand freezing temperatures, some riders find it more convenient to store their bikes away for the winter months, typically from December to March. If you fit into this category, you should be aware that there are particular steps you need to take to get your bike ready for storage over the winter.
It's acceptable to take a longer break from riding your bike in the winter than you would in the summer. Four or five months is a reasonable amount of time off, rather than four or five days. If you've planned ahead, you'll be ready to go when the weather warms up.
Riding an electric bicycle during the winter can be risky, and in some cases, the reward does not justify the danger. In the event that inclement weather, such as snow, cold, sleet, rain, or slush, strikes your area, the following are some suggestions and recommendations for stowing away your electric bicycle.
You don’t have to be overly obsessive about storing your ebike. Just doing some basic maintenance and taking some steps is enough.
These steps should be completed before you put it away. Do not just park it in the garage or shed and forget about it for four months; doing so will cause unnecessary wear and tear on the frame and battery.
Here is how to store an ebike for the winter the right way:
Clean your bike before putting it away
Regular cleaning of your electric ebike according to the guidelines outlined in our blog post is essential. Keep this in mind as you get your ebike ready for winter storage, as any trace of salt or water can corrode the metal parts.
- You should wipe down the frame with some water and then dry the belt or chain and the gears or automatic shifting transmission. A spray bottle filled with warm water and two drops of dish detergent makes a great mild cleaner.
- If your bike has a chain, use a lube specifically made for bicycle chains to keep it from rusting. It's not a good idea to use WD-40 or any other household lubricant because they attract dust and grime.
- A silicone polish can be used to protect paint, and prevent rust and corrosion.
Store your battery partially charged
It is critical to ensure that your battery remains in good health throughout the year. When choosing a location for your battery for multi month storage, make sure to keep the following things in mind.
- Between 60% and 80% is the sweet spot for the battery's storage charge.
- Taking the bike for a spin after a full charge and before putting it away is a simple way to decrease the battery charge level prior to storage.
- Keeping your battery from going flat during storage is of utmost importance, as a dead battery in the spring may be impossible to revive.
- Your battery's lifespan will be shortened if you leave it charged to full for extended periods of time.
- Even more so in the winter, you should check your battery every few months.
- A quick charge will restore the battery to its optimal storage voltage if you notice the battery indicator has dropped too low (this is unlikely to be needed if the battery was at 40 percent or above).
- A half-hour charge every few months is recommended if you don't have a battery indicator.
- To reiterate, it's best to avoid storing a fully charged battery, though it's not the end of the world if this does happen, and much better than storing a dead battery.
Even though your ebike can withstand the elements, it is still best kept in a protected location such as a garage, basement, or shed. Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can shorten the life of your battery, so it's important to store it in a cool place, ideally between 10 and 22°C (50 - 72°F).
Before you put your bike away, have your bike checked over by a professional and have them look into any problems you may have been having. It's preferable to find out about any issues before winter sets in, rather than in the spring, when it's warmer and everyone is scrambling to make appointments.
It’s better to sacrifice having your bike in someone else’s possession when there is less chance of riding it. Brake pads, chain, and gearshift are some important items for your bike mechanic to inspect and take care of.
Give your bike a nice bath before long term storage. This will prevent corrosion, and ensure your bicycle will function properly next season.
Where to store your battery
Before putting away an electric bicycle, the first and most important thing to do is remove the battery from the bike. This is common knowledge among most people. The power that keeps everything operating in a smooth manner comes from the battery that is installed in your ebike. Extra caution is needed to guarantee that this delicate component will continue to function properly over time. If you subject it to harsh treatment, over time it will lose some of the effectiveness that it originally possessed.
The amount of time that your bike can stay powered by its battery will decrease. You can get a significantly longer run time out of the battery by making this one simple adjustment. At home, store your battery in an area that is both cool and dry. If at all possible, store it on a wooden surface in the storage shed, garage, or basement of your home.
Where to store your ebike
The electrical components and accessories of your ebike are susceptible to damage from precipitation, snow, and subfreezing temperatures. When you're not riding it, your bicycle should be stored in a place that is both dry and cool. You shouldn't leave it anywhere that there's a chance it could get wet.
The most ideal places to store an electric bicycle are a basement, a garage, or a shed. Wherever the temperature is between 50 and 72 degrees, which are the freezing and optimal room temperatures, your bike will be safe.
If you’re tight on space, you can always leave the bike itself in a garage your shed that drops below freezing, or experiences higher temperatures, so long as the battery is removed and kept in an indoor climate controlled environment. While the battery itself can be sensitive to temperature fluctuations, the bike itself is quite robust, and can live in the garage without incident, whether you’re in Alaska, or Texas.