Whether you own an electric bike or are interested in purchasing one, you may be wondering, “Can electric bikes get wet?”. This question is critical if you plan on riding an e-bike in the rain or other wet conditions safely.
This article will equip you with all the information you need to know about electric bike exposure to water to help you keep your electric bike (as well as your health) in tip-top shape.
How Do I Know If My Electric Bike Can Get Wet?
Generally speaking, e-bikes can handle a fair amount of water from everyday riding, so unless you plan to ride through heavy storms, you likely have nothing to worry about. However, some electric bikes are more water-resistant than others.
Here is how to find out just how water-resistant your e-bike is.
Check for the E-Bike’s IP Rating
Electrical enclosures, such as those contained within e-bikes, typically have a standard quality rating known as an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC);
According to the IEC, the IP rating grades “the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.” If you want an idea of how tolerant your e-bike is to moisture, check the IP rating of your e-bike in the manufacturer’s manual. If the motor of your electric bike gets water in it, you are likely out of luck. However, since e-bike motors are sealed in a protective casing, this is usually not an issue since it is almost impossible for moisture to get inside.
Confirm With the Manufacturer You Purchased From
In addition to checking the IP rating in your e-bike manual, you may also want to confirm this rating with the manufacturer by contacting them. The manufacturer will also be able to help you interpret your e-bike’s IP rating, so you know exactly what it means in terms of water resistance.
What Should We Do If Water Gets Into Our Electric Bike?
If you own and ride an electric bike regularly, your e-bike is bound to come into contact with water sooner or later. There is no avoiding it. The good news is this is typically harmless to e-bikes under most circumstances. Notably, particularly electronic components on an e-bike are more vulnerable to water exposure than others.
Below we will look at what to do if:
What Should We Do if the Motor of the Electric Bike Gets Wet With Water?
Since the e-bike motor is sealed in a protective casing, this is usually not an issue because it is almost impossible for moisture to reach the motor. Riding in the rain is generally safe and will not result in water in the motor.
Riding your electric bike through standing water can lead to water getting into the motor, though, so avoid deep water that can reach the motor housing. If the motor casing does wet, it’s a good idea to carefully dry it to prevent potential damage from standing water.
Wipe your bike down with a towel or rags, but don’t use pressurized air to dry it, as the pressure could actually force water into the protective casing. You should also pull out the battery and wipe it down, including any contact points.
Because of the protective casing, as long as you don’t fully submerge your electric bike, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about water getting into the motor. Riding your electric bike through the average rainstorm should be no problem.
What Should We Do if the Battery of the Electric Bike Gets Wet With Water?
Are e-bike batteries waterproof? Not exactly.
However, if the electric bike’s battery comes into contact with water, there is typically no need for concern. Luckily, the battery mounts on e-bikes are more often than not designed in a way that allows it to drain out any water it comes into contact with.
However, to ensure the e-bike’s water draining mount does its job, it is essential to ensure the mount is clean and clear of debris.
It is also a good idea to wipe off any excess water that may be leftover after contact with water.
What Should We Do if the Controller of Our Electric Bike Gets Wet With Water?
E-bike controllers are the most vulnerable e-bike component when it comes to water. If your electric bike controller gets wet, you should disconnect all connections and dry out the controller with a cloth or hairdryer. Leaving moisture trapped inside the controller can lead to corrosion and short-circuiting.
What Should We Do if the Display of Our Electric Bike Gets Wet With Water?
In the unfortunate event that your electric bike’s display gets water inside of it, the best thing to do is to treat it similar to a wet cellphone.
First, you want to open it up and dry it out as best as possible by wiping it down and leaving it to dry for a few days. Don’t turn it on until at least three days of frying have gone by, or else you risk it short-circuiting.
Can I Ride Electric Bikes in the Rain?
Considering water and electricity are a dangerous combination, it is reasonable to wonder, “can you ride electric bikes in the rain?”. Fortunately, due to the e-bike’s water-resistant design, riding in the rain is no more dangerous than riding a manual bicycle in the rain.
However, as it is never exceptionally safe to ride in heavy rain, it is recommended to avoid riding an e-bike in a heavy downpour. Aside from harsh riding conditions caused by heavy downpours like decreased visibility and less traction, heavy rain increases the chances of water penetrating the e-bike’s internal components.
Tips For Riding an Electric Bike in the Rain
Here are the top 6 tips for riding an electric bike in the rain that will help keep both you and your e-bike safe and allow you to ride in comfort:
1. Using a Rain Cover
Although riding in the rain is harmless to your e-bike, it can still be an uncomfortably wet experience for the rider.
Using a rain cover specifically designed for riding your e-bike in wet conditions (such as a rain cover with a soft top) can help protect you from the rain and make your rainy e-bike commute a more pleasant (and dry) experience. E-bike rain covers attach to the bike’s front end and act as a sort of wind and rain shield.
2. Using Bike Fenders
Bike fenders are great for riding your e-bike in wet conditions as they prevent your tires from kicking up water, keeping you and your ride less wet.
3. Always Slow Down
When riding your e-bike in the rain, one of the best things you can do to prevent an accident is to be extra mindful of your speed. Rain causes wet and slippery roads that can lead to hydroplaning and losing control of the bike. The slower you ride, the less chance you will have of losing control.
4. Pay Attention to the Turn
Rain leads to slippery roads that make it easier for your tires to lose traction. Making turns on slippery roads is particularly dangerous and can lead to losing control of your e-bike. Keep this in mind and be extra causes when making turns in the rain.
5. Pay Attention to Pedestrians
Rainy weather often makes it more difficult to see what is in front of you, which can be dangerous when riding an e-bike, not only for you but also for pedestrians. For this reason, it is critical to be extra aware of any pedestrians when riding in the rain.
It is also essential to be extra cautious in intersections. According to one 2016 study, the only difference in risk for accidents when comparing traditional bikes to electric bikes was that electric bikes have a higher chance of an accident in and around intersections.
6. Avoid Areas With Standing Water
Riding an e-bike through standing water makes it more likely that water will penetrate its internal electric components that are more vulnerable to moisture. Avoiding standing will reduce the chances of water damage to your e-bike.
Conclusion: Can Electric Bikes Get Wet
This article has covered the most important aspects of electric bikes and water exposure. Hopefully, the information provided has helped give you peace of mind when it comes to riding your e-book in the rain, and you no longer have to ask yourself, “can electric bikes get wet?” or “are e-bikes waterproof?”.
Knowing just how water-resistant your e-bike is and how to maintain it will help you enjoy riding your e-bike for many miles to come – rain or shine!
Read also: Can You Ride An Electric Bike In The Snow?