Riding an electric bike in winter: you have to take this into account
After the motor, the battery is the most important electronic part of an e-bike that needs good care. Basically, the range is reduced when cold because the electrical resistance in the battery increases. “The charger also has a place in your luggage for distances that you would otherwise cover on a single battery charge,” says René Filippek of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC).
If you are used to a battery that lasts 80 kilometres, you have to reckon with maybe only 65 or 70 kilometers in winter. To ensure watt-hours are not permanently lost, the bike’s energy storage is protected from damage by shielding it from the cold as much as possible.
This includes, for example, not charging it when it is cold. It is therefore better not to leave it on the bike at all, but to remove it and store it in the apartment or in a warmer basement, advises the Tüv-Verband (VdTÜV).
If it gets cold, immediate charging would shorten its lifespan, which manufacturers state with good handling at 500 to 1000 full charge cycles. These can also consist of partial loads.
It’s best to wait until it has warmed up to room temperature and then plug it in. A quarter of an hour should be enough for acclimatization. According to the VdTÜV, some systems automatically prevent batteries that are too cold from being charged.
This On the other hand, using an electric bike in the freezing cold is not a problem. During operation, the rechargeable batteries generate their own heat, so low outside temperatures do not harm them during the ride.
On autumn or winter roads, however, a lot of dirt gets on e-bikes quickly. The ADFC recommends that mud and salt residue be removed promptly with water. Thermal protective covers, which are available to fit many common batteries, not only protect against dirt, but also somewhat cushion the loss of performance.
The bicycle must be parked in a dry and warm place.
According to Filippek, if you treat frames and parts with rust removers like spray wax, you need to be careful on the e-bike to avoid monitors, batteries, and electronic component housings. Plastic surfaces can be attacked by certain agents.
The ADAC also recommends using contact spray to keep moisture away from electrical connections such as battery contacts.