Jan 7, 2022
It’s that time of year where we promise ourselves how we’re going to be a better person. Dry January? Veganuary? Joining the gym? One of the easiest things to do, which is great for both you and the environment, is to get on your ebike.
But we get it – it’s cold, dark, and not exactly the most inviting weather for cycling at the moment. So, we’ve put together our top tips for winter riding to help you feel safer, more confident, and like you’re getting the most out of your ebike.
With the right gear, you’ll be ready to tackle anything that the British winter weather throws at you!
In the gloomy winter months lights are essential both for you to see, and for others to see you. Lots of ebikes, like the FLIT-16, have integrated lights that you can’t forget! Obviously these only work if the ebike is charged, so it’s worth keeping a backup set in your bag just in case.
If your ebike doesn’t have integrated lights, definitely invest in a good set! Cycling News have a very helpful comparison article for their top bike light options.
Mud, grit, and roadspray – this troublesome trio can increase wear on your ebike, as well as increasing your washing load! If you’re riding your ebike in the UK winter, mudguards are an obvious choice.
If you’re interested in the development of the FLIT-16 mudguards, we have recently redesigned them for better coverage. For a sneak peek of the development process, check out our blog post here.
Making yourself more visible will help inattentive drivers to see you on darker winter roads. There are loads of different options for clothing that helps you stand out when riding – The Independent recently reviewed their top picks for high vis cycling jackets, which is a great place to start your search.
If you do not want to go full high vis – we’re firm believers that cycling in cities should be seen as an everyday activity and not one that makes you look like you’re going on an expedition – it’s worth checking out Cambridge-based company SamVaer, with their range of cycle commute clothing that helps you stand out, but looks like something you could comfortably wear to the pub.
It goes without saying that gloves are a must for cycling during the winter months!
Obviously, the most important thing is to find a set that keep your hands warm. A good set of cycling gloves will also improve your grip, add padding to your fingers and palms, and provide protection in case of an accident.
If the roads are really icy it may be worth considering investing in winter tyres for your ebike.
TIP #1: Look after the battery
Lithium ion batteries don’t like temperatures below 5°C, so it’s best not to store them in the garage or shed where the temperature can drop dramatically. If you do store your ebike somewhere cold, then always take your battery inside to maintain its health.
If you’re not planning to use your ebike for a while, it’s best to charge your battery to at least 40-45% and to put it in hibernation before storing at room temperature.
For our top FLIT-16 battery health tips, check out our support articles here:
Finally, it’s worth being aware that charging and riding in low temperatures can temporarily reduce lithium ion battery range slightly. Here’s a useful explainer from Shimano which also advises to charge your battery at room temperature when possible.
TIP #2: Cleaning
Cleaning your ebike is essential in the mucky UK winter months! Regular cleaning will help keep your ebike, and especially its drivetrain (chain and cogs), in top condition and will reduce wear.
To clean your ebike, it’s best just to use a good old fashioned bucket and sponge. Jet washing your ebike is not a good idea as it can damage the electrical system, and may remove the lubricants that keep your ebike running smoothly.
There are special ebike cleaning kits available, as well as bike shampoos, or you can simply use a small amount of washing up liquid.
Always make sure to remove your battery before cleaning your ebike, and avoid spraying anything into electrical contacts (eg. inside the top tube of the FLIT-16).
It’s best to thoroughly clean and lubricate your chain once every six months. For our tips on how, check out our support article here:
If you’re using your ebike every day, you’ll need to lightly clean your chain with a rag and relubricate it at least once per month to remove the worst of the grit and road salt. This is especially important during winter when the roads are wet and dirty.
TIP #3: General maintenance
As a general tip, you should check wear on components like the chain, brake pads and tyres frequently. It’s also a good idea to check that none of the bolts on your ebike are coming loose over time. If you’d rather leave this to an expert, make sure you book in a regular service with a local ebike shop.
If you’re a FLIT rider you can book a service at our workshop in Cambridge any time, just get in touch and one of our team will organise.
We hope these top tips help you get the most out of your ebike during the winter months!
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch – we’d love to chat.