From the monthly archives:

January 2011

Can I Ride My Electric Bike During the Winter?

by David-B on January 11, 2011

Riding an electric bike through the winter

Stay warm on an electric bike during the winter

So far, the winter of 2010-2011 has been unusually cold and snowy.  If you own an electric bike, like a BionX Electric Bike Conversion, you may be asking yourself if it is possible to continue to use your bike as the winter of 2010-2011 rages on.  The good news is that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”  Here are some of the reasons why.

First of all, with colder temperatures, tires lose some air pressure and the rubber becomes a little harder, making tire rolling resistance increase about 10% or more.  And cold air and cold lungs do not work as efficiently as warm ones.  So your winter ride may need a little boost, and a BionX Electric Bike Conversion is just the thing to add the needed zip.  Using the electric assist to maintain a comfortable speed will prevent you from becoming bored and will insure that the excitement does not go out of your winter cycling.

Your battery will require a little extra care and feeding during the winter.  Store you battery indoors if possible to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures.  These can damage the chemical electrolytes inside the battery that are responsible for producing the electro-chemical reaction which is released as electricity.  And whether you store your battery inside or outside, keep it fully charged when not in use.  This will insure optimum performance and also make it less susceptible to damage from the cold.

Winter temperatures in the Northeast can plunge into the single digits, but there are many days when the temperature is in the upper thirties or low forties, or higher, especially if the skies are sunny.  The key to staying warm is to dress in layers and stay dry.  Moisture-wicking nylon clothing is best.   Pay close attention to protecting extremities, your hands and feet, which are most susceptible to cold.  Gloves made from Thinsulate and special insulated boot covers are available from your local bike shop to insure that your hands and feet stay warm and dry.

Be careful with snow accumulations.  It is not recommended that you try riding your electric bike when there is snow on the pavement.  Even better, you will do better to wait a day or two after a storm, until the streets have been cleared of snow.  You do not want accumulations of uncleared snow pushing you out into traffic where you stand a chance of being struck by a passing motorist.

So what are the benefits of winter cycling with your eBike?  Well, you already know that cycling in any weather provides a major cardio-vascular benefit.  But did you know that we all require Vitamin D year-round, and that sunlight is the major source of Vitamin D?   Inadequate levels of Vitamin D have been associated with reduced immune function as well as depression.  In fact, there is even a medical name for this condition, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  So by pedaling your BionX electric bike, preferably on sunny days, you are gathering a valuable resource, Vitamin D, which maintains your physical and emotional well-being.

Well, now you have the inside story on winter cycling with an electric bike.  Make sure you have the right clothes, stay inside when the snow comes, and go out and ride your when it’s gone!



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