By Linda Carter
An electric bike calls for the same care as a manual bicycle during the winter, with the additional consideration that electric bikes for adults have batteries that are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. The following electric bike storage and maintenance guidelines will preserve the condition of a men’s or women’s electric bicycle throughout the cold season and prepare for the first ride of the spring.
Store Your eBike Indoors
Indoor air tends to be drier and warmer than outdoor air during the winter. For this reason, it is a good idea to store electric bikes and electric tricycles for adults inside your home when you are not riding, particularly in bad weather.
When you take your bike out, disconnect the battery to bring inside and use a portable cover or bike tent to protect the frame. Make sure that terminals are dry and free of snow when you reconnect the battery to resume riding.
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A clean, dry bike and batteries can be safely stored in any climate-controlled indoor area. For prolonged storage, bike care experts recommend removing the front steering headset post and bottom bracket, depending on the location of the motor.
Clean and Lubricate Components
As soon as you arrive home after a winter ride, it is a good idea to wipe down your bike. Rinsing road salt off of the chain and sprocket can prevent corrosion that would otherwise necessitate premature replacement of these parts.
The best way to clean the chain and rear tire cassette of a bicycle are to use a bucket of very warm water containing diluted mild degreaser, such as dishwashing liquid. A scrub brush can get stubborn dirt and debris out of links that would otherwise cause premature wear.
Most experts recommend using wet lubricant during winter, as it cleans and penetrates into parts better than dry lubricant in cold conditions. It is also a good idea to apply a treatment to prevent rust at the start of the season and every few days of riding in wintery weather.
Sustain eBike Battery Life
During any season in which you regularly ride an electric bike, it is important to cycle batteries. Start by riding on a charged battery and use either pedal-assist or full-electric power until the battery is drained before recharging. Batteries perform best around room temperature or between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you plan to store an ebike, charge the batteries at least once every 40 days and maintain a 60% charge level for optimal operational life. As lithium-ion batteries may pose some fire risk, you may want to keep batteries in fire-resistant bags in a room that stays around room temperature.
Seasonal electric bike maintenance is essential, whether you ride an ebike during the winter and only take breaks during severe weather or store your bike and batteries until the spring. Proper storage and maintenance will ensure that an electric bike stays ready to ride. If you plan to ride in cold weather, it is important to warm the battery and account for the reduced range in freezing temperatures. (IANS)
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