Riding eBike in Winter
I’ve always been an ebike enthusiast.
Up till a few months ago, I would ride my ebike everywhere during the summer, while neglecting it as winter approached. However, last year I chose to up my game. I decided to see how riding my ebike in the winter would affect me.
Not to surprise you, but it actually felt really really good!
From the cold breeze hitting my face to the lack of public and private cars on the roads. This is something every single ebike enthusiast should try at least once in their lifetime.
Believe me when I say this “you’ll get hooked“.
Here are a couple of things I’ve learnt in order for me to take a trip on my ebike in the winter and I would like to share these pointers with you.
For all those sceptics and those wondering how is it possible?
Read on to find out how easy it truly is and what benefits can come your way if this is done in the right manner.
Why is it recommended to take a winter ebike trip
From experience, taking your e-Bike for a trip during winter has a wide array of benefits that you can reap from. From calories lost to a powerful workout and an uplifted mood, let’s go over the multitude of reasons why riding an ebike is beneficial.
Many athletes put in more focus on working out during the winter because the cold helps them build endurance and muscle by burning excessive calories.
While riding an ebike during winter you may wonder how is that the same, well it’s been known that any form of physical workout during the cold seasons tends to increase the body temperature as compared to hotter seasons.
This leads to an increased caloric burn which in turn helps you lose weight, get toned and stay fit. Riding an ebike that comes equipped with Power Assist can help you in the long run as you tend to travel more by exerting less energy.
Based on studies, it’s safe to say that on average we gain between 7-10 pounds of extra weight and this at times is not good because it doesn’t get burned.
Changing your perspective on riding your ebike during the winter will help you on the long run and can mentally prepare you to take on tougher challenges and make healthier choices.
Additional pointer – Wearing your heavy thermal layers, carrying your gear and using an ebike that’s generally a bit heavy to carry, assists with your strength and endurance training.
Nonshivering Thermogenesis (NST)
I am pretty sure that you all have faced this while riding your ebike when it’s cold outside; a feeling where only the bottom half of the body warms up from the pedaling while the torso remains cold from lack of movement.
This is something that riders don’t want to face as shivering can lead to loss of balance or numbness in your fingers. However, there is still a benefit from experiencing NST, shivering raises your body’s metabolism, to keep you warm the body burns calories and fat which increases your core temperature and gives you the energy you need to move around.
This can not be seen with regular gym goers where their overall body is being worked out. Here their caloric burn rate tends to deplete once they start working out.
Is it plain fear that we don’t cycle during the winter because we’re scared of getting sick? I had to learn the hard way when I had a competition a few years back.
Taking your ebike out during the cold can help your body build a stronger immune system.
Yes, this has been proven in a study where they looked at how humans adapt to the cold. Staying indoors for long periods of time is not good for health and we have to be exposed to the open air everyday, for a period of time.
Knowing this, it is a good idea to plan your winter ebike trip and to see it through. You just may be able to fight off the cold and succeed.
Now that’s a true ebiker.
Health Tip – If you do get aches and pains from riding in the cold, once you head home take a nice hot shower.
A hot shower post cycling has shown to relax your body and have an anti-inflammatory effect on your joints and muscles, relieving you from your aches and pains.
Save money on Fuel by going Green
A key factor of taking a trip on your ebike during the winter is that you’re saving money on fuel costs and you are helping the environment by not polluting.
Taking a trip on your ebike not only saves you money on fuel but even on electricity back at home, this is thanks to the fact that your body has heated up as a result of cycling so when you reach home you won’t have to turn on your heaters or air conditioners.
Your body gets accustomed to the low temperature and gradually you’re able to cope with the change in temperature.
Friendly tip, if you’re a car owner but an ebike enthusiast, get a bike rack for your car.
This can prove beneficial in ways you wouldn’t have thought of. I’ve actually managed to save quite a few bucks on fuel when I went on trips to other cities simply by racking up my ebike and using it at the place i’m visiting.
What should you do when riding in winter
I need you all to know that our mortal bodies and our ebikes are not designed for the winter and unless both you and your ebike are prepared to handle the cold weather, snow and slick roads, your trip will not be a safe and enjoyable one.
A few warm-ups, the right clothing with all your safety precautions in check and you’re good to go.
First thing to remember is that without warming up for the trip you will be left with aches and pains coursing through your body. It’s ideal to warm up before every trip on your ebike because at the end of the day you’re still going to be working out your muscles from the pedaling.
Stretching and loosening your body will allow you to endure more and make it easier to complete your trip.
My routine consists of 30 minutes stretches followed by 30 minutes of cardio to get my heart rate elevated with my body and mind motivated.
Make sure your ebike is prepped for your winter trip by first applying an anti-rust spray on the chain and bearings. This helps protect the components from rust formation and ultimately snapping or breaking.
Make sure the tires on your ebike are wide enough so they create good friction to take on the snow outside. Studded tires or tires with larger treads can handle snow better. For a DIY option, tying zip tags at intervals on your tires act as grippers for when you’re heading out in the snow.
Make sure the battery is safely tucked away in it’s compartment with no loose ends. Cold air tends to reduce the battery life by 10 to 15% and could lead to an untimely end of your trip.
Keep a check on the brake lines and electrical components such as the headlight and display unit to make sure they’re fully functional before you head out. Not knowing how fast you’re going can lead to some dire consequence, especially on an ebike.
Clothing and Gear to wear
It is important to wear the most appropriate clothes for what you’re about to do. Wearing thin material with no protection can cause numerous health problems which could have been avoided. The best advice I can give you is to dress in layers.
A good approach to being protected is by wearing one layer of breathable fabric followed by another layer that’s nice and thick.
Start with a breathable t-shirt or shirt made of a synthetic or wool based material so your body can stay warm and not overheat. Wear a thick waterproof jacket with jeans or rugged pants to withstand the cold and to keep your legs protected.
Make sure you wear shoes, preferably boots while going on your trip and refrain from using flip-flops or sandals. Wearing a pair of gloves and headgear at all times will help your key areas remain warm and protected.
Lastly, remember to stay hydrated and carry a few energy bars with an ample quantity of water for those quick 5 minute recharge breaks.
Special Gear for your winter ebike trip
These have been a part of my checklist for the past three years on what gear I have to carry with me and equip my ebike with.
- I start by focusing on the tires, in order to have a rewarding journey you must first have the right set of tires. They need to be fat winter tires that are studded with big treads for better traction.
- I make sure to use full fenders on my ebike. This prevents snow from being kicked back by the tires. This addition also helps scrape off the snow that is stuck to the tires of your ebike.
- Wearing protective gear such as elbow and knee pads, shin pads if you have them, and a good quality helmet are important.
- If I venture out during the day I always carry a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes from the blinding sun. This can even prevent the dust particles from entering the eyes.
- I also carry my customized repair kit with the relevant tools just in case my ebike decides to break down. Make sure your toolkit consists of the appropriate wrenches and spanners, your charger cable for the battery and also a cloth you can use to wipe the bike down.
Always remember to carry your own repair kit as it can lead to some seriously embarrassing moments when you are made to push your heavy ebike uphill.
Remain cautious by studying your terrain first, do this without power assist so you get a handle over the surface and balance.
Make sure your ebike is equipped with a set of rear view mirrors to help you see if there are vehicles behind you.
Challenge yourself to accomplish the task at hand no matter what obstacles may lie ahead. It’s your willpower that plays an important role in whether you’re going to take a trip on your ebike this winter or not.
Add LED lights or a nice headlamp to brighten your pathway and so that other riders can see you in the dark.
Most importantly, follow the road rules of your state in order to stay safe and minimize any unforeseen accidents or fines.
Once you’re done with your ebike ride in the winter make sure to wash down the bike using salt water to remove any grease stuck on the spokes of the wheels or bearings. Dry the bike out thoroughly and store it in a dry room until the next time you use it.
One notable Bike ideal for all terrain movement, especially in snow is the Himiway All terrain electric fat bike.
Designed and sold by Himiway, this all-rounder is just the ebike you’d require to take with you while accomplishing your winter trip.
This is an excellent ebike for those looking to get an extra boost in terms of power and price for only $1399.
The Himiway Cruiser Fat bike is one of the best fat tire ebikes in the market. Being an ideal choice for those riders who wish to take on challenges and come out unscathed.
Except for the black version, they still have step-thru electric fat tire bike for shorter groups, which has different appearence but the same features.
If you want to have better riding experience in the snow, you’d better try it. Trust me, you’ll never regret it.
Planning a winter trip on your ebike is by far the best thing you can do with your spare time. I hope these tips will prove beneficial to all you avid ebikers out there, who are looking forward to taking a trip on your ebike this winter.
You all can experience winters the way I do just by following the basic mandates and creating your own little checklist.
So, go ahead and take a deep breath and slowly exhale while telling yourself “I’m going to do this”.
Riding your ebike during the winter will infuse you with benefits that can be felt by both your body and mind. Take an unexplored path, head toward a stream or simply stick to the bike path. These are the underutilized benefits of riding your ebike in the winter.
Stay safe and always remember to wear a helmet!