Winter e-biking advices

I have gone through the Forum and found several threads related to e-biking in wintertime. Those were mostly posted in brand specific groups. Perhaps we might do a little chat as general e-cyclists? What I found in past threads could be categorised as:

General winter cycling
  • Clothing
  • Tire choice
  • See and be seen
  • Corrosion (road salt)
  • Winter cycling dangers (hypothermia; reduced visibility, pack snow, slush, ice, black ice, etc riding)
E-bike specific aspects
  • Battery charging (above 0 C/32 F); e-bike storage
  • Battery power loss during the frost
  • Minimum riding temperature at which an e-bike would still work
  • Frost issues (freezing of sensors)
  • ... anything else?
As I can understand, there are several Canadian and North Americans as well as some Europeans who do winter riding. Share your experiences please.

As for myself, I used to do some commuter rides on classic bicycle during many winters, never too long or too far. I was using all-season cross tires, wore regular winter clothes, had lighting from dynamo and didn't care much for anything else. Now, there will be the first season for an e-bike for me.

I got me some decent winter cycling clothing first. Shoe warmers seem the most important for my poor toes. I intend to ride the cheaper of the two e-bikes I own as the post-winter maintenance would be cheaper. I bought Continental Top Contact Winter II tires as my LBS person told me studded tires were only good for ice but hopeless for tarmac. I keep bikes in a garage in which temperatures below 0 C/32 F may occur during heavy winters but intend to keep batteries at home whenever not in use. In addition to regular lighting, I bought a bright CatEye headlight. What have I forgotten?
 

MechaNut

Member
I find my battery range decreases by about 20% when the temperatures are around 40 degrees F. I haven't ridden it in temperatures below freezing, so I can't say how much really cold temperatures will effect range. I also find a merino wool balaklava to be really helpful for an insulating layer when I'm wearing my bike helmet in the cold. If you are bringing your battery inside to charge give it about a half hour to an hour to come up to room temperature before you charge it. This will help avoid any potential condensation issues from bringing a cold object into a warm and relatively humid environment.
 
I also find a merino wool balaklava to be really helpful
Good point! I think that would be mandatory below the freezing point.
Regarding the reduced battery capacity at temperatures you mentioned, I started noticing that in recent days. Didn't know about it.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Don't forget good gloves... they need to be warm and they need to be waterproof. (Wet gloves would make you freeze your fingers real quickly.) And you still need to be able to operate the brakes and gears and probably other controls. I'm still looking for the right gloves.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I find my battery range decreases by about 20% when the temperatures are around 40 degrees F. I haven't ridden it in temperatures below freezing, so I can't say how much really cold temperatures will effect range. I also find a merino wool balaklava to be really helpful for an insulating layer when I'm wearing my bike helmet in the cold. If you are bringing your battery inside to charge give it about a half hour to an hour to come up to room temperature before you charge it. This will help avoid any potential condensation issues from bringing a cold object into a warm and relatively humid environment.
I use Merino wool underwear all the time and wouldn't be without, but I can't seem to find a balaclava using Merino wool. I've checked with the two major outfitters here (Mountain Equipment Co-op and La Cordée).

Where did you get yours?
 

Mulezen

Member
Don't forget good gloves... they need to be warm and they need to be waterproof. (Wet gloves would make you freeze your fingers real quickly.) And you still need to be able to operate the brakes and gears and probably other controls. I'm still looking for the right gloves.
I got ’lobster gloves’ from Amazon which work well down to 40f which is the lowest temperature I ride
 

MechaNut

Member
I use Merino wool underwear all the time and wouldn't be without, but I can't seem to find a balaclava using Merino wool. I've checked with the two major outfitters here (Mountain Equipment Co-op and La Cordée).

Where did you get yours?
 

elect

Member
I also have a merino balaclava, it's like day and night. As a jacket, a technical sky jacket I use(d) to snowboarding, still rocking after what, 10 years?

I have never still had the chance to ride with anything below a couple of celsius grades minus 0.

The reduced range is surely there, but I never really bothered to quantify

My mechanic has a Stromer and he changes the tires twice a year, but he admits it's more because it's more comfortable than useful for him (he wouldnt do if he had another job).

Since my commute way is not that long (25m max) I still prefer having thin gloves with fingers a little cold (at the end) but I can easily manage controls than viceversa. I think the best would be some electric-warmed ones, but I didnt bother yet to look for..
 
Last edited:

christob

Well-Known Member
I rode last winter down to about 26f. I wear prescription eyeglasses, and so a pair of goggles that fit over my glasses was a brilliant addition to my gear, below about 44f to keep my eyes from tearing up in the cold wind. I ended up with a large pair of ski goggles by Head, which fit and gave me room to position the eyeglasses “forward” on my nose (within the goggles cavity) which greatly reduces/prevents fogging.
Also I used a pair of Sugoi Zap booties over my bike shoes mostly as a wind block (as well as rain block, albeit rarely) which enabled me to use my normal bike shoes all winter, just changing up the socks to alpaca during the coldest period.
 
Last edited:

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I bought a Merino wool balaclava for my 4 year old to wear under the helmet. I got it from an Etsy seller in Lithuania. Payment via paypal and shipped to the US no problem. Lots of knitters and crafty types sell quality hand-knit wool clothing on Etsy. Or make your own, our local Bike Arlington group has an event at a county library to make your own balaclava http://www.bikearlington.com/event/balaclavas-and-baklava-winter-accessory-workshop/. It would be a fun activity for a local family biking group.
 
thick 6-10mm Neoprene battery cover is a must for temp. Below 55F !
Oh, no... Next buy...

Don't forget good gloves...
I have got good gloves and I completely agree winter riding is impossible without.

I bought a Merino wool balaclava for my 4 year old to wear under the helmet.
A balaclava means trouble for those wearing glasses. I use a warm hood to protect my neck and lover part of the face. Head and ears are protected by a lined snowboarding helmet.

I rode last winter down to about 26f. I wear prescription eyeglasses, and so a pair of goggles that fit over my glasses was a brilliant addition to my gear
My prescription glasses protect me well but goggles would be a nice addition for freezing condition and against snow.


I was wearing this gear today at 44 F, windy, light occasional rain. No need for the neck hood yet. At the end of my ride I badly needed toe warmers (already ordered).

41236
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
My prescription glasses protect me well but goggles would be a nice addition for freezing condition and against snow.
I spent a small fortune to get a pair of Oakley Quarter Jackets (Quarter Jacket is a smaller version of the Half Jacket) with my prescription and transition lenses. Man, was it ever worth it. Prior, my eyes would tear up in near-freezing temps with my regular prescription glasses. For sunny days, I wore a regular pair of prescription sunglasses but the fit with the helmet wasn't the greatest. The Oakley's have a lot of wrap and therefore provide protection similar to goggles. No more tearing up in cold temps. They only fog a bit when I am waiting at a stop light but they immediately clear up when I start moving and they've never fogged up while riding. Cost a lot due to my prescription but one of the better commuting accessories I've spent my money on:
4123741238
 

Handlebars

Active Member
We're down to about freezing now and I had to adapt dollar store safety goggles over my glasses to ride at all. Shopping for goggles, the price I had in mind escalated as I started checking them out, and I kind of settled on the 100 % Accuri OTG coming to about $100 Canadian.

I don't like to buy without try-on though.

...these amazon cheapies at $25 were the right price for buying without trying them on. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07Y23XJCQ/ref=pe_3034960_233709270_TE_item
It is a bit unusual to see 100% positive rating in that many reviews. None of the more expensive goggles get that kind of universal response. Maybe people get pickier as they pay more.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I have gone through the Forum and found several threads related to e-biking in wintertime. Those were mostly posted in brand specific groups. Perhaps we might do a little chat as general e-cyclists? What I found in past threads could be categorised as:

General winter cycling
  • Clothing
  • Tire choice
  • See and be seen
  • Corrosion (road salt)
  • Winter cycling dangers (hypothermia; reduced visibility, pack snow, slush, ice, black ice, etc riding)
E-bike specific aspects
  • Battery charging (above 0 C/32 F); e-bike storage
  • Battery power loss during the frost
  • Minimum riding temperature at which an e-bike would still work
  • Frost issues (freezing of sensors)
  • ... anything else?
As I can understand, there are several Canadian and North Americans as well as some Europeans who do winter riding. Share your experiences please.

As for myself, I used to do some commuter rides on classic bicycle during many winters, never too long or too far. I was using all-season cross tires, wore regular winter clothes, had lighting from dynamo and didn't care much for anything else. Now, there will be the first season for an e-bike for me.

I got me some decent winter cycling clothing first. Shoe warmers seem the most important for my poor toes. I intend to ride the cheaper of the two e-bikes I own as the post-winter maintenance would be cheaper. I bought Continental Top Contact Winter II tires as my LBS person told me studded tires were only good for ice but hopeless for tarmac. I keep bikes in a garage in which temperatures below 0 C/32 F may occur during heavy winters but intend to keep batteries at home whenever not in use. In addition to regular lighting, I bought a bright CatEye headlight. What have I forgotten?

Here is a wonderful thread related to this topic:

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/winter-biking-advice-from-a-minnesotan.11032/