How to Winterproof and Waterproof?

thunderseed

New Member
I just bought a ladies Urban Cruzer from Green Light Cycles, and the website and manual were both pretty misleading, saying it could be used in winter, but that extreme cold can shorten the battery range. And I live somewhere where we don't get extreme cold temperatures, never anything below minus 10. Well I contacted their customer service because I wanted to know what "extreme cold" was classified as, and apparently it's anything below 10c. That's not considered extreme. And the thing is I've heard of people riding e -bikes in toronto, where it gets much colder than here, so what do they do, is it just that I bought a crappy bike or am I just being too anal? Because so far during the day I am very pleased with this bike, it gets me up even the steepest hills and never even loses a bar after hours of constant riding, and I'm pretty heavy and it has no problem carrying me. I took it out around 10c one night when the temperature dropped and it performed fine, but I noticed the battery drained faster than usual...

It's already at 10 - 13 c here and it's just the beginning of fall, so not very cold yet.

They say in optimal conditions the battery could last me 4 years, but since I plan on riding this in winter I suspect it will not last that long since cold decreases the lifespan, right? I guess that's fine, even if I have to spend another 800 dollars to get another battery even in two years, at least it's still worth it, but I really do want to make the battery last for the whole 4 years if I can!

So, right now I'm making an insulated, waterproof case for the battery. I figure if my phone stays warm in my pocket during freezing temperatures, the battery will stay warm in an insulated fabric too. I'm not worried about it overheating because I've rode this thing for hours straight and the battery has never once got warm. It's usually quite cold to the touch.

As far as rain goes, I've already put silicone on the exposed electrical parts. The bike is apparently water resistant and they say it can handle light rain, but I'm very anal and want to make sure it'll last me a long time. And I want it to be prepared in case I get caught in worse rain.

Is there anything else I can do? Any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
 

Berry78

Active Member
Sounds like you are doing the same things I've heard others do.

If you can keep the bike (or at least battery) inside except when being ridden, that will help a bunch too.

Let us know how it goes!
 

thunderseed

New Member
So, I have a very interesting update.

I took the bike out last night with the insulated battery case on when the temperature was around 10 degrees celsius, and still noticed fast battery drain on the King Meter Display.

Now, during the day I can ride for the same distance and time without losing a single bar in the battery, so I know the reason for fast battery drain at night is the drop in temperature.

But what's strange is when I got home and took the battery off, the battery didn't feel cold at all. It felt like the cover I made did a good job of keeping it warm. Yet, it had drained just as fast as the night when it was completely uncovered.

Now is where it gets interesting:

That made me wonder if there's another component, like the King Meter (the screen that displays the battery percentage) that also needs to be insulated. Since it's mounted on the handlebar it could be getting a lot of windchill.

I also wondered if the battery even drained at all, because I noticed last night that the DISPLAY of the battery percentage kept jumping back and forth to different percentages, as if it was glitchy, which makes me think the King Meter was just acting wonky in the cold.

And so this morning, given that the bike has had more than enough time to warm up in my house overnight, I turned it on and guess what? The battery percentage is now full! It's as if it had never drained at all.

I'm not really educated about these kinds of batteries, but you'd think if the battery had actually drained as fast as the display said it did, then it wouldn't magically restore itself once it rewarmed.

So that has me thinking that the problem is not the battery, the problem is the King Meter display getting cold.

I wish there was someone that could have just told me that. I saw pictures on here of people who take their e-bikes out in the freaking snow, so you'd think there'd be people here that know these things.

And the king meter display is pretty small, so I should be able to make a handy dandy insulated cover for it fairly easily. I really hope I don't have to insulate the wires too, that would be a pain in the butt...

On a side note, Customer Service got back to me again and said this:

"I apologize for the confusion of my error and hope that I can clear up any misunderstandings.

Extreme cold is below 3°C, as with wind chill on your battery. On page 10 of our instruction manual, it states that the battery "can be used in any weather between 1°C to 38°C.

A properly cared for and charged battery can last anywhere between three to five years. Also stated on page 10 in our instruction manual, "kept in good condition, a lithium battery will perform at least 300 to 900 full charge cycles with a retention of 70% from its original capacity. Small top up charges count fractionally towards a single full cycle charge." Please be advised that this is a general statement and may not specifically apply to your situation, as battery life can be influenced by degree of usage, environmental temperatures and storage conditions.

As of yet, we have not studied winterproofing the Urban Ryder or Urban Cruzer. We are aware of some customers that ride their bikes regularly for daily commutes all year, but we have not received feedback yet as to how their batteries are performing in the winter months.

It is possible that you could use insulation foam or a similar material to wrap around your battery to protect it from wind chill and from reaching lower temperatures. However, we have not tested this on our products and cannot guarantee positive results, so please use caution if you attempt this. We are not responsible or liable for any injuries or damages sustained and any damages to your bike or battery will not be covered by warranty if attempted."

I had sent them an email before that saying information on their website was especially misleading, which it is. They keep saying very contradicting things. First telling me it can't handle anything below 10 degress celsius. If they haven't studied riding these things in the winter, how on earth does the manual know it can tolerate 1 degree celsius, especially in a mild climate such as Vancouver which is where they are based, and furthermore, if they haven't studied winterproofing them they shouldn't promote these bikes as winter bikes on their website in the first place. Still really happy with the bike though, so I shouldn't complain. I guess. LoL.