Stuff needed for Winter commuting with Fat bike

PJungnitsch

Member
Thinking of continuing on with my 10 km commute this winter, bearing in mind it gets down to -20 Celcius (-4 Fahrenheit) pretty regularly. I used to commute all winter with a regular mountain bike with studded tires, but not nearly as far.

What is needed to do this with an electric fatty? Was thinking of investing in Dillinger 4 studded tires and Bar mitts. Have an electric jacket, lights, a full face helmet, and plenty of armor. Anything else? Do I need some sort of cover or heater for the battery?
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I think the battery should be fine while outside being used as long as it comes in with you at work and at home.

Don't spend a ton on bar mitts made specifically for fat biking - just search amazon for ATV bar mitts and there are a number of inexpensive options.

I have these and they do a fine enough job when paired with a light glove:

http://www.amazon.com/Kwik-Tek-Scoo...im_263_13?ie=UTF8&refRID=0JN46XNF5ZAJCZWZC2FX

Oh and I'm in Minnesota for temperature reference!
 

David1

Active Member
Heavy duty lighting. Drivers need to see you well in advance when it is snowing. Thermos with something hot maybe hot chocolate or coffee. I would have those slide in foot and hand warmers. Some type of flat prevention. Contact a dealer of Fat Tire bikes, I'm sure ranchers are using these bikes and assume they don't fix flats all the time . You don't want to fix one in cold or snow unless you can get in somewhere warm. If you have trouble with your battery getting to cold ,maybe some of those slip in hand warmers wrapped around battery compartment.
 

PJungnitsch

Member
Good advice. Anyone use the Dillinger 4's? It's a substantial investment, but I was very happy with my Schwalbe Ice Spykers on my regular mountain bike.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you have it covered PJ.. I would build a simple insulation blanket with HD foam and velcro to wrap around the battery.

I would also store the bike in a warm room at night so the bike could dry out, and wash off the road salt weekly.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I use dillinger 4 and 5 on my fat bikes and like them.

If you can put an insulating cover on the battery without too much fuss I would. There is at least 20% loss of range in the winter.

Warm boots ... Because your toes will freeze
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I use dillinger 4 and 5 on my fat bikes and like them.
If you can put an insulating cover on the battery without too much fuss I would. There is at least 20% loss of range in the winter.
Warm boots ... Because your toes will freeze

I have a problem finding shoes that keep me warm (boots are too stiff and make my feet sore).
Any GoreTex shoes that you use for biking?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
When it got really cold i used my xc ski boots.

For mildly cold temps i will experiment with shoe covers this year. I may try them tomorrow...
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
I had many days in the single digits and teens (F) last year in PA and I used a winter battery cover. I made it from heavy 1/2" wool batting covered in waterproof cordura. It works well in freezing temps, gave me 5+/- extra miles.

Thinsulate and Gore-Tex ankle high hiking shoes with merino wool socks for when it's really cold. Good for both cold and wet. Waterproof Gore-Tex and Thinsulate motorcycle gauntlet gloves, wool balaclava and Bern helmet with winter liner and ski goggles. Along with a good jacket and wind-trousers over Thinsulate lined trousers.

I looked like a TOTAL DORK:eek: but I was warm and dry;)
 

Adrian

Active Member
10km is not too far on an ebike even in -20C.

I use Buff to cover neck and face. A windstopper top layer is essential IMO. I use lobster claw ski gloves but I'm thinking of getting bar mitts this year.

I was using studless Vee 4.7" SnowShoes and they were great at first in snow except for really heavy slushy stuff that had been churned up by cars. Then it turned icy and they weren't anywhere near as good. So I bought a couple of D4 studded (wanted the D5s but they were difficult to get hold of) and riding on ice is almost like riding on summer Tarmac. Never slipped once on ice. They aren't as good in snow though but a fall in snow is far less painful than onto ice!

Whatever tire you choose think about the pressure you use - makes a huge difference and it'll depend on your weight, the tires and conditions.

Keep the battery in at night and in the office during the day. Let it warm up after a ride before you charge. I don't think you have to worry too much about reduced range with a 10km commute but it'll help the anxiety to have a charger with you so you can charge at work.
 
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Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
Hey PJungnitsch:
Boots man:
It's a mouthful, but I got a pair of Columbia Men's Bugaboot Plus II Omni-Heat Snow Boots from Amazon and they have truly rocked my world for cold weather biking. They're not the electric ones, which I've heard aren't quite so good, but they are seriously warm footwear for Winter biking.
One other thing that's worth remembering: though you have studded tires, you don't have studded feet. You can ride through all kinds of ice and whatnot, but look out when you stop and put your foot down. You may go a** over bandbox, if you're not careful.
Happy trails.
Allen

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Deleted member 803

Guest
Check with the manufacturer on cold weather limits for the electronics. Severe cold is extremely harsh on batteries and you should have some frame of reference for severe cold issues. I do not know the answer to this........but I believe e-bikes are water resistant NOT water proof. Condensation in cold climates is a nightmare for electronics. Even changing a tire can be more difficult in extreme cold. Rubber hardens, lubricants become viscous, and ice/slush affect bicycle gearsets.
 

Adrian

Active Member
Check with the manufacturer on cold weather limits for the electronics. Severe cold is extremely harsh on batteries and you should have some frame of reference for severe cold issues. I do not know the answer to this........but I believe e-bikes are water resistant NOT water proof. Condensation in cold climates is a nightmare for electronics. Even changing a tire can be more difficult in extreme cold. Rubber hardens, lubricants become viscous, and ice/slush affect bicycle gearsets.

I think it's a given that winter riding, particularly town winter driving with all the salt around, is damn harsh and will shorten an e-bikes longevity by quite some - not just the electronics either. But I don't really think he has to worry over much about the cold or wet with just a 10km commute - he has the same Bafang drive and similar battery as I do as far as I know and I've driven through some horrendous weather over the past year (-18C blizzards, ice, snow, slush, torrential rain) without a problem. The only thing that may be a concern is the thin sealing washer on the left side of the BB as those are crap. I've replaced mine 3 times and it just gets destroyed each time. I've loaded the BB with grease to help keep out moisture but it's a pretty sure thing that water has gained access and it'll rust something in there eventually I'm sure. The most recent revisions have a better sealing system I think. I won't be surprised if I have to replace this drive next year - maybe even the bike after another full winter's commuting. If I get another 2 winter's use out of it I'll be pleasantly surprised.