These ebikes are tougher than we think.

ez3putt

Active Member
It seems like every few weeks (days?) someone posts about rain and ebikes. This is my third season to take my ebike to the North Carolina rain forest and by far the wettest. I have been through countless rain storms with the bike unprotected on the rack. I have ridden through mud, creeks, sugar sand, and flooded bike paths. I have never taken any precautions to protect the bike. The first six days of this trip through GA and NC, the bike never left the rack and it got rained on every day. When I took the bike off the rack, the only visible damage I noticed was rust on the chain and a little lubricant took care of that.

Having said all this, last week I noticed a little water in the display. That was after three inches of rain in a little over an hour. Everything still works and if this rain ever quits, I will take a hair dryer and try to dry it out. My mindset is that I bought this bike as an OUTDOOR recreational and utilitarian vehicle. If I wanted something that was allergic to water, I would have gotten a stationary bike.

It has now been raining on my bike for the past twenty-four hours and a tornado warning has been issued or our area as the remnants of Fred passes through. I checked the bike a few minutes ago and everything still works. Maybe I have just been lucky, but even if I have to replace the display and/or controller, that is pretty cheap maintenance over two and a half years.
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I agree they are tough! Had my Rail 5 out on some single track this last weekend and we (Rail and me!) were involved in more than one fall down the steep hill! On one of them, (the last one of them!) I found that the Rail had a very thick stick stuck in between the front brake rotor and the spokes. I very carefully twisted and pulled the stick out, got it back up the hill and back on the trail. Very shocked to find no issues whatsoever. No noise and the 4 piston Tektro Orion 4F maintained perfect braking!
PS, be sure to tilt the pic so the trees are straight up to get the real idea how steep that hill was!
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
I gave up my ebikeling display after it fogged over @ 4 months. Turned it backwards, it lied a lot anyway. 2nd controller off a $189 power wheel kit had no display, fine with me. Voltmeter in throttle is useful.
A stick took out my derailleur takeup 7/16, after 7500 trouble free miles. Bent the metal. Took a week to get replacement and then figure out how to modify the bike to fit the only long reach 8 speed takeup in stock.
I oil every 2 weeks to keep the chain & cables rust free. It rains 200 days a year here. I'm out on bike ~165 of them.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
BTW…I also found this rock was lodged in between the chain guard and the frame. Fortunately, it didn’t cause any problems either!
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
My bikes get enough abuse without just asking for it. I think somebody is in for a lesson here.....
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
personally, i’m deeply afraid of the apparent fragility of hydraulic disc brakes and derailleurs. i mean, they act like if you touch the rotor, the finger grease will contaminate the surface and cause it to completely fail to brake when you’re on a 45mph highly technical descent.

that and just leaning a bike against a wall wrong seems to be capable of bending the derailleur hanger.

some parts seem very sturdy. some not so much.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
personally, i’m deeply afraid of the apparent fragility of hydraulic disc brakes and derailleurs. i mean, they act like if you touch the rotor, the finger grease will contaminate the surface and cause it to completely fail to brake when you’re on a 45mph highly technical descent.

that and just leaning a bike against a wall wrong seems to be capable of bending the derailleur hanger.

some parts seem very sturdy. some not so much.
Well, I was sold just as much on the toughness of them after my incident described above. That said, I’m never going to do a 45 mph highly technical decent…at least not on purpose!😳
The good news is that you are equipped with two sets of brakes.😉
I spent years rock climbing and repelling out in Washington state. You either have faith in your equipment or you don’t hang from a nylon rope with cables/carabiners. There’s ALWAYS a chance that manure can occur!😵
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
Just wondering, do you guys use any protection for your displays? I thought most were weatherproof but I could be wrong. I love being out in the elements like all of you guys, as well.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
My bike is stored indoors when not in use, and when we are commuting on the 1100 mile trip in an open trailer to or from Florida, I either remove them, or put a baggie over them fastened with a twist tie.

While in use, if it gets wet, it gets wet.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I ride daily in all weather but I am also carful. Electric bike parts are not waterproof, they are water resistant. One short of the battery and all of its energy can be released at once. You could be careless about gasoline 50 times until the 51st. Then you will be eliminated from ever being careless with gas again. The same with lithium batteries. Internal condensation in freeze thaw conditions is very bad for electric bike components. I am fortunate to live in a region that at most gets some morning frost. High heat is also very bad for batteries.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Disk brakes are no more inherently vulnerable on a bicycle than they are on a car. there is a fair bit of FUD out there re: touching them. Touching rotors or pads is a problem if you do something like fuss with your chain and still have grease on your fingers. But thats pretty much common sense, right?

As for protection from water, @ez3putt when was the last time you opened up your motor and checked it? I saw these pics posted up just a couple days ago. I have seen similar on one of my own fat hub motors. Thankfully mine wasn't as bad but it was rust *everywhere* inside and a full Saturday to clean it out. Cable ingress points are where the water gets in and since its a mostly-sealed motor, it stays inside and then migrates everywhere after heating/cooling cycles turn it to droplets and they resettle.
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Just wondering, do you guys use any protection for your displays? I thought most were weatherproof but I could be wrong. I love being out in the elements like all of you guys, as well.
No. My Purion on my Rail 5 is the same as on my Allant+7. That’s the display used on many of the Trek emtbs.
If by elements you meant outdoors, sure. If you mean in the rain/snow, no thanks. 🥶⚡️⛈💨
Not on purpose anyway!
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I throw a plastic bag over mine with a rubber band holding the front of the bag over the cable ingress point, which is where water usually gets in. Spray comes up/back off the front tire and soaks that very spot.

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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Disk brakes are no more inherently vulnerable on a bicycle than they are on a car. there is a fair bit of FUD out there re: touching them. Touching rotors or pads is a problem if you do something like fuss with your chain and still have grease on your fingers. But thats pretty much common sense, right?

As for protection from water, @ez3putt when was the last time you opened up your motor and checked it? I saw these pics posted up just a couple days ago. I have seen similar on one of my own fat hub motors. Thankfully mine wasn't as bad but it was rust *everywhere* inside and a full Saturday to clean it out. Cable ingress points are where the water gets in and since its a mostly-sealed motor, it stays inside and then migrates everywhere after heating/cooling cycles turn it to droplets and they resettle.
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I like this stuff. O-Ring lube. See photo attached. Sometimes I will take apart a motor when it is new to apply this to each of the rubber seals. It helps a lot. I also use it on rebuilds. These motors have air space in them. They heat and cool so air pressure is exchanged, bringing moisture with it. They are not build like a diving watch. You can also use this stuff in the larger photo. It is thicker and used by plumbers inside kitchen faucets. It will last inside a faucet for years. The problem is trying to wash it off your finger.
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I often drill mid-drive motor housings to reroute for a cleaner build with no visible connectors. Obviously this is 'cable ingress,' a vulnerable spot. I seal it with two products. Hot glue then rubber gasket sealant. Others might adapt this to their hub-drive cables.
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ez3putt

Active Member
@m@Robertson, never opened up my motor, nor do I ever plan to. If it ain't broke, don't break it.

As an update, yesterday was our first full day of sunshine in a while with temps in the low 80's, probably warmer in the sun. Most of the water evaporated in the display and I am sure it will be all cleared up in a day or two.