What are your cold weather ebike limits?

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I doubt that I even knew the word balaclava until I joined this forum. Got a mailing from my LBS with a sale on those things plus gloves and goggles. All new to me.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Snowy and cold at -12. Went shopping instead and picked up a balaclava and goggles ala Stefan. Also picked up another saddle to tryout. A WTB Koda - I'd tried a Volt in medium and it was close, so am trying a wide Koda.
Let me know if that saddle works out. I have a WTB Speed Pro Gel that isn't being used and you're more than welcome to it if the Koda doesn't suit you. It’s 145mm if I recall.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
I doubt that I even knew the word balaclava until I joined this forum. Got a mailing from my LBS with a sale on those things plus gloves and goggles. All new to me.
As a former "any weather" skier, and an outdoor telecom tech in northern Canada, I've had all the winter stuff in varying degrees over the years. But multiple moves and downsizing purges have left me short on a few things i needed for winter sports again. Of course most everything is lighter and supposedly better than the stuff i used 30-40 years ago. We'll see...
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Is PA a winter state, Art?
PA is a big state. About the size of the Czeck ? Republic IIRC.
From Philadelphia on the coast to Pittsburg at the Ohio border is a little over 300 miles. Philadelphia doesn't have much of a winter at all, Pittsburg has some really bad ones...many feet of snow, roads closed, etc.

I am in a protected river valley near the center, and in the temperature range from 0F to 0C and little snow, but 50 miles North of me in the endless mountains, it's 20 below 0F, and roofs collapse from heavy snow every year.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Changing the thread direction slightly. Winter riding has multiple decisions that need to be made, and this includes battery management. For those of us in areas that get weather that can be quite severe, and perhaps worse, unpredictable, how do you manage your battery charge?

With limited experience, I've chosen to do the following:
When i get home, I check battery charge level and then it comes out and goes inside. If it's less than 50% i plug in and take it up to storage level of 60% as my charger has that feature. On any given day that i plan to ride, i plug the charger into a smart plug and set it to start at 8:30 am the next day and run for 2 hours. If when i get up the forecast has changed such that I am not prepared to subject myself to the elements, I cancel the charge cycle via my app. The 2 hour cycle gets me to around 98% but i plan to go for 3 hours every 5th time to do a 100% charge for "balancing".

I use a TP-Link plug with their Kasa app, and it works well. I do all the same in warmer weather but leave battery in the bike in the garage with slightly different timings for morning or afternoon rides. I dont worry about charging all that much as even if weather is poopy, I'll probably just go for a ride anyways.

All the above is to try to store the battery at the suggested levels, yet have it ready to go no matter how far i intend to ride. But, I am not going to get too worried about all this stuff. The bike is about enjoyment and long before the battery gets to a degraded state I will likely have upgraded to something new. For clarity, my BionX rear rack battery, bought in 2011, still has decent range (55km) and it didn't get the same attentive care, but was not abused either.

Ride on!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I keep my batteries inside home, at room temperature. I always recharge them post-ride to 100% and as long as the cells are balanced (chargers switch off). I can monitor the Vado battery temperature during the ride. Today, at 1 C, the internal battery temperature was 13 C. No need to be worried. In case of frost, I would perhaps wrap the battery on the bike with Fahrer-Berlin Akku Cover (a neoprene mat).

What I, however, did notice was the fact the winter low temps and especially headwind affect the battery range very much. My outbound ride was 40.8 km downwind. I reached the trip midpoint with as much as 43% battery left. Then I swapped the batteries (the spare battery was inside friend's home for 45 minutes). I had to ride back against some 14 km/h wind. To not to crawl, I increased assistance levels from 35 to 50%. I returned home after riding another 45 km with 6% battery left. (Both batteries were of the same type, size, and were fully charged before the ride).
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
I live in NJ, close to the Delaware River and about 30 miles north of Philadelphia. The Delaware Valley, which includes Philadelphia, Southeast PA, all of Western NJ from it's most northern reach to Cape May to the south; all of it most definitely features winter. Although the past few years have been relatively mild with not much snow at all, the Philadelphia region or the greater Delaware Valley as a whole, is often subjected to massive snow falls in the 20 plus inches kind when those Nor'Easter blizzards form off the Atlantic Coast and dump incredible amounts of snow from the NJ/PA area, all the way up to New England. Plus, we'll catch those Arctic Clippers that ride in from the midwest via the arctic jetstream, sending temps down to the teens and single digits.

The below pic was taken after one of those March N'oreaster blizzards, in 2018.
 

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RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Finally got the "old" wetsuit wrap done. Had to remove the bottle holder but it's a simple solution. Just a square piece of neoprene held on with velcro straps. I don't think Giant's RideControl app will tell me battery temperatures, but it can't hurt for winter rides. Since I've begun to carry a small pack with extra cold weather stuff, i can carry water there.

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JayVee

Well-Known Member
My cold weather e-bike limits? Well... if the fridge is empty and I'm hungry, I guess -20C or whatever a hungry man can physically endure.

I'd never order Uber Eats because there's a distinct possibility that they'd deliver on an e-bike and then I'd feel like a wimp.

Gotta find ways to motivate yourself to ride... :D
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Finally got the "old" wetsuit wrap done. Had to remove the bottle holder but it's a simple solution. Just a square piece of neoprene held on with velcro straps. I don't think Giant's RideControl app will tell me battery temperatures, but it can't hurt for winter rides. Since I've begun to carry a small pack with extra cold weather stuff, i can carry water there.

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Looks like that’ll work! The Farrah AKKU covers that I bought look slightly thicker than that and they fit my Allant+7 diamond frame perfectly. They will require some “adjustments” to fit the Lowstep versions as the area near the head is clearly thicker. Maybe some Velcro to help keep it secure near the top of the battery hole so the cover can be a bit more “sealed”.
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I'd never order Uber Eats because there's a distinct possibility that they'd deliver on an e-bike and then I'd feel like a wimp.
True, true. Despite I felt ill, I rode my Vado to collect sushi from a restaurant yesterday :) Luckily, it was 6 C (but with cold wind).
They will require some “adjustments” to fit the Lowstep versions as the area near the head is clearly thicker.
It won't require anything. The Fahrer-Berlin AKKU Cover is a marvel! :)

Fahrer-Berlin AKKU Cover on Giant Trance E+.jpg
 
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erider_61

Well-Known Member
There's one factor I think many e-bikers overlook when riding at cold temperatures: Own riding speed. Just imagine you riding at 24 km/h (15 mph) at the temperature of 4 C (40 F) into 20 km/h (12 mph) wind. The total air-flow would be travelling at the sum of the wind speed and your own speed, contributing to dramatic cooling effect. To be able to survive any longer ride at such conditions we need winter helmets, balaclavas, goggles, multiple layers of clothing with the windbreaker being the most important layer, good gloves, heated socks and heavy boots. While I can spot elderly countryside women bravely pedalling their conventional bikes for grocery shopping. How come? They ride very slowly and for short distances.

Unfortunately, e-bike rides rather fast and makes us want long trips; that makes winter e-biking har
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Finally got the "old" wetsuit wrap done. Had to remove the bottle holder but it's a simple solution. Just a square piece of neoprene held on with velcro straps. I don't think Giant's RideControl app will tell me battery temperatures, but it can't hurt for winter rides. Since I've begun to carry a small pack with extra cold weather stuff, i can carry water there.

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I did something similar for my older hub drive... 6mm neoprene outer shell, thin aerogel inside, then around the battery a USB battery powered heating pad (cap for top not shown).

Even in about -2 C, I get about 90% of range, unless the bike sits unused outside for more than 10 or 15 minutes, as the ambient temp starts to seep in. Going to figure out something for the bike in the back.

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RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
I did something similar for my older hub drive... 6mm neoprene outer shell, thin aerogel inside, then around the battery a USB battery powered heating pad (cap for top not shown).

Even in about -2 C, I get about 90% of range, unless the bike sits unused outside for more than 10 or 15 minutes, as the ambient temp starts to seep in. Going to figure out something for the bike in the back.

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But does your wrap have a "thematic" label on it? I 've kind of been waiting for someone to notice, but it says "Velocity" on mine. :cool:
Maybe I'll start paying attention and have that right side up more often.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I just ride. Adjust my clothing to temps.
Adjusting clothing to temps seems to be another black art for me. Went out this morning in high 40s F windy & damp with gloves and scarf. Pulled on my old leather bomber jacket and within 20 minutes was overheated enough that I stopped and unzipped the jacket.:rolleyes: