Winter Riding

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I have a decent bit of experience riding my bikes in the winter along with working with customers that do the same.

Tires and fenders on the bike help a lot. It really depends where you're located on specific needs. I like the Smart Sam Plus or the Marathon MTB tires, they're mountain bike tires with puncture protection.

Some other tips include storing your battery inside when not in use. Possibly a neoprene cover to go over the battery. I would also recommend cleaning the salt/snow off of the bike after riding if your in a region that uses salt.

For apparel, you mainly want to make sure all of your skin is covered and keep your extremities warm. Layers and water proof bags are helpful.

Hope that helps.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Had anyone in here ridden electric bike in the winter? Would like to hear your experience. Thank you.
There's a fair number of us that ride through winter. Physical protection from the weather is something everyone needs to figure out. First ebike winter, I rode many days into single digits Fahrenheit, after that I decided to only ride when temperatures were over 20F. I don't want to dress too warm, sweat is a real danger, it will make you so much colder and once you start to sweat a lot (I'm not talking buckets, just damp), the only thing that will help is a change of clothes and drying off. I prefer to dress in layers and cover ALL exposed skin.
  • Bern Brentwood helmet with winter liner. Ski goggles for rain or snow. Wrap around sunglasses other times.
  • Belaclava that covers face and neck. When not moving, glasses or goggles will fog - try Cat Crap!
  • Pearl Izumi wind and water resistant gauntlet gloves. They feel mid weight, but good against sweat, cold and wind.
  • Any good high-top hiking shoes/boots with mid weight merino wool socks. *Waterproof shoes or covers.
  • Wind pants/trousers over any base layer you want. Colder, I wear Thinsulate lined pants/trousers.
  • Torso, I wear a long sleeve sweat wicking shirt with a Columbia form fitting storm shield jacket that I purchased in tall so it covers my arms to the gloves and also goes down a little over my butt (covers me...I don't do crack!). Colder, I add a wool layer.
Studded tires are a must to ride in winter where temperature gets below freezing. Get the best you can. From road slicks to fat tires, no amount of tire will climb out of an ice rut. Nokian Hakkapelitta W240 studded tires are in my opinion the best. Made in Finland (they know winter cycling) and the 240 is the number of carbide studs in each tire. They make a 160 or 180, but the savings aren't that great.

Try to get or make an insulated battery cover. I made one for the Prodeco with 1/2 inch wool batting, covered with water proof Cordura. For my Easy Motion I have the commercially made cover.

Count on 10-15% loss of range (maybe more, your range may vary) when the temps drop below 35-40F. Ebike batteries don't like the cold. Speed is reduced in many areas, add the extra personal prep time and recovery time once at your destination. The extra time to ride in winter needs to be factored in.

Rutted ice on paths, trails and roads are rough on bikes and hub motored bikes take a real beating. My Prodeco direct drive has very heavy spokes and I think I broke 5 spokes in ~3000 miles, one winter. See my broken spokes here.

I've had time delays, but never got stranded road or trail side. Many country roads and all the trails and paths are deserted once winter really sets in, It's nice, I like that part of winter riding. The biggest issue is that the rail trails and bike paths where I ride most, are never plowed. Fresh snow of more than 4 inches can make it tough 'sledding'. Pun intended!

Have fun this winter!

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Oh and the first day of spring....Woohoo!

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Bikedriver

New Member
Yeah, I rode mine all winter. Most important is the Spiked tires, then it's a blast up to about 4-6 in of fresh. Hardpack and ice is the best.
 

Robie

Active Member
I hear there are lots of riders throughout the winter in Montreal ! It's 34 degrees at the moment . Very cold ***** winters I'm sure. Any bike shop there could help with some tips on riding gear. I
 
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James Kohls

Active Member
My winter gear consists mainly of waterproof and windproof materials like Gore Tex.
  • I have a pair of Hi-Tech waterproof boots and North Face waterproof shoes.
  • I have three pairs of waterproof pants. Under Armour Storm Sonar, Cannondale Couldburst Rain and Pearl Izumi Select Barrier WxB. My favorite are the Under Armours. When commuting to work, I change into some regular pants when I arrive.
  • I wear those over Under Armour Base Layer 3.0 pants and shirt. I wear Under Armour ColdGear shirts on top.
  • For a jacket, I use two different windproof jackets: Pearl Izumi - Ride Men's Select Barrier WxB and (Link Removed - No Longer Exists). The WxB is also waterproof, but the convertible is nice when I want more airflow.
  • I use this Skull Cap by Tough Headware with my summer helmet. Keeps my head toasty even in sub freezing temps. Covers my ears nicely.
  • I pair that with a Saucony Drylete neck warmer. I love how thin it is, but still extremely warm, even at high speeds.
  • I have several pairs of gloves depending on the temps. In order of warmth from lowest to highest: Specialized Element 1.5, Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Gore-Tex Glove, and 45NRTH Sturmfist 4.
  • During less cold times, I wear WYND Blocker glasses and when it gets frigid and wet, I wear some cheap ski goggles by Smith Optics.
  • If you wear any types of glasses in the winter, Cat Crap will help keep them from fogging up.
  • If carry stuff, having a waterproof bag or panniers is important. Ortlieb is expensive, but buy-it-for-life quality.
  • Flashing bright lights are important in winter, even during the day, as it tends to be cloudier and darker.
  • A rear view mirror is also a good safety measure for anticipating when cars are going to pass you.
Black ice is a big concern in the winter, so well worth the added cost to get studded tires. Brands like 45ntrth, Schwalbe Winter, Kenda Klondike, and Nokian. Winter specific tires also serve another important purpose that often gets overlooked. Spring/Summer tires are usually very hard rubber that does not grip when temps get below freezing. Winter tires use a much softer rubber that remains pliable in low temps. Tires like Continental's Top Contact Winter II does not have spikes, but softer rubber. So if you travel on mostly clear surfaces, but cold temps, these are great.
 

Frank D

New Member
I have a decent bit of experience riding my bikes in the winter along with working with customers that do the same.

Tires and fenders on the bike help a lot. It really depends where you're located on specific needs. I like the Smart Sam Plus or the Marathon MTB tires, they're mountain bike tires with puncture protection.

Some other tips include storing your battery inside when not in use. Possibly a neoprene cover to go over the battery. I would also recommend cleaning the salt/snow off of the bike after riding if your in a region that uses salt.

For apparel, you mainly want to make sure all of your skin is covered and keep your extremities warm. Layers and water proof bags are helpful.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for that info.
In your opinion, what would be the best ebike system against winter elements (cold, rain, snow but specially potential problems caused by salt) between the Bosch and the Strömer system ?
thanks
 
Norwegian guy here with 15 years of winter biking behind him.
In short:
  • Wear thin merino wool shirts with a long zip-neck. One or two layers of these under any breathable water- and windproof shell. Never cotton, avoid it -your life may depend on it. Keep a dry spare for any breaks. You will freeze to death if you stop long enough.
  • Gore-Tex shoes with room for wool socks.
  • Always use studded tires. More than 200 studs is better. (Nokian W240, Schwalbe Marathon Winter for normal bikes)
  • Lights, both front and rear
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
In your opinion, what would be the best ebike system against winter elements (cold, rain, snow but specially potential problems caused by salt) between the Bosch and the Strömer system ?

When you're riding through the wet and muck, unless you have good long mudguards fitted to the bike, the bottom bracket area get hit with a fair amount of water. A hub is much more protected from the elements, as spray is directed away from it.
 

Frank D

New Member
When you're riding through the wet and muck, unless you have good long mudguards fitted to the bike, the bottom bracket area get hit with a fair amount of water. A hub is much more protected from the elements, as spray is directed away from it.
l do have a Bosch ebike. Someone told me that the o ring in the bottom bracket is weak. And not only the center drive motor does get sprayed, but the battery connection to. That's why l thought about a Strömer because the system is more integrated to the frame...
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
l do have a Bosch ebike. Someone told me that the o ring in the bottom bracket is weak. And not only the center drive motor does get sprayed, but the battery connection to. That's why l thought about a Strömer because the system is more integrated to the frame...

The downtube can get flooded in torrential rain, and it may damage the controller. Common problem with the ST1X and ST2...

I ride my Yamaha powered bike in the rain but stay away from heavy downpours. Nevertheless there’s sometimes lots of water on the ground and the brake calipers get flooded which makes it difficult to brake. That’s more of a problem than anything else. Oddly no one ever mentions it.
 

Frank D

New Member
The downtube can get flooded in torrential rain, and it may damage the controller. Common problem with the ST1X and ST2...

I ride my Yamaha powered bike in the rain but stay away from heavy downpours. Nevertheless there’s sometimes lots of water on the ground and the brake calipers get flooded which makes it difficult to brake. That’s more of a problem than anything else. Oddly no one ever mentions it.

l have not trouble to believe what you say about the flooded downtube. l just went in a bike store to see how the Strömer's where built and that's one thing l've noticed on the ST1x: the door would not fit perfectly the downtube and the gap was really visible. Water would no doubt infiltrate that space. Doors on the ST1 where better for what l saw. it's a weak point for Stromer ST1 x's....

For the your brake issue, for me it's not a problem. My bike is equiped with Magura hydrolic brake and they work good in all conditions.
 
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