Summer Ebike Care: How to Look After an eBike During Heat Waves
Summer’s in full swing, and odds are you’re hotter than a fried egg on asphalt. The heat index is rising, and you’d do anything to feel the wind on your face again as you ride your SUPER73. The intense summer warmth might be a problem for your ebike’s sensitive electronics, though, and that ride might cook your battery’s internals.
Don’t sweat it; we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for your summer ebike adventures so that you can minimize or completely avoid any damage to your favorite cruiser.
While it’s true that ebikes are temperature-sensitive, that doesn’t mean you need to completely avoid riding in hot weather. You’ll have to be more cautious than you would with a pedal-powered bicycle and look out for some important warning signs with a little extra post-ride maintenance, but a summer ebike ride is by no means an impossibility.
Summer Ebike Tips
With proper care, you can expect years of trouble-free performance from your ebike no matter the season. Still, before getting into summer ebike protocols, let’s first go over the importance of reading your bike’s manual.
Bikes from different manufacturers, and even different models from the same manufacturer, can have incredibly varied parts and build quality. What might be good practice in caring for one bike can easily damage the next. Take SUPER73 bikes, for instance: Their manuals state that owners should NOT spray water directly on the bike at close distances, as liquids can move past seals and enter bearings, causing the lubricants to dilute and allow friction.
Given that contaminants such as salt and dirt can damage your bike, you’ll need to clean it regularly. Use fresh water and approved cleaners, such as Chemical Guys Nonsense All Purpose Cleaner, which is invisible, odorless, colorless, and doesn’t leave behind residue. The solution will remove any dirt and grime that may worm into bearings and ruin your bike’s finish.
Once your ebike is clean, use Chemical Guys’ Silk Shine Protectant to add UV defense and protection from harsh weather. Think of it like waxing your car: The elements will wear away at the protective layer without harming the bike itself.
The amount of contamination your ebike experiences will depend on where you choose to ride it. If the bike lives its entire life on glass-smooth or fresh pavement,, your cleaning schedule can be a little more lax.
If, on the other hand, you ride near or on the beach, you’ll probably have to clean after every ride. Salt is excellent at promoting rust, which means that if you want your ebike’s metal parts and electronics to last more than one summer season, you’ll need to wipe the bike down after the ride and wash it thoroughly once you’re home.
Battery Care When Possible
Our next tip can be boiled down to three simple words, “Protect your battery.”
When the sun’s rays heat battery components, they become less efficient, and sustained heat can damage lithium cells and even destroy them, just as extreme cold can. If you have to ride in 100+ degree temperatures, make sure you stick to shade, use a cooling pad to keep the battery’s heat in check and keep your rides short.
When the ride is over, get that bike, or at least its battery, into a cool, climate-controlled environment to recharge. If you leave it in a garage or shed, the heat battery cells experience can still be potentially damaging.
Use a pre-ride checklist that contains items such as:
- Checking the bike for damage
- Checking the wheel alignment
- Testing the brakes
- Checking the battery’s state of charge
- Checking that the battery is locked in place
- Checking the tire pressure (ideal is 27 to 30 psi)
- Checking that all bolts and screws are secure
Once you’re reasonably sure the bike is in tip-top shape, you can head out for your ride but always watch for warning signs that your bike is overheating. The battery and the motor will lose efficiency, and the bike’s power will decrease dramatically. Should that happen, it’s time to let the bike cool down. The hotter the air, the less you should overwork your ebike.