You’ve just got yourself a brand new ebike and you’re thinking to yourself. “Can you ride an ebike in the rain?” or “Is it safe to get my ebike wet?”
First off, those are great questions and I thank you for thinking about the wellbeing of your lovely new electric bike.
Let’s learn about the do’s and don’ts of riding an ebike when it’s wet outside!
Something Important To Keep In Mind
As you’re reading through this article, it’s important to know that some information given to you by the manufacturer may be wrong. Or your ebike may have a defect.
In order to be 100% safe with your ebike and water, you’d be best to not ride it in water at all.
You could test out the components by riding through increasing amounts of water, but that may leave you with a broken ebike in the end!
Be cautious and be safe with your choices. If you don’t have to ride through water, you’re going to be much better in the long run!
But if it’s what you want to do, and you like pushing limits, read on to find out how your ebike may be waterproof!
What Kind Of Water Are We Talking About Anyway?
The first thing we need to figure out is – are we talking normal rain, or riding through salty water?
This is important because it lets us know straight off the bat how to go about riding our ebike.
Let’s first think about riding your ebike in rain. Just normal old sky rain, none of that fancy… ground rain?
This is just normal water and for the most part, is going to be okay. But that will also depend on YOUR ebike itself.
If we’re talking nasty salt water, you’re probably not going to have much fun with that.
You won’t enjoy it, the bike won’t enjoy it, the motor won’t enjoy it. Overall not going to be a fun time.
I wouldn’t recommend riding through salt water much, if at all.
But if you do, you should rinse the bike with fresh water as soon as possible and give it a towel dry. Just to ensure nothing is going to break! You paid a pretty penny for your bike, so why wouldn’t you want to look after it?!
What Kind Of Ebike Do You Have, Friend?
What type of ebike you have will play into whether or not you should ride your bike in any sort of water.
If you built the bike yourself;
You’re going to need to check the manufacturer’s website for specifications on each component that is subject to water exposure.
As an example, my BBSHD has technical specifications as follows
The important part here is the “Dust-proof/water-proof grade” which in my case is IP65.
But what does IP65 stand for???
I’m glad you asked internet pal!
IP stands for Ingress Protection, and the two numbers represent protection against dust and water respectively.
FlexFireLEDs has an awesome chart that shows you what each number represents.
So for my BBSHD, IP65 means level 6 dust and level 5 water protection.
Level 6 dust protection is the maximum, meaning dust cannot enter the enclosure of the motor.
Level 5 water protection means that water cannot enter even if sprayed as a jet, from any angle.
Water protection goes up to Level 8 meaning it is able to be fully submerged. So my BBSHD can survive being wet, but not being underwater.
You should be able to find a similar rating for your components online too!
If your components all have a rating of IP64 or greater, you’re protected while riding your bike in the rain, huzzah!
If you bought the bike;
You should also be able to find a similar technical specification from whoever you bought your bike from. Assuming they’re a reputable seller!
Often times you may not find an IP rating. But they will (or at least they should!) tell you straight up if the bike is waterproof or not.
For example, a LunaCycle bike will tell you this
The bike itself should almost always be waterproof as they’re painted and sealed in that regard. You’re really just trying to work out if the components are waterproof or not.
In this case, the LunaCycle bike is water resistant but not waterproof. This means you’re all good to ride it around splish-splashing through puddles. Just don’t use it as a submarine!
Giving The Bike A Check
Another important thing you should do before riding your precious (expensive!) ebike in the rain is to give it a once-over before it gets wet.
Check all the seals where cables might connect. Check the battery connections to ensure they’re sealed and secured. Ensure the screen is still sealed properly. Really just checking anywhere that water could have a possibility of getting in.
Anything that’s electric, and important to the function of the ebike (so, pretty much everything) should be checked!
In light rain, you could skip checking everything, cause it’s mostly not going to cause any damage (assuming everything has been checked before) but in the heavy stuff, please for the love of all that is good, check your bike.
If you’ve ever dropped your phone in the toilet or in a pool, you’ll know how much electronics don’t like water.
So What Do You Say, Can You Ride An Ebike In The Rain?
In short, you almost always can! But with a few small fore-warnings.
Check the bike’s manual first to be sure that the bike is indeed waterproof.
If you built the bike yourself, you should be able to check the manufacturer’s websites about the technical specifications. They should let you know ratings such as the IP rating of the bike.
Look for IP ratings of IP64 for minimum water protection against small splashes (light rain and small puddles). However, you’re going to be looking for an IP rating of at least IP65 for anything more significant than light rain.
In general, your bike and components will not be rated for submerging fully into water, so try to keep it on the land side, captain.
In general, you can think of ebikes like people! They don’t want to be submerged often or for long, they don’t mind being wet but they do love to be towelled dry after being wet.
So go forth and ride an ebike in the rain. You may not be enjoying the rain, but the bike won’t really care!
If you’ve got any questions about YOUR specific bike, feel free to drop a comment below! I respond to everyone 🙂