Can You Ride an Electric Bike in the Rain?

2 bicycles riding through the rain

While you can ride most electric bikes in the rain, there are some exceptions. For instance, you need to consider a few important aspects of your ebike before deciding whether it’ll be good to ride in the rain.

Whether you can or can’t ride an e-bike in the rain depend on your e-bike’s electronic components, IP rating, performance, etc.

Are E-Bikes Waterproof?

Urtopia electric bike standing on the empty street
Urtopia electric bike has an IP rating IP65.

Most e-bikes are water-resistant, meaning that they can withstand light showers and can not get catastrophically damaged when splashed with water.

However, most of them are not completely waterproof, and it would not be a good idea to test them. Instead, you should follow your manufacturer’s general rules on safely using e-bikes during wet weather conditions.

You should never try to submerge your e-bike in water or use it in heavy rain if it’s avoidable.

Read Also: What is an E-Bike and How Does it Work?

Sometimes, washing it with pressurized water can be problematic. Thus, you should ensure to clean it with a damp rag unless the manufacturer says you can do otherwise, and the damages are explicitly covered in their warranty.

Are Hub Motors Waterproof?

Rear hub motor of Engwe C20 Pro
Rear hub motor of Engwe C20 Pro.

There aren’t any waterproof hub motors. The best you can get is water-resistant variants.

Generally, e-bike hub motors are designed to be highly water-resistant. However, like various other electronic machines, it would do you well to avoid exposing them to huge amounts of water that’s likely to seep in and reach the wires.

As with any other electronics, exposing them to water or mist will compromise their integrity.

However, there are measures you could take to prevent this. These measures include covering your e-bike’s electronic components with waterproofing materials and avoiding riding it in extremely wet weather conditions.

We’ll dive in a little bit and talk about this later.

Can Electric Bikes Get Wet?

What happens if my e-bike gets wet?

ebike behind the rainy window

There are two ways to answer this question, and it depends on your ebike’s water resistance rating.

For instance, some bikes are protected against splashes and light showers, while others are protected against high-pressure water sources like pressurized water from car wash machines.

Electric bikes have an IP rating that determines the amount of exposure to water elements they can withstand.

E-bikes with a higher IP rating can withstand lengthy exposure to water compared to those with a lower IP rating. An electronic device’s IP rating represents its level of protection against solid objects (represented by the first number) and moisture (represented by the second number).

IP rating chart

Highly waterproofed e-bikes stand a better chance when exposed to highly pressurized water sources. However, they are still at risk of water damage if there’s any structural damage.

Non-waterproofed e-bikes stand a greater risk of water damage in comparison and can experience electrical damage if the water manages to seep through to the electronics.

In such cases, you may experience malfunctions like short-circuiting electrical components and rust on your bike’s chain and other moving parts.

The best solution for this is avoiding extremely wet conditions, following your manufacturer’s guidelines, and drying your bike as soon as possible.

Can I Leave My E-Bike in the Rain?

Generally, it’s not recommended to leave your e-bike in the rain. The moisture can damage the electrical components of the bike.

However, if you have no other choice, at least cover your bike. Use a waterproof cover to protect your electric bike from the rain. It will help to keep the bike dry and protect it from potential damage.

How to Make my E-Bike More Water-Resistant?

Making your bike more water-resistant is important, especially if you live in locations prone to experiencing lots of rain or humidity.

It would be best to make additional adjustments like wrapping your electric bike’s display and control panel with a plastic bag and even waterproofing it with a special spray. Read on to find out how you can do this.

Wrap a Plastic Bag Around the Display

plastic bag wrapped around the display
Photo: Screenshot from the Youtube video.

Your e-bike’s electronic display isn’t designed to be waterproof, and while you may experience no problems riding it during light showers, you may experience some problems if you are caught in a downpour.

Most e-bike displays are typically wired so that the bike could die on you if its display’s electronic components are exposed to water.

However, there are some measures you could take if you are caught in a sudden, unavoidable downpour.

To keep your e-bike’s display system dry, all you need is a plastic bag and a rubber band. You’ll have to ensure that your plastic bag doesn’t have any holes that could leak and is big enough to cover your e-bike’s electronic display.

The plastic bag should be transparent enough to read the information. However, you could still use any type of plastic bag available if you have no other option.

You should also waterproof other connections that come out of your bike’s electronic display using a double-walled heat shrink tube that melts onto your wires to provide a tighter water shield.

Wrap a Plastic Bag Around the Control Panel

It would be best if you did not expose your ebike’s control panel to water or moisture.

You can prevent this by wrapping your bike’s control panel with an appropriate plastic bag to protect it from getting wet whenever you ride your e-bike in the rain or want to wash it. Exposing it to water can cause various malfunctions or even damage to the electronics.

Waterproofing eBike Using Spray

You could also use a special waterproofing spray to waterproof your bike’s electronics.

One of the best spray brands you can trust is the ACF50. It’s a common product often used in aircraft maintenance and repair, and its effects remain for up to 2 years before needing another coat.

You should apply it to your e-bike’s electronic components to protect them from water damage. The product is available online or in local stores.

You can use other products like Neverwet or Corrosion X to achieve the same results.

Waterproofing Tape

Like most other electronic devices, e-bikes have many wires connecting the controller, motor, and battery.

The wires are located on various parts of the bike, including the frame, and are exposed to water and moisture, increasing the chances of getting damaged due to splashed water and rain.

However, you could still use silicone self-fusing tape to protect them against water damage. The tape is sticky, stretchy, and doesn’t leave any residue if removed.

Using the tape can help protect your eBike against water damage. However, you’ll still have to be careful not to expose it to pressurized or big pools of water.

Riding eBike in Rain – 5 Essential Tips

1. Use Fenders

While removing fenders from your eBike makes it look better and more streamlined, the fenders are there for a reason and shouldn’t be removed unless it’s completely necessary. Ensure that your bike has fenders if you live in locations that are likely to experience heavy rain.

Fenders are designed to redirect water away from your bike, which helps protect its electronic components from water damage. Thus, using fenders protects your eBike’s motor and battery while keeping you dry and clean.

2. Weatherproof Yourself

Small girl in yellow raincoat with yellow umbrella

Weatherproofing yourself can also go a long way when improving your biking experience when riding in the rain. You’ll have to experiment with different clothes to determine what works for you. However, a few basics can help you along the way.

For instance, you’ll need a good, waterproof cap with a brim. This design will significantly help improve your vision when riding in the rain. This is vital, especially if you wear glasses. If you’ve not experienced this, then you should imagine trying to drive your vehicle in rainy weather without wipers.

Other clothing must include a breathable, waterproof jacket and pants. It would be best to have neoprene shoes that cover your feet to keep them dry. It would also help if you bought some waterproof panniers to store your gear in.

3. Be Visible

The rainy street in the dark
The visibility in the rain is lower.

Riding your e-bike in the rain is quite dangerous because of reduced visibility.

This can become more problematic on bendy, foggy roads. Often, drivers have a hard time making out other drivers in vehicles, and it could be twice as challenging when trying to make out a biker in similar weather conditions.

It would be best to keep safe to prevent instances that may cause you to have an accident. Therefore, you should wear brightly colored clothes to stay visible, use reflectors and install some fog lights if your e-bike doesn’t have some.

4. Ride More Carefully

It would be best to assume that road surfaces are more slippery than they may seem when riding your electric bike in rainy weather. Thus, you should look out for well-known danger zones and situations and prepare for them early on.

Ride slowly and more carefully while looking out for dangerous objects like metal grates and sewer covers that are likely to become slippery in the rain. Such objects increase your potential for sliding and crashing before you can react.

5. Clean and Dry Your E-Bike After the Wet Ride

You should have and follow a routine meant to keep your e-bike and its components in perfect working order.

For instance, you should store your bike in a dry place to allow the components that got wet to dry out. It would be best if you also rinsed off any grimy or muddy sections of the bike before they dry off and become more challenging to clean later on.

You should wipe any wet surfaces on the bike, especially those on or near electronic components. It would be best if you also greased your e-bike’s chain regularly to prevent the build-up of rust that could make it harder to operate your e-bike later on.

Summary – Can I Ride My Electric Bike in the Rain?

A woman riding an ebike in the heavy rain

Your bike won’t shock you or catch fire if its electronic components are compromised when they come into contact with water.

However, you should ensure that its components are well tested and have good IP ratings.

It would be best to focus on keeping yourself dry and riding your e-bike safely.

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