Getting caught out in the rain when you’re on your bike is almost inevitable, or something you even choose to do. However, if you’ve got an e-bike, you may be wondering if you can go out in the rain on it.
So, can you ride an e-bike in the rain? A lot of e-bikes are water-resistant and can be used in the rain.
Water-resistance is determined by IP codes. If your e-bike has one it will tell you how well it will withstand water.
Take a look at the code and if the second digit is greater than 1, your electric bike will be able to handle 10 minutes of 1mm rainfall per minute.
There is much more to how well an e-bike copes in the rain than just the IP number and there are also a number of steps you can take to protect your e-bike from water damage.
Want to know more? Keep reading!
As with many electrical products, manufacturers of e-bikes have started to use IP codes as a recognisable way for people to know how waterproof a battery is.
This IP code is made up of two numbers.
The first number indicates how it is protected against particles getting in - so things like dust and dirt, particularly good if you’re out on muddy trails.
Zero - There is no protection.
One - The battery will be protected against bigger objects and can be touched deliberately.
Two - Objects such as fingers and those of a similar size are fine.
Three - Battery is protected against tools.
Four - The battery is protected against smaller things, up to ant-sized objects.
Five - Dust-resistant
Six - Dust-tight.
So as you can see, the higher the number, the greater level of protection you get. The great news is, six is very common so you don’t need to search hard (or pay over the odds) for it.
Now the second number of an IP code is related to water and how well the battery is protected against it.
Zero - The battery will have no water protection whatsoever. If your e-bike is like this then don’t take it out in the rain as you are in danger of damaging your pride and joy.
One - Getting better and this battery will be able to withstand water dripping from above. E-bikes with this rating have an element of water resistance and 10 minutes of light rainfall should be ok.
Two - Your e-bike will be good for rainfall of 3mm per minute. This rating means it will have been tested for 10 minutes.
Three - With this rating, the battery will be able to withstand water being sprayed from a nozzle for up to five minutes at an angle of 60 degrees.
Four - Giving you more flexibility. Water from any direction can be splashed on the electric bike for at least five minutes.
Five - Exactly the same as a four rating, however the duration the battery will be able to withstand increases to at least 15 minutes.
Six - Your e-bike battery will be protected against powerful water jets. This is for up to 3 minutes.
Seven - The battery can be emersed in water for at least 30 minutes and come out just fine. This means that your e-bike could, in theory, be submerged in water for this time and it will work afterwards.
Not something I recommend you try but at least you know your e-bike will be protected against rainfall.
The IP ratings do go beyond seven and up to nine.
However, you’re unlikely to find an e-bike that has a rating greater than seven. They do exist but a seven rating ought to cover you for most situations on an e-bike.
When it comes to buying an e-bike, try to get one that has an IP waterproof rating of 4 or above.
At four, it provides you with protection against splashing. Being protected against water from all angles is important when you’re out on a bike.
Water won’t just come from above. Water on the road will splash back up as you ride so you want to ensure that your electric bike is protected against this and that’s what a 4 rating will do!
It’s worth thinking about how often you are likely to find yourself riding in the rain. If your e-bike is going to be your main mode of transport to work then you need to factor that in. You will be out in all weathers and need an e-bike with an IP rating to represent that.
It’s not just the battery and how waterproof it is that you need to think about.
Different parts of your e-bike will be rated differently.
The battery is most likely going to be the most important part but don’t forget about the wires and LCD display if there is one.
There are workarounds with the other parts. For example, you can get covers to put on the wires, this will provide the protection they need. These can often be acquired through the manufacturer if they don’t come supplied already.
The LCD display is something you will also need to consider. You may be able to purchase a cover that will provide extra protection. Ziplock bags are common for this purpose.
Be sure to get one that means you’ll still be able to see the screen.
One component that is difficult to protect against the rain is throttle grips. If you have a throttle e-bike this is a tricky one.
Trying to protect the grip can ruin your grip and therefore ruin the amount of control you have your e-bike.
The upside to this is that these parts aren’t expensive to replace so even though there’s not much you can do to prevent them from becoming damaged, they aren’t going to break the bank when you do need to change them.
Now you know the importance of an IP code, you need to know where to find it!
The instruction manual is a good place to start as it’s usually stated in there.
If you are yet to purchase an electric bike and want to know the IP code, then it is more often than not, included in the product description as it’s a bit of information a lot of riders want to know.
Failing that, you can always ask the manufacturer and they will be able to advise correctly.
If you can’t find any reference to an IP code on the e-bike itself then have a read through the instruction manual.
There ought to be something in there about how the e-bike copes with rain.
The other option is to speak to the manufacturer directly and they will be able to advise you.
If you are after absolute spot-on advice about a specific model of e-bike then your best bet is to contact the manufacturer.
Nobody knows the product better than those who designed and built it so they will be able to give you the most accurate information.
There are a few steps you can take to minimise the risk of damaging your e-bike. Here are a few of the top tips!
Once you have finished using your e-bike, be sure to dry it. This removes any sitting water.
Try to cover electrical components. Be sure that this doesn’t reduce the safety of the e-bike as safety is key!
Before you take a hosepipe to your e-bike be sure to know what the IP code rating of it is.
Anything rated 4 and above should be fine with water from hose pipe for a short amount of time.
This amount of time varies depending on manufacturer and model so for a truly accurate guide on a specific bike, it’s best to seek their advice.
Will my e-bike be ok if it gets muddy?
Some e-bikes do just fine in the mud, whilst some do not. It all comes down to the IP rating!
Both numbers of the IP code are important when considering muddy situations.
Aim for the first number being at least a five. This will ensure it is protected from dust (including fine particles of dirt and mud!).
The second number should be at least a four. This means it will be splash resistant.
Ideally, you will want to try and get the best ratings you can afford as this will provide the most peace of mind.
That’s it! Now you know what to look for and how to make sure your e-bike will be able to cope in wetter conditions.
How often do you ride your e-bike?
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