Can I Ride My Electric Bike In The Rain?
Yes, 95% of all electric bicycles are designed to be waterproof, which means that rain water will be unable to get inside of the protective casing/shell that the electric motor and battery are stored in. Modern electric bicycles are designed to work when cycling in heavy rain and downpours however your electric bicycle being submerged underwater is an entirely different story
Your electric bicycle being submerged in a deep puddle is to avoided at all costs, electric components cannot be submerged so riding through deeper water depths like streams or rivers is not a good idea and is likely to lead to electrical failures in the battery and motor
If your an urban electric bicycle commuter, the same principle applies regarding submerging the motor and battery underwater. Avoid cycle through things like very deep puddles after a heavy day of downpours and avoid cycling through urban streams when looking for a shortcut
Electric bicycles have been designed to be cycled/ridden in all weather conditions, the electric motor, batteries and control units are all sealed in a protective casing/shell that prevents water penetrating the sensitive electronics within these protective casing/shell
Are Electric Bicycles Waterproof Or Water Resistant?
These two terms get thrown about a lot and are often confused to mean the same thing, waterproof means that the object can be submerged under water and still function properly. All electric bicycles are NOT waterproof, your electric bicycle being submerged underwater will cause catastrophic failure in the electric battery and motor
Instead electric bicycles are water resistant, which means when being sprayed and covered with a water hose or heavy rain/downpour, the bicycle and electric motor and battery will function just fine
Are Electric Bicycles Tested To See If They Are Water Resistant Before Their Release?
Yes, electric bicycles are thoroughly tested before being released to make sure the electric motor and battery (and any other electric parts) are water resistant sealed in their protective casings. In testing electric bicycles are sprayed with water hoses from all directions as an accurate simulation of heavy rainfall and windy weather conditions
How Do I Know If My Electric Bicycle’s Motor Is Protected Against Heavy Rain?
All electric motors on electric bicycle will have an IP Rating, IP stands for ingress protection and is a code to define how well the electric motors enclosure is protected against the external environment
Your electric bicycle motor will have an IP Rating and is usually followed by two numbers, the higher the number the higher the level of protection the electric motor has against elements in the external environment. The usual IP Ratings for an electric bicycles motors range from IP60 all the way up to IP68, however some motors may have an IP Rating of IP56 for example
What Does The Electric Motors IP Rating Mean?
IP Ratings are usually located on the electric motor of your bicycle, let’s breakdown a typical IP Rating in layman’s terms in the example of IP65, the 6 represents the motors protection against dust, dirt or any other solid material getting inside of the electric motors protective casing/shell
Some electric motors first number in the IP Rating can range from 0 to 6”, for example IP46 OR IP56. Here are the following numbers explained below (First Digit Only):
IP0 = No Protection
IP1 = Protected against objects greater than 50mm Diameter
IP2 = Protected against objects greater than 12mm Diameter
IP3 = Protected against objects greater than 2.5mm Diameter
IP4 = Protected against objects greater than 1.0mm Diameter
IP5 = Dust Protected
IP6 = Dust Tight
Most of the electric motors on electric bicycles have a number 6 rating so it’s pretty much a standard level of protection, however the number after 6 can very much vary. The number “5” in our example of IP65, represents the motors protection against liquid or water getting inside of the electric motors protective casing/shell
An IP Rating of 5 would mean that the motor has been water tested with water jet nozzle size of 6.3mm and has been sprayed from all directions without successfully getting inside of the electric motors protective casing/shell
The liquid/water IP Rating on the electric motor can greatly vary from one electric bicycle to another so her are what t all of the liquid numbers actually mean:
IP68 – The electric motor is suitable for continuous exposure in heavy water loads under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer
IP67 – The electric motor is protected from water between 15 centimetres and 1 metre in depth
IP66 – The electric motor is protected from high pressure water jets from any direction, in testing water is projected using powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP65 – The electric motor is protected from low pressure water jets from any direction, water is projected using low pressure water jets (6.3mm) against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP64 – The electric motor is protected from light water spray from any direction, light water is sprayed against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP63 – The electric motor is protected from water spray less than 60° degrees from vertical,
Water is sprayed/falling at any angle up to 60° against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP62 – The electric motor is protected from water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical, vertically dripping water is sprayed against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP61 – The electric motor is protected from water condensation, dripping water (vertically falling drops) is applied against the enclosure from any direction with no harmful effects to the electric motors protective casing/shell
IP60 – The electric motor is not protected from any water exposure, the electric motor is only protected against dust, dirt or any other solid material getting inside of the electric motors protective casing/shell
Can I Leave My Electric Bicycle Out In The Rain For A Sustained Period Of Time?
No, NEVER leave your electric bicycle out in the rain. Generally electric bicycles are ONLY protected against splashing and heavy sprays of water as opposed to being fully submerged or immersed in water
Your electric bicycle being immersed in heavy loads of water is likely going to lead to water getting into all of the thin gaps and crevices between the electric motor and battery which will lead to catastrophic failure in the electric battery, motor, LCD speedometer and cabling system
Is The LCD Speed Display Water Resistant?
Typically the electric motor and battery are protected to a greater degree because of the inherent value and importance of these parts on an electric bicycle. The LCD speedometer typically have less protection against heavy rain pours or heavy water exposure and has a greater chance of getting damaged when cycling in the rain
Generally the LCD speedometer works just fine when in a normal to moderate level of rainfall, however when in a downpour this can be a different manner. The LCD speedometer getting absolutely drenched can cut off the power to the motor which could mean you will be manually pedalling home as a result
One DIY way to prevent this from happening is to cover the LCD speedometer with a transparent plastic cover and hold it in place with a rubber band (wrapped around the LCD speedometer). This simple little trick could save you a lot of bother if the heavens open up and you get caught in a heavy downpour when cycling home. This way you can still see the LCD speedometer and it prevents lots of rain water getting inside of the LCD speedometer and potentially breaking it
Is The Electric Cabling To & From The Motor & Battery Waterproof?
Generally any electric cables to and from the electric motor and battery are very much water resistant, not waterproof. What I mean to say that if you get caught in the rain the electrical cables will hold up just fine 99% of the time, however the cables being submerged under water is to avoided for obvious reasons. This is likely to lead to catastrophic electrical failure