Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a great way to get around town. They’re easy to ride and can take you where you need to go with ease. But can you leave them outside? Or do they have to be brought inside like a regular bike? In this guide, we’ll explore the options and give you some advice on what to do. So read on and learn more about electric bikes.
Can You Leave Electric Bikes Outside?
It is no surprise that anyone would want to leave their bike outside. Due to their sizes, there may not be enough space to accommodate a bike in the house.
Electric bikes are just as big as traditional bikes, but they are more expensive and have electronic parts. This makes it a bit tricky to leave them outside. It is not ideal to store electric bikes outdoors, but when you have no other option, there are some precautions that you must take. You must look after your motor, battery, and other components of the e-bike to prevent damage.
We discuss the reasons why you should not store your electric bike outside and what you must do in a situation where it is unavoidable. Also discussed is how you can store your e-bike in a small apartment.
Reasons Not to Store Your Electric Bike Outside
1. Water Damage
The electronic components on your e-bike are not designed to be submerged in water for a long time. They can withstand a few splashes and some rain but you should not allow them to get drenched in water.
When your bike is exposed to water and air, parts begin to corrode and rust. Corrosion decreases the longevity of the bike.
In the wet seasons, you must consider storing your bike in a location that prevents it from a direct downpour. Also, floods can destroy your electric bike’s components. It might be best to store your bike on some high ground to avoid the risk of flooding.
2. Sun Damage
Just as water is not good for your e-bike, too much sunlight can damage your bike. Aesthetically, the ultraviolet rays can cause it to corrode quickly. The ultraviolet rays may not damage the frame but they will destroy the coatings, thereby exposing it to other factors of environmental corrosion.
You do not want to expose your bike to direct sunlight for long periods.
The heat from the sun will also cause the electronic components to overheat and that is not good for your bike.
3. Harsh Weather
Harsh weather can damage the components of your electric bike. Most electric bike batteries should be stored at temperatures of 39°F to 70°F, (4°c to 21°c). Exposing the battery to extreme temperatures will damage them in the long run.
This one is common for both traditional bikes and electric ones. The demand for bicycles has shut up in recent years, hence the increase in prices. Electric bikes are even more prone to theft, as they are more expensive. You must ensure you don’t leave them carelessly. After spending so much on an electric bike you need to think about security, so it doesn’t get stolen.
Also Read: Why Are E-Bike Seats So High?
Can You Leave an Electric Bike Outside in the Rain?
You should not live your electric bike out in the rain. It is bad for your bike’s electronic components. It is one thing for you to get caught in the rain while riding your bike. But to leave it in the rain is a terrible idea. Most manufacturers make the electronic components with protective sealants to keep water out, but they are not waterproof. If there is a heavy downpour, there is no guarantee that water will not find its way into them and cause damage.
The most susceptible components to water are the power unit and the LCD.
Aside from the fact that water is not good for electronic components, water is bad for other parts. Constantly leaving your bike in the air will lead to corrosion and rust build-up. This will eventually affect the structural integrity of your bike.
Can Electric Bikes Be Stored Outside in Winter?
The winter months are usually when people decide to store their bikes and rightly so. You should find a good place indoors to store them. If you can’t, whatever you do, take those expensive batteries inside.
Most electric bike batteries are lithium batteries, and can not withstand harsh temperatures. You should not leave the bike itself outside where it can get covered up in the snow. Doing so will damage the electronic components.
Can You Leave an E-Bike in the Sun?
Technically, yes. But you don’t want to leave the bike perpetually under the sun. You might end up with a washed-up bike. The UV will cause the colors to fade quicker. Excess sunlight can also weaken components through overheating.
How Do I Store my Electric Bike Outside?
- Remove the battery:
Never store your batteries outside. If you need to leave your bike outside for more than a day, it is best to remove the battery and keep it inside. With prices ranging from $600 – $1000, e-bike batteries are not components you want to keep replacing.
Most e-bike batteries are made of lithium-ion cells and they should be stored at temperatures of 39°F to 70°F, (4°c to 21°c).
Make sure you store your battery in a conducive room inside the house, especially in the winter months.
- Clean the bike:
Before you store your bike for any lengthy period, clean it properly. If water and dirt are left on your bike for a long time, they will cause corrosion.
You want to make sure you clean your bike and oil it properly if you are leaving it for a long time.
- Provide a shade:
When storing your bike outside, do not leave it in the open. You should make a roof for it. You also have to know if the ground is susceptible to flooding. You might need to keep it on an elevated surface.
- Get a protective cover:
Even after providing a shade for your bike, if you are storing it for a long time, get a protective cover. You can use a car cover. This will serve as added protection and prevent water from damaging your bike.
- Secure the bike:
Depending on your location, you need to invest in very good locks to safeguard your electric bike. You can use a D-lock. They are the most secure kind of locks available to sure your bike to an immovable post. Use a cable lock to secure other parts of your bike, like the wheel and panniers to the frame.
You can also remove the LCD, motor, and cables if you are going to store the bike for a long time.
How Cold is too Cold for E-Bikes?
The electronic components of your bike, are very sensitive to extreme high and low temperatures. The most sensitive is the lithium battery. You should never store your electric bike at freezing temperature.
Once it gets below 30°F, it is no longer ideal. Anything under Zero for a prolonged period will damage the battery. When the batteries get damaged, they will not hold a charge and may not even recharge well.
How to Store Your Bike in a Small Apartment?
It is always best to store your bike whether electric or not indoors. Lets us look at some helpful steps you can take to store your bike inside.
- Clean the bike:
One of the reasons why you might not want to bring a bike in after use is because of dirt.
If you want to store your bike inside, the first step is to clean it. You might need to use some water if it is really dirty. Do not use a high-pressure hose when washing your bike. Doing so will allow water to get into the wrong places.
- Keep it out of sight:
Look for a spot that is least visited in the house, so that it does not become an obstacle.
- Use a Clug:
A clug is a small bike rack that helps you store your bike without it leaning against the wall. You can use it to store a bike vertically or horizontally. Hornit is the company that makes these clugs.
To use the clugs, they are mounted on the wall and hold your tire or tires in place. They come in different sizes to accommodate different tire sizes. Another value of using a clog is that it makes the storage look pretty in your home.
Electric bikes can be stored outside, but it is not recommended. Electric bike batteries are designed to be stored and charged in a climate-controlled environment. Extreme temperatures can damage the battery or shorten its lifespan.