Is It Safe to Ride Your E-Bike in the Rain? Explained!

One of the many rules humans get taught to follow from a relatively young age is keeping your electronics away from water. However, if your primary mode of transport is cycling, and you have an e-bike, does the same rule apply? Below we ask the critical question: can you ride an electric bike in the rain?

Most modern electric bikes are manufactured to encase the electronic components in a water-resistant and weatherproof shell, making them suitable for riding in the rain. However, some older models may be unable to ride in the rain, so it’s best to check the model’s IP rating online.

Though most electric bikes can ride in the rain, especially the newer models, there are a few things you should look for or avoid when riding in these conditions. Below we answer whether you can ride your electric bike in the rain with more detail and give you some useful do’s and don’ts for riding in this weather condition.

Can You Ride An Electric Bike In Rainy Conditions?

Since electric bikes get made to be as used in similar conditions to a regular bicycle, you can use them in the rain, though this does depend on the level of rainfall and even your terrain. With this in mind, using your e-bike in light rain will be fine if the manufacturer tests it and states that it is safe to ride in the rain.

However, it is best to only use an e-bike in similar conditions to those in which you would use a regular bike, which means avoiding storms. In general, though you can ride your electric bike in the rain, avoiding excessive amounts of water is best since water resistance is not the same as being waterproof.

Some e-bikes, specifically older models, do not have suitable compartments for the electronics to make the system water-resistant, which means you cannot use it in the rain. Before you take your e-bike out in the rain, it may be best to check the manufacturer’s website to see your model’s IP rating.

What You Should Avoid While Using Your E-bike In The Rain

Though most modern electric bikes are fine to ride in the rain, there are some things you should avoid to ensure you do not cause unnecessary wear and tear. Below we discuss some things you should not do when riding your e-bike in the rain.

  • Avoid Standing Water – Though you can safely ride your electric bike in the rain, this does not mean you can or should ride your e-bike through a significant amount of standing water. Though the casing around the electronics on most modern e-bikes is water resistant, it cannot submerge in water and be undamaged.

    It may be safe to ride through a small amount of standing water, such as a puddle on the road, but if there are floods, you should avoid them. If you can, keeping your electronic sections out of the water is best to ensure no unforeseen circumstances can damage your e-bike.

  • Don’t Leave Wires Unchecked – Though most of the components of a modern e-bike should be water-resistant, some of the wires around the bike, like connectors or charging ports, may not be. For this reason, it is best to check your wires before you ride in the rain and store them away if possible.

    If your e-bike has connectors that are visible when riding, or you can’t store your wires in a compartment, you may want to find a different way to keep them safe from water damage.

  • Don’t Leave Your Bike In The Rain – Even though your e-bike may be okay to ride in the rain, it is best not to keep it in the rain when you store it. Most electric bikes get made so that they can keep water away from the critical electrical components while moving. Still, some water may be able to get into the system if it gets exposed to water for a longer time.

    If you need to leave your bike outside while you are at work or don’t have a garage or safe storage area at home, it may be best to cover it at least. However, it is best to keep it inside if at all possible.

How To Ensure Your E-Bike Is Safe To Ride In The Rain

If you’re planning to ride your e-bike in the rain or need to use it to get to work, there are a few things you should look for to know if it can ride in the rain. In addition, you can do a few things to keep your electric bike safe while riding in the rain, and these apply even to e-bikes that are already water resistant.

  • Check the IP Rating – Before you take your electric bike outside in the rain, it is best to research the model and find its IP (Ingress Protection) rating. The IP rating of your e-bike consists of two numbers: the first number indicates protection against solid objects like dust, while the second number reflects protection against water. This rating will help you determine whether you can ride your e-bike in the rain and also allow you to gauge how well it can resist water ingress while riding in wet conditions. If you reside in an area with a lot of rain or rainy seasons, you may want an e-bike with an IP rating where the second number is 5 or above, such as IP65 or IPX5, for better water protection. However, if your area is relatively dry or doesn’t rain often, you may be alright with a rating around IP54 or IPX4, which still offers some protection against splashing water.

  • Use Heat Shrink Or Plastic To Cover Wires –Though most water-resistant e-bikes should use connectors or wires that are water resistant, if you modify your bike or see wires you’re worried about, you can use plastic or heat shrink to give you greater peace of mind.

    Wrapping plastic around your wires or wire connectors may be an excellent way to temporarily cover parts of your e-bike if you are in a pinch, but ideally, you want to get water-tight heat shrink.

  • Cover Your Screen Or Remotes – Though not all electric bikes have them, some may come with remotes or screens you need to protect during a rainy cycle. Some manufacturers may be able to sell you water-resistant covers for these parts of your electric bike, though not all manufacturers have this option.

    If you have no other options, you can set up a cover by placing plastic over the part and using a tight rubber band or cable tie to keep it in place. Remove the plastic and inspect the area after your cycle to ensure no extra damage occurs.

Conclusion

Riding an electric bike in the rain is possible, but it’s important to protect the electrical components from moisture. Checking the IP rating to determine water resistance levels and being mindful of avoiding deep puddles or excessive water exposure are key. By taking these measures, you can confidently use your electric bike, even in wet conditions.

Author

  • Miles Baxter

    Miles Baxter is an engineer with a longstanding love for bicycles, sparked by winning a mountain bike in a childhood lottery. Balancing a keen interest in mechanics with the thrill of biking, his career is a testament to the art of turning wheels and gears into adventures.

    Baxter Miles