Do ebikes have any weak spots like mud and water?
Today we are going to talk about electric bikes and water resistance, because we already know that fluids and electricity "can't be friends.." and if some water goes over working electric circuits, the bike can get severely damaged by a short circuit!
A very common question is about: Do ebikes resist water and mud? Good quality electric bikes come with a certain level of waterproofing, and it means that they are suitable to resist water, mud and debris with certain intensity and in certain circumstances.
The typical ebike waterproof capacity, in general, is about to resist water splashes and light rain: ebikes can't be submerged in water and they can't be washed with high pressure gauges. Producers also recommend avoiding riding under heavy and torrential rain.
So, as you can see, electric bikes are equipped with a certain resistance against mud and water, but you need to take care about the bike and avoid damaging electronic components with water infiltration.
If your bike it's dirty or covered in mud, you can do a wash but with careful attention and following some rules. In the same way, if you ride in the rain, you must dry your ebike before the indoor storage, and avoid letting it outside under the heavy rain.
You want to wash your bike without risks? Let's go deeper in details with the procedure..
Is it possible to wash an ebike？
A recurring question concerns how and when to wash an electric bike. We know that electronic components and electricity do not get along well with liquids at all, so in principle it is best to avoid washing until this is strictly necessary. The most important thing will be to keep the chain well clean and lubed, for the frame you can put a damp cloth to remove the dust or mud.
As we said in the beginning, modern ebikes offer a certain degree of waterproofing which is quantified by the manufacturer. The higher it is, the more the electrical components will be able to resist water. However keep in mind that these certifications basically protect the bike from splashes and light rain.
For example the IPX5 Waterproof level certifies that electric components are protected from splashes, dust and mud.
Anyways, we remind you that electric bikes are not suitable for torrential rain or high pressure washing, for example car wash systems or home high pressure cleaners. Equally you must avoid leaving the bike outside in the pouring rain, and in case you get caught by the rain while riding, you must dry the electric bike very well before the storage.
Electric bike wash
Having said that when really necessary, see in case of encrusted mud, you can wash the bike with a light and delicate flow of water, taking care not to concentrate the jet on the battery, on the display, in the motor and in the connectors.
When the transmission is very dirty, you can wash it with the special chain washer tool. It is a box with rotating brushes that remove dirt as the chain passes. The tool contains a tray in which to insert the specific degreasing product: you can easily find it in your favourite bike shop or in Amazon.
Note for Brakes: When washing, NEVER use rags or brushes that contain dirty oil or grease to contaminate the discs. Brake discs should be dried with clean, disposable absorbent paper.
Safest e-bike wash: sponge and dry wash
The safest method to wash an ebike consists of a patient washing with a bucket and a sponge, with some drops of a mild neutral detergent. And if you love your bike, keep in mind that there are specific professional products that allow you to degrease and polish the ebike with little effort, without damaging the components.
To get the best you can look for bike washing products in your trusted dealers or conveniently online.
You can also find some special E-Clean detergent, it can be sprayed on the components and does not require rinsing with water. Then you will also find the specific spray product to remove residual moisture from circuits and contacts, specifically designed for the ordinary maintenance of e-bikes.
NEVER USE domestic degreasers, they are corrosive for plastic gaskets, for anodizing and for paint.
Drying is the winning move to protect you ebike
After each wash, take some time to carefully dry all surfaces, because storing the wet bike in a humid environment can lead to serious problems for the electrical system! And it could also cause the drive components to fail and get rust.
To speed up the drainage of the water, you can shake the bike in a controlled manner, making it "bounce gently on the wheels". You can also lift the bike by bringing it with the front wheel vertically, to drain any accumulations of water nested in the frame.
After these operations you can remove the battery to check that there is no water infiltration in the compartment. As mentioned above, you can spray the special E-Contact spray to wash off the water and lubricate the electrical contacts, preventing them from oxidizing.
If you follow all these rules, your electric bike will stay in great shape and will have a long life.