How to Take Care of Your Electric Bike in the Winter

Do you ride your eBike frequently during the winter? Whether you ride daily or just once in a while, eBike maintenance during the snowy season is crucial for prolonging the life of your bike. 

While your bike will accumulate wear throughout the year, cold and wet conditions can take a toll on the frame and wheels. Freezing temperatures, ice-melt treatments, and general road hazards have the potential to seriously damage your bike. Taking a little extra care during winter maintenance can help you avoid unexpected ebike replacements, saving you time and money later down the road. 

Kris Swanson, a mechanic at Electric Wheels, has seen his fair share of what the winter weather can do to eBikes. To get the most out of your bike this season, he's offering these simple maintenance tips to avoid extensive damage due to the winter weather. 


The best place to charge your eBike's battery during the winter is in a warm, stable environment, preferably inside. Leaving it out in cold areas can damage the lithium ions in your battery, which decreases charging capacity and makes it unsafe to use

Expect to charge the battery more often in the winter, as cold weather zaps electricity faster than in warmer conditions. The general rule of thumb is to keep the battery power level between 30-80% of its total capacity to promote longevity. We recommend charging the battery between 80-90% in the winter because voltage efficiency drops in colder temperatures. 

Kris advises storing and charging your eBike battery in a warm environment. If possible, he says you should bring your eBike indoors to avoid the hardware freezing. Keep a close eye on the charge and ensure the battery is charging inside after every ride. 

Brakes and Housing

Brake pads and housing are common maintenance issues in the winter because they’re vulnerable to extreme corrosion. Road treatments, like ice melt, tend to be the main culprits of this damage. Riding in the winter can kick up more pollutants than in drier months, meaning your brake system will degrade faster.

Booking a brake bleed in the middle of winter isn't ideal for your eBike’s longevity because the moisture in the air increases the chances of corrosion in your braking system. Therefore, Kris recommends annual maintenance with a mechanic before the cold weather hits to avoid these situations.

Be on the lookout for the following telltale signs of brake erosion and malfunctioning so you can book a maintenance appointment before severely damaging your ebike. Clean and inspect the rim brake pads and surface for debris (rocks, ice melt, etc.) or general wear. After every ride, check the brake cables, housing, and rotor for other signs of damage. 


Your tires will take the brunt of the damage during the winter because they have direct contact with debris and rough terrain. If you’re riding through ice and snow, Kris recommends decreasing tire pressure to 10-20% less than it would usually be during drier months. Low tire pressure helps your wheels grip the road and reduces the chance of slipping during a ride.

If you often bike through ice and snow, consider purchasing fat tires, as they have a greater surface area than regular tires. Tires with studded treads are also a good option for riding over ice. Standard, all-weather bike tires usually don’t have the tread needed to safely stick to the road.

Before your rides, take the tire pressure with a gauge and adjust as necessary. Inspect the side walls and tire tread for signs of weathering and cracking. If you don’t make it a habit to check your tire tread and pressure during the winter, you could miss debris that erodes the frame or punctures a tire. 


Your eBike’s drivetrain is a complex system of circles typically exposed to the elements in storage and while riding. This system includes the chain, derailleur, cassette/freewheel, chainrings/crank, bottom bracket, and rear hub. These individual parts are crucial for ensuring your ebike stays in top riding condition, as damage to one part can harm the rest of the bike. 

To minimize damage, perform frequent and detailed inspections of the drivetrain throughout the winter. Kris suggests the following routine to keep the elements from wreaking havoc on your drivetrain.

  1. Using a drivetrain-specific cleaner and a soft cloth, thoroughly wipe down the drivetrain. Pay close attention to the derailleur, chain, pulleys, and cogs.
  2. While cleaning, inspect the chain for stretching or side-to-side roller wear. Check the gears and chain rings as well. If there’s evidence of damage, you may have to replace the chain (or the entire drivetrain, depending on the severity).
  3. Once everything has been cleaned and inspected, use chain lubricant and do another wipe-down to bring everything together. 


The frame will show the most obvious signs of deterioration. Ebike frames get dirty quickly during the winter, which can cause problems for other parts of your bike (specifically the drivetrain, wheels, and brakes). 

Ebike frames erode from antifreeze and ice treatments, so wiping the frame after every ride can deter significant paint damage. It will also make future maintenance a little easier. Frames tend to accumulate debris and moisture after riding in wet conditions, so always clean it thoroughly after these types of rides. Kris suggests using a soft rag and a bike wash (or a mixture of diluted dish soap and water) and wiping the frame front to back. 

While riding your bike in the winter can be a great way to get outside, the harsh elements present the possibility of extensive damage. Performing a quick 20-minute cleaning and inspection after a few rides is crucial for maximizing your bike’s longevity and avoiding costly replacements later down the road. Use these maintenance tips to help keep your ebike in top shape during the winter months!

About Electric Wheels of Colorado

Electric Wheels of Colorado is your trusted source for electric bikes (e-bikes) accessories, parts, and service. We carry only high-quality brands with whom we trust the supplier, have a path for service and warranties, and have passed our quality checks. Come visit us for a test ride today! Electric Wheels’ mission is “More Miles, More Smiles.” The owners, Todd and Lori Logan hope that Electric Wheels brings to customers a new healthy experience and a new way to enjoy life. Leading to a new way to be grateful for the opportunities to get out and move, breathe fresh air, and SMILE!