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How To Store Your E-Bike During The Winter Like A Pro

Apr 29, 2024

How To Store Your E-Bike During The Winter Like A Pro

It’s that time of year again. Temps are dipping into the not-so-nice digits—even if you live in the southern states.

That means it's time to think about where and how the heck you're gonna stash your new electric toy until spring.

Yes. You have to "winterize" your e-bike in most areas of the world. But it doesn’t have to be a mystery or a royal pain to do it right.

Why is it important to properly store your e-bike during winter?

Whether your area gets snow or not, I’ll bet it gets crazy cold at night and in the wee hours of the morning. Right?

That’s why you need to learn how to properly store your e-bike.

The cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your e-bike’s electrical components, especially the battery.

Metal contracts and batteries discharge much, much faster than normal, which can both cause mechanical damage and failure.

The longer your bike is stored improperly, the less life you’ll get out of it. And the sooner you’ll be in the market to drop a bunch of $$ on a new e-bike again.

That’s why we want to make sure you know the correct way to store your e-bike in the winter, whether you still plan on riding it or not.

4 Steps to prepare your e-bike for winter storage

There are a few simple steps to keep in mind for e-bike winter storage:

  1. Preparing your e-bike for storage.
  2. Choosing the right storage location.
  3. Battery storage and maintenance.
  4. What to do if you still want to ride in cold weather.

In this article, you’ll get a simple answer to all 4 steps so you can properly store (and ride) your bike in cold temperatures without ending up with a problem on your hands.

Preparing your e-bike for storage: Cleaning and maintenance

Whether you don’t plan on touching your e-bike again till spring or you love a good ride through the snow and slush, there are a few simple cleaning tips to get you ready for storage:

If you're storing all winter long:

  • Wipe and dry the bike.
  • Discharge the battery to at least 80% (50% is ideal for most models).
  • Remove the battery.
  • Double-check wiring connections.
  • Store the e-bike upright.
  • Cover and store your bike where it will stay dry.
  • Store the battery indoors, in a protective container, if possible.

If you plan on riding occasionally:

  • Wipe down and dry the entire bike after each ride (road salt and sand are no bueno).
  • Remove the battery after each ride.
  • Double-check wiring connections.
  • Store the e-bike upright.
  • Cover and store your bike where it will stay dry.
  • Store the battery indoors, in a protective container, if possible.

Essential accessories for e-bike storage during winter

Although you don’t need special gear to prepare and store your bike, these things make it a heck of a lot easier and more effective:

  • Neoprene battery storage bags.
  • Soft sham cloth.
  • Waterproof bike cover.

Choosing the right location for storing your e-bike

Not everyone has access to the perfect e-bike storage area. Living in an apartment or with roommates can make it tough.

But here are a couple of basic guidelines to use to choose the best place to store your e-bike this winter:

First, always make sure you’re storing your ride in a DRY location that stays ABOVE FREEZING. Even if you plan to cover your e-bike, you still want to make sure that the location isn’t going to flood or end up with standing water that could freeze.

Indoor storage is always ideal. But sometimes, that can be impossible.

Garages, sheds, storage units, and underground garage racks are all good options. As long as they’re dry and as close to room temp as possible.

Storing your e-bike in a basement or indoor storage area

Like I said before, indoor storage is always the best option, especially if you’re planning to store it all winter long.

However, if you plan to ride it occasionally, consider how accessible your storage location actually is and how much of a pain it will be to get in and out every time you want to ride.

Anyway, storing your e-bike in a basement or in your home is the easiest option:

  • Store your e-bike upright.
  • Choose an out-of-the-way spot, like a wall-mounted bike rack.
  • Remove the battery and store it separately.

While storing indoors is the best option, it also can be dangerous.

Make sure your storage location is both out of the way of foot traffic AND furniture or other flammable materials. While it doesn’t happen often, e-bike batteries can combust, and you want to make sure your bike is stored in a location where a fire will cause the least amount of damage.

Best practices for storing your e-bike in a garage

If your only storage option is a garage or shed, make sure you do everything you can to make the storage conditions as comfortable as possible.

Ideal storage temperatures are between 32º and 68ºF, or between freezing and room temp. While e-bikes can technically be stored down to -22º, this extreme change in temperature could cause damage to the mechanical and electrical components of your e-bike. Especially if it stays that cold for a long time.

There are a few things you can do to improve the storage temperature and conditions, like covering the entire bike with a waterproof, lined cover. Or hang it on the wall or from ceiling hooks.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s stored far away from anything that could be flammable, like gas cans, paint cans, or the propane grill. Better safe than sorry.

Tips for protecting your e-bike from theft during storage

If you’re storing your e-bike in a public space, like a shared garage or an unlocked shed, theft could still be a problem.

But if you protect it like you would if you were locking it up at the skate park, you’ll be fine:

  • Remove the battery.
  • Lock it up as usual.
  • Store it out of sight.

Removing the battery is just a one-up on the typical anti-theft storage measures you should already be taking. Anyone who knows their merchandise will likely leave a battery-less e-bike alone since the cost of replacing it is a little ridiculous.

How to maintain your e-bike battery during winter storage

E-bike batteries are delicate little powerhouses. So treat them accordingly.

Like I’ve mentioned already, storing your battery separately from the bike in a warm, dry location is ideal. 

Here are some more details:

  • Do not store your battery fully charged OR plugged into the charger all winter. Even if it has an auto-off function.
  • Store your battery with a charge level between 40-80%. 
  • Check the battery every few months and charge it to keep it in range.
  • Do not try to charge the battery if it’s below freezing.
  • Use Storage Mode if your battery or e-bike has it.

One thing you need to remember if you do want to ride in cold weather:

I get it; you’re a daredevil. Freezing cold weather and snow doesn’t scare you. Kudos.

But there are a few things you need to remember if you plan to ride in the winter.

  1. Cold batteries perform poorly. Your e-bike battery is made with lithium ions that free-float in a liquid electrolyte solution to conduct power. But the colder it gets, the thicker the liquid solution and the slower the ions move.
  2. Braking and acceleration are going to be different. Because your battery is working more slowly, braking and acceleration will also. So don’t expect your e-bike to be able to stop on a dime like it does in the summer.
  3. You have less power than usual. Because your lithium ions are a little sluggish, you won’t be able to open up the throttle on hills and jumps like you’re used to.
  4. Always wipe your e-bike down after a ride. Snow, condensation, road salt, and sand can cause major damage to your e-bike if you leave it after a ride.
  5. Do NOT charge your battery if it’s below freezing. You may be tempted to just plug in like usual when you get done with your ride, but charging a lithium-ion battery below 32°F can cause lithium plating, which drastically reduces the lifespan and efficiency of your battery.

If you properly store your e-bike this winter, you’ll get more play time in the spring and summer.

Taking the steps to properly store your e-bike and battery during cold weather is your best chance to enjoy your ride for longer.

There’s no sense in dropping a paycheck on a toy if you can’t play with it, right?

So, whether you plan to hit the streets snow-or-no, or you’re parking your e-bike for the entire winter, follow these steps to make sure you’re protecting your investment. You’ll thank me later.