Electric bikes make a lot of sense for all kinds of reasons. They’re environmentally friendly, easy to ride, and fun! But when it’s pouring down outside and you need to get home on your expensive new ride, you might be wondering: are electric bikes waterproof?
Are Electric Bikes Waterproof?
Here’s the short answer: electric bikes are not waterproof. However, most electric bikes are water resistant. That means that they can handle a little bit of water and moisture, but won’t stand up to being submerged in water.
So, if you get caught in the rain or your bike gets splashed with some water, don’t worry! Your bike should be just fine. In fact, most electric bike riders don’t think twice about riding in a bit of drizzle and won’t ever have any issues.
Can Electric Bikes Get Wet?
Like standard bicycles, you can get all of the parts wet but should make sure they dry out properly. However, electric bikes obviously have some electric parts. The most important parts to keep dry are the battery and the drivetrain. If those parts get wet, it could damage your bike or even cause an electric shock.
In a small amount of rain, you’ll be totally fine. If it’s raining to the point where water is flooding down the side of your bike and over the battery and motor, you should stop and take shelter. Keep the bike powered off and try to keep it dry, or just pedal or push it without having the power on.
If an electric bike is on and gets wet, it’s more likely to get damaged. If an electric item like a motor gets damp inside but isn’t on, it is possible to dry it off and have it work again. So if in doubt – dry it off and wait as long as you can.
How Wet Can You Get An Electric Bike?
- Light rain is fine
- Heavy downpours should be avoided
- A small puddle should be ok
- Big puddles should be avoided
- Submersion in water, rivers, the sea e.t.c is a massive no
- Don’t hose down, spray, or pressure wash your Electric Bike parts
- Before washing, turn off, remove the battery if possible
- Use a wet cloth to wash the main parts or pressure wash those only
- Avoid the chain, gears, battery, drivetrain, and motor
- Wipe these down with a slightly damp cloth or a dry cloth
- Use alcohol wipes or to clean and dry these parts
Use this video for washing your ebike but be way more careful around the electric parts than this guy is.
What Happens If An Electric Bike Gets Wet?
If your electric bike’s battery gets wet, it could short circuit and become damaged. If the motor gets wet, it could short out and damage some of the internals. These can both be expensive to fix or replace.
However, most electric bikes that come pre-made have good enclosures for the battery and motor. If you have a mid-drive motor, it’ll likely be built into the middle of the bike and very well-enclosed. If you have an Ebike conversion kit or a bike with a rear or front hub motor, they’ll be more exposed.
Essentially if you take a look at the Ebike and the electric parts are very well enclosed, it should be fairly well protected from rain and some splashes.
What Electric Bikes Are Waterproof? IP Ratings
If you’re looking for a fully waterproof electric bike, you probably won’t find one. But you may well find one with electric parts that are IP rated. IP (ingress protection) ratings are given to items that have been tested and hold up against the IEC 60529 standard.
This standard allows tests to show how well items hold up against “solid foreign objects” and liquids. The code printed on parts and items – like your mobile phones – have a code that looks like IPXX, with the XX being two numbers. The first number is solid protection, the second for liquid protection.
|1st Number||Solid foreign object protection (dust)||2nd number||Liquid protection (water)|
|0 / X||No Protection or Not Tested||0 / X||No Protection or Not Tested|
|1||Protected against objects 50mm around and greater||1||Protected against vertically falling water drop|
|2||12.5mm and greater||2||Water drops when the enclosure is titled up to 15 degrees|
|3||2.5mm and greater||3||Spraying water|
|4||1mm and greater||4||Splashing water|
|6||Dust-tight||6||Temporary immersion in water|
|7||Temporary immersion in water|
|8||Continous immersion in water|
|9||High pressure and temperature water jets|
You’ve probably heard of an IP65 rating as it’s a very common one. That means an IP65 battery for instance would be dust-tight and protected from water jets. So water jet washing is ok but it shouldn’t be submerged, even temporarily.
The Bosch Active Line, Active Line Plus, Performance Line, and Performance Line Sport are all IP54 rated as of their latest models (Bosch manual). That means their motors are rated to hold up against splashing waters, so puddles and a little water will be okay.
The Bosch Performance Line CX / Cargo Line and the Performance Line Speed / Cargo Line Speed are also IP54 rated (Bosch manual). Many brands like Trek use Bosch motors as part of their system
Bafang motors generally claim to be IP rated according to online seller listings. You should check IP ratings before you buy if this is important to you.
My Electric Bike Got Wet, What Should I Do?
If your electric bike does get wet, the most important thing is to dry it off as soon as you can and leave it. Take the battery out (if possible) and dry it off with a towel. If you have a bike with a removable motor, take that off and dry it too.
If you can’t take the motor or battery out, just wipe them down as best as possible and leave the bike to dry in a warm, dry (not hot) place. Give it a day if you can/ Once everything is totally dry, you can put it all back together and test the system. If you don’t get any problems turning it on you’ll be fine.
How To Stop Electric Bikes Getting Wet?
The easiest way is to keep your Ebike under cover when you’re not using it. This Zeal Ebike cover is burly, waterproof, and compatible with all types of bike racks. It’s big enough to cover all types of big bikes and is especially suited to electric bikes.
Zeal Pro Ebike Cover
It’s also compatible with a rear-mounted brake kit so you can drive your Ebike around in the rain or keep it on your truck, ready for action.
In conclusion, electric bikes are not waterproof but are water resistant. With a little bit of care, you can keep your electric bike in good condition even if it gets a little wet on a gray day out.