How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Blueshift   100 W

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How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by Blueshift » Feb 27 2012 5:48pm

I am not talking about the dangers of slipping and dodging puddles that might have potholes. I am talking about electrical components. How many feel that your electrical components are watertight enough to go out in a moderate to heavy rain?

I wanted to ride my ebike today but knew it wasn't up to snuff yet as far as rain tightness is concerned.

999zip999   100 GW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by 999zip999 » Feb 27 2012 6:01pm

The rain shorted my throlle and then shorted my C.A. just a little.

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shock   1 kW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by shock » Feb 27 2012 6:05pm

I hate riding in the rain. I try to avoid it at all costs. Even on an ICE bike.
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Ypedal   100 GW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by Ypedal » Feb 27 2012 6:14pm

The only bike in my collection i ride without a worry is my A2B Metro.. damn thing has been a submarine so far, 2 years of pretty much only being used when the weather sucks. On sunny days i ride the faster bikes.

That being said, my Norco Chaos i often ride in the wet, the seatpost rack has batteries and controller that will fit inside a grocery bag, i carry a few in my backpack all the time, if i get caught in rain i simply whip out a bag.. cover the batteries and controller, tie loosely at the seat post and ride home.... as soon as i get home i remove the bags and let the bike sit indoors..

I hate wet roads, specially dirty wet roads, i'd rather ride IN rain than after it. at least clean falling water washes some of the muck off..

I'm buying a super-soaker this summer, specially for getting the thick mud off the bikes as soon as i get home, before it dries.

I have the hose in the back yard but i ride past fall, so when the hose gets put away i'm screwed ..
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electr0n   1 kW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by electr0n » Feb 27 2012 6:42pm

Maybe I've been lucky but I've been commuting in the rain and snow for over a year and even leaving my bike outside being rained on all day long countless times and no problems yet. I have one of those thumb throttles with the led lights which I've read are more prone to water damage too. I cover the throttle with some plastic but it keeps breaking open so it's not totally water proof. I keep my controller wrapped in plastic bag and that goes inside a little nylon bag.
I've had so many rides in the rain now I don't worry about it too much but I'd hate to have my throttle or controller short out and cause my wheel to spin uncontrollably or lock up at while I'm at speed. My bike is my main transportation and I ride through snow storms and heavy rains and so far it's held up to the elements. Curious to hear from others about this. Has anyone had their wheel lock up or spin out of control from the rain or snow?

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dougnutz   100 W

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by dougnutz » Feb 27 2012 7:23pm

I ride 5 days a week in the Seattle weather so rain is the norm for at least half the year. I haven't added any waterproofing at all to my bike. I do occasionally get moisture inside the CA which shows us on the inside of the clear screen, but so far no ill effects on the CA and it usually dissipates in a day or so. I have also had no problem from the throttle. The controller is under the rear rack/ seat and above the fender. So while it doesn’t get direct rain it gets some exposure to spay.
Recently I have been reading lots of threads about hub motors dying horrible deaths due to water intrusion. Justin has a lot of info and a video about water intrusion. As a result I opened up my 9c last weekend. It has been untouched since it arrived 14 months and 3k miles ago, and it was immaculate. I was actually quite shocked at how clean it was inside. My only worry is now I have broken the seal :(

Anyway Seattle usually gets misty rain not downpours like some areas so YMMV
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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by MadRhino » Feb 27 2012 8:03pm

After the first winter that gave me a lot of troubles, all my bikes are now waterproof enough to ride at least half an hour in pouring rain, or to be cleaned with the garden hose without any care. I had no problems this winter, except for one of my CA that Grin have repaired on guarantee. I feel safe riding fast in the rain, slush or mud, not that I like it much though.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by Scottyf » Feb 28 2012 8:25am

In the UK through my first winter I had some issues.

I connect the hub motor up though to my backpack where the batteries and controller are. I used Powerpoles and pleny of insulation tape.
This worked for light showers but occasionaly got soaked. I also have no mudguards as they just annoy me.

Eventually the salt rotted the connections and I had to re do them. I then tried a few maplins 9 way connector thats actually mean for indoor use but epoxyed the connections and shrink wrapped them several times over. They also have a better sealed connection.

Even with exposed connections you can get away with it and not have anything short. But its best to try spend a little extra to get those water resistant connectors. I also got better with my own soldering skill and heat shrinking.

Now its not really an issue and I leave my bike in the rain at work :(
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Racer_X   1 kW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by Racer_X » Feb 28 2012 9:39am

Living in Sweden, I ride daily with rain, snow, ice or whatever for the last 3 years. I have had no problems, and my bike is parked out in the weather while i work since there is no bicycle parking at my work. I do have a DD if that makes any difference.
Here are the simple steps I took to do the waterproofing
1. I insulated all my connections with a piece of bicycle inter tube.
2. Put controller under the seat with wires facing down.
3. The Hubmotor wires come out of the hub axle looping down to try to keep water from going into the hub.
4. Always remove battery especially in freezing weather.

Here is a video I found really usefull when I first built my ebike.
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Backup bike Schwinn Heavy Duti Beach Cruiser, 9c 9x7 front Regen,ThreeSpeed Cruise. with clamping dropouts, Maxxis Holy Roller in the summer and Schwalbe Ice Spiker in winter.

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GrayKard   10 kW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by GrayKard » Feb 29 2012 12:57am

I ride quite often in rain. So far all the versions of my bike have handled it fine. I made sure each time that I had a good drip loop at the motor and always mounted the controllers in the frame where they are somewhat protected. Only extra waterproofing I did was potting the halls in the throttle with hot glue.

I haven't opened up my direct drive motor but my geared motors were untouched by moisture internally.

My bike is kept indoors both at home and at work which I think has helped. The one time I forgot to bring it in at home and it drizzled, that caused moisture problems in the controller the next day. Took it a few minutes to warm up and start running right.

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by neptronix » Feb 29 2012 1:03am

All 3 hub motors that were ridden once in the rain accumulated rust.

Cars can't see me, i can't see so well, skidded while braking on a fairly major downhill grade more than once..
Not worth it to me!
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full-throttle   10 MW

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Re: How many of you feel safe riding in a good rain?

Post by full-throttle » Feb 29 2012 1:19am

Good timing

My first inconvenience in 3-something years due to wet weather last night - the rear sprocket crunched a couple of times and started to freewheel both ways :lol:

All electrics been fine so far. Except the charge socket corroding and shorting. But that doesn't count as I was off the bike. Easy fix.

Throttle connector has been replaced with a IP67 type and both BMS and controller PCBs have been conformal coated

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