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How does cold weather affect your ebike lifestyle?

by Jace Hobbs

One of the sad realities in life besides death and taxes is the performance degradation of batteries in cold weather.

Check with battery salespeople about cold weather and you will hear how they are busy with sales at the beginning of cold snaps.  Winter brings a marked reduction in battery performance and unfortunately, our lovely lithium batts are no exception although better than the old lead acid batteries.

What can you do? Well, winter can be handled with covering your helmet with a helmet cover and wearing a windproof fleece liner under it. The battery issue is not so simple. You will have reduced range and performance with any given sized battery. You can own a second battery or get the larger 14 amp.hr. unit for your main slid-in pack. These  14’s are 40 % larger than the standard batteries and will be a remarkable increase in range and slightly better at hill climbing as well.

One of the things that is little understood about batteries is the larger capacity ones will have a longer lifespan. The loading and charging is significantly reduced so that the economy of the extra up-front cost is quite good. If you can afford the larger battery at the time you purchase your bike, you will get lots of extra life out of it.  My estimation is more than a year longer. In the long run, the lithium battery in the larger capacities is a better value than the average sized ones.   Go large.

Perhaps the only compensating thing about cold weather is the good feeling getting out and building some body heat with good old fashioned exercise. Your hybrid bike is a great way to do that, while getting you very low cost transportation at the same time. It will be hot soon enough – keep biking.

If you don’t use your bike in winter for any reason, you need to remember to charge your battery for one hour every 10 weeks. Just a small top up will preserve its life quite well. They don’t like to sit around unexercised ……and neither should you.

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