Hello from New England

sunfish

New Member
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USA
My wife and I have been bike enthusiasts for many years and in our retirement that enthusiasm has only increased. We both have traditional road bikes but this year my wife decided she'd like an e-bike to keep up with me. She bought a Velotric Thunder1 ST, and after we tricked it out, she is very happy with it.

In order to make it more comfortable we had to change out the seat, the tires, the handlebars and raise them about 2". The dealer who sold us the bike told us that raising the handlebars could not be done. He also advised against narrower tires because of stability. She is used to 23mm treads so 28mm is a piece of cake for her. I have to say that the 40mm tires that came on the bike are butt ugly.

Now she and I ride comfortably together at a fair pace. She seldom uses the motor except for some hills.

As the weather cools we will see how much that affects battery life. The bikes are stored in an unheated shed. I'd like to hear about experiences with cold weather riding on e-bikes.

Sunfish
 

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Welcome to the forum. I have ridden in some fairly cold weather (just above freezing), and have noticed very little difference in battery life. However, I do store my battery in a warm place, when not using my bike.
 
I found voltage dropped 40% greater over a known route at 48 F versus 70+ F. More watthours consumed.
I remove my battery at start of freezing weather (about Nov 15) and put back on the bike when freezing is over, about 3rd week of May. Can use earlier if I am willing to wrap it in the heat pad for a short freezing spell. Winter I store battery in garage under a back heating pad set on low. Warning, modern back heating pads shut off after 90 minutes. My battery is 5 years old now, working fine after ~400 charges.
 
Here in MA freezing temps usually don't happen until at least Dec. Global warming may change that. However I can't just unsnap the battery because it's built into the downtube on this bike. Wrapping the downtube in a heat blanket may not be very efficient but for long periods the battery can be removed without too much trouble. I ride all winter long on a traditional road bike as long as the roads are not icy, but my wife prefers her stationary on cold days!:) Given the way she uses her e-bike I doubt she'd even notice a 40% drop in range.
 
We use our e-bikes all year even when cold (3oC) and frosty in the UK. Only heavy rain stops us.

We do notice a drop in battery life in the winter, but there is always enough.

We store ours in an outside shed, where we charge them also. However, we have fitted a heater in there to keep the temperature around 8-10oC to assist with the battery charging.

DG…
 
Welcome to the forum!

I usually carry a spare battery so cold weather range loss isn't a problem. I also store my batteries in a heated environment which further minimizes the problem. Just bringing them inside overnight prior to riding will help.

Mass, is not an e-bike friendly state and laws up there are rather strict. I'm curious where you ride and if you've had any enforcement issues.
 
Welcome to the forum!

I usually carry a spare battery so cold weather range loss isn't a problem. I also store my batteries in a heated environment which further minimizes the problem. Just bringing them inside overnight prior to riding will help.

Mass, is not an e-bike friendly state and laws up there are rather strict. I'm curious where you ride and if you've had any enforcement issues.
Thanks for the welcome. The battery issue is a moot point as it is embedded in the downtube on this bike.

So why do you say that MA is not an e-bike friendly state? I have my own opinion about e-bikes generally, but I doubt it's state policy. My wife and I were active on our town's Bikeway Committee long before e-bikes became an issue. Our multi use path is reserved for non-motorized vehicles. But nobody enforces this policy except riders themselves. It gets tricky where one draws the line between what's motorized and what's not. AFAIK by definition an e-bike is motorized. Therein lies the conundrum. But I think there is a big difference between a Class-1 and a Class-3. A Class-3 is pretty much a scooter IMHO.

As for where we ride...it's mostly on public roads. My area is fairly bike friendly and improvements have been pushed by bike activists. I try not to use MUPs when I ride alone or with other "roadies". My wife rides the e-bike and is comfortable on the back roads and MUPs.
 
Fortunately the UK has one regulation that covers all parts of the country, whereas, in the USA you have different State laws that can vary.

In the UK, if your ebike, meets the definition of UK or EU law, then it is considered a bicycle. If the eBike doesn't meet them, then it is considered an e-moped upwards.

Local Councils, may have local bye-laws for land they own but it you have an eBike as defined then you can ride cycle paths and tracks.

Much simpler.

DG…
 
Fortunately the UK has one regulation that covers all parts of the country, whereas, in the USA you have different State laws that can vary.

In the UK, if your ebike, meets the definition of UK or EU law, then it is considered a bicycle. If the eBike doesn't meet them, then it is considered an e-moped upwards.

Local Councils, may have local bye-laws for land they own but it you have an eBike as defined then you can ride cycle paths and tracks.

Much simpler.

DG…
Oh, I totally agree. The laws should be standardized so there are no questions about what's legal and what's not. Unfortunately our democracy is messy as evidenced by this and other issues!
 
So why do you say that MA is not an e-bike friendly state? I have my own opinion about e-bikes generally, but I doubt it's state policy. My wife and I were active on our town's Bikeway Committee long before e-bikes became an issue. Our multi use path is reserved for non-motorized vehicles. But nobody enforces this policy except riders themselves. It gets tricky where one draws the line between what's motorized and what's not. AFAIK by definition an e-bike is motorized. Therein lies the conundrum. But I think there is a big difference between a Class-1 and a Class-3. A Class-3 is pretty much a scooter IMHO.

As for where we ride...it's mostly on public roads. My area is fairly bike friendly and improvements have been pushed by bike activists. I try not to use MUPs when I ride alone or with other "roadies". My wife rides the e-bike and is comfortable on the back roads and MUPs.
I can't speak personally about the entire state but the last time I tried to ride my e-bike on Cape Cod, I was told by a park ranger that e-bikes were not allowed on any trails on the Cape. The exception was the Cape Cod National Seashore which permits class 1 bikes.

I talked with other riders at trailhead parking lots who complained about the laws in Mass. It's been a few years though so It may be different now. E-bike laws are constantly changing and it's often difficult to know if it's legal to ride in any given area. Unless it's specifically posted, I ride responsibly and usually don't have any trouble.
 
There is a decent synopsis of current e-bike rules in MA here: https://www.massbike.org/ebikes. Changes were made in 2022 but because the National Seashore and state parks are different jurisdictions the rules can be different.

We're taking up a lot of space in the Welcome forum. Maybe we should move it elsewhere?
 
Keep in mind that your not supposed to charge a frozen battery (0°C or lower) it can damage the battery and even be dangerous.

Perhaps charge your battery right after your ride when hopefully it has warmed up, or maybe wrap your down tube with a heating pad for a while first?
 
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