How To Waterproof An Electric Bike? [Easy-To-Follow Tips]

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Matt

how to waterproof an electric bike

Most electric bike designs available today are water-resistant, but waterproofing the bike yourself for an extra layer of protection is always a good idea. Better be safe than sorry, especially if you live in a rainy or humid city.

Here’s all you can do to waterproof your electric bike:

  • Check your ebike’s IP rating to understand what level of protection it already has against water.
  • Before waterproofing your bike, clean it of any dust and debris, so you don’t lock them in.
  • Dry the bike after cleaning it, so the waterproofing methods don’t lock in any moisture. Also, always dry your bike after riding it in the rain.
  • Use sealant spray to create a thin protective layer between your bike’s frame and water.
  • Cover any damaged areas or gaps on the bike’s frame with waterproofing tape.
  • Enclose the controller and its wires into a waterproof case or box.
  • Use heat-shrink tubing to waterproof any damaged wires.
  • Apply dielectric grease on the electrical connections of your bike for a nonconductive barrier between the connections and water.
  • Install waterproof housing to cover your gear system and apply generous amounts of water-resistant lubricants to the gears, chain, and derailleurs.
  • Pot the electrical components of your bike, like the motor and battery, with a suitable potting material, e.g., epoxy resin, silicone, etc.
  • Whenever you park or store your electric bike, cover it with a waterproof cover.
  • Install fenders to catch any water from your bike’s tires.
  • Cover the bike’s screen with a protective adhesive film or screen protector.
  • Store your bike in an elevated position somewhere cool and dry indoors, e.g., shed, basement, or garage.

Are electric bikes waterproof?

Not all electric bikes are waterproof. Some bikes are more water resistant than others, while others are completely waterproof. Every electric bike’s water resistance level differs depending on the model and manufacturer.

Even the most waterproof electric bikes are not completely immune to water damage, especially when riding through deep water or heavy rain for extended periods.

So, taking every possible measure to waterproof your bike is necessary to protect all of its electrical components.

Can you leave an electric bike in the rain?

an electric bike standing in the rain

In short, you shouldn’t leave your electric bike in the rain without a waterproof cover. Leaving your bike in the rain means water will most probably seep into some of the bike’s internal electric components. 

This can severely damage the whole electric system of your bike, leaving it no better than a traditional bicycle.

Some bikes are advertised as completely waterproof by their manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean they are 100% immune. If they’ve been used for a few years, there is a chance that some of the waterproofing has worn off, making the bike at least a little bit vulnerable to water.

Not to mention, aged electronic components are more susceptible to water damage than new ones.

How can rain damage an ebike?

These are all the ways in which rain can damage your electric bike.

Damage to the ebike’s electrical components can cause them to malfunction

If you ride your ebike in the rain or leave it out in wet weather for long periods, the water will most likely seep into the internal components of the bike. These components include the motor, battery, gear system, and controller, which can all malfunction or stop working if they come in contact with too much water. The bike can overheat because of this, and the components can short-circuit.

Any exposed wires with damaged insulation that come in contact with water are also a hazard and should be taken care of immediately.

Corrosion if the ebike is left in the rain for too long

Many of the electric bike’s components are made of metal. This includes the handles, battery terminals, connectors used for the electrical components, etc. Much of the bike’s frame is also made of metal.

If not waterproofed right, all these components or surfaces will corrode when they come into contact with water for an extended period.

This will reduce the lifespan of the electric components.

Accidents caused by the slippery roads

slippery road sign

If your electric bike isn’t designed to be ridden in the rain, its tire grips won’t be the most reliable for such weather. Slippery roads and poor tire grips make the perfect recipe for a road accident.

If you live somewhere with frequent rainfall, we recommend getting a bike advertised as safe to ride in the rain by its manufacturer and has a high IP rating, and also has great reviews from users when it comes to riding in the rain. 

Increased wear and tear of the electric bike components

When your electric bike is constantly exposed to rain, chances are its lubrication will start washing away. More friction between the bike’s mechanical components will lead to wear and tear, decreasing the electric bike’s lifespan.

It would be a good idea to lubricate the bike after you’re done riding it in the rain. Some lubricants are more water-resistant than others. If you know nothing about lubricating an electric bike, this video would be a good place to start. 

The guy in the video digs deep about the areas of your electric bike you should and should not lubricate. He discusses the different types of lubricants and how each of them uniquely serves to protect the ebike.

How to waterproof your electric bike?

When it comes to waterproofing your bike, some methods are more complicated and in-depth than others. You may be required to open up your bike to waterproof its internal components. If you don’t have the skills to waterproof the internal components, you may even have to hire a mechanic. Keep in mind that both of those courses of action may result in your ebike’s warranty being voided.

If you live in a mostly dry area, chances are you can get away without in-depth waterproofing your electric bike. Most bikes are water-resistant to some level by the manufacturer already.

However, I still recommend that you go through with the simple ways of waterproofing your bike for extra protection against puddles, spills, and moisture.

Check the IP ratings of your electric bike and its electric components

An Ingress Protection (IP) rating describes how well an electronic system is protected from dust and moisture. It’s made of two digits. 

The first ranges from 0-6 and indicates the protection level against solids. The second ranges from 0-9 and it denotes the protection rating of the system against liquids. Higher digits mean better protection.

So, a rating of IP67 offers great resistance against both water and dust, whereas an IP44 rating means the system is somewhat protected against both but not entirely.

Identifying the IP rating of your bike will give you a good idea of how much more waterproofing it needs. You can usually find the rating on your electric bike’s user manual or contact the manufacturer.

In general, a value of 4 for the protection against liquids is decent, and 5 or more is already pretty good (I wouldn’t do a lot of extra waterproofing for a 5).

Clean your bike thoroughly before waterproofing

Before you begin waterproofing your bike, clean it thoroughly so that the waterproofing products, e.g., sealants, don’t lock in any dust or debris. In my experience, a damp cloth with some soap works best, but you can also use a light water spray on the bike’s frame. Just make sure you don’t spray any of the electrical components. 

Under no circumstances should you ever hose down your bike or use any other high-pressure water stream. The water will seep into the internal electrical components of your e-bike and cause major damage.

Completely dry your bike

Always dry your bike after riding it in the rain or after cleaning it with a wet cloth. Don’t risk water damage by waiting for the bike to air dry.

After cleaning your bike with water, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the bike dry before any waterproofing. Avoid using a hairdryer, as it may push water in places that are difficult to reach.

If you skip this step and don’t let the electric bike dry completely, the waterproofing products you use could lock moisture in, wasting all your efforts to protect the bike from water damage.

Waterproof the bikes frame with a sealant spray

sealant spray

Waterproofing sprays are sealants that create a protective thin layer on your electric bike that repels water. The spray prevents water from seeping into the bike’s components. Just make sure that you apply an even and thin layer, so no surface is left unprotected.

Waterproofing sprays are great for protecting an electric bike’s frame, accessories, and other nonelectric parts but aren’t recommended for its electrical components. The spray isn’t designed to provide them adequate protection, and its chemicals may interfere with how they function.

Use waterproofing tape to cover your bike and electronic components

Apply waterproof tape to the bike’s frame and wires. The tape is great for covering any little damaged areas or gaps on the bike’s housing and prevents water from seeping in and causing more damage.

Using the tape on the bike’s motor and battery case can help keep water away but shouldn’t be relied on as a primary protection measure from water.

Waterproof your electric bike controller

Check if your electric bike controller is already in a waterproof casing. If it is, check the edges for any gaps or holes and fill them with a waterproof silicone sealant.

If the controller is waterproof or the casing is old, you can buy a new one or even create it yourself. 

My friend who’s into DIY projects used a container large enough to fit the controller and its wires as a case. He drilled carefully measured holes to accommodate the wires. He sealed the holes and the edges of the container with a silicone sealant. Worked like a charm.

If you’re not much of a DIY person, you can just get a waterproof bag designed to fit the controller. Make sure the bag is tightly sealed and fastened properly to the bike.

Protect your wires with heat shrink insulation

In general, all electric bikes come with waterproof wires, but if yours have become damaged over the years, riding in the rain can be a nightmare. 

A simple fix is to cover the damaged part of the wire with a marine-grade, heat-shrink wire insulation tube. Then heat the insulation tube until it shrinks to fit the wire snugly. 

You can also use the tubing to bundle up the wires together as an extra protection layer against water.

Use dielectric grease for electrical connections

a tube of dielectric grease

Dielectric grease is an inexpensive sealant that is water-resistant and doesn’t conduct electricity. Using it on your bike’s electrical connections will block out any moisture and prevent corrosion.

Lubricate the gear system and use waterproof housing

Many water-resistant lubricants are available that you can apply to your gear system. Applying a good amount of waterproof grease or lubricant to the chain, gears, and derailleurs will protect them from any water sprays during the ride.

Use waterproof tape to seal any cable ports in the frame that can lead water to seep into the gear system. For an extra protection layer, you can install waterproof housing to cover the gear system.

Pot the electrical components

Potting your electric bike involves sealing the electrical components in waterproof cases or potting material, e.g., resin, silicone, epoxy, etc. This method is usually used to waterproof the motors and controller of an electric bike.

The potting material is poured into a casing with the electrical component and is then allowed to cure. Once cured, the material acts as a durable protective shell around the electrical component. The material’s resistance to shock and vibration is an added benefit.

Don’t skip on a waterproof cover

A waterproof cover may seem like the least important waterproofing tip on this list but it’s quite simple and can act as the first line of defense for your bike against water. 

You can protect your bike at home by parking it inside the garage. However, on a rainy day when your bike is parked outside your office or the grocery store, you never know when a passing vehicle could pass by, splashing water onto your bike.

A waterproofing cover will protect your bike from water while parked. The additional benefit of the cover protecting the bike from dirt and dust doesn’t hurt either. It’ll only increase the electric bike’s lifespan.

Install fenders to catch water sprays from tires

a fender on the rear wheel of an electric bike

It’s common for the tires of your electric bike to kick up mud and water from puddles onto its frame and components. Fenders can be extremely helpful for keeping water and mud from hitting the bike and seeping into the internal components.

They are installed above the ebike’s wheels, extending towards the ground.

Store your bike in a dry place

If you’re planning to store your bike for the winter, remove its battery and store it in a dry place. Store the bike in your garage, basement, or shed on a rack or stand for the bike. This elevates the bike preventing winter moisture from accumulating inside.

Cover your bike with a waterproof cover and check on it regularly through the winter to ensure it stays dry.

Cover the screen and power button with a protective film

Take it from someone who’s had to get his electric bike screen fixed because of water damage – always cover your screen with a protective adhesive film. Many screen protectors are available for purchase, specially designed to keep water from seeping in.

You can also use waterproof tape around the edges of the screen for more reinforcement.

Don’t ride your electric bike in the rain 

The best way to protect your bike against water is to avoid it coming in contact with the liquid altogether. If you can, avoid riding your bike in the rain. It wouldn’t be safe anyway. 

If you really need to travel in the rain, use a traditional bike if you have one lying around the house or another transport mode. 

How can you avoid risks while riding your ebike in the rain?

If you live in a rainy city, you probably can’t always avoid riding your electric bike in the rain. Some people even enjoy it. 

Here are some tips to remember when riding your ebike in the rain:

  • Always check the weather forecast to know exactly how bad the rain will get. You don’t want to get stranded with your electric bike in the middle of a storm. If the weather does go downhill, get off the bike and walk instead to find cover.
  • Wear the right rain and safety gear. Riding your bike in the rain will never be 100% safe, even when the bike is designed to withstand such weather conditions. Wearing the right rain gear, e.g., a waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes, can help you stay aware of your surroundings. If you skip the rain gear, you’ll focus more on the cold than the road ahead.
  • Turn on your lights and wear a reflective vest to be visible to others on the road.
  • Look out for potholes that can destabilize you on the already slippery roads. Avoid puddles because they could be covering some deep potholes as well.
  • Brakes can be less effective in the rain, so don’t lose control of the bike by braking too hard. Brake gently and earlier than you would on a dry road.

How do you waterproof an electric motor?

If you don’t know much about the internals of your electric bike, I recommend not trying your hand at waterproofing the internal components. Manufacturers know how important a motor is for an electric bike, so they almost always ensure it’s well-waterproofed. 

If you don’t have a warranty for your electric bike and feel the motor isn’t working right after riding in the rain, getting the bike inspected by a mechanic is the more reasonable option. 

You don’t want to start a DIY project you don’t have the skill to finish, especially not with a piece of equipment that is this expensive.

How do you waterproof a battery?

Depending on the design of your electric bike, it can either have an internal or an external battery. If the battery is fitted inside the ebike, it’s probably well waterproofed. Even if you want to check it yourself, accessing it won’t be easy, and you’ll probably do more harm than good (including the risk of losing your warranty).

If your ebike has an external battery, it’s usually fastened to the rear rack. This makes it convenient to switch out batteries during your ride for a longer range. These batteries are usually waterproof with properly sealed edges and water-resistant coatings.

To go further with waterproofing, you can buy a suitable battery case made of water-resistant material like neoprene or silicone.

If your battery is protected by a casing but is old, you can also use silicone sealant on the edges and fill any gaps or holes in the case.

Is it ok to keep an electric bike outside?

If you need to make a quick run to the grocery store on a hot day and leave your bike parked outside for a while, then the risk might be worth it. However, if you plan on being gone for a while, we recommend getting a waterproof cover.

You never know when a passing car could spray a puddle of water onto your bike. This can be a nightmare, especially if you find out only after the water has done its damage.

A waterproof cover will also protect your bike against dust and dirt, extending its lifespan.

When home, always store your bike indoors with the waterproof cover in a cool and dry place, like your garage.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
My name is Matt Trajkovski. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general. I like doing a lot of testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.

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