Ebikes and water

L6mbt

Pedelecer
Feb 1, 2019
28
6
I have had my Carrera E-Vengeance for three years now and, on balance, it was a good bargain-basement buy. However, on two occasions it has had a soaking; the first was when I got caught out in a cloudburst, the second was when I decided to jet-wash it after a particularly muddy journey. After both occasions the hub motor became very rough and noisy, fortunately only temporarily. I find this odd as it seems very well sealed against water ingress. I would have liked to lubricate it but, again, there appears no provision to do so. Any ideas or comments, please?
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
14,561
5,650
58
West Sx RH
Jet washing. pressure washing is a no no with ebikes. Your noise would likely be damp electrics rather then a hub issue.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,931
Basildon
I have had my Carrera E-Vengeance for three years now and, on balance, it was a good bargain-basement buy. However, on two occasions it has had a soaking; the first was when I got caught out in a cloudburst, the second was when I decided to jet-wash it after a particularly muddy journey. After both occasions the hub motor became very rough and noisy, fortunately only temporarily. I find this odd as it seems very well sealed against water ingress. I would have liked to lubricate it but, again, there appears no provision to do so. Any ideas or comments, please?
The water wasn't in the motor to make it noisy. Instead, it was in the connector. Running your motor when it doesn't run properly often results in a blown controller. Be careful!
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,765
4,832
DSC_0155.JPG

how to destroy a 250 quid rear mech with a jet wash i got it 2nd hand off ebay the clutch spring felt like broken glass was in it when it moved so had to fully strip it down re lube and rebuild it.

the jockey wheel bearings were toast so got a 40 quid refund to replace them from the seller. :p
 

AndyBike

Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
178
81
Jet washing. pressure washing is a no no with ebikes
+1
Or any bike really. It washes the grease out bearings, or forces dirt into pivots. A bucket of water and a cloth and a bit of time spent, wring out the cloth and apply elbow grease.

I've been thinking of a rain jacket. I sometimes have to do upholstery and it got me thinking that some sort of waterproof jacket that you put around the downtube, the headtube and bottom bracket area, all velcroed into position might make for an interesting project. It would keep mud,dirt and other road crud away from those areas, and while not entirely waterproof, its better than those areas being drenched in rain.
Add it to my 1001 things to do list.
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
1,319
494
I worried when my entire motor was completely submerged in dirty water, during a sudden thunderstorm downpour recently - the water level was above both pedals for over 15 seconds. Standing on the pedals on max PAS, my bike created a small bow wave as it pushed through and out of this small pond, which had suddenly appeared in the road.... but I had covered all of the plastic connectors with self-amalgamating tape when installing, I think that helped. Without max PAS, I would've just toppled over. While drying the bike next to a hot radiator for several hours, a small amount of water drained out of the bbs01b motor casing... and the bike seems completely fine thus far, a couple of weeks on. Using it after a good drying, heats and expels moisture from the motor, I think, but might kill the electrics (wiser comments above), if water's in the controller, which I'll never know unless I take the motor apart to look at it, which might make the motor less waterproof - but there are no worrying noises, therefore I'll continue ebiking till something stops working. Reading these forums, i seems the bbs01b are weatherproofed pretty well, I bloody well hope so.

Cycling, work, I'm often rained on - can't avoid it. I've got two rucksack rain covers velcroed over the battery - seamless "Waterproof" material, two in case one is rubbish. Cheap covers like that are not waterproof for long after a couple of hours of sustained rain... could further waterproof them using Nikwax spray or something. Of course, they won't stop water ingress from beneath the battery holder... My rain hat over the display is a clear poly bag, gaffa taped on permanently. The throttle is shielded from rain by a navigation cellphone case, which acts as a roof.

Clearly what I really need is a giant umbrella over the bike held by a flock of drones, which leads to more waterproofing and power conundrums...
 
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AndyBike

Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
178
81
Clearly what I really need is a giant umbrella over the bike held by a flock of drones, which leads to more waterproofing and power conundrums...
Been available for decades, if not since the beginnings of cycling.

The Cycling Cape...
Cycling cape.jpg
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,931
Basildon
People with electric bikes often keep their normal bike frame of reference when making decisions about their riding experience instead of thinking about what would help their electric bike. Whatever the drawbacks of capes, they're bloody good for keeping all the bike's electrics nice and dry, whether riding or parked. I wonder how many LCDs, capes would have saved if their riders had been clever enough to use one in the rain?

Instead of doing sensible research, ebikers seem to spend more time researching how to ruin their battery by using dodgy charging procedures rather than stopping their bikes from getting wet, which is far more likely to kill their bike than anything else.

Just in case anybody doesn't get the point, your £300 Gortex suit and £150 Sealskinz gloves might be comfortable and keep you dry, but a decent cape can be had for £20 and it will not only keep you dry and comfortable, but it will avoid you getting stranded with massive bills when water gets in your electrics.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,931
Basildon
Not seen anyone with a cycling Cape for years. Got one for my 13th birthday.
I have three. One from a supermarket in China, which is brilliant. It cost about a fiver. They must keep the best stuff for themselves. One from Aldi, which is quite good - more than enough for the job, and one from Wilkos, which is OK, but not as good as the others. I have three because I kept losing them in my big house. Now I have moved into a smaller house, so I know where they are nearly all the time.

You want one just like the picture above that goes over the hamdlebars and your arms, with a loop inside that you hook around your little finger to hold in place. You want the back to go right over the saddle too.

Obviously, you get blown about a bit in autumn winds, but it's tolerable as long as you're careful. Maybe not so good above force 6 (Beaufort scale).
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
1,319
494
Been available for decades, if not since the beginnings of cycling.

The Cycling Cape...
View attachment 44136
Great idea, and I've looked at those before... but I couldn't find a cycling rain poncho which was both bright yellow and had large reflective strips. This was the closest... I'd have to get some 3M Scotchlite (or copy) sewn on:


As a cyclist, you can't look too visible on the road (or ridiculous). At night, I have a strobing light on the handlebar pointed at me which under one of those, would make me look like an electric wheeled jellyfish, excited to mate.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
1,319
494
Maybe I could 3D print a telescopic clamp so that the light is held about 1ft forward of the handlebar, or cobble together something using an old small tripod, or some other two or so metal tubes, to do the same thing. Easier to cut out a panel... more seams > more leakage risk, less waterproof lifespan of product. It's a pity that the highway code doesn't allow lights on cyclist heads.
 

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
198
95
70
+1
Or any bike really. It washes the grease out bearings, or forces dirt into pivots. A bucket of water and a cloth and a bit of time spent, wring out the cloth and apply elbow grease.

I've been thinking of a rain jacket. I sometimes have to do upholstery and it got me thinking that some sort of waterproof jacket that you put around the downtube, the headtube and bottom bracket area, all velcroed into position might make for an interesting project. It would keep mud,dirt and other road crud away from those areas, and while not entirely waterproof, its better than those areas being drenched in rain.
Add it to my 1001 things to do list.
That's a good idea, or if you are a bodger like someone I know well ( ME) I might wrap my downtube battery in a bin bag. I have been caught out in one torrential downpour on my ebike and had to ride ten miles home in it, and I immediately put plastic dog poo bags over the LCD unit and the throttle and control unit on the bars. I had them in my pocket, because I always have them as a dog owner. I could still operate the PAS levels like that by feeling for the buttons. Not great maybe, but better than nowt.

Unfortunately, the bafang mid drive I have would be hard to water proof that way. I have siliconed the cover joins, but from what I have seen here, the earlier units used to fail after water got in through the crank / motor interface. I understand that the last couple of years of production has been improved with rubber oil seals around the crank.