In many parts of the country, most hunting seasons take place with snow on the ground.
However, taking your eBike out for the hunt might be something you're suspicious of. That's not a bad thing.
You should be leery of riding an eBike on the snow. The difference in riding characteristics will put everything you think you know about riding to the test. It's also going to be one killer workout. That’s not to say it’s impossible, though.
eBike owners ride their favorite machines on the snow every day. All it takes is a few adjustments to your riding style and practices to do it safely.
That's why you're going to take note of the tips discussed today if you're looking to ride electrical power to the stand this winter.
Before we get into the riding tips, here are two things you need to make sure of any time you're in the woods come wintertime.
One, dress warmly. Even if an eBike is going to get your body temperature up while you ride, it's essential to dress appropriately for when you're standing perfectly still while tracking game.
Two is to stay hydrated. It's easy to overlook the importance of drinking plenty of water when it's freezing cold out. Still, you need to ensure you're taking in enough water throughout the hunt.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that sliding is normal on ice and snow. That's something you already know from driving a truck in the snow, but don't make a mistake in assuming the skinny eBike tires will cut through and grab hard terrain.
Be sure to ride at speeds you feel comfortable with and be ready to compensate for sliding in your riding style.
Good brakes are only a part of the equation, as traction is still necessary to bring the eBike to a stop. So always brake sooner than normal on snow or ice to give the system enough time to slow or stop the eBike in time.
If your eBike is running with mechanical brakes, they will feel the impact of winter. Moisture on the moving parts can impede their ability to function correctly.
Applying some de-icer before a hunt is an excellent way to ensure they're in working order.
A sudden blast of power to the drive tire is a great way to break traction. But, just like in your vehicle on snow, you want to apply the throttle gradually rather than suddenly. Otherwise, the tire will spin, and you can be thrown off balance.
Use your eyes and whits to determine the safest route to take. If snow looks undisturbed and you can't see any signs of the ground being just underneath, such as sticks, rocks, or leaves peering through the snow, you should assume it's too deep to ride on safely.
The same idea applies to puddles. Keep in mind that the puddle can be very deep and the ice thinner than it appears.
Let's get into some eBike maintenance tips for riding in the snow. Yes, your bike's motor is probably built to handle winter driving, and you shouldn't worry much about a little dusting wreaking havoc on the electronics.
Still, it's a good idea to refer back to the manufacturer's suggestions on the matter if you're unsure if your model is up to the task.
Tire pressure drops 1 PSI for every reduction of 10-degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it can have a tremendous impact in the right situation.
For example, say you last adjusted pressure when it was 85-degrees outside, and you're now taking your eBike out on a 15-degree morning.
Your tire pressure is going to be down 7 PSI. Check the pressure and make the proper adjustments before your ride.
Yes, staying away from ice was already talked about, but it's a major threat. If your eBike falls through a thin layer of ice and into a deep puddle, you can be up the creek without a paddle.
Not only will your wool hunting clothes be water-logged, but your eBike may be on the fritz. Keep the bike away from moisture to make sure you can safely get in and out of the woods.
You don't necessarily need snow tires for winter riding, but you will appreciate having them around. Just like snow tires for your truck, they use compounds and tread designs that excel on snow and ice.
They can also come with optional studs for optimal traction, which can help minimize the amount of sliding you'll experience between the truck and the blind.
Remember those trick mittens you had attached to the handles bars of your ATV? You know, the ones that had heaters built into them. Well, they're an option for eBikes too.
These "luxurious" pieces of equipment are the best way to keep your hands warm so that you can maintain complete control over the vehicle.
No electric bike batteries fare well in cold weather. Do yourself a favor and make sure that your eBike is plugged in and charging the night before a hunt. It's also best to keep the bike in warm, dry rooms when it's not carrying you to that dream buck.
This isn't maintenance or riding habit-related, but it's still important. If you're considering your first eBike for hunting, keep an eye out for models with mid-drive motors.
In the case of this particular discussion, they are far superior due to the improved low-end torque that they provide.
Low-end torque is always beneficial when dealing with high weight and losing traction.
Considering your hunting gear is going for the ride on snow, it's a natural pair. That said, these elements are common all year round for hunters, so it's just the best option for hunting eBikes, period.
Riding in the winter will put you to the test, but it's nothing you can't handle. In fact, muscle memory and controlled reflexes will carry most of the weight for you. So long as you take your time, ride at speeds you're comfortable with, and practice common sense, you will make out alright.
If this is your first winter hunting season with your eBike, don't make the opening day your maiden voyage.
Get a little practice under your belt. Take a lazy Sunday and get out on the trail to feel the bike out.
You'll want to wear your entire hunting gear outfit and learn how everything influences how you need to handle your machine.
As long as you know how and when the bike will slide and how soon you need to start braking, you'll be OK.
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