Are E-Bikes 100% Waterproof? | Ask EMBN Anything About E-Biking

Are E-Bikes 100% Waterproof? | Ask EMBN Anything About E-Biking


– Welcome to ask EMBN
and today we’re going to be talking about water resistance, travel, pedals, and much much more. (logo whirring) Now, the first question
is from Topsey Kretts. Topsey’s asking, Sorry I don’t know much about e-bikes, as I’m just thinking
about getting into it. Anyway, are e-bikes waterproof
or just water resistant, that is can you ride through rivers? Now I guess it’s pointless asking Chris ’cause he doesn’t actually leave the house unless it’s bone dry, but Chris, can you have some idea here for. – Yeah, I have a lot of
information on batteries and water. Basically I would say that the e-bike, as a general thing is water resistant. So I wouldn’t say it’s waterproof as much. I wouldn’t say that you could
drop into your local lake and ride across the bottom
with the bike submerged with a snorkel and come out the other side and it’d still be working,
because it won’t be. But the battery– – You could if you had a tow rope. – Exactly, but the battery
is probably the most waterproof part of the bike, but the other things are more– – Susceptible? – Susceptible. – Suskeptical?
– To water damage, are going to be like, your LCD screen, and your touch control, things like that. That’s a lot easier to get
water into those things. But yeah, riding in the
rain is not a problem, but– – Absolutely. – Submerging them in the lake is a no-no. – Yeah I mean in practical terms, we recently did a trip across Scotland and it was truly horizontal for two days. And we rode through rivers, it was constantly raining on the controls and on the battery and it was so wet. And then the following day actually, we got on a boat across the Atlantic, across a little small peninsula. And what was quite telling was,
actually it’s the sea water, that’s actually quite damaging because it can rust, it’s gonna get salt and stuff like that.
– Salt water, stuff like that. – So, I say fresh water is definitely a lot easier on the parts than salt water. And yeah, as we say I
think you’d be amazed how much water those
e-bikes can go through. – Got this one here from Ben Hinett, With e-bikes being so much
fun riding technical climbs and winter fast approaching, do you know of a
waterproof flat pedal shoe? All the big makes, Shimano,
Specialized, Northwave, all make fully waterproof clipless shoes but I can’t find any flats. There’s quite a few
different options out there, don’t you think Steve? – Ben you say that some
of these people make fully waterproof shoes? I challenge that, for
fully waterproofness. – Definitely.
– I’m not so sure. – I’ve never had a fully waterproof shoe but there’s lot of options out there. Obviously, Five Ten make
the Elements series of shoes which have like a
waterproof coating on them. Basically it shields the shoe, it doesn’t make it waterproof. If you were to stick your foot in a river, you’re still going to get a wet foot. My best option, what I like riding in, is the Endura overshoe. It comes in a flat pedal version so you can run like a normal Five Ten shoe but have a neoprene-like boot– – You a dealer of them? – That goes, that goes over them. Keeps your feet nice and warm and keeps them nice and clean. That’s my best option for winter. – Yeah well, Ben I’ve spent
most of my life in water. Coming from West Wales,
it’s constantly raining, and I’ve pretty much worn
wellies most of my life, when either riding motorcycles
or downhill racing, or indeed riding my e-bike. And the reason for that is
they indeed keep your feet dry and they keep your feet warm. And also, because the
cushioning on the sole, there’s really good grip and sort of where it’s
like a heel on it as well, it really anchors your
feet into those pedals in winter conditions. Now, a lot of people, make take the fun, take the mick out of it, but I can guarantee you
it’s a really practical way of keeping your feet dry. And I will totally, totally swear by them. I’ve used some Dunlop ones in the past, but at the minute I got a French brand, Le Chameau with Michelin soles to them. – Just got this one in
from Andy Architect. I would love it if you
could do a feature about bolt-on mid drive kits
such as the Bafang BBSO1. I’m sure there are a lot
of people considering these as an affordable way of getting into e-mountain biking, as I considered myself before
going with a Haibike instead. I’d particularly like
to hear your thoughts on the way the power is delivered and cut off by the brake
levers when off-road riding, compared with a dedicated e-bike. – Yeah, absolutely. A great question there, Andy. And as you mentioned there’s
a lot of these aftermarket mid drive motors on the market. From Bafang, from Paradox
Kinetics, from LIFT-MTB in France, now the main thing to consider, as you mentioned, how
the power is delivered. Now a lot of mid drive bolt-on motors are, the power is delivered through
a throttle on the handlebar. So that is going to affect
how the bike handles, it’s quite different when you’re riding technical steep terrain,
when you’re trying to mix pushing the throttle and
spinning those cranks. Another factor with this is that you need to watch the
speed limit on these bikes. A lot of these mid drive after
markets are not restricted, so you can go beyond 25 K,
which is not street legal. But there’s a lot of other factors to bear in mind as well. Now the first thing is
where the battery’s mounted. Some of the batteries
are mounted to the frame which is pretty cool, but
others they’re in your backpack and as we’ve found, and we
have ridden a few of these, is that they tend to be a little bit, little bit clumsy and you got the lead leading down into the bike there. Also you need to think
about the weight involved. Now what you don’t want to have is about 10 kilos bolted to your bike because it’s gonna become
quite a clumsy bike when you go into those weights. So, there’s lots on the market but what I will say is that if you ride like a mid drive bike, like the ones we run on EMBN, they are actually built for purpose. They’re warrantied, they
got the restrictor on them which means they cut at 25 Ks. And I think if you ride the right terrain then you’ll find that’s not going to be a limiting factor anyway. The battery and the motor, they’re all, they’re built for purpose, right Chris? – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. My thoughts on them. I think they’re that step away from mountain biking, as well. They’re not, you’re just
sitting there with a throttle which you could just do on a motorbike. Whereas obviously on a mountain bike you still need to pedal for
that motoring to engage. They’re quite clumsy I think,
they way they’re mounted. I think if you hit a rock or a big log trying to go over it, you could pretty much rip that motor straight off of the down tube of the bike. To me it just looks like, you know, not particularly attractive package, so. – It’s a massive, massive question. I think the thing is you can get like, say a Canyon or say, a Vitus,
for about 3,000 pounds. I think that’s probably
better value for money. It takes away a lot of the risk and doubt involved in that I think. So, I think there’re some
good bolt-ons out there but my gut feeling and my advice to you would probably be to go for – A proper bike.
– a purpose-made e-bike. – And be certain.
– E-mountain bike. Now, it’s not just about
parts and tech on Ask EMBN. This question from Pendo. We all have those favorite trails and experience that we dream
of going to and doing again. What are your favorite two trails and experiences that give
you the biggest smile, Chris? – Quite a few like,
over my career I think, one of the standout events
I probably done is like, the Taxco Urban Downhill out in Mexico. That’s a crazy event,
massive course, big drops. The city is literally taken
over by that bike race. Everyone comes out, from the
grandmothers, the babies, kids. Everyone’s out like an autograph. Huge crowd, amazing event– – [Steve] Okay, stop there,
what grandmothers come out for an autograph with you? – I swear yeah, not just kids.
– I guess it’s just yours. – Only the most dangerous
event I’ve ever been to. – Was it the grandmothers? – Yeah, it was pretty sketchy. And I think, trail-wise for me, I had a lot of input with
the Wind Hill bike park back here in the UK. Really cool spot. Just riding that trail, the big pro line, is probably one of my favorite trails. – I have to say, you
going over those big jumps at Wind Hill is pretty spectacular. – Yeah, good time. – Pretty amazing. – And what about you Steve, where’s your best where’s your best stuff? – Ah, crikey. – Too many to mention? – It’s lots, but what
I would actually go for is somewhere more isolated and remote than an urban environment. Places in Peru. A couple of weeks ago
we did a trail in Italy called Cop Killer, which was
from one of the highest peaks in Liguria and I’d say
that eight K descent was probably up there as one of my most
– The Telescope. – favorite descents.
– Eight K descent. – Yeah, probably one of
my favorite descents ever. – Nice.
– Yeah. – I love dirt riding except for my hands. – Got here something from Peter Golier. Hi, I’ve not been mountain biking for a long time since my knee injury. I was thinking about getting an e-bike. Tried out the 2019 Specialized Levo, aluminum version, 202 centimeters
tall, around 130 kilograms and felt okay on the extra light. The bike was great, do you think waiting for the Flyon Haibike is worth it or have you any experience with them? Thank you. – Ah, Pete, wow. What a lucky man you
are being able to choose between those two bikes,
both incredible bikes. Tricky, I think maybe at 202 centimeters, that’s six foot five, that’s pretty tall. If you look at the sizing of the two bikes and reach is a good indicator
of the size of bikes, and I’m six foot and I usually ride about a 480 mil reach on my bike so, the Specialized got a
480 mil reach on the XL, whereas the Haibike, the new
Haibike Flyon, that’s 497. So you could argue that the Flyon’s probably more suited to your size in XL. However it’s not quite as simple as that. You can easily change the, we’re talking the fit of your bike, so we’re talking the size
is something that’s fixed, so the fit is something you can adapt such as raising the
stem and the forks there or putting a longer stem on and also putting a higher bar on there so it’s all pretty adaptable. One of the key things you
need to think about, actually, is that they’re two quite different bikes. Now the Specialized Levo is 150 mil travel with 29 inch wheels, whereas the Haibike
Flyon is 180 mil travel with 27.5 wheels. Chris what are your
thoughts on the subject? – Obviously the Haibike Flyon range is a lot of different bikes, it depends on what model bike
you’re actually looking at. The other thing to remember
is the Levo is available now and that the Flyon-motored Haibikes are actually due sort
of middle of the year, so it depended on when you
want to get that e-bike as well as it meeting
a bit of restrictions depending on what country you live in, so just check that that motor
is actually going to even be available and ready for you to use wherever you live.
– I tell you what. I can’t wait to have a spin on a Flyon. – I know, I’m super excited.
– Cannot wait. – ‘Cause they’re good.
– Cannot wait. – Next one’s news from Simon Whitworth. Hey guys, love the show, keep it coming. Forks are probably the
most important upgrade that most hardtail
e-bikers are faced with. Recently Fox have been stamping
mid-range priced forks, still the price of a kidney in my opinion, as e-bikes have improved. RockShox only mentioned e-bikes as requiring added air
pressure in their car thug. This would lead me to believe that their lower priced products, like a Recon for example, are safe enough for e-biking. To make my hardtail cube to the trails I would need at least a? I guess Simon you’re asking what fork to put on your
hardtail e-bike, right? I guess that’s huge question
depending on where you ride. – Yeah I thing pretty much any fork that’s got a bolt through axle is pretty capable these days. I think for an e-bike use,
as long as you staying away from like those
lightweight, cross country, quick release wheel style
forks, you should be all right. So, any fork with a 15 or 20 mil axle is gonna be pretty safe to use, but obviously if you’re
going big and stepping it up and getting bigger and bigger stuff, you need to adjust your kit and it won’t be just your
forks you need to upgrade or your cockpit, things like that, so just keep those parts
that you’re upgrading in line with what you’re
doing on the bike really. – Michal Raczynski. Hi gents, first of all, big thanks for a great job worldwide
on e-bike community. Wow, thanks Michal, nice one–
– Cheers to you. – I would like to base
on your long experience. Wow, what are you
actually suggesting there? Currently I’m riding on a Bosch system. I’m using it on a daily
basis to work and back, approximately 60 Ks daily, on total of one charge for the battery. I’ve spotted that every day distance becomes shorter and shorter. The question is, is it
possible that weather or temperature generates such an effect or is it just something standard that battery capacity’s
shrinking with every charge? I’ve just thought about something Michal. Is that when you get back in are you putting your battery
on charge after every ride? And also, how near the end
of its life is the battery? ‘Cause that might have an effect as well. – Definitely.
– Just like a mobile phone, which, you know, tends
to taper off, right? – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. – Yeah, Chris. – And where you’re
keeping that bike at work, maybe if you can bring it inside. Batteries are quite like us, they like to have that
nice stable temperature. They don’t like extremes
of heat or cold as well. So, if you are charging or
storing that bike at work, just try to think about
where you’re doing that. And obviously the cold weather will affect that battery range as well as its capacity to
hold that charge as well. So that’s another thing to think about. – Yeah, do you know what I’ve
noticed with e-bikes, Chris? Is that if you get into fine details here of how much battery’s left, I find that it actually depends on how much effort you’re putting in and how tired your legs are. So, if Michal you’re
talking fine details here it could simply be that you’re more tired on one day than the other, you might have eaten more breakfast, you might be carrying more luggage. There’s, I mean it might be–
– Softer tires. – Weather conditions,
might be raining one day, could be dry the other day. – Headwinds, all sorts of stuff. – Ah yeah, so–
– Yes and all this. – Yeah, there’s a load of things which could affect your
battery, load of things. JJ’s Garage, I have a Merida E160 900E. Wow, that is a good bike JJ. And a little bit too often
hit the ground with my pedals. I even caused one accident and some sore ribs a
couple weeks off the bike. I’ve set the sag correctly
so that’s not a problem. So I’m guessing like 25 to 30%, right? I wonder if you think it’s a good idea to go and get some shorter crank arms, say from 170s down to 155. Well, the Merida E160, and I’ve
ridden that bike at length, it’s a great bike. It’s got a 341 millimeter bottom bracket, so it’s actually pretty low compared to the 160 mil travel bike, so you do need to be careful. But what that does give you
is really good cornering and good stability on the downhills. I’m thinking, I think it’s
got progressive suspension so that’s not gonna be an issue with the suspension floor in a way. I’m thinking, Chris, what pedal types? What pedal type are you using? ‘Cause I’d go for maybe a smaller pedal before something so dramatic
as shortening the crank arm. – Yeah, I think I’m not
a particularly big fan of that whole short crank arm thing. I think we’ve all ridden
normal trail bikes, well some of us has here in the office, but I mean, we’ve never struggled that much with pedal strikes. I think we just have good technique. I think looking ahead and
looking what you’re riding shouldn’t really need for those shorter cranks in my opinion. – I tell you what JJ. There’s a great video that Chris did on pedal strikes on trails, so check this great video out from Chris. – [Chris] The way we tackle
these climbs is basically picking a really good line and looking at these obstacles,
such as a rocks, roots, which are gonna cause a problem and planning your route. Each pedal push down is
like a footstep forward. So just plan as you look
up that hill in your climb. Just look and think where
your pedals are gonna go. If you think you’re gonna clip like a rock or a root or wheelspin, just give it a extra surge on the power to make it past that danger point. – Thanks for watching guys. Love the questions on Ask EMBN. It’s a really highlight
of the week for me. If you wanna see some more videos related to what we’re talking about, particularly the water. Are e-bikes waterproof? Check out this video on
Into The Wild in Scotland, where it was horizontal. – Yeah and get back to
the pedal strikes question we had as well, with an
Essential Trails Skills where we cover that fact, that question actually, up in that video. So, check that one out. Don’t forget, if you’ve got any questions, give us a hashtag Ask EMBN, drop ’em in the comments box below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel. Give us a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, and we’ll see you next week.