When I was thinking about getting an electric scooter for commuting to work, I wondered if I could ride it in the winter. More specifically, when it was snowing. Riding on dry ground is a piece of cake, but when winter conditions come in, it can be quite an adventure.
So, can you ride an electric scooter in the snow?
While you can ride an electric scooter when there is a little snow on the ground, it is certainly not recommended because it’s not safe. Doing so can reduce your ability to steer, brake, and you can easily slip. Taking a walk, a taxi, or using public transportation are better options in these weather conditions.
How to ride an electric scooter in the snow
If you really want to ride your electric scooter in the snow, I recommend taking all the necessary precautions. Also, check our recommended electric scooters for off-road duties in this article.
- Ride slow and defensive
- Ride only on bike trails/clean trails
- Avoid riding when there is a deep layer of snow
- Wear protective gear, such as bike helmets, gloves, elbow protectors, knee protectors, and boots
- Be careful and steer very slowly
- Follow the traffic rules and signals or avoid car traffic at all
Here is a Xiaomi M365 Snow test. As you can see, it handles the snow pretty well, but ice is dangerous!
They are not made for these conditions and, you won’t find any special winter tires as cars have.
Does this look safe to you?
Airless vs Air
Air tires perform better on snow, so that’s why some people on Youtube have videos of them riding on ice and snow. Filled tires (or tires without air) are very hard and act like summer tires on a car. While they provide a better battery life, they don’t perform well on tiles, snow, and ice.
I have never tried to ride on snow with my filled tires, but I will soon make a video about riding them on ice, and post it here.
If you have tires with air, I suggest keeping a lower than usual pressure in order to perform well on ice. You can find the recommended tire pressure in your user’s manual. Doing so will make your tires softer, so they will perform better on snow and ice.
The higher the pressure, the less friction against the ground. But in this case, we’ll need some friction to get good traction. As a side effect, the battery will run out of juice very soon.
If your tires can be changed, you can look up if there are winter tires available. On my electric scooter, tires come together with the wheel. On top of that, one wheel has an electric motor in it, so it’s not easy to be changed.
The wider the tires are, the better they will perform on snow and ice. Because the contact surface is larger, they can get better traction. That’s why you can ride on snow and ice with your car. Of course, cars have 4 wheels, so they get a better balance, but they also have much wider tires. This way, you can control your car on snow and ice fairly easily.
Larger tires increase battery life, so that’s why they are so narrow.
Both snow and ice come together with low temperatures. Besides protective gear, make sure to get a base layer and a hood.
Your battery will probably be dead faster than you think. If you have a battery heating feature (I think the Xiaomi Mi M365 scooter has), then it’s not a huge problem. But in my experience, most electric scooters don’t have one.
When I took my scooter out for a ride, it was 0 degrees Celsius outside and 27 degrees Celsius inside. I got the following temperatures:
- 20 degrees Celsius after 0.6 km
- 7 degrees Celsius after 3.5 km
- 0 degrees Celsius after 4.4 km
Most electric scooters are not made for riding on rain, snow, and ice. Check your user manual before doing so to ensure your warranty. I know Xiaomi Mi M365 doesn’t recommend it and even prohibits riding when raining.
Waterproofing your scooter
Check if your scooter is waterproof. Most of them aren’t. They may have a standard for dust and water like IP54, but most manufacturers don’t recommend riding in”water” conditions.
If the dark is added to the equation, the problem gets even more difficult. The LED light on most electric scooters isn’t going to light your way more than a few meters ahead. Riding on snow and ice without seeing obstacles is like shooting yourself in the foot.
The visibility is greatly reduced at night, so your ability to break in time is limited. If you try to break quickly on ice and snow, you will lose balance.
Things you can do to improve night ride:
- Get an additional good LED light and mount it on your scooter or helmet
- Make yourself visible on the road by using reflective bars, tape, or a vest.
- Drive slowly in order to be able to break in time
- Avoid riding near cars
Check out other helpful accessories when riding an electric scooter in this article.
Cleaning is the most important maintenance task when having a scooter. Ride when raining or snowing, and two things will happen:
- Your back will be filled with mud
- You will have a cleaning task
You can probably handle the clothes or give them to your mother, but the cleaning task is still due.
Cleaning your scooter will take you about 15-30 minutes depending on the freshness of the mud and how bad it is.
I will write a full tutorial for cleaning your electric scooter, but for now, here are the basic tips:
- Clean your electric scooter as fast as possible – don’t let the mud or dust dry
- Use a soft brush and a soft cloth
- Use a mild detergent or soap and warm water
- Don’t use water on electric components
- Some of the mud and dust will get on the floor, so clean it in your garden, or on a floor that can be washed easily (hint: not on your new Persian carpet)
Will it affect scooter’s life
Riding on water, snow, and ice can affect your scooter life, especially if you don’t clean it right away. Dust and mud can affect both mechanical parts and electric parts like cables and circuits.
First, read your user manual or ask the manufacturer if you can ride your scooter in these conditions. If they say no, the risk is on you.
Riding on snow and ice is not recommended and it’s considered quite a hard task. You will be better off if you use a car, public transportation, or a taxi to get to point B. Even riding a bike is considered safer than riding an electric scooter because they have larger and wider wheels. But even bikes have problems in these weather conditions.
My recommendation is the consider other ways of transportation when the weather is not ideal. Usually, there are only a few days with snow on the roads and sidewalks, so it’s not a deal breaker when getting an electric scooter.