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Five tips to help you cycle through winter!

Despite the cold, we'll all be cycling in Maastricht, Heerlen, and Sittard-Geleen this winter. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to getting about, whether on a normal bicycle, a mountain bike, a racing bike, or an e-bike. As cycling in summer is different from cycling in winter, especially when you cycle on an e-bike, we've got five tips to help you beat winter on your e-bike.

#1 Remember that slippery surfaces mean longer braking distances
Of course, you should always cycle carefully on slippery surfaces. E-bikes are a little heavier than their conventional counterparts, so they're more stable on the road. However, this also means that the braking distance on an e-bike is longer on slippery surfaces.

#2 Hose down your bicycle after a winter ride!
Once you've ploughed through the snow and grit, remember to hose down your bicycle. But don't worry if you forget – your bicycle's hard layer of paintwork protects it from most of what nature can throw at it.

#3 Charge the battery indoors during winter
When you're not using your e-bike this winter, remove the battery and charge it indoors. Fortunately, most e-bikes have easy-to-remove batteries, so it's a precaution that doesn't take too long.  

#4 Don't let winter stop you cycling, but avoid getting on your e-bike at -10°C!
Remember that all batteries have a lower performance in winter than they do in summer. This means that your battery lasts for fewer kilometres in winter than in summer. If it's freezing outside, the difference between normal performance could be as high as 25%. This difference is noticeable once the temperature starts to drop below -1°C. At -5°C, the battery works at about 75% of its normal performance. If the temperature plunges to -10°C, you should leave your e-bike at home and cycle on a normal bicycle.

#5 Make sure your bicycle is well oiled before the first snow showers
If you haven't done so already, take your bicycle in for maintenance before the first snow showers. If well oiled, all the components in your bicycle should be winterproof. Remember that it gets darker earlier in winter than in summer, so make sure to wear high-visibility clothing and have bike lights. 

Source: Cycle Center, e-bikez.nl, and the Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB 

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