RadPower Rad City 5 Plus, the best e-bike for rainy commutes

The Best E-Bike for Rainy Commutes

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As we head into the rainy season (which is already in full force here in Seattle), rain coverage and rain gear are top of mind for us during our e-bike commutes. We are constantly asking ourselves, “how long can we extend the e-biking season?” The answer for most people will depend on the climate and having the proper e-bike setup and gear. Here are the key things to look for when you’re thinking about buying an e-bike to ride in the rain:

  1. Good built-in rain fenders. Not all rain fenders are created equal, since some don’t go down very far to provide full splash protection.
  2. Built-in lights for visibility.
  3. Wide tires to make cornering on a wet road safer.
  4. Disc brakes instead of rim brakes. Rim brakes have very poor stopping power when they get wet.
  5. A good fit so that it’s comfortable to safely maneuver.

Our recommendations below keep all of this in mind to help you find the best e-bikes for commuting in the rain. Also check-out our “common questions” section below to read our recommendations for the best rain gear and accessories.

Our Pick

Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus

What we like about it

Rad Power is based in Seattle so their bikes come with excellent rain fenders that provide good coverage. This has been great on my RadCity, which I’ve been riding for commuting since 2019. The plush Kendra tires include a puncture-resistant liner, which makes them feel steady and secure even in the rain. I’ve never had a flat tire! This has felt safe even with my toddler on the back in the Thule seat. Because the toddler seat is relatively close to my bike seat, my body actually provides pretty good rain and wind coverage for him, and with boots and a muddy buddy rain suit, he is hardly wet when we arrive at daycare in the rain.

The RadCity has a powerful 750 watt motor with good range (45 miles per charge) at an affordable price. We also like that it comes with a built-in light, which we usually turn on in the rain. It also has reflective siding on the wheels, which is good for visibility while riding in the rain. Overall RadCity is a versatile and reliable e-bike for commuting in the rain, especially at its affordable price.

Unlike the previous versions of the RadCity, this version finally has hydraulic disc brakes, which is a plus. Unlike cable brakes, this provides much smoother and faster stopping power.

Finally, because the RadCity was designed in Seattle, they are built with rain in mind. Per Rad Power’s FAQ:

E-bikes by Rad Power Bikes are designed in rainy Seattle, Washington, and they perform well in wet conditions. The electrical components including the display, motor, battery pack, and throttle are all designed to operate well while riding in rainy conditions.

Where it falls short

There isn’t much. If you’re a petite person, riding in the rain on this bike may be hard without the peddle assist because it’s 65 pounds. That said, with the peddle assist, you should be just fine.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Fenders keep my feet dry going through puddles”
  • “The essentials are built-in: lights, rear rack, bell”
  • “The cruiser style handlebars make them easier to reach with a comfortable riding position”
  • “Easy to maintain and won’t break the bank”
  • “Issues with the throttle, but their service department was friendly and responsive”

Runner Up

Aventon LEVEL.2

side view of Aventon Level2 e-bike in white

What we like about it

Aventon LEVEL.2 is also a solid e-bike for commuting in the rain. The fenders provide good rain and splash protection. We also like that it has wide 2.1 inch tires for good stability on wet pavement, and the tires also have a reflective ring, adding extra visibility for those dark drizzly mornings. For additional visibility, it has an integrated front light built into the e-bike. One callout is the backlight is small, so we recommend attaching your own tail light to the rear rack when riding in the rain.

One other reason we like the Aventon LEVEL.2 is for how light it is, while still maintaining its sturdiness. It’s only 53lbs, which is on the lighter side for e-bikes. Finally, its battery totes a 60 mile range.

Where it falls short

Not much, but as mentioned above, the rear light is small. Lights are extra important while commuting in the rain, so we recommend you add your own rear light.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Good throttle response for quick acceleration”
  • “Really like the fenders”
  • “The bright front headlight is sure to be noticed”

Common Questions

What is the essential gear and clothing to have when commuting by e-bike in the rain?

To truly be comfortable riding your e-bike in the rain, having the proper gear really makes a difference. Here are my go-to’s:

If you’re commuting with kids in the rain, you may find it helpful to outfit them in rain boots and a muddy buddy rain suit.

All of this gear makes the ride enjoyable, and I stay comfortable and dry on my commute.

Can I ride an e-bike in the rain?

Yes, most e-bikes are perfectly safe to ride in the rain, as long as you keep a few things in mind. First, while the e-bike can go faster than a regular bike, you’ll want to ride slowly in the rain and be conscious of turning on wet leaves or wet cement. Break early, even with disc brakes your stopping distance is longer in the rain. Be sure to avoid large puddles, which could be deeper than they look and send more water up into the bike than it can handle on its components (including the electronics).

It’s also important to wear high visibility clothing because drivers have a much harder time seeing bicycles in the rain.

Finally, thinking through bike storage is important when it comes to the rain. Be sure to store the bike in a dry location so that components can dry after the ride. Don’t leave it outside in the rain for an extended period of time.

Click here, to read our recommendations for the best e-bikes to use on your commute.