On my bike the rear light is a LED integrated in the fender. The gap between the LED group and the tire is quite narrow. The make is the same as in the picture below.

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From the last time I cycled onto snow (with a different bike), I remember that quite some dirty ice can accumulate between the fender and the tire.

Can the accumulated dirty ice permanently damage the integrated LED?

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    The bigger danger is that the rubbing between the tire and an accumulation of ice causes physical damage. Feb 8 '21 at 13:15
  • I cannot see how this can be answered without knowing the brand/model and quality of the fender/led assembly. While I would expect a led based fender light to be protected against water, I would not be so certain with an eBay $2 special.
    – mattnz
    Feb 8 '21 at 21:34

The LED group needs to be waterproof anyways, and it needs to withstand dirt that's thrown at it from the tire at quite some speed. Snow won't penetrate any further than water. Also, since the fender looks very plastic to me, it won't be attacked by the salt that your city may have used to clear the roads.

As such, I believe that your LED should be perfectly safe and won't be killed by any amount of snow that you choose to bike through.

Cables may be a different matter as blocks of snow can tear at them in ways that water can't. But as long as the cable to your rear light runs straight up in the middle of the fender, that shouldn't be an issue.

  • Most dynamo lights I've seen aren't fully sealed. They normally have drain holes in the bottom to let water out. I lost a B&M Secula to water ingress from underneath, from example (strangely, it only killed the standlight drive cirvuit). However the tyre throws water at the inside of the mudguard so this side should be well protected against water and therefore snow
    – Chris H
    Feb 8 '21 at 12:52
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    @ChrisH Perfectly true :-) Note that I said "snow won't penetrate any further than water". No matter how well protected a light is, if I either throw water or snow at it from the same direction with the same speed, I always expect the water to be more dangerous than the snow. And as long as the light is protected from water thrown at it from one specific direction, I also expect that same light to be protected from snow thrown at it from that same direction. Feb 8 '21 at 13:16
  • Sure, I was more responding to "waterproof", which I guess you meant in the sense of "sufficiently waterproof" though I read it as meaning completely sealed
    – Chris H
    Feb 8 '21 at 13:18
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    Snow won't penetrate any further than water Where'd you grow up? You've apparently never gotten whacked upside the head with a snowball and had to dig ice pellets out of your ear. ;-) Feb 8 '21 at 13:51
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    @AndrewHenle Oh, I know snow balls all too well, especially the ones that were shoved into my neck or wiped across my face (kids, don't do this, it hurts brutally, no kid deserves that!). But I guess, you'd also get quite a bit of water in your ear when you were hit by a water ball at the same speed from the same direction as your snowball, no? You might even get some water into your middle ear... Feb 8 '21 at 14:08

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