The Definitive Guide to E-Bike MaintenanceDecember 11, 2022
There’s a lot of good that comes with electric bicycles—they’re convenient, great for short or long commutes and they help the environment when people choose to use them over gas-powered transportation—so it’s no wonder that they’re becoming so popular.
But just like any vehicle, e-bike maintenance must be done proactively. Luckily, it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg like it would if your car or motorcycle has an issue, just another one of the perks of e-bike ownership!
In this article, we’re going to look at a few top e-bike maintenance tips to keep your electric bicycle in tip-top shape!
Keep It Clean
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your e-bike is always spic and span. To most people dirt and grime seems like a minor issue but if enough dirt, mud or general grit accumulates on your frame, there’s a good chance that it will eventually find its way into the internal mechanisms, which could cause untold problems.
We suggest you don’t just hose it down. Sure, all of the electrical parts are protected, but you don’t want to blast any lubricant away from your chain or cables.
Instead, use an old toothbrush or wire brush to get to those hard-to-reach places. Then, take a clean cloth with some warm, soapy water and give that bike a sponge bath! Not only will your e-bike run a bit better, but it will stay looking good too.
Maintaining your motor might be the easiest part of the job because most motors, once they burn out, must be disposed of and replaced.
Yeah, probably not what you wanted to hear but you can always do it yourself if you don’t want to shell out the cash to take it to a shop.
Unfortunately, the battery is often one of the first things to burn out on electric bikes. Most of the lithium-ion batteries that come on readily available commercial electric bicycles only have about 1000 charge cycles on them. What this means is that you get 1000 full charges for your bike. As each level of cells is used up, the battery then moves on to the next group in the series.
The best thing you can do to get the most use out of your battery is to fully charge it after each ride. It’s taxing on the battery to run it completely down to dead as the more your battery has to fully recharge which in turn means the shorter the life-span of that said battery
As a general rule, you’ll want to keep your battery out of extreme weather conditions. Don’t leave it out in the extreme cold and certainly not in extreme heat or direct sunlight.
When it’s done for good, depending on your brand you should be able to easily swap out batteries for a new one.
Tire Yourself Out
Just like a conventional bicycle, your tires will need to be maintained regularly. Before every ride, make sure you’re at the correct PSI for your tires and tubes.
Generally, the recommended PSI for the tubes will be on the wall of the tire. If you’re not fully inflated, your bike isn’t going to run as well and you run the risk of bending your wheels.
In addition, we recommended you replace your tires every 2000 miles or so.
Always Use Lube
Lubing the moving parts of your e-bike, the chain and any brake lines, cables and bolts, is important, especially after a cleaning when you might have accidentally washed some off. Keeping everything moving smoothly is going to ensure you always have a nice ride.
Whatever you do, do not use WD-40. Believe it or not, WD-40 is actually a solvent with a small amount of lubricant in it and will therefore remove any grease or other lubricant that you’ve got on there.
There are plenty of great grease options out there to keep your bike moving easily so pick one up ASAP!
Take a Brake
Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your bicycle. Without properly working brakes, you’re putting yourself and others in direct danger. The best way to know if you need to replace your brakes or brake pads (depending on your bike’s braking system) is when you notice having to work harder to brake. In that case, it’s time to take a look.
General maintenance like cleaning and tire pressure should be done once a week, if not before or after every ride, to keep your e-bike in good working order.
There are some great guides out there to help you with brake maintenance, but it can be an in-depth process. If you have any hesitation or don’t feel like you can do it, don’t take any chances and bring it to a local e-bike repair shop.