Essential Electric Bike Maintenance Tips

October 25, 2016 Electric Bikes

Electric bikes are a modern alternative to urban transportation. A popular choice among daily commuters or cycling enthusiasts, these vehicles provide ALL the benefits of a regular bike with faster travel and a number of fantastic perks.

An electric bike is a fun and cost effective transport option with great health benefits and encourages a modern way to enjoy cycling. Whether you’re a regular or occasional e-bike rider, you’re probably used to exploring, meeting friends, and getting to work on time. However, don’t sacrifice the long list of benefits by ignoring the maintenance. Although at times it can be tedious, you will end up thanking yourself.

Just like a regular bicycle, electric bikes demand regular maintenance, as well as checks on the specific components. They’re an efficient way to get around, but failing to take care of them properly could end up costing you. Most of the maintenance of an electric bike is down to the standard bicycle parts.

This article will teach you to how to keep your e-bike in tip-top condition and will allow you to catch any issues early on! Being able to maintain and repair your own electric bike is just another way to save money.

Keep your e-bike clean

No special cleaning kit is required, but a proper degreaser will help you to break down oil and grit in the chain.

Top tip: When cleaning your e-bike, do not use a pressurised hose or stream of water, this may wear down the electrical equipment and cause corrosion.

Required tools:
1 clean rag
1 dry towel
1 light cleaner
1 degreaser

When performing bicycle maintenance, it’s important to remember that the electrical and mechanical elements require particular attention. Cleaning the bike often will help to keep dirt and debris from blocking the chain and motor. On average, your electric bike should be washed around once a fortnight; more or less depending on how often you use the vehicle.

…And let’s face it, without the electrical equipment, you’d just have a regular bike. High-pressure cleans can wedge dirt in areas you that could cause potential damage to electric components.

  • Use a low-pressure water stream or a damp cloth and move in gentle motions
  • For stubborn dirt, use a mild degreaser and apply to the bike with a soft brush
  • Dry off with a towel to buff up and shine and you’re good to go!

Get into the habit of wiping any acquired dirt down from your e-bike on a regular basis and use silicone bike shine if you’re looking to give the paintwork some extra protection.

hunter--red-web

 

Don’t ignore your tyre pressure

Under-inflated tyres are the most common cause of poor performance on an electric bike. Soft tyres will increase the amount of drag and greatly affect the performance of your e-bike. The battery will run out more quickly due to long distance riding, this will lessen and the ride will ultimately be less stable, and when you pay for an electric bike, the last thing you want to do is lose the benefits due to low care and maintenance.

The wall of the tyre has imprinted the recommended pressure and bicycle tyres are much harder than car tyres.

It is vital for lorries, vans and cars to ensure their tyres are in good condition, and electric bikes require the same attention to determine safe riding. It’s a good idea to pump your tyres on a regular basis and check them monthly, especially before an extended journey.

Consider including your weight and the distance of your journey and use a tyre pressure gauge for a quick and simple check.

front disc tyre

Take care of the battery

The battery is perhaps the most important piece of equipment on your electric bike, therefore it cannot be ignored. It must be charged correctly and as an e-bike owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that all is running smoothly.

Battery life will vary depending on the type of battery you choose and how often you charge it. Sensible storage is also a contributing factor. Battery life 4-5 years if looked after.

Remember to:

  • Keep it topped up (with the charger that was supplied to you with the bike only!)
  • There is no memory in lithium batteries, so you can charge them up after every ride
  • Never leave the battery fully discharged as this may damage the battery altogether – it should be charged within 24 hours of your ride
  • Avoid extreme temperatures – particularly frost, as this may cause harm to the battery (Peter contacting regarding high temperature to avoid to add in this section)
  • Do not neglect the battery

It’s important to remember that switching to electric will mean that you’ll use your bike more so it’s wise to keep switch it off when not in use to conserve the battery.

Inspect the basic components

The standard or boring parts of a bicycle must still be paid attention. By understanding simple factors like whether your brakes need tightening, you’re less likely to ignore or miss potentially bigger problems that could occur.

  • Check handlebars are secure and that the stem is secure in the front forks
  • Check that both wheels are firmly attached
  • Check that you can easily change from one gear to another with a small practice run before your journey
  • Make sure that your light reflectors are firmly attached and properly working
  • Ensure that brake cables are securely tightened

 

Removing the back wheel

This requires extra care as the motor is contained within the back wheel. You will find an in-line plug between the back wheel and the battery underneath the chain stay. This must be unplugged and then the wheel can be removed as a normal back wheel. When replacing the wheel, take care that the electric wire into the motor is pointing in the correct direction. When re-fixing the plug, line up the two arrows on the two parts of the plug and push together firmly.

electric bike back wheel

Lubricate your electric bicycle

Top tip: Get your hands on some latex gloves (literally) to avoid oily under nails.

Nobody likes the ‘old squeaky bike’ noise and oiling your chain will prevent this from happening while improving your pedalling efficiency! After oiling, let the substance soak for a few minutes before wiping excess oil with a rag.

The idea is to oil the internal parts of the chain. Be sure not to over-lubricate.

For great, long-term performance, you can bring your bike into our Exeter & Cornwall stores if you require assistance with e-bike servicing. For any other advice or e-bike enquiries, please contact us today, we’d be happy to help!

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