How to maintain Your Electric Bike
One of the coolest things about owning an electric bike is how easy it is to maintain and repair it if necessary. Although e-bike prices have significantly dropped in recent years, e-bikes can still be quite expensive, so ensuring good ebike maintenance practices is important.
With regular maintenance, you can easily extend the life of your electric bike and save money for buying replacement parts. If you’ve just bought your first e-bike and are wondering what type of maintenance work you’ll need to do, then you have come to the right place.
Below, we’re going to discuss the most important maintenance work you need to do on your e-bike and preventative measures to prevent malfunctions and expensive repairs.
General E-bike Maintenance Tips
Just like non-electric bikes, your e-bike will need some general maintenance that anyone can do at home. Here are a few general ebike maintenance tips you should know:
- Always keep your e-bike clean. Preferably, you should clean it after every ride using the right bike cleaners. Make it a habit of doing so when you can, and you will get used to it.
- Pay particular attention to your e-bike’s frame when cleaning to avoid damaging the paint job. Use a recommended low-grade cleaning solution and a soft cloth to get rid of any dirt or grime.
- Avoid cleaning your e-bike using a jet wash or high power water. This can drive out grease on essential components like motor bearings and hubs and cause damage.
- Do a quick check for any loose bolts, screws, nuts or anything else on your e-bike after a ride. If they’re loose, tighten them up a bit and check for any problems that could be causing the looseness.
- When you’re not using your bike, keep it in a dry place away from the elements to avoid potential problems like a degraded battery, chain rust, and malfunctioning electrical components.
- If you purchased an electric bike conversion kit, make sure any ebike maintenance you do is guided by the type of kit you have.
Your e-bike’s battery is at the core of your e-bike’s operation. It’s a lithium battery, similar to what you have on your cell phone or laptop, just much bigger. E-bike batteries come with an in-built battery management system that controls the charging and output of the cells. While they come with low maintenance requirements, they still need to be well taken care of. In fact, most people overlook battery maintenance, which can lead to a lot of problems.
A good battery should last you 1000 charge cycles, depending on its quality and how well you maintain it. Here are some tips to consider:
- Keep your e-bike battery topped up to avoid degrading it. Don’t wait for it to run out to you charge it up—to get the most life from your e-bike battery, charge it after every ride. That will ensure you get extended life from your e-bike battery.
- Avoid leaving your battery exposed to the sun or the cold for too long. Most problems with e-bike batteries arise from neglect by owners. If you leave your battery for months or years, don’t expect it to work as it did when new.
- If your battery seems to have a problem like deterioration, it’s good to have it checked at your dealer’s ebike maintenance shop. If you had left it out in the cold for too long, a full conditioning cycle should get it back to a functional state.
E-bike motors are designed to operate with little or no maintenance on your part. In most cases, they come sealed or non-serviceable, meaning if something goes wrong, it would most likely need to be replaced rather than repaired. However, there are different types of e-bike motors; so here are small maintenance tips to ensure longer life:
Gearless Hub Motors
These come with electromagnets that are activated by the pedal assist system or throttle that then turns the wheel. Considering that the magnets do the turning, there’s little friction, so maintenance is minimal.
Geared Hub Motors
These motors operate the same way as gearless hub motors, except that the magnets turn nylon gears inside the motor. These motors produce more torque and are smaller in size. Proper use is critical to avoid wearing out the gears. Avoid putting too much weight on a geared motor and also ensure your e-bike wheels are properly aligned and trued to avoid gear damage.
As the most advanced e-bike motor, these require a little extra care in ebike maintenance and use. The motor primarily turns the e-bike’s chainring, which then activates the e-bike’s own chain and drive system, turning the wheels. Here, drivetrain maintenance is needed as there’s more strain on the e-bike’s derailleur and chainring.
The motor’s drivetrain should be kept clean and gears finely tuned to ensure the motor runs smoothly. For these motors, always start on lower gear and work you way up to a higher gear. Follow these simple tips and you’ll enjoy years of dependable service on your electric bike.
Your e-bike’s brakes are your main safety component, and if you’re not careful with maintenance, you could be in trouble. Take a close look at your brakes pads at least once or twice a month to see how they’re holding up. The type of brakes used on e-bikes may vary, from rim brakes, mechanical disc brakes to hydraulic disc brakes, each having slightly different maintenance tips.
You will need to replace your brake pads every couple of years depending on how often you use your e-bike. Remember to test your brakes often in a safe environment like in your backyard or away from traffic or obstacles to be sure they’re working well after a replacement. For more complex brakes like hydraulic disc brakes, get professional ebike maintenance help to fix any issues.
Check Your Tires Regularly
One of the most important and often overlooked tips is to keep your tires properly inflated. Make sure you have your tires at the recommended tire pressure level to ensure a comfortable ride. The last thing you want is to have a flat tire when you’re away from home. Invest in a pump that features a pressure reader so you know what pressure you have in your tires.
Tire pressure should be checked at least once a week. Make sure your tires are also in good condition, and that treads are not worn down. Consider replacing your tires every 2000 miles or so depending on riding or road conditions.
Lubrication is key to ensuring a properly functioning e-bike and electric bike conversion kit components. Most chain issues in electric and non-electric bikes are caused by a lack of regular lubrication. Chains will rust quickly if they’re not lubricated or cleaned. They also cause trouble for your chainring and cassette. To clean your e-bike’s drivetrain, follow these tips:
- Get an old toothbrush and use it clean out all chain links using warm water.
- Dry the chains using a soft cloth and then apply special bicycle lubricant on the links.
- Use a clean, dry paper towel or rag to wipe off any excess lube as it could attract new dirt.
As part of regular ebike maintenance, you should also have your derailleurs adjusted and tightened every year or so.
If you have electrical problems with your e-bike, it’s best to call your e-bike dealer to have the problem checked. You should never take apart any of the electric or plastic parts as you could do further damage, and also invalidate your warranty. Have the electrical problem checked by a qualified e-bike technician.
Before talking to your dealer, you can always check the electrical connectors and if the battery is properly secured. It could be a simple issue you can fix on your own. Check that contacts are also corrosion free and clean, or turn your e-bike off and back on again.
Every bike owner will need professional help from time to time. If you need help diagnosing a problem with your motor, electrical connections, your brakes, battery or other electric bike conversion kit components, LEED Electric Bike is here to help you. We offer maintenance services for e-bikes and our range of unique e-bike components. Our experienced technicians are ready to assist you in ebike maintenance and repairs.