Electric bike maintenance: how to look after your ebike(1)

Views: 24     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-23      Origin: Site

How to look after your ebike

An electric bike, like any bike, needs regular maintenance. Cleaning and taking care of your ebike will keep it running smoothly, efficiently and safely, all of which can contribute to a longer lifespan for the battery and motor.

This guide explains how to look after your electric bike, including tips on washing the bike, applying lubricants, regular component checks, software and app updates, and looking after the battery.

How often should you service an electric bike?

In many senses, electric bicycle maintenance is no different to that of a conventional bike. However, some components, and particularly the drivetrain (cranks, chain and sprockets), are subject to greater forces and increased wear.

Therefore, washing your ebike regularly and keeping it well maintained is of utmost importance if you want to get the most out of the bike.

First things first, a clean bike is a happy bike. Dirt and mud increase wear on components and, when mixed with water and grease, can form a paste that will, at best, decrease the efficiency of your bike and, at worst, quickly wear through consumable parts.

The smoother your electric bike runs, the more efficient it will be, and the longer your key components will last.

Keep the drivetrain clean and running well: battery life and power output are irrelevant if your gears are grinding and skipping all over the place. Riding a bike with a clean, efficient drivetrain, along with correctly adjusted gears, is ultimately a more pleasurable experience and will help you get the most from the bike in the long run.

Electric bike chains tend to require more frequent lubrication than non-assisted bicycle chains. Regularly apply a quality lubricant to your chain will ensure the transmission runs efficiently. It’s a good idea to do this after every ride, and certainly after washing and drying the bike.

If your bike has a ‘walk’ mode, you can engage it so that the cranks (and rear wheel) spin around slowly, allowing you to lube the chain easily.

You should also regularly check your ebike’s tyre pressures. Under-inflated tyres are not only potentially dangerous, but they can also waste power and reduce efficiency, meaning you’ll get less out of a battery charge. Equally, running tyres at too high a pressure can compromise comfort and grip, especially if you’re riding off-road.

Component wear and tear

Many ebikes now use components developed specifically for assisted riding. This means stronger parts made to withstand the added forces that go through an ebike, due to the increased power output, speed and overall weight of the bike.

Electric bike drivetrains tend to be beefier and have different gear ranges to non-assisted bikes. Ebike-specific wheels and tyres are also sturdier, forks stronger, brakes more powerful, and so on.

Nonetheless, despite this additional reinforcement, you are still demanding a lot from an electric bike, whether pedalling, braking, turning, climbing or descending, so it’s a good idea to keep a keen eye on the components and frame for loose bolts or damaged parts.

Regularly safety check your bike to ensure that all bolts and axles are tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended torque settings, check your tyres for anything that might cause a puncture and test for any loose spokes.

Watch out for excessive wear, too. If one part wears out, such as the chain, it can have a knock-on effect on other components – such as causing premature wear to the chainrings and cassette. We’ve got a guide to chain wear so you can spot any issues before they become a problem.

How to wash an electric bike

We’ve already covered the importance of keeping your bike clean to improve its efficiency and lifespan, but let’s take a closer look at how to wash an electric bike.

Ebike batteries and motors are sealed units and, therefore, shouldn’t let in any water, but you should avoid washing any bicycle – electric or not – with a powerful jet wash because the power of the water could force its way through the bike’s numerous seals.

Wash your ebike with water from a bucket or low-pressure hose, a brush and (optionally) a bike-specific cleaning product to quickly cut through dirt and grime.

Ensure that all connections remain sealed by leaving the battery in its housing, but turn the ebike system off before washing it (and ensure it’s not charging).

Charging ports can accumulate dirt, so check inside and brush out any mud with a dry cloth or brush. Keep the port closed when washing the bike.

After washing the bike, dry it off with a clean cloth, making sure to avoid the disc brakes (you don’t want to accidentally contaminate them with any oil or other cleaning products used elsewhere on the bike).

Every now and then you might want to give the battery contacts a clean. You can do this with a soft, dry brush, a cloth and (optionally) switch lubricant.

If your bike has a life-extender battery (an optional second battery that can be connected for longer rides), you should always disconnect it before cleaning and clean the connections with a soft, dry brush.

Your ebike may have a speed sensor magnet on its wheel. Clean this with a soft cloth to avoid any problems.

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