Essentials of eBike Maintenance - Tips and Basics for Electric Bike Owners

March 22, 2023
Essentials of eBike Maintenance - Tips and Basics for Electric Bike Owners
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How To Maintain Your eBike

Your electric bike is a complex machine that requires cleaning and maintenance like anything else. Unlike a normal bike however, there are unique requirements you should be mindful of to keep it in top performing condition. Beyond lubrication and cleaning, there are batteries, cables and software systems that all need to be taken care of. If you’re shopping for a new electric bike, don’t let the maintenance needs cause concern. With some simple, routine assistance, your ebike will last you a long time!


A Good Visual Inspection

The first place to start is with a thorough inspection of all the components. You want to be mindful of any wear or damage to cables or electrical components. Frayed cables, areas where the cover has worn off, cracks in casings; these are all early warning signs of potential problems and may require replacing. Cables that are showing wear may be fixable with electrical tape to prevent any internal components from being exposed to water.


Clean Your Bike!

The source of many bike problems is simple dirt and grime that you encounter every day. It can be a lot to ask to wash your bike frequently, but at a minimum, you should have thorough wash yearly. United has bike services where we’ll remove and thoroughly wash components as well. Your eBike has a more complex chain and drive system than a normal bike, so keeping the chain and moving components free of debris is critical to ensuring your electric motor components aren’t overworked. 

The motor and batteries on electric bikes are sealed components, and should be fine with washing. Be cautious of using power-washers on your electric components as the force may cause water to enter the unit and cause problems. Use low-pressure water, a bucket and even consider some bike cleaners to help get the unwanted grease and dirt out. 

There are also charging ports on electric bikes that should be closed during washing. Dirt and dust often get into these spaces, so use a dry cloth or small brush to keep these as clean as possible.


Lubrication

All bikes need to have their moving components routinely lubricated. United has a variety of lubes and greases for bikes that you can have on hand and apply frequently. We’ve also written a full article on bike lubrication that you can read for more information. It’s important to note that electric bikes require more frequent lubing than conventional bikes, so have some products handy and apply them after every ride.


Pro Tip: Sometimes ebikes can be a bit tricky to apply maintenance to because of the drivetrain system. A simple bike stand can be a super handy tool to have. Also, some ebikes have a ‘walk mode’ which makes it much easier to spin around the wheels slowly and apply lubrication.

Tire pressure

Underinflated tires are a problem for any bike, but in an electric bike, it is another thing that will cause your battery to work harder than necessary. Much of what we’re trying to do with ebike maintenance is to prevent our systems from overworking or burning out.


Drivetrain maintenance

The battery in your electric bike powers the movement of the pedals, so anything that impedes the drivetrain will impact your battery. That means if your chain is skipping, gears are grinding or there’s dirt and debris in your system, your battery has to work extra hard! 

 

Extending your range of your bike’s battery

Beyond the obvious goal of wanting to get as much juice out of your battery as possible, reducing strain may prolong the lifespan of the battery itself. Keep these things in mind when riding your ebike.


Tire pressure: Under-inflated tires will reduce the battery efficiency and your efficiency! Keep pressure up and have a smoother ride.

Temperature: Colder weather places additional strain on your bike battery.

RPM: Riding at 50 revolutions per minute more battery-efficient in most ebike models.

Weight: More weight means more strain. This is not always something you can control, but you may want to consider shorter trips with heavier loads.

Technology: Some electric bikes will give you information on battery life and efficiency to help maximize your battery.


Battery Care

Many ebikes have sealed batteries that aren’t designed for you to interact with directly, but you can still take steps to keep it running effectively.


Contact Cleaning

Wear and debris can impact the quality of your battery's connection. Occasionally use a cloth or rag to clean the connection points.


eBike Battery Storage

  • Charge in room temperature, dry location.
  • Avoid leaving your battery completely discharged for long periods.
  • Disconnect the battery (if possible) when stored for extended periods.
  • Maintain partial (30-60%) charge when storing for extended periods.
  • Store batteries in cool, dry places out of direct sun. Extreme hot and cold are bad for battery life.
  • During winter, store your batteries inside to avoid sub-zero temperatures.

We want you to get as much life and enjoyment out of your ebike as possible! Take some time to keep it running in tip-top shape, or let us help you out. We have free bike inspections and a variety of tune-up packages to keep your riding longer.

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