Putting time aside for electric bike maintenance will ensure the longevity of your trusty e-bike. After all, it cost lots of money, and you want to make sure your investment is worth it.
Like any other type of bike, electric bikes require regular maintenance. Looking after your e-bike, keeping it in good working order, and making sure all the components run smoothly all contribute to a longer lifespan for your battery, engine, and everything in between.
However, while some elements of electric bike maintenance are the same as with a standard bike, there are various other factors e-bike owners need to consider.
At Cycleplan, we know a thing or two about electric bike maintenance. Here are our top 7 tips.
Stay on top of cleaning
Simple it may sound, but keeping your electric bike clean is one of the best things you can do to ensure you stay on the road for longer.
E-bikes don’t necessarily require more or less cleaning than a standard bike, but you must ensure your cleaning methods are appropriate. Although highly robust, e-bikes aren’t built to withstand things like pressure washing, and you most certainly shouldn’t ever submerge them in water either—especially the battery.
You should regularly clean your e-bike’s frame and drivetrain, and make sure all the electrical contact points are hazard-free.
If you’re using cleaning products, too, it’s important to do your research first and check what you’re using is suitable. There are many e-bike-specific cleaning products and kits on the market.
Not every clean has to be a ‘thorough clean’ that involves removing the battery, but it’s worth doing this every few months or so, depending on how often you ride.
Related: How to clean your e-bike (without screwing up the electrics)
Look after the battery
Much like the bike frame itself, it’s important to look after your e-bike battery, as you won’t be riding very far without it, and they can be rather expensive to replace.
Most e-bikes have a lithium-ion battery, which gradually deteriorates and loses power capacity over time, so proper care and storage are essential.
E-bike batteries should be charged at room temperature and in dry conditions. You should also disconnect the battery if you know you won’t be riding the bike for a long period. However, it should never be left to completely drain, so keep an eye on it and charge it up even if you aren’t riding.
We posed this question to cycling journalist and e-bike expert Richard Peace. He told us you should:
- avoid extreme temperatures
- avoid knocks and bumps on the road
- never let the battery completely drain
- only use a manufacturer-approved charger
- keep the contact points clean and dry
You can check out the full write-up of our chat with Richard here.
Check for software updates
If you have a smartphone, you’ll be more than familiar with software updates—iOS what now?
Though Apple isn’t in the e-bike market (for now, anyway), most e-bike manufacturers are the same when it comes to software and app updates.
Updating your e-bike software to the latest version when necessary will help you get the most out of your riding experience. E-bike apps allow you to log your ride statistics, track performance, and some even help to improve the overall performance of your bike.
Of course, it’s not the end of the world if your e-bike isn’t always running on the newest software. The bike is still going to work, providing everything else is in order, but keeping an eye open for updates may help explain any issues you might be experiencing.
Be mindful of the tires
Generally speaking, e-bikes can cover more ground than a standard bike. This makes the tires more susceptible to wear and tear, so you should be mindful of that for a start.
E-bike tires also tend to be heavier than ordinary bike tyres, which leaves them open to more severe punctures, as debris from the road can be forced further into them under the tyre’s excess weight.
Try and get into the habit of checking your tires regularly and making sure the pressure is kept consistent, too, as punctures and cracking are a lot more likely when tire pressure is too low.
It’s definitely worth investing in specialist equipment for your e-bike tyres. Things like floor pumps and pressure gauges make tire maintenance much easier—trust us.
Related: Best bike pumps 2022
Transport it properly and carefully
Sometimes you may want to take your e-bike somewhere but not actually ride it there. on a cycling holidayfor example.
When transporting your e-bike, you should be careful you’re storing it properly and making sure it can survive the journey.
Of course, the levels you go to will depend on the length and nature of your journey. There’s no need to go OTT if you’re just hopping on the Tube for a few stops, for example.
But for longer journeys, you might want to remove the e-bike battery, cover its terminals, and store it separately to avoid damage in transit. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and immediately have to seek repairs.
Some e-bikes also have folding capabilities, which allow you to fold them down to a fraction of their original size to make traveling easier (as pictured above). These types of e-bikes are common among city commuters, in particular.
Like standard bikes, e-bikes can also be stored on roof racks if you travel by car.
Related: How to transport an e-bike
Don’t assume “it’s nothing”
We’re probably all guilty of it. We notice something that doesn’t seem quite right with something, but we assume it’s nothing and ignore it.
However, this shouldn’t be your attitude when it comes to your electric bike.
Whether you’re out riding or just tinkering with your bike at home, if you spot or feel something that doesn’t feel right or what you’d expect, don’t ignore it.
Even the smallest issues can turn into something much bigger if left alone for too long. And, as we know, electric bikes are expensive, as are repairs should you need them.
So, the more you can do to avoid the need for repairs, the better. However, if you of need some repair work done…
See a professional
While you might think you can fix small niggles here and there yourself, complex repairs and maintenance should always be carried out by a qualified mechanic or e-bike specialist.
This is especially the case for electrical faults. If your e-bike has an electrical fault, you should never attempt to disassemble the battery or drive system yourself. Doing so could:
- impact the terms of your e-bike warranty
- cause more damage than there was to begin with
- give you a nasty electric shock
The key is not to be in denial about the state of your e-bike. If it needs another set of eyes on it, make it happen. Things will only worsen, and your e-bike will deteriorate quicker if you put things off.
Electric bike maintenance: servicing
Not a tip as such, but an additional point to mention on electric bike maintenance is servicing.
Servicing your e-bike isn’t too dissimilar from servicing a standard mechanical bike. Normally, a bike should be professionally serviced at least once or twice a year to check things are running smoothly—the same rule can be applied to e-bikes, too.
Getting your e-bike serviced every six months or 1,000 miles (whichever comes first) will help nip any potential problems in the bud and ensure you continue to get the most out of your bike every time you ride it.
However, the gap you leave between servicing may well depend on what type of rider you are and how often you ride. More frequent, intense riders may wish to send their e-bike in for a service more often than every six months, and vice versa. Ultimately, though, you are in control.
Related: How often to service your e-bike
Electric bike maintenance is important, but no matter how well you look after your bike and how careful you are when riding it, accidents and theft are always risks. That’s why you might also want to consider electric bike insurance as another means of protection.
With Cycleplan, specialist electric bike insurance protects your e-bike against loss, theft and accidental damage up to £30,000, meaning you can ride with complete peace of mind.
We also offer Public Liability up to £5m and protection against personal injuries. All Cycleplan policies are also underpinned by the ‘Ripe Guarantee’meaning you won’t find the same level of electric bike cover for a better price anywhere else on the market.
Click here to learn more about specialist electric bike insurance with Cycleplan and get an online quote today.
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