How to Maintain an e-Bike

Lots of people are making the transition to e-bikes for commuting and leisure cycling. Like any bike, staying on top of the maintenance for your e-bike ensures a smoother, faster, and overall more pleasant ride. Maintenance also means the bike will last longer, which is important considering how expensive e-bikes can be.

Here are our top tips on how to maintain an e-bike.

Take Care of the Battery

The core difference between a pushbike and an e-bike is the use of a battery. Taking care of your bike means taking care of your battery. The best thing to do for your battery is to keep it at ambient temperature. It would help if you stored it in your house with some juice left in it. Don’t leave it charging for days or weeks, as this can cause long-term damage. Think of a battery as being like a pet – if you wouldn’t leave your pet somewhere, don’t leave your battery there.

Spoke Tension

The spokes on an e-bike offer unique problems compared to standard bikes. Spokes are more likely to break on a bike with a hub motor. The longer you go without treating your spokes, the more likely they are to break. Spoke tension is something that mechanics take care of during servicing and something you can check yourself. Adjust the spoke tension as necessary to keep your bike going.

Clean the Drivetrain

The specifics of drivetrain maintenance are the same between bikes and e-bikes. The main difference is that e-bikes require more frequent maintenance. Motor e-bikes put more pressure on the chain, so it doesn’t last as long as the chain on a regular bike. Make things easier for yourself by getting a chain cleaning tool. Be careful with a degreaser, though, as you shouldn’t let any of it get on the braking surfaces. If it does, then use isopropyl alcohol or another brake cleaner to remove it safely.

Put Down the Pressure Washer

The average e-bike is built for durability, but they have their limits. You wouldn’t use a pressure washer with a regular bike, so don’t use one with an e-bike. You should always be as careful with cleaning and caring for your e-bike as you would with your regular bike. People can get overzealous and use pressure washers, which does a lot of damage to the bike. Some people have taken to washing theirs in rivers and canals, which is just as dangerous. Mechanics can tell if you’ve not been careful with washing your bike as it damages the bears and emulsifies the grease and oil.

Take Care of Tires

Tire maintenance is always essential for bikes, but doubly so for e-bikes as they allow you to cover more distance. An e-bike is also heavier than a standard bike, meaning that the tires are more vulnerable to damage. Everyone wants to avoid getting punctures, so check the tires for flints regularly. Maintaining proper tire pressure also helps in preventing punctures and cracked sidewalls. The tires on your bike need to have their pressure checked and maintained more often than car tires do. Make things easier for yourself by getting a floor pump with a built-in pressure gauge.

Clean the Brakes

It’s easier to reach max speed on an e-bike, meaning that riders use the brakes more often. Given that these bikes are also heavier, more pressure is placed on the brakes each time they are used. Ensure that the braking surfaces and pads are kept clean, as dirt can wear down the braking surface faster. Cleaning the brakes also helps to ensure they are correctly adjusted. The extra power means it’s hard to notice when brakes rub too much, but rubbing brakes are less efficient and reduce overall travel distance. You can clean the brakes using a brake cleaning product and a clean rag. Keep in mind that if you do clean the brake pads thoroughly, you might need to bed-in them again. All this means is that you should ride the bike to speed and evenly use the brakes to come down to walking pace a few times. It sort of breaks the brakes in, if you will.

Final Thoughts

Maintenance is an essential part of bike maintenance, whether you own a bicycle, e-bike, or motorbike. Keep these points in mind as you take care of your e-bike to ensure you get years of enjoyment out of it.
Simon Huckabee
Simon Huckabee

Riding to work, to the shops or exploring national parks with my family on weekends I am a dedicated cyclist and environmentalist.

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