You've just bought an electric bike, and you're expecting it to last for years of trouble-free cycling. But like any vehicle, your e-bike will eventually need some basic maintenance and care to keep it running smoothly.
Whether you're new to e-bikes or have been riding them for years, this guide will help you understand the basics of servicing your e-bike so that you can keep it running like new. With just a few simple tools and some basic knowledge, you'll be able to perform the most common ebike maintenance tasks yourself - and save money in the process!
Before we dive in, let's list the most important tasks any e-bike maintenance routine should undergo:
- Clean the chain
- Lubricate the chain
- Adjust the tension on the brakes
- Ensure optimum tire pressure (refer to owners manual)
- Adjust the tension on the chains and spokes (with the help of a professional)
Cleaning an e-bike chain is essential for keeping your bike in peak condition. The process isn't complicated and can be done with a few basic supplies: an old toothbrush, degreaser or cleaning solution, and a lint-free towel.
- Begin by removing the chain from the bike. If you're unfamiliar with how to do this, consult your owner's manual for instructions.
- Then, apply a generous amount of degreaser to cover the entire surface of the chain and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the product to penetrate tough grime and dirt buildup.
- After this time elapses, scrub gently with your toothbrush to loosen any remaining residue lodged into link joints. Rinse off with warm water and dry using a lint-free towel before reattaching to your e-bike.
With regular cleaning sessions, your e-bike chain will remain in top shape helping you enjoy miles of smooth rides!
How to lube your e-bike chain
Lubricating your e-bike chain is an important part of owning and maintaining an electric bicycle. Regular maintenance and lubrication will keep your ride running smoothly and increase the lifespan of your bike components.
- To start, you'll need to get a chain lube specifically designed for bikes - traditional motor oil won't work here.
- Next, you'll want to clean the chain thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and any old lubricant that might still be present on the links, as mentioned above.
- Once that's done, apply a thin layer of lube to each link and leave it overnight to set in before going for a ride.
Lubricating your e-bike chain doesn't have to be a daunting process - with a few simple steps, you can enjoy smoother rides and more efficient performance out of your electric bicycle for years to come!
Check out this video on how to clean and lubricate you chain properly:
How to adjust your e-bike brakes
Adequate and properly functioning brakes are a crucial component for powered bicycles, such as e-bikes.
To determine if you need to adjust your bike brakes, you can do a quick visual inspection of the wheel rims and ensure that the pads are making full contact and not worn down. Additionally, you can test them by squeezing the brake lever until it stops which should slow the wheel down, but also not lock up or be too tight.
If your brakes require adjustment, you need to first loosen both the brake pad and adjuster screws on each side before making any changes.
After this initial step, slowly rotate each adjuster screw clockwise to tighten the respective wheel's brake pad until secure contact is made, and then quickly rotate it back out again 1/8th of a turn—check that your wheel still rotates freely afterward.
Finally, test it out!
Here's a great video on how to adjust your brakes, conveniently timestamped for you:
Ensure optimum tire pressure
It's important to ensure that the electric bike tire pressure is optimal for your e-bike to get the best performance of your e-bike and avoid excess wear on its tires.
The optimal tire pressure will depend on your e-bike's weight, which can be found in the manufacturer's manual or product description, as well as your weight, which can be measured on a scale. 🙂
The minimum and maximum pressure should be visible on the side of the tire. You should never exceed the maximum, and going below the minimum can result in a puncture due to underinflation. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for an approximate pressure according to your body weight, and use this as a starting point.
Additionally, weather conditions can also affect how much air should be used when inflating your e-bike's tires.
Make sure to always consult a professional if you're uncertain, before going ahead and adjusting your e-bike's tire pressure; an improper inflation rate could cause an e-bike to experience poor braking and handling as well as reduce battery life.
Adjust the tension on the chains and spokes
To ensure your electric bike performs at its best, it is important to check the tension on the chains and spokes periodically. By regularly adjusting the tension on electric bike components - such as chains and spokes - you increase their longevity as well as ensure an efficient power transfer from electric motor to your e-bike's wheels.
A way to tell that the chain or spokes require tensioning is if you experience any rattling or noises from the drivetrain during a ride.
Depending on the electric bike model, there are several ways to adjust the tension of your electric bike chains and spokes. Whether you will opt for DIY e-bike maintenance or visit your local electric bicycle shop, always make sure that all your electric bicycle components are properly tightened. If not done properly, they can cause additional wear or even damage to other electric bike parts.
We recommend you leave the tensioning to the professionals, but if you want to do it yourself here is a video guide on spoke tensioning to get you started:
Finally, how often should you service your ebike?
From battery health to wheel alignment, servicing your e-bike regularly is one of the best things you can do to get the most out of your ride. By taking a few easy steps along the way, such as inspecting brakes, adjusting the tension on chains and spokes, lubricating the chain, and ensuring optimum tire pressure, you can maximize your bike's performance in areas like handling and durability.
But how often do you need to service your e-bike?
Well, as a rule of thumb, you should at least service your bike every six months or about every 1,000 miles (1600 km) of riding. This is merely a rough estimate, and the best service routine will be based on how often and on which type of roads or terrains you ride.
Regular servicing will allow you to identify small repairs early - often before they turn into larger problems - which will not only save you time but money as well. In short, regular e-bike service means that you're less likely to experience bigger issues down the road - so stay ahead of the curve and ensure that your two-wheeled adventure continues uninterrupted!