Taking proper care of your electric bike is very important, as this will prolong its lifetime and therefore provide you with years of great service. Being thorough with your vehicle's maintenance can be a great habit to avoid damage and unnecessary costs.
In today's post, we discuss electric bike maintenance and discuss different mechanical and electrical components, commenting on their lifetime individually. So, without further ado, let's learn more about e-bike maintenance.
E-Bike vs. Mechanical Bike Maintenance
When we compare mechanical bike maintenance and electric bike maintenance, we come to a really interesting conclusion - electric bike maintenance, although it is more complex, won't create any additional hassle for you personally. Let us explain.
Electric bikes and mechanical bikes differ in the electric components - mechanical bikes barely have any. However, these electric components are rarely a DIY fix, and even in the shops, taking them apart and fixing something within it is not a common practice.
That is why the battery, an electric component, needs minimal maintenance - you only wipe the case. If there is anything wrong with the battery, you will have to take it to your local maintenance warehouse or a local shop, and there is a high chance that the battery will have to be replaced if there is something wrong with it. You have to be the one who troubleshoots for any issues regularly, though.
This essentially means that maintaining electric bikes is more expensive due to the more expensive parts. Still, you won't see much difference between regular bike maintenance and electric bike maintenance, at least when it comes to home fixes.
How Do You Maintain An E-Bike Daily?
With the previous paragraph in mind, we share some notes on how to take care of an e-bike at home properly. We want to suggest you find your owner's manual and read about the tips and tricks there. There is usually a section about cleaning and maintenance and general time frames for component replacements. Every bike is individual, so let's keep this in mind.
On a daily basis, especially if you ride the bike each day, you have to check the chain, the tire, and the brakes. Inspect them, see whether they are intact, and ensure that no wear and tear needs to be addressed. This is what you do before you ride the bike.
The chain. Check the chain to see whether it is loose, whether it is running smoothly, and make sure to lube the chain with dry lube if it is summertime or wet lube if it is wintertime. Special chains might require more care. If you think that daily lubing is too much, don't worry, you're checking the chain daily, not necessarily lubing it daily.
The brakes and the tires. Make sure to sit on the bike and test the brakes to see if they are working properly. Check the tire pressure and make sure to pump more air in if required. You can always use a pressure gauge to check the pressure level and make sure to give fat tires some extra attention.
The battery. Naturally, you need to charge your battery often, or at least check the power level before you go for a ride. Make sure that you are left with enough power to return to your home safely. Even if you are not riding your bike, storing the battery slightly charged will help it stay intact.
Clean the bike! This is something you need to do daily, but usually, after you take a ride - clean your bike with a wet cloth. You can apply some mild detergent when it comes to the non-mechanical parts, like the bike's frame, but we suggest you refrain from using all detergents unless they are bike detergents. Visit your local shop to get something that is gear-friendly, and make sure to use a soft cloth. Make sure to detach the battery when you are cleaning!
Keep in mind that these schedules are mostly preferences. For example, some people like to do a deep clean of their bikes each week, while others do light cleaning daily.
Parts That Need Extra Care Over Time
There are several parts of an electric bike that need a little bit more care. Unfortunately, the motor of the electric bike is one of those parts, and although you will be able to tell whether there is something wrong with it, the chances of you fixing it on your own are small.
Try to listen for any weird noises or check for heating issues, and make sure you replace the motor as often as the owner's manual says - check the motor in detail twice a month. Every now and then, you might want to check the spokes and see whether they are still intact, as this is important for your safety.
You might also want to be more invested in your gears and making sure that they are tuned at all times. Try to schedule biweekly checks of these parts, but also inspect the suspension regularly. Make sure you check the whole surface of your tires at least once in two months, but ideally, you would do this monthly. You should be on the lookout for any friction or thinning of the tire as this can cause the tire to burst.
The bearings are also a vulnerable part of the bike, as there can be grease buildup, and the whole drivetrain system could be compromised. So make sure to see whether everything is running properly at least once a month.
As for the battery, it is tough to tell whether something is wrong until it goes wrong, which is why you want to look for any spontaneous energy loss continuously. We talked about common battery problems before, so make sure to look out for these.
Some people like to check all of these things once a month, but if you have limited time, you might want to take your e-bike and leave it in a maintenance shop every 30 to 50 days. Of course, such a service will cost you but think of it as prevention and an investment.
How Often Should I Get Them Serviced?
Naturally, whenever you notice during your daily inspections that there are some issues, that is when you take your bike to a local store to get it serviced.
If you are not noticing any issues, that doesn't mean that you get to leave your bike at home. You still have to bring it into your local shop and get it serviced, but you have to pay attention to bike parts individually.
A battery usually lasts for about three to five years before it is meant to be replaced. Keep in mind that electric bike batteries might be pretty unpredictable cost-wise. Still, we suggest you read the manual and see how many charging cycles your battery is made for because some people will use up to 100 charging cycles in a year, while others may use 500.
It would help if you got your tires checked at least every 2000 miles, although 1000 miles can be a great milestone as well. We don't necessarily mean that you have to get them replaced every 1000 miles, but you definitely have to bring them into the store to see whether they have thinned out.
When it comes to the chains, about 3000 miles is a good number to keep in mind, but if you have been applying more tension and stress on the chain, as well as the sprocket, you might want to keep the number lower.
When it comes to the brakes, really good brakes can last up to 6000 miles, but this depends on whether you are using rim brakes or disc brakes. We suggest you keep the number as low as 3000 miles and just get them checked whenever you check your chains. Different biking styles and terrains can result in more breaking.
Ideal Timings To Get Your E-Bike Checked As A Whole
The First Service. If you are a new bike owner, we suggest you ride your bike for about a week or so and then get it checked in a local store. This will benefit you because you will see how the initial wear and tear treats your bike.
The 1000 Miles Service. Some will go over 1000 miles in six months, while others will do so in two months. This is why we suggest you consider the mileage and check your bike every 1000 miles.
To conclude, you should take care of your bike daily. Clean it, check the chains, the tires, the brakes, and the battery. Every 1000 miles, you should get your bike professionally serviced. When you notice any deterioration of specific components in the bi-weekly checkups you do, you should also get those fixed - it will keep the value of your electric bike high, which is practical for reselling.
Rely on the Internet and your biker friends for additional information on where and how to get your bike serviced properly. Your owner's manual is also your best friend, as every bike is different, and every biker has different habits. Good luck and make sure to take good care of your bike!