Positive and consistent maintenance culture is critical in running any electric bicycle. It helps to improve efficiency and increase the lifetime of the e-bike. Constant e-bike failure demotivates a cyclist. It is better to ensure that your electric bicycle is in good condition before you start riding for the day. Power applied by the rider is transferred from the pedals to the back wheel through the chain. Bike chains are made to shift smoothly and powerfully. Maintain your chain, and it will give miles of pleasant riding if the gear is shifted appropriately. If your e-bike chain skips while riding, you can follow the guide here: how to fix skipped bike chains.
Beyond enhanced durability, a clean, well-oiled chain can improve bike performance by making pedaling and gear transitions quieter, smoother, and with less friction. Rain, dust, and mud are often exposed to these chains, which can cause elongation or corrosion. The chains must be cleaned and lubricated regularly.
Some terms you should know:
What is Lubrication?
Lubrication: Lubrication is the application, of a friction-reducing coating between moving surfaces that are in contact. To reduce friction and wear. The lubricant might be in the form of a liquid, solid, or plastic. In other systems, it is also a medium of dirt disposal and cooling mechanism.
What is a Lube
Lube: Lube which is also called Lubricant, is a kind of oil that is used to minimize friction, heat, and wear between mechanical components in immediate contact.
How often should I Lubricate my e-bike?
Not performing maintenance as often as you ought to, could be as damaging as not maintaining it at all. Consistency matters a lot in maintenance culture.
Some bikers would say, once a week or immediately after driving in a wet environment. Yet a good cyclist, checking out your bicycle could change that particular routine, as the rate of commuting even within the space of a week, differs from one rider to another.
A simple chain check-out routine will ascertain if you should lubricate.
Conducting a simple routine check
●Stand on the side of your bike where the drivetrain is. Raise the back wheel off the ground so you can examine the whole chain.
●Slowly rotate the nearestcking each chain links for dirt accumulation and rust.
●Check for stiff links, and do not bend as they pass through the rear derailleur.
Also, listen for chirps and squeaking when you ride. To detect points with friction that needs to be cleaned or lubricated.
What type of bicycle chain oil is the best?
Although lubrication is a relatively simple activity, having a thorough grasp of the many types of lubricants is essential. As a result, the incorrect type will not be misused. Using anything other than bike lubricant on your components will make them corrode more quickly.
There are three types of bike lubes that should be used for your electric bikes.
1. Chain Lubricants
a. Dry Chain Lubricants
b. Wet Chain Lubricants
3. All-Purpose Lubricants
In this article, we will be focusing on chain lubricants.
Dry and wet are relatively general terminology, and most chain lube producers will provide at least these two options. Use dry lubes in dry weather and wet lubes in moisture environments, as a basic rule of thumb.
a . Dry Lubricants: These are applied wet to the chain and then allowed to dry to a waxy finish. Most may need a few hours to dry. So keep that in mind before heading out to ride. A dry lube advantage is that it will not gather much dirt, making it ideal for riding in dry weather. Dry lubes, on the other hand, washes off quickly. It will need to be re-applied after a wet ride.
b. Wet Lubricants: They are thicker and stick to the chain, it stays wet until it is rubbed away. They're ideal for wet weather since they have higher resilience to wetness and are more difficult to wipe away. The disadvantage is that they gather dirt and must be cleaned, more frequently to prevent component damage. Wet lubes should only be used when the circumstances demand it. It is great for your winter commuting in wet weather. But by summer, clean the chain and go back to dry lubes to avoid dirt piling up in the cassette.
In a nutshell, it is not good to use other types of lubricants on your e-bike. Because chain lubes are designed particularly for the job. There is no need to use something else. The most common newbie error is to use a very light household oil like WD40, which is for low-usage components. While this will temporarily lubricate the chain, it is not intended for exposed usage and will soon wash away.
How to lubricate your E-bike chain
What you will need
●Degreasing liquid: It is used to strip the grit and old oil from your chain.
●Plastic squeeze bottle: It’s easier to dispense degreaser from a squeezable plastic bottle than it is to pour it straight from the original container.
●Bike-repair stand: you should be able to spin your pedals backward freely.
●Gloves: If you want to avoid dirt under your nails.
●Clean rags: possibly one that can absorb liquid nicely.
●A hose, or a bucket of water and a sponge: To help rinse off the degreaser and any remaining chunk.
1.Make sure your chain is clean.
Clean the chain as much as possible before adding the lubricating oil. It's pointless to lubricate over dirt since it will continue to grind around all of your chainlinks.
You might need to use a scouring tool if your chain is in really yucky shape, but a rag and degreaser will generally be enough. Remember to wipe the cassette and the jockey wheels as well.
Fill a small squeeze bottle with a degreaser and drip it over the chain while slowly rotating the pedals backward. Usually, you should perform this in a garage or backyard where you have a hose and a drain.
Soak a clean towel in degreaser and spin the pedals while gently keeping the chain in place with the rag.
2. Rinse off the Degreaser.
Rinse off any residual degreaser with clean water now that the chain is clean. A hose, or a sponge, and a pail of water, can be used to clean the bearings.
Give say about 10 minutes for the chain to dry in the sun. Then use another clean towel to wipe it dry.
3. Apply fresh Lube.
As you spin the pedal backward, hold the bottle's tip close to the chain directly where the chain goes over one of the rear derailleur's star-shaped jockey wheels, and drip the Lubricating Oil on the chain's links. Each connection should have one drop of lubricant on it. You might miss a few links; just keep going until the pedal has completed about four cycles. stop pouring oil at this point, but maintain turning your crank for another four or five complete spins to ensure the oil enters the links.
4. Clean the Excess Lube
To remove excess lubricants, turn the pedal four or five times while holding the chain loosely with a clean cloth to wipe away any extra oil. Excess lube oil attracts dirt and dust, so cleaning it will help keep your chain from becoming excessively filthy.
What do you do after oiling your e-bike chain?
Excess oil can accumulate dirt. In the worst-case scenario, it might make your bike less sturdy or safe. It's a safe decision to wipe off the Oil from non-moving parts after oiling something like a chain (like the faceplates of the chain).
What are the parts that should be properly wiped of oil traces?
●Anywhere near your braking surface
●Bottom Brackets (grease)
The Don’ts of chain lubrication.
●Do not oil when the chain that has to be lubricated appears to be filthy or dusty. Adding Lube to a filthy or vulnerable region can increase friction or cause the Oil to "gum up." Additionally, oils with a lesser viscosity will leak or flow if the surface isn't clean.
●If the surface area is damp or may get wet, you don't need to apply Lube since it will still wash away. Oil does make things water-resistant, thus this is a frequent misunderstanding. The oil, on the other hand, absorbs the water. And, over time, it loses its stickiness, washing away the portions that required lubricating in the first place. This is why it is essential, that you lubricate your bike after riding in the rain, or very wet environments.
Always use a lubricant designed for bike drivetrains. KBO Bikes does not recommend using vaseline or cooking oil on your bike. It is not a chain lubricating fluid, and will only damage your bike further. If you’re confused on what product to use, speak to your local bike repairer, to recommend a tested and trusted product for you.