Responsibly maintaining your electric bike starts from the moment you buy it. Taking the initiative early on helps you develop a duty of care towards ensuring your bike stays in good shape. There is no better investment than creating a maintenance routine so that you can thoroughly enjoy the product, reduce how much you spend on repairs, and still recoup a good amount if you decide to resell. Therefore, you should learn as much as you can about caring for your ebike daily. This article aims to provide you with adequate information on maintaining your electric bike and keeping it working smoothly for years.
3 systems you need to check before your ride
As the core component of power transmission, the drive system is related to efficiency. So, proper cleaning is necessary. When finishing your ride, you can wrap the chain with a clean non-woven cloth and wipe off the dust on the surface of the chain by turning the crank counterclockwise. Keeping the chain clean is the basis of maintaining the drive system clean. In addition, according to the different riding conditions and mileage, the drive system should be cleaned in good time, and a new chain should be added for lubrication. High-quality chain lubes generally have an instruction of service life (mileage). If it does not have the instructions or you just forget it, you need to clean and oil when you hear the chain's noise.
Like the drive system, the speed system also needs to be kept clean at all times, including the freewheels, derailleur, crank, etc. If these parts are covered with dust, it will cause inaccurate transmission, increased noise, and accelerated wear. Therefore, riders need to pay attention to timely cleaning during daily maintenance.
Brakes are an essential component of any vehicle, including e-bikes. They are the primary safety tool for bikes, so you must ensure they are in perfect working conditions before leaving your home. It is pretty terrible to experience a brake failure while moving at high speed.
Braking is mainly using your hands to pull the brake lever so that the brake pads and the edge of the brake disc are in contact to generate friction for braking. During routine maintenance, you need to check whether the brake handle is intact with no damage. The brake lever is usually the first to touch the ground when the bicycle falls due to a crash or improper parking. To prevent the damaged brake lever from breaking when applying the brake firmly.
The next is to check the brake cable. Firstly, check whether the fixing screws of the brake cable are locked. In addition, check whether the wear degree of the brake pads is within a safe range, and if there is excessive wear, please don't forget to replace it in time. In the end, remember to check the rim. Check whether the surface of the brake side is flat, clean, and free of oil, and check the same as the brake pads.
Effectively Maintaining Your E-bike
Despite how eager you are to learn these tips, we advise that you take note of a couple of things. First, you should be quick to consult a professional if you don't understand the fault. It would save you a lot of stress to know when to take matters out of your own hands. Below are salient tips to keep your machine running for years without hiccups:
Caring For Your Battery
This is a commonly overlooked part of maintaining your electric bike. Lithium-Ion batteries are a perfect option because they are low maintenance. They can last about 1,000 charge cycles if used judiciously. However, you must not store them in an environment that's either too hot or cold. In essence, don't place them in a place that's comfortable for your pet.
To keep the batteries working, they have to be charged at least once in two months. Failure to do this will cause permanent damage to the battery, which the warranty would not cover. Therefore, if you are away from home for an extended period, it is best to buy a smart plug controlled with your phone. This way, you can set your bike to charge for about 6 hours and keep the battery functioning. Don't forget to turn it off because overcharging can damage your battery.
Regular Cleaning of Your E-Bike's Frame
There is every tendency for your bike to get dirty every time you take it out. Therefore, you must develop the habit of frequently cleaning your electric bike. If dirt is left for long, it could start damaging your paint and makes your electric bike susceptible to rusting.
Ensure that you read through your owner's manual to learn the recommended methods of cleaning your bike. This is to avoid using a material that would wear out your paint in cleaning. Most times, a low-grade cleaning solution with a soft towel is good enough to get your bike shining again. If it is stained by mud, hosing it down would be a better choice for you. Leave your battery while you clean to protect your electric bike's connectors.
Keep Your Tires Inflated
Many bikers have the terrible habit of ignoring their tires till they develop a fault. A bike's tires should be checked daily for any punctures and their pressure level. If the pressure is reduced in any tire, you can use a hand pump to restore it.
It would help if you bought a pump that accurately tells you the pressure in your bike's tires. Asides from feeling with your fingers, a pump is an excellent way to notice any faults early. Keep a hand pump around you in case of emergencies too. If you encounter flat tire during your ride, you can check out this article "How to avoid flat tire on electric bikes".
Ensure That Your Chain is Cleaned and Lubricated
Chaim issues are some of the most experienced by bikers. So, it is good practice for you to clean and lubricate your bike after every ride. Because if your bike stops, you might have to walk you our destination. Also, your chains can get rather rusty if left dirty or unlubricated for long. This could end up damaging the cassette and chainring too.
Purchase A Chain Scrubber
To effectively clean your chain, the best tools to use are a chain scrubber and degreaser, which you can get from a local bike shop. On days when your e-bike is dirty, you can dump the degreaser and refill it after the first scrub. Then, dry the chains before applying some lube to them. This is a sure way to keep your chains working perfectly.
It is not advisable to use wax lubricants as they have been shown to cause chain suck quite often. This could suck if you are on your way to work. The chain scrubber could also be used in cleaning the drivetrain and preventing dirt accumulation. Allowing grime and dirt on your bike greatly affects the lifespan of its parts. Repairing bike parts can be pretty expensive, so it is better to maintain your ebike and prevent any form of damage.
Invest in High-grade Brake Pads
Your level of maintenance for brake pads depends on the types you have on your bike. Their various types include rim brakes, hydraulic brakes, mechanical brakes, etc. You need to know how to determine the amount of wear on a brake pad, irrespective of the type.
For disc brakes, you can check for wear by looking in the caliper or removing them and checking the pads. While for rim brakes, the wear is usually quite visible. You have to check if they still have a good bit of "meat" on them. Regular brake pad checks can save you from a potentially disastrous situation.
Always Be Ready To Seek Professional Help
Don't be slow to reach out to a professional if your electric bike develops any faults you don't understand. Ideally, it would help if you took your bike for frequent check-ups to ensure proper electric bike maintenance. It is advisable to take your bike to a professional at least once every six months. This way, you would be able to get a complete overview of any technical faults present.
If you imbibe this maintenance culture, it could save you from having to lose your bike for repairs for extended periods. Look for an excellent ebike shop around you and familiarize yourself with them. So, anytime you notice any faults, you have experts to consult.
There's no substitute for adequate ebike maintenance in preventing your bike from developing faults. Your day-to-day efforts all add up to an effective routine that keeps your bike in good shape for a long time. Avail yourself with quality DIY maintenance equipment, so you can be the first line of defense for your ebike before needing a technician.