Electric Bike Maintenance Tips: Checklist And Schedule To Make The Most Out Of It
Electric bikes are more expensive and need proper maintenance than regular bicycles. If you are planning to buy one in a few days, you should know how to keep it in pristine condition for better performance.
There are two types of e-bikes available: pedal assist and throttle assist. The additional components that make an e-bike are the motor, the battery, and the control unit.
The maintenance of an electric bike includes several things. They are the maintenance of tires and wheels, brakes, motor, throttle, cleaning the entire bike, and so on.
So, making an e-bike maintenance checklist will ease the process. In this guide, we will walk through how to perform proper e-bike maintenance in detail.
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E-Bike Maintenance Checklist
Electric bikes may resemble regular bikes in appearance but their components differ dramatically, including lithium batteries, chargers, motors and a LED/LCD control panel.
Create and stick to a checklist, with regular maintenance taking place weekly, monthly or every six months.
However, please keep in mind that not all parts of an e-bike require regular maintenance. Certain components, like tires and gear-shifting system may need periodic attention.
Develop an E-bike maintenance schedule which will assist with keeping things on schedule and organized. Here’s a checklist you should go over for E-bike care and upkeep.
- Cleaning the bike
- Tire and wheel maintenance
- Maintenance of the braking system
- Gear and shifter maintenance
- Lubricating the bike
- Maintenance of the E-bike motor
- Maintenance of the battery and charger
- Regular inspection of the controller
- Checking the throttle
Things To Do When you Get your first electric bike
Maintenance of Different Mechanical Components of An E-Bike
Similar to pedal-powered bicycles, electric bikes require routine maintenance as well. Here is an outline of this basic maintenance of their components:
Cleaning the Bike
Cleaning your e-bike should be one of the top priorities, either weekly, monthly, or as needed depending on its use. Over time, dirt and debris accumulate inside it which could wreak havoc to its performance in many ways.
Wash your e-bike on a regular basis. But unlike their pedal only counterparts, e-bikes require special care when being washed.
- Take precautions: Before washing your e-bike, ensure it is turned off. Also check whether the battery has been protected or removed and whether its charging port has been covered appropriately.
- Wash the Bike at Its Normal Posture: Put your bike on its stand and wash in its normal posture; don’t flip it upside down as this may allow water to enter through its battery and motor and damage them both.
- Use a jug and mild detergent: Use a jug to shower water onto your bike instead of any type of power hose as using one could penetrate through to its motor and control unit and damage them both.
Use only mild detergent or soap when washing, to avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage paintwork or components of the vehicle.
- Wipe Up the Water Entirely: After washing your bike, quickly wipe away excess water with a dry, absorbent cloth to dry its body quickly. Make sure that charging ports, battery connection points and controller units have completely dried up before putting it altogether.
Tires and Wheel Maintenance
Your electric bike’s tires and wheels are in direct contact with the road and therefore more susceptible to wear and tear than other parts. Wheels play an equally crucial role in keeping your ride running smoothly; here are a few maintenance tips for keeping them in prime condition.
Check the tire pressure: Regularly inspect the tire pressure on your bike to maintain optimal performance: not more, nor less pressure is ideal.
- For e-road bikes, keep the tire pressure around 80 to 130 PSI.
- As a general rule, keep the tire pressure for mountain e-bikes around 45 to 60 PSI
- For commuter e-bikes, the ideal tire pressure is around 60- to 70 PSI.
Tire pressure depends entirely on the road conditions you will traverse. In general, e-road bikes require higher pressure for fast and smooth running on flat roads.
Mountain e-bikes require low pressure for precise control over harsh mountainous terrains, while commuter e-bikes typically require moderate pressure for normal commuting purposes.
Check the Tire Alignment: Before each ride, it is vitally important to inspect the tire alignment as improper wheel-to-tire alignment can lead to accidents as well as excessive tire wear and tear. You can easily align tires by decreasing pressure briefly before increasing it back up again to the proper level.
Check the Tread of the Tire: This should be done periodically once a month or two. Frequent use lessens the lifespan of the tires by reducing the tread’s toughness. If the treads are worn out, replace the tires.
Check the Wheels: Bearings and spokes are built into wheels. Spokes may break due to pressure or become misaligned. In addition, the wheel hub bearings should be in perfect condition. Examine the bearings for signs of wear and tear.
Check the rims of the wheels as well. They must be consistent throughout the body. If any of the above items fail or experience an odd event, fix them as soon as possible.
Braking System Maintenance
Braking systems consist of many individual parts. You should carefully check all these components to make sure the entire braking system is in good working condition – otherwise faulty brakes could lead to accidents and injuries on the roads.
E-bikes utilize two distinct kinds of brakes: hydraulic and mechanical brakes. Here are a few tips on maintaining hydraulic brakes.
Check the Brake Pads and Discs: Each wheel’s braking disc contains two brake pads that work in concert to stop your bike. Over time, these pads become worn due to regular friction; therefore, check them at least every year or every six months and replace worn out ones as necessary as part of periodical maintenance.
Additionally, check if the brake pads come into contact with any oil accidentally. If that occurs, you will hear unusual sounds while pressing the brake. In this case, both the disc and the pads must be replaced even if they have no physical wear and tear.
On the other hand, check if the disc/rotor is dirty. Clean them with normal clothes. Also, if the braking rotors get damaged or bent due to any accident, or frequent use, replace them.
Check the Calipers: Together with extensive use or off-road riding, your e-bike’s brake calipers can become misaligned. As a result, it cannot effectively press the pads against the disc, and the brake will not function properly.
If the calipers are misaligned, you may hear a strange sound.
You should get them checked by a professional and repaired if the problem persists.
Bleed the Brakes: Oil is essential in hydraulic brake levers. Over time, its level decreases; typically in two years or so. For proper brake performance on your bike, be sure to monitor its level regularly and refill according to manufacturer recommendations.
Check the Cable: The brake lever’s oil flows through cables to the caliper, which presses the pads to stop the bike. The cable may develop leaks over time, causing the brakes to stop working eventually. Check the cable on a regular basis, and if leakage is noticed, replace the cables.
Now let’s check the maintenance tips for mechanical disc brakes.
Check the rotor and pads: In both hydraulic and mechanical braking systems, discs and pads function similarly; however, their quality varies widely; to ensure optimal performance it’s essential that worn-out brake pads and discs are replaced regularly.
Check your brake cables: Brake covers act as pathways for the cables that connect brake levers to the calipers, therefore it is essential that you double-check these connections to ensure everything have been working properly. Otherwise, replace as soon as possible with new cables.
Gear and shifter maintenance
Finally, once every year or six months, you need to maintain every part and component of your electric bike. It includes the following ones:
- You must maintain the e-bike motor once a year. Although the motor of the electric bikes is built to last, you should ensure that it is running properly. If possible, remove the dust and debris from the motor housing. Also, carefully brush off the debris from the motor.
- Remove the battery and clean off the battery housing of your e-bike battery. You can use a voltmeter to check the battery capacity and its performance.
- Take your electric bike to workshops and get a thorough checkup by the mechanic. It will help you know if the e-bike has any major or technical issues. Thus, you can fix it to increase the lifespan and performance of the e-bike superbly.
Tips for Maintaining Your E -Bike's Different Components
Now that we know when and which parts of your electric bike to inspect and maintain, let’s look at the appropriate maintenance methods for these various components.
Tires And Wheels
Every day, you must inspect the tires and wheels. Usually, the tire should have the right pressure to improve your riding comfort and deliver the right mileage. Tire pressure on your electric bike is calculated by the model. It includes:
- The tire pressure of road e-bikes needs to be around 80PSI to 120PSI.
- If you use a hybrid electric bike, its tire will have 40-70PSI pressure.
- Mountain e-bikes need the least tire pressure at 25-30PSI.
You can squeeze the tire to know about its pressure. Also, you can use a PSI gauge to find the exact pressure of the tire and inflate or deflate them accordingly.
Moreover, check the wheel frame and the spokes. If you find any damaged nuts and bolts, you need to fix or replace them. If you don’t repair the wheels’ damaged parts, it will largely reduce its lifespan. Also, it increases the chance of collisions.
ALSO READ: Road Bike Maintenance Schedule And Checklist
Following that, you must put emphasis on your electric bike’s brakes. The brakes are the most important part for safe driving on the roads. Thus, e-bike brakes should always be responsive and be able to stop right where you press the brakes.
In general, electric bikes will have the following type of brakes:
- Mechanical brakes
- Hydraulic brakes
The mechanical disc brakes are quite similar to your car’s braking system. However, it is different from the traditional caliper brakes. When you press the lever, the brake pads gets squeezed and the bike comes to a stop.
Moreover, unlike conventional bicycles, electric bikes have a switch. You can press it to control the brakes. Therefore, you must ensure that the brake switch works properly and the brake pad and lever are engaged rightly.
Due to overuse, the brake pad might wear off, and it will loosen the braking mechanism. Thus, you need to replace the brake pads. Usually, you need to replace the older brake pads once in six months. Also, with the mechanical brakes, you will see red dials on tires to make micro-adjustments. It uses a rotor and brake pad for the perfect stopping.
You should inspect the rotor on a regular basis. This way, you can ensure that the brakes are working properly and are 100% ready to deliver the performance when you need them during emergencies.
Battery And Charger
Your electric bike’s battery is its fuel. It regulates the bike’s mileage and speed while also powering the motor. If you do not preserve the battery, it will quickly lose its optimal performance.
Charging tips for e-bike battery:
You must follow the right charging procedure for your electric bike battery. More importantly, failing to charge the battery properly will damage it soon. And believe us replacing the e-bike battery is no easy and cheap process.
- When you first get your e-bike, charge the battery to 100%. In the old days, people would suggest you charge the battery for 10 to 12 hours. But, this is not necessary. You need to charge the battery to its full, and that’s all.
- During the first few days of riding your electric bike, drain the battery and charge it 100%. It will help the electricity to reach all the cells of the battery. So, it helps the battery to deliver the right performance for an extended time.
- After the first few days, maintain the e-bike battery charge from 30% to 80%. It helps the battery remain in the best state for the longest period. Once in a week or fifteen days, drain the battery fully and charge it to 100%.
- If you need to store the e-bike battery for a longer period, charge it to 80% and keep it idle. You should never store the battery for a longer time with a 0% charge.
- Ensure that the charger and the electric outlet are clean and working properly. You may use a GFCI outlet to ensure the best safety of the charge and the battery. Also, charge the battery at room temperature. Ensure that the battery or the motor of your e-bike isn’t too cold or hot when you start charging it.
- For removable batteries, you might brush off the battery to wipe off its debris. Also, clean the battery’s housing once in a while to keep it clean.
How To Extend The Riding Range Of E-Bike Batteries?
Besides the regular maintenance and proper charging, you might follow these tips to improve the battery range. It will also help the battery remain in better condition.
- When riding the e-bike, ensure it has at least 50RPM or cadence. It increases the motor and battery efficiency of the electric bike.
- Always ensure that the tire has the recommended pressure. If the tire has low pressure, it decreases the battery performance and riding comfort considerably.
- Try not to put too much weight on the e-bike. Electric bikes are made for convenient riding and do not carry huge weights. Thus, you should keep the weight of the e-bike well below its mentioned capacity.
CHECKOUT: How To Start An E-Bike Without A Key?
How To properly Clean Your E-Bike?
Cleaning an electric bike on a regular basis is an important part of its maintenance. You need to clean its frames, wheels, tires, battery, and motor housing to keep them neat and clean. But how do I clean electric bikes properly?
For this, you may follow these tips:
- Don’t use jet wash to clean off your electric bike. The powerful jet can damage the battery or motor housing. Yes, it can happen, although the battery and motor have a waterproof housing. Also, the jet wash has enough power to damage other seals. Also, wrap the display so that water doesn’t enter into it.
- If the battery is removable, you must remove it before you start cleaning the e-bike. However, wrap the battery housing with plastic to stop water from entering it. Also, shut off and cool down the bike before you begin to clean it.
- Use a low-pressure hose, liquid detergent, and a piece of clean cloth to wash the entire electric bike. Brush off any debris from the motor and battery with a soft-bristled brush. Use the brush to clean off the charging port too.
- You can clean the main body, tires, and wheels of the e-bike just as you will do with traditional bicycles. So, there’s no special instruction for it.
- When you have finished washing the components, dry them with a clean piece of cloth. Then, assemble the battery and other parts.
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Update the software and app:
Almost every e-bike now comes with software or an app that you can install on your smartphone to control the bike. Although not all of these apps will receive regular updates, most of them will.
As a result, whenever you receive an app or software update for your electric bike, you must update it as soon as possible. If the app is not updated, it becomes vulnerable to malware and firmware. As a result, your bike will be less vulnerable to theft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Electric bike, like any other bicycle, requires regular and proper maintenance. To ensure optimum performance, you must maintain the battery, tires, wheels, and motor. It is also critical for your road safety.
No, electric bikes aren’t high maintenance at all. You can use this e-bike maintenance schedule to keep your bike in good condition and extend its lifespan.
Electric bike maintenance has a few essential steps. You need to take a look its tires, wheels, and brakes almost daily. Also, maintain the battery and motor. Lastly, clean the bike thoroughly, following our tips once every month.
You need to service an e-bike at least once every six months. Alternatively, service the e-bike properly for every 1000 miles ride to enjoy the fun and joy while riding. It will also ensure better safety and riding smoothness.
To lubricate the engine, remove the motor cover first. The user manual contains instructions for disassembling the motor housing. Then, you can lubricate the engine. Also, use the recommended lubricant for the best results.
Your electric bike’s motor will easily last for at least 10000 miles. However, the motor lasts 2X more than its expected lifespan with proper maintenance. So, you can easily ride the e-bike for 20000 miles without replacing the motor.
The e-bike battery should last between 3 and 5 years. Nonetheless, when you maintain the battery properly following our suggestions, it can easily last for more years.
Electric bike maintenance isn’t as complicated or difficult as most e-bike owners believe. Following the e-bike maintenance checklist as described will make the task simple.
The important thing is to keep the tires, brakes, and wheels in good shape. A regularly maintained e-bike will also ensure your safety.