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E-Bike Maintenance 101: How to Take Care of My E-Bike

Everyone knows that for things to last a long time, you need to take proper care of them - your electric bike is no exception.

Your ebike, like anything else, needs proper care, thorough cleaning, and regular maintenance.
Cleaning and taking care of it regularly will keep it performing well, efficiently, and safely for a very long time - all of which can contribute to a longer lifespan for the battery and motor.

This guide goes through the exact steps of how to take care and look after your ebike, including tips and tricks on how to wash it, lubricate it, and take care of the battery.

 

How often should I service my electric bike?

Just like with any other means of transportation, the frequency of how often should you do checkups and servicing depends mostly on how often do you use it and how intensely.

Generally speaking, under normal circumstances, electric bikes which are used on a daily basis need routine checkup servicing once per year.
If you feel like you use your e-bike more often and it’s more of hard usage, you might want to do a checkup every 6 months or so.

We think it’s a good idea to give your e-bike a checkup once a year to ensure it's in working order. Otherwise, any potential issues may make themselves known once you start riding it through town, down the trail, or, worse yet, on your way to the beach (and who wants that?)..

 

What are the most common parts of my e-bike that need servicing? 

Maintaining an electric bike is quite similar to maintaining any other bike - and chances are you’ve had some experience with that, perhaps during your childhood.

Below we’ve listed some of the most important and common parts of your e-bike that might need your attention once per year:

  • Chain and sprocket
  • Tires and inner tubes
  • Wheels
  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Motor

 

Chain and sprocket

Generally, you can maintain your bike chain at home by making sure its clean after using your ebike and keeping it lubricated with special gels and oils.
If you have a belt-drive electric bike (an alternative transmission system found on many newer ebikes), this would not be necessary.
First, we do not recommend using just the standard WD40 alone, because it is a penetrant, not a lubricant, and will dry out the chain. Instead, you should clean your chain with standard WD40, but you should also use a product like Tri-Flow, or the WD40 chain lubricant afterward, to make sure the chain is properly lubed too, not only cleaned.

How can I know when it’s done properly?

A properly lubed chain should not be dry when you touch it, but instead, it should be a little greasy - however, make sure not to over-lubricate it to the point where it is dripping lube.  A properly lubricated chain will prevent rust and assist the movement of metal-on-metal parts.
If the derailleur is making noises, then the cable used to shift gears may require an adjustment, which, depending on the type of setup you have, may either be made at the derailleur or at the gear shifter at the handlebar mount - if you’re not familiar with it, we recommend going to your local bike shop, they’ll be able to help!

 

Tires and inner tubes

All bicycle tires can lose pressure within a few days or a week, especially in areas where the temperature changes on a daily basis. 
Make sure you keep the tire pressure maintained as indicated on the sidewalls of the tires and in the user manual. Low tire pressure can affect range, ride performance, and handling, among other factors - you’ll truly feel the difference when you have the right amount of pressure in the tires.

 

Wheels

In time with normal wear, the wheels can lose the straight alignment and become a little less straight and the fixing of this issue is called wheel trueing.
Without proper equipment and knowledge, it would be a good idea to visit a professional bike shop and ask for their assistance, if you feel like you might have this problem.
That isn’t the only reason for you to schedule an annual appointment, though - as said before, if you want your e-bike to last a long time, take care of it.

 

Brakes

Taking care of your brakes is quite easy - make sure that the pads and calipers stay fresh and haven’t worn out because of riding.
The replacements can be found at any bike shop and changed easily. 
Another common thing, especially with e-bikes is that the brake discs start to squeak. To fix this issue, we recommend first checking if the pads are properly aligned with the rotor, and not brushing up against it when the wheel rotates; if they are not, make the necessary adjustments by loosening the caliper tightening bolt, grasping the brake (which has the effect of centering the brake pads around the rotor) then re-tightening the caliper bolt.

 

Battery & Motor

Battery and motor diagnostics are two things you want to make sure you have done every year.
These are arguably the most important parts of your e-bike, as they are electric - if you miss an issue and something bad happens, it could be costly to replace these parts.
We truly recommend checking these 2 things every year and it might be a good idea to have the business also take a look at the other components mentioned earlier for you during that same visit to save some time.

 

Summary

The average lifespan of an electric bike (with regular maintenance and care) is said to be more than 10 years. Unless you are neglecting it in the rain and not taking care of it regularly, it should last you upwards of 10 years.
With proper care and mindfulness of your eBike, you can expect it to last well beyond 10 years.
Keep in mind that as long as the replacement parts are still available and you care for the bike regularly, it can last for a long time.
Cleaning your ebike regularly after a ride, keeping the parts lubricated, and storing it in good conditions are the 3 most important things for your electric bike to last for a long time.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions or if there’s anything we can help you with by contacting us!

Happy riding!
Urban E-Bikes Team

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