The Basics of Electric Bike Repair and Maintenance
A beginner’s guide on how to take good care of your precious electric bike
One of the most ingenious inventions in the field of transportation is the electric-powered bicycle or simply e-bike. Just in case you still don’t know, an electric bike is basically a traditional bicycle with an integrated electric motor, battery, and display and control system. It gives you boost and pedal assistance making your daily commute hassle and sweat-free.
The popularity and sales of electric bikes have skyrocketed in the last couple of years due to their practicality and positive environmental impacts. They provide a huge number of people with an efficient mode of transportation and creative ways to have fun.
Using an electric bike improves your physical health, costs you less in the long run, and at the same time saves the environment from all the harmful gases that a typical fossil-fueled vehicle emits. However, having your own electric bike is not always going to be easy especially if you want it to last for many years. Because just like any other piece of technology, an e-bike also requires proper care and attention.
Whether you already have one or are still planning to buy, there are a few important things you should know when it comes to taking care of an electric bike.
Because an e-bike is after all a bicycle, you should know the basic maintenance and repair for a regular bike. You also have to be aware of the fundamental parts (the motor, battery, and display and control system) and somehow their purposes.Here are 4 easy tips you can do to make sure your e-bike’s in excellent condition whenever you take it out for a ride.
#1 Know The Basic Bike Maintenance
Just like any other bicycle, an electric bike also needs the basic bike maintenance after all it’s still a bicycle. From keeping your chains sufficiently greased to making sure your tires are inflated enough, preserving an e-bike does not require that much. Just having the basic knowledge about these things can help you a lot in sustaining your e-bike’s superb performance.
Brakes and Chains
The chains of your e-bike are one of the first components to wear as you use your e-bike frequently. Because of the high-speed capability of electric bikes, the chains can undergo too much friction and eventually get damaged. To prolong the usability of your e-bike chains, regularly remove old, dirty oil and lubricate it adequately. Make sure to completely wash out the previous oil before applying new lubricant. This will ensure the chains to move freely within the drivetrain resulting in a smoother ride.
Safety first! Make sure your brakes are working properly before you give your e-bike a spin. Inspect your brakes, check and adjust, look for loose parts and pay attention especially on the brake pads. If you think this is not enough, let your local bike shop do the rest.
Your tires are the ones that interact with the ground. So when you go through rugged terrain, your tires are vulnerable to punctures and damages from sharp objects resting on the ground. As a result, these tires get flat and may be difficult to fix. Replacing tires differ for an e-bike that has a mid-drive motor compared to one that has a hub motor. Bluntly speaking, it’s harder to fix the latter because the motor is installed at the center of the wheel while for mid-drive e-bikes, replacing tires should only be easy as it is the same as fixing flat tires in a conventional bicycle.
To replace the tires of a hub motor e-bike, you should know how to disconnect and reconnect the motor from its cables and control system. In this part, it’s best to get some help from your e-bike provider or get an expert to do it for you.
#2 Protect Your E-bike From Excessive Water Exposure
If you think your e-bike can withstand any kind of weather, you’re terribly mistaken. Although your e-bike is protected from minimal water splashes, still it is not completely waterproof so you have to equip it with protective accessories such as bike fenders.
Don’t risk using your e-bike under the pouring rain as it might fill the insides of the electric motor with too much water causing your e-bike to malfunction.
Another thing is to provide your display system with plastic cover to prevent it from getting wet. Make sure all cables are closed and properly sealed. Doing these simple things can mean a lot to your e-bike’s efficiency and shelf life. So before you go outside, double check your electric bike’s level of protection against the varying weather.
To know more about the water resistance level of your e-bike, read our full discussion here: Can Electric Bikes Get Wet?
#3 Take Care of Your Battery
The battery is like the heart of an electric bike and it’s also the most expensive part. Taking good care of your electric bicycle battery can save you hundreds of dollars on replacement and repair.
Your battery’s life is defined by the number of cycle counts (number of times it is emptied and filled up completely). A typical e-bike battery has a cycle count range of 500-1000 cycles just enough for your e-bike to last for several years.
To help you maximize your battery’s potential and capacity, make sure to charge it with the charger and adapter that came with it originally. It is discouraged to use third party chargers as they may damage your battery due to the mismatch in the current flowing.
Always charge the battery up to 100% and avoid completely emptying it. Although some experts say it’s good to fully discharge your e-bike battery once in a while.
When it comes to storing and transporting, your battery needs to be kept in a cool, dry place away from any wet surface. On the other hand, bringing your e-bike and parking it in a public place makes it prone to theft so make sure your battery is secured by locking it properly and purchasing additional safety locks for your e-bike. Here are some accessories you can get to increase your e-bike’s level of security.
For more tips on how to take care of your battery, read the full article: Taking Care of an E-Bike Battery
#4 Find a Trustworthy E-bike Shop
If you’re still not confident enough about the things you should do to maintain and repair your e-bike, contact a local bike shop to help you deal with it. But before you do that, try surveying your neighborhood for all the available and established bike shops. Short list them into most reliable to not-so-dependable. Contact them and try to test their expertise on the type of e-bike you own. Once you get all the shops that you think are most trustworthy, make sure they’re legitimate service shops where you can have your e-bike checked and repaired.
Since electric bikes have taken the world by storm, bike shops are most likely to adapt to new clients with advanced bicycles like e-bikes. Eventually, all bike shops will be ready to accommodate all sorts of e-bikes alongside their complexities. Because such sophisticated pieces of technology require deliberate and precise conditioning, sometimes it’s better to just leave them to the experts and let them do their job well.
Though there are many bike shops that offer exclusive services for electric bikes, it’s still advisable for you to consult your official supplier to get the basic guide and help for your e-bike repair and maintenance. Besides reading blog posts regarding this topic on the internet, another thing you can do is to watch tutorial videos. Just make sure you’re watching videos from an official youtube channel of an electric bike supplier or authorized dealer.
Keeping your e-bike all good and working can be somehow exhausting and costly but it does not remove all the benefits you can get from using it. Just by having the right knowledge and basic guidelines either from your favorite local shop or your legitimate supplier, taking care of your electric bike will be just an easy peasy task. So remember these four simple tips then you can get going anywhere with your e-bike for as long as you want.
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