You are fortunate if you own an electric bicycle. These vehicles allow you to commute, exercise and have fun while keeping a low carbon footprint. Many find them affordable in comparison to a car or a motorcycle.
However, just like a regular pedal bicycle, an electric bike requires routine maintenance to run flawlessly. Fortunately, the electric and electronic systems need to be serviced less often. Therefore, the maintenance and service process for your e-bike is not that different from a regular bike. Riding off-road particularly requires a thorough checkup.
Besides regular maintenance and service checks, it is important to pay attention to any sign of malfunctioning. Don’t delay a visit to the service center if you suspect that something’s wrong with your two-wheeler. The most common signs that indicate a problem are:
If you are a frequent rider (like most e-bike fans), there is a chance your two-wheeler shows the signs of metal fatigue. No need to panic though, it's not a scary disease. This phenomenon affects the metallic parts of your electric bicycle. By the way, the aluminum frame is more likely to lose tensile strength over time due to metal fatigue. It occurs when small cracks are developed on the material as a result of stress cycles or direct blows. The cracks expand, eventually causing the metal to break. It is preferable to have regular check-ups to reveal these microscopic cracks. A professional technician should inspect your e-bike for this problem.
Some electric bikes use hydraulic brakes. In such a brake system, fluid inside a sealed hose replaces the traditional steel cable. When a lever is pushed, the fluid transmits the pressure to the caliper. Over time, the brake fluid usually gets contaminated with dust and other particles. It results in faulty pressure transmission. When this happens, the fluid has to be replaced. We advise to replace the brake fluid periodically to ensure the reliability of the brakes. This maintenance operation must be performed by a specialist.
To prolong the life of your two-wheeler, you should learn how to take care of an e-bike yourself with some simple actions. Combining the following tips with regular visits to the service center for more specialized care and maintenance is possible.
Cleaning your electric bike after a ride is a good habit to keep it in optimal conditions. Use bike cleaning products only. . Avoid using a jet wash since the high water pressure can remove grease that lubricates bearings and other moving parts. It can also cause water to accumulate in the inner part of the mechanism, eventually causing corrosion. Likewise, be careful if you use a high-powered hose.
Many cyclists like applying a shine product on the paintwork. Such a material protects the finish of your e-bike and makes it look new. However, make sure this material never touches the braking surfaces. It can lead to serious malfunctions.
Keeping the correct tire pressure will allow your e-bike to roll more freely. As a result, the electric motor won’t draw much current, which will extend the range. It will also prevent the tires from wearing unevenly. The optimal tire pressure is printed on the side of the tire. Check it with a gauge. As you gain more experience with your riding style, you’ll be able to slightly deviate from the printed value. Depending on the weather and type of terrain, you may increase or decrease the pressure until you find the value that works best for you.
Electric bicycles are heavier than pedal ones. Moreover, they can reach higher speeds. As such, stopping an e-bike requires stronger and more reliable brakes. To prevent any accident, you have to check the brake system regularly. The most common brakes used in electric bikes are disk brakes. These brakes are activated with steel cables or brake fluid. In both cases, a disk is mounted on each wheel. When a lever is pushed, the caliper pushes the pads against the disc surface. The friction created thereby stops the e-bike.
To check whether the brakes are in a good condition, you simply activate them with the lever. The pads must engage immediately. If they don’t engage immediately or don’t press the disk strongly, maintenance is required. If brakes are activated with cables, it’s possible to tense the cables. However, if the cables have stretched too much, they have to be replaced. In the case of hydraulic brakes, the brake fluid has to be bled and replaced.
By reducing friction between moving parts, you will significantly prolong the life of your electric bike. Lubricate all the moving parts on your e-bike and they won’t wear out so quickly. The hydraulics and gears need regular lubing. Use specifically designed grease to lubricate the chain and bearings. You can lube your e-bike in your garage. No special tools are needed.
The battery is a key component of an electric bike. The most commonly used batteries for these vehicles are lithium-ion. These batteries usually have a large capacity and perform well if used at the right temperature. However, if you don’t care about your battery properly, it will deteriorate in no time. The result is a drastic drop in the capacity that shortens the range of your e-bike. Hence, it is crucial to learn how to take care of an ebike battery. For example, you should not let it discharge entirely. When you store it, make sure it doesn’t remain discharged for too long. Check out an entire list of electric bike battery care tips.
Apart from the DIY maintenance, your e-bike needs regular professional checkups. Metal fatigue, for example, can be detected only with special equipment. Take your vehicle to a specialized service center for thorough checkups. You should consider these checkups as an investment in your safety. The least you want is to have your e-bike breaking down in the middle of a route. To prevent such a scenario, the best is to invest in professional service.
Select the lowest riding season for major checkups. You can take your electric bike to the service center during winter or late autumn, for example. Also, before starting an active biking season, have your two-wheeler thoroughly checked by a professional technician.
Choosing the best professional service for your electric bike is quite important. Even if you take good care of your e-bike, there are maintenance operations that should be done by an expert. Hence, take the following aspects into account when you select a professional service center:
Maintenance is the key to a long life for your e-bike. It also guarantees a safe and reliable vehicle for your rides. Remember, you better prevent a failure than fix it. You can read our guide to prepare your electric bike for the summer. For more tips about maintenance and how to care for your two-wheeler, you can subscribe to the Delfast newsletter. We often publish professional tips on different maintenance aspects of electric bicycles.