Electric Bike Maintenance 101

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While doing maintenance on your electric bike may seem scary and unfamiliar at first, when you know what to look for, it becomes as easy as caring for a regular bike. Here are a few things you’re supposed to take care of when doing maintenance on your electric bike:

AMP Electric Battery image with AMP logoBattery – Charge at least once every two months

First is the bike battery, a lithium ion bike battery should last around 1,000 charge cycles, and shouldn’t be stored in an area that is too hot or cold.

If you don’t charge your battery at least once every two months, you’ll run the risk of it dying.  Don’t leave your bike battery in the charger for more than 48 hours though. In order to make sure your battery lasts long, it is important to charge it after each ride. Each battery is made up of cells with 1000 charge cycles, so you have 1000 full drains and charges of your battery until it dies. If you go for a ride for a certain amount of time each day and use 10 cells, when you charge your battery afterward, you will only have used 10 cells in your battery. The remaining cells will be “new” and unused because you have not used any of their charging cycles. As you continue to use the cells, the battery management system will move onto the new cells as the old ones are used. So, charging your battery directly after you use it will preserve its battery life.

Eventually, you’ll need to replace your battery to keep your bike performing. Most manufacturers will offer replacement batteries on their websites.

Drivetrain – Clean monthly

Next, you should clean the drivetrain. You’ll need to buy degreaser and a chain scrubber, or just use an old toothbrush. You can also use warm water to clean your drivetrain if you don’t have degreaser. Clean the bike chain with these items, and dry it off with a cloth. Then, lube your bike chain with a lubricant that works for your bike. Wipe off any excess lube with a cloth.

Derailleur gears – Adjust every year or so

AMP Electric bicycle gears close up

You also need to keep an eye on your derailleur gears. Go to a bike shop to get your derailleur gears adjusted and tightened once per year. A professional will do the best job on this part of your bike maintenance. 

Tires – Check weekly, replaces every 2000 miles

Caring for your electric bike’s tires is an important step in bike maintenance. You’ll need to make sure that your tire pressure is within the range of your tires. Buying a bike pump that shows you how much pressure is in your tires is recommended. You should also check that your tires are not too worn down, as this can lead to reduced traction and will make it easier for your tires to get punctured. Of course, this depends on the terrain you’re riding on, but it is recommended that you replace your tires for every 2000 miles you bike.

Brakes – Check at least twice a month

Next, you need to check your brake pads. Depending on the type of brakes you have, the maintenance will be different. A few types of brakes are rim brakes, mechanical disc brakes, and hydraulic disc brakes. Adjust your rim brakes and tighten their cables once per year. Replace your brake pads and mechanical disc brakes every year or so.  Hydraulic disc brakes also need to have their brake pads replaced every year. However, you might need to “bleed” your brakes and replace the hydraulic brake fluid needs every few years if you want your brakes to continue to work well. You can go to a shop to get this done, or learn to do it yourself.

Matte black AMP electric bikeElectric Bike Frame – Clean when it’s necessary

Second, clean your bike frame regularly. You don’t want rust forming on your bike, do you? It is important to check the manual that comes with your bike to see if they recommend any cleaning solution for your bike frame. Once you find a cleaning solution that works for your bike and clean the frame with a soft cloth. You can also clean the bike frame with paper towels.

Motor Maintenance – Check as needed

Lastly, taking care of your bike motor will ensure that it has a long life.  There are a few different types of bike motors, and each requires a different type of maintenance. The types of motors include geared hub motors, gearless hub motors, and mid-drive motors. If your bike has a geared hub motor, make sure you aren’t overworking it, and that your wheels are aligned. When you overwork the motor, it will wear out faster. If your wheels aren’t aligned they can throw the gear off, which will cause the gear to damage itself. Bikes with a gearless hub motor don’t require a lot of heavy maintenance. These motors contain electromagnets that do the turning of the rear wheel and cause very little friction. If you have a mid-drive motor, you need to make sure that the gears are tuned finely and keep the drivetrain clean. You should always start at a lower gear when using this motor, if you start out at a higher gear, you’ll use up more of your battery because of how fast a mid-run motor runs.

Overall, you need to know the basics of your electric bike. Know what type of motor you have, what type of brakes you have, and know the pressure range of your tires. Read the manual that comes with your electric bike to get information on what you’re unsure of, or go to your local bike shop for help. Knowing your bike and knowing how to take care of it is important in ensuring that your bike has a long life.