The most common question we get with electric bikes (ebikes), is “how do I look after the battery”? However, what often gets overlooked is just like any bike, an electric bike is going to need some routine maintenance, for example:
- Tyre pressure; and
- Regular servicing.
Therefore, we’ve set out below some handy hints and tips about looking after your ebike (and its battery) to help keep your ebike riding smoothly and safely.
You should always read the manufacturer’s instructions about the care and charging of your ebike battery. However, here’s a few basic principles to get the best out of your ebike battery:
Storage – it’s always best to remove your ebike battery and store it in a dry environment at room temperature (between 15° to 20°C.). Don’t leave your battery in direct sunlight or freezing cold temperatures. And don’t leave your battery uncharged for any length of time.
Transport – if you transport your ebike by car, it’s best to remove the battery from the bike and store it safely in the car.
Charging – ideally you should charge the battery at room temperature. Bosch advise that the ideal charging level for their batteries is between 30% and 60% (for other brands, you should check your instruction manual).
As most ebike batteries have lithium cells it’s best to keep the battery topped up. So even if you only go for a relatively short cycle, it is better for the battery to be charged up again after your ride rather than letting it run low before charging it back up.
Try to keep your ebike clean, especially if your ride off road or in the winter when there is corrosive salt on the road.
Before cleaning, remove the battery and, if possible, the displays. Contact points and permanently mounted displays should be covered with a cloth or film. Once clean/dry, you can protect the contact points from corrosion and wear by using terminal greases or technical Vaseline.
It’s best to use bicycle specific cleaners rather than automotive cleaners or household cleaning products. Avoid using jet washers as high pressure sprays can remove grease and force water and dirt into the internals of the bike/electrical components.
Once your bike is dry, apply a layer of polish as this will prevent dirt building up and will also make your bike look nice and show room fresh!
Your bike chain will last longer (and will squeak less) if it is properly lubricated with a bicycle specific lubricant. In the winter months you should use a ‘wet lube’ and in the spring/summer months, use a ‘dry lube’. You should never add more lubricant to a dirty/oily chain. Adding more oil (lube) to an already dirty/oily chain simply creates a nasty grinding paste. Therefore, it’s always best to clean your chain first.
For detailed advice about bicycle chain care see our blog here: http://www.havebike.co.uk/news/post.php?s=2017-12-18-how-to-beat-the-winter-maintenance-blues-chains
TYRE TREAD & PRESSURE
We are often surprised to find bicycles coming into our workshop with under inflated tyres. Not only does this result in premature tyre wear, it also means you are more at risk of getting a puncture. An under-inflated tyre will also increase your rolling resistance meaning it will be harder to pedal and you will waste valuable energy!
So make sure you regularly check your tyre pressure and inflate your tyres to the correct pressure.
For more advice about checking your tyres you can see our blog here: http://www.havebike.co.uk/news/post.php?s=2017-07-03-tyre-wear
REGULAR SERICING & FIRMWARE UPDATES
In addition to the proactive maintenance steps above, you should get your bike checked over at least once a year by a professional bike mechanic to ensure your bike is safe and roadworthy. For occasional riders (less than once per week), aim to have your bike serviced at least once a year. If you ride more regularly, then you should consider bi-annual servicing.
It’s also worth mentioning that some electric bike motor manufacturers (for example Bosch), periodically release firmware updates. These updates can improve performance, battery life or even add new functionality. Authorised bicycle dealers and service centres can perform these firmware updates as part of your service.
havebike has dedicated electric bike technicians who have received the highest level of training and industry accreditation from providers including Cytech, Bosch & Shimano. This enables us to work on a range of electric bikes including Cube, Saracen, Volt, Wisper, Brompton, Giant, Specialized, Trek, Canyon, BMW, Haibike, Riese & Muller, Moustache, Raleigh, KTM and many others!