With a bit of TLC, you can make your e bike significantly more trouble-free. Here are some electric bike maintenance tips to make sure your electric bike and its components will keep on going for as long as possible.
Keep it clean
One of the simplest bike maintenance tips in the book, cleaning your bike after each ride will stop muck and dirt from interfering with not just the electronics, but also the bike itself. Most electric bikes are water resistant, so you can go ahead and clean them like you would a normal bike, but we’d advise removing the battery before you start, and only using cleaning products that are recommended for use with bikes. Take care not to use a pressure washer, as this can cause water to enter sensitive areas or strip grease away from places it’s needed, like around your wheel bearings and bottom bracket. The garden hose is fine for a quick rinse, then give it a good scrub with a sponge or cloth and your preferred bike cleaning products. Dry everything off with a towel and leave your e-bike for a little while before reconnecting the battery to make sure no residual water comes into contact with battery contact points or other sensitive areas.
Use lube and grease
A key secret to making electric bikes last longer is reducing the amount of resistance at key points on your bike. Friction between the moving parts on your bike and damage from dirt and rust are some of the main causes of components wearing out, so make sure your chain, wheels and brakes have sufficient lubrication to avoid unnecessary friction.
Use a wet lube on your chainset if you’re going to be cycling in wet conditions or a dry lube if you’re cycling in summer, and re-apply any grease to your bearings and bottom bracket regularly, especially in the wet or if you wash your bike often.
Bike grease is your other secret weapon when it comes to prolonging your e-bike’s life – make sure your bearings and bottom bracket are suitably greased to reduce wear and tear. Just take care not to get lubes or sprays anywhere near battery contact points or other sensitive areas on your e-bike.
Teach yourself basic bike maintenance
From repairing punctures to learning how to replace brake cables, knowing how to do some of the more fiddly jobs will not only allow you to get your electric bike back on the road, but also prevent some problems before they happen. There are some great videos on YouTube that can help.
Electric bike battery care
Electric bike battery care is important. eBike batteries don’t have any moving parts that need to be taken care of, so ‘maintenance’ in the traditional sense isn’t really necessary, but you can take measures to make sure your battery life lasts as long as possible.
If you’ve ever had a mobile phone or laptop for more than a year or two, you’ve probably experienced the pain of your battery dying way sooner than it did when you first got it. Over time, Lithium-ion batteries (the type you’ll find on MeloYelo electric bikes) start to deteriorate thanks to the endless cycle of charging and discharging.
Then there’s the effect that heat and cold have on battery performance. The chemical reaction that takes place inside your electric bike battery can be affected by the external environment, so charging and operation in extreme cold or heat can see a drop in performance.
Electric bike battery tips
Always charge and store your battery in the house. Lithium ion batteries can be temperamental in certain temperatures, so a cold shed or garage can have a negative effect on charging and performance. After each ride, remove the battery and store it somewhere temperature-neutral, rather than leaving it for months on end in a location with fluctuating temperatures. A cupboard will do.
Try to reduce the number of charges. The process of fully discharging a battery then recharging it back to full capacity is known as a ‘cycle’. The more cycles your battery goes through, the less effective it will be. The trick with making battery lifespans last way longer than the manufacturer’s recommendation is to simply charge them less. The best way to achieve this is by using your own leg power as much as possible. Using assisted pedaling less, and therefore charging your battery less, means it will last much longer. Instead of using assisted cycling on a section where you probably don’t need it, use pedal power then switch to assisted mode when the real hills appear.
Important safety note: Never attempt to dismantle an electric bike battery. Batteries can contain harmful substances and even electric shocks, so always leave any battery repairs to the professionals. When you reconnect your electric bike battery, take care to make sure it is fastened securely in place. Loose connection points can damage the battery, plus you’ll probably notice that your e-bike isn’t performing as it should.
Electric bike motor maintenance
Electric bike motors tend to look after themselves. They are usually housed in a self-contained unit, so there isn’t really ever any need to take them apart, and if something does go wrong, it’s always best to get the supplier to sort it out.
Electric bike display maintenance
The LCD display on your handlebars that controls how much assistance you get from the battery and motor also needs a bit of TLC every now and again, but not essentially from a mechanical perspective. If your electric display refuses to do as it is told or freezes up, then this classic bit of tech advice could do the trick: turn it off, then turn it back on again! From memory errors to overheating, this old IT service desk trick can get your electric bike display back to full working order. Also, check that it is plugged in properly at the connector.
For instructions on how to operate your display, including how to turn the lights on and off, how to reset the trip meter, how to put the bike into walking mode and more, visit our MeloYelo eBike Owner Information Centre.
By following these top tips, your electric bike should break down less and last much longer, especially when it comes to the battery. Remember that if your e-bike isn’t performing as it should, or if you think there may be something wrong with the frame, wheels, chain or brakes, then get in touch with your local MeloYelo e bike agent for assistance.