Basic E-Bike Maintenance
So, you've just bought an E-Bike and want to know more about how to keep the bike in tip top condition? We've spoken to our E-Bike experts both in-store and at our head office to find out how to maintain your E-Bike. From cleaning to monthly checks, make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your bike in the best possible shape.
Top Tips from our E-Bike Experts (;TLDR)
- Don't put your bike upside down. Most E-Bikes have buttons and controls on the handlebars, if you put the whole bikes weight through that area you are more likely to have issues later on.
- Avoid overtightening bolts. If you have a torque wrench use it, most bikes will come with torque settings so make sure you keep to these. Adjust your tyre pressures to the trail and conditions. Over inflate your tyres and you'll be sliding all over the place in the mud!
- Don't be tempted to remove the motor. We don't recommend removing the motor as cables can get pinched and disconnected when trying to reinsert the motor, we suggest you just tighten the motor bolts.
- Batteries are relatively maintenance free but occasional cleaning and light greasing of the plug port is recommended.
Battery maintenance: How to make your battery last.Charge your battery regularly. This may seem like an obvious one but make it a habit to always recharge your bike after a ride, or at least don't leave it more than a few days. Lithium batteries (and any type of rechargeable battery) work much better if they are always recharged to full. Make sure to keep your battery at room temperature to prevent the battery from draining. Unplug the battery when you are working on the motor or drivetrain. This is just good practice in case anything were to go wrong, with the battery unplugged there is no risk of electrocution.
Cleaning your e-bike
When you think of bike maintenance, most people will think of cleaning their bike first. But with an E-Bike, how do you clean it? Can you spray water onto the battery and motor?
Cleaning an E-Bike is actually very similar to cleaning a mechanical bike, you can use water (although we do not recommend using any kind of pressurised hose) and regular bike wash but brands such as Muc-Off have created their own range of E-Bike specific products, designed to be used without water.
How to clean your e-bike
Remove the battery and wheels: If you're wanting to do a deep clean we recommend putting your bike in a workstand and removing both the wheels and the battery. Most manufacturers do suggest removing the battery to clean your bike but it is definitely worth checking on their website as some tell you to keep the battery in. If you do choose to remove the battery, all you need to do is cover any electrical contacts on your bike with a dry cloth. Don't worry if water does get into these parts as they are water resistant. Some manufacturers also recommend covering switches and exposed connectors with a dry cloth before washing the bike.
Cleaning Your Frame
Spray the bike from top to bottom: When spraying down the bike, try to avoid spraying directly onto the electrical components and bearings. Next you want to spray bike cleaner onto the frame, again avoiding the electrical areas to keep them as dry as possible.
Brush away dirt: After leaving the bike cleaner for around 5 minutes, use a soft cleaning brush to wipe away the dirt. We highly recommend buying a set of bike cleaning brushes, they come with different sizes and bristles to clean every part of your bike.
Cleaning Your Drivetrain
Degrease the chain and cassette: Use a degreaser to give the chain and cassette a full clean. Use a stiff brush and try to get all of the grease out of the chain, don't forget to put oil back onto the chain and run the pedals round a few times to evenly distribute the oil. You can choose between wet and dry lube, depending on the time of year and where you will be riding your bike.
Electrical Contact Cleaning
Apply Corrosion block: Spray corrosion block on all electrical contacts after you finish cleaning the bike. Make sure to spray well on areas such as the battery, battery terminals and other metal parts, this will disperse any excess water. Corrosion block gives long term protection but during winter it is recommended that you use it more regularly.
Specialized Turbo Levo Cleaning: If you own a Turbo Levo, we suggest raising the back wheel approx. 3 inches above the ground to prevent water pooling in the motor casings.
E-Bike specific cleaning products
Muc-Off have recently released a range of E-Bike specific cleaning products designed to keep you E-Bike in prime condition.
Alongside the normal cleaning of your bike, we suggest removing the motor covers and cleaning inside every 3 months, this will remove the build up of dirt inside.
The bike chain attracts lots of dirt and debris, so you need to keep the bike chain clean and lubricated regularly.
To clean a bicycle chain, use dish soap and hot water to wash the chain, then wipe it down with a cloth. A degreaser will help you clean your bike chain effectively and you can relubricate it once all the dirt and grime has been removed.
Sometimes your brake pads may get dirty, which makes them stop working properly and make an awful noise.
Check your brake pads for wear and tear.
Most pads have grooves in them, and you'll be able to see daylight through those grooves when looking from the top down through the brake pads.
You'll know if they need adjusting If you have to push the brake lever until it hits the handlebar and hardly anything happens. In this case, you'll need to move the brake pads closer to your wheel.
You can adjust the position of brake pads via a small hex key bolt on the caliper. For other brake types (eg disc brakes), its worth cleaning and lubricating these with a proper lubricant.
Other components require occasional cleaning, scrubbing, and lubrication. Your drivetrain (the front chain ring, rear cassette, rear derailleur and chain) deserves the highest level of maintenance because it's the most busy and most exposed area of the bike. It would be beneficial to invest in a chain tool if you don't already have one.
You don't need anything fancy to wash your bike; just a bucket, some water, biodegradable soap, a large sponge (or even a rag), a towel, and an old toothbrush or other small scrubber to get everything clean.
Wash the bike frame with diluted dish soap and water. Inspect your bicycle frame and fork for any dents or cracks.
When transporting your E-Bike, we recommend removing the battery and covering the terminal with covers. Bosch supply a battery pin cover, find it here. If you don't want to buy the cover, a small plastic bag will do.
Services we offer
Here at Rutland Cycling we have specialist E-Bike centres within our stores. At our E-Bike centres you can speak to our expert staff if you have any queries surrounding your E-Bike.
We understand that it can be quite daunting to try and fix an issue with your E-Bike, that's why we offer E-Bike services and service plans to keep your bike in it's best possible shape.