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How can I take care of my electric bike?


Homme procédant à l'électrification de son vélo électrique.

Just got a new electric bike? Performing basic maintenance is very straightforward!  

The maintenance of an electric bicycle is similar to that of a conventional bicycle. Apart from the motor, battery, and other electronics, they work the same way.

From cleaning to software updates to optimizing your battery, here's everything you need to know about maintaining your electric bike.

Let's go!

Is the maintenance of an electric bike different from a conventional bike?

An electric bike requires regular maintenance. This will ensure that it runs smoothly and safely and lasts a long time. 

Keep your bike clean, ensure the drivetrain is properly lubricated, and that the tires are properly inflated.

Check the wear and tear of the drivetrain components (chain, cassette, chainring), brake lines and brake pads, shift cables and housing on a regular basis. Check each fitting or fastener is tightened properly from handlebars and stem to seatpost and pedals.


Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

1. Take care of your battery to prolong its life.

2. Check your e-bike's manufacturer for firmware updates regularly.

3. If an error message appears or you are experiencing other issues, contact a bicycle dealer for a diagnosis. Never try to disassemble the bike yourself. 

Some components, especially the drivetrain (chain, cassette, chainrings), are subject to greater force than on a conventional bicycle. This can lead to faster wear, so you will need to keep an eye on them if you ride a lot. The same goes for your brakes as electric bicycles tend to be heavier or have larger load capacities which in turn wears your brake pads more quickly. Local bike shops can check the wear on your drivetrain and brakes and provide replacement parts and service as needed. 

Cleaning your E-Bike

Dirt and mud accelerate the wear of components. When mixed with water and grease, they can form a paste that makes things worse. To prevent this from happening, here are the steps you should take to maintain your bike :

Step 1: Rinse your bike with water to remove any accumulated dirt. Do not use a high-pressure jet as the water can seep in to bearings and electric components at high pressure, even if the components are watertight. 

Step 2: Clean the frame with a sponge and bike-safe degreaser (diluted dish soap works well!) to remove stubborn dirt. Use a brush on drivetrain components to make the process easier. There are many bike-safe biodegradable degreasers available for drivetrain components.

Step 3: The chain should be cleaned to remove excess grease and dirt. For effective cleaning, use a brush and a degreasing cleaner. We recommend Muc-Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner which is harmless to your mechanics and to the environment! Once the chain is degreased, rinse it with fresh water, dry completely, and relubricate!

To clean your chain:
a) Coat your brush with degreaser.
b) Raise the rear wheel.
c) Place the bristles of the brush on the chain and pedal backwards.
d) Use a double brush or two toothbrushes to reach the top and bottom of the chain and pedal again.
e) Rinse your chain with fresh water, wipe it down with a dry cloth and let it dry.
f) Add a little lubricant and you are good to go!

How often should I clean my bike?
It is a good idea to wash away road film, dirt, and corrosive debris like salt and grit after each ride while the debris is easy to wash away. However, once or twice a month under normal conditions should be adequate depending on your use. The cleaner your bike, the longer your components will last!

Taking care of your battery

Your battery is typically the most expensive element on your e-bike to replace (usually costing between $500 and $1000).
Although a battery will inevitably need replacement after many cycles and miles of use, you can slow down the deterioration process of your battery with the following best practices:

  - Careful Storage: If you are not going to use your battery for several weeks or even months, it is recommended that you remove it from the bike and store it in a dark place at a temperature between 50 and 70°F. The cellar is the ideal place to store your battery until the warm weather returns!
  - Shocks: Batteries are sensitive to shocks. A fall from a steep height can damage it permanently. If your battery stops working after a fall, bring it to your local bike shop for diagnostic and service.
  - Charging: To increase the life of your battery, avoid leaving it fully charged or uncharged for long periods of time. If you are not using the bike for a long period of time, charge the battery as little as possible to prevent it from remaining flat for too long. According to the manufacturer Bosch, a charge of 30-60% is ideal for long-term storage. NEVER leave your battery charging for extended periods of time after it has reached a full charge.

Good to Know: The service life of your battery depends on the type of battery and the quality of its components. 

Here is an idea of what you can expect:
 -Lithium batteries 1000 cycles
 -Nickel batteries 500 cycles
 -Lead-acid batteries : 300 cycles

The number of cycles represents the estimated charge cycles that your battery can undergo without degrading. Once this number has been exceeded, you can continue to use your electric bicycle without replacing the battery if the range remains sufficient for your use! Some batteries such as Bosch can be checked for their current battery cycle. 

Depending on the brand and system of your bike's motor, firmware updates may help to increase torque, extend battery life, or improve your bike’s performance in other ways. You do not have to visit your dealer for every new update. You can request updates during your annual maintenance visits unless a major correction is required.

How much does it cost to maintain an electric bike?

Here is an estimate of the prices you can expect to pay for the most common repairs and updates. Keep in mind prices vary depending on the shop, service needed, and components involved:


Services

Common Cost

Tune-Up Package

$60 to 100

Flat Fix

$30

Derailleur Adjustment

$15

Chain installation

$15

Pedal Installation

$15 to 25

Cassette Installation

$20 to 25

Brake Adjustment

$20

Brake Pad Installation

$25/brake

Hydraulic Brake Bleed

$30 to 60

Wheel True

$20 to 30/wheel

Cable Replacement 

$20

Firmware Update

$30 to 50

Electric Wiring Replacement

$25

Display Unit Replacement

$35

Speed Sensor Replacement

$25


These prices are indicative and based on our mechanics experience. They might vary depending on your region. They do not include the price of spare parts, only labor.



The average cost of updating the Bosch System is $25.


Good to know: A tune-up package will cost you between $60 and $100 on average, but it will check all the critical points of your electric bike. Here's what a good service should include:


- Adjustment of front and rear brakes.

- Bleeding of both brakes (including hydraulic fluid).

- Checking that all fittings and fasteners are torqued to manufacturer specification.

- Headset adjustment.

- Truing the wheels.

- Tire inspection and inflation to appropriate pressure.

- Cleaning and lubricating your drivetrain.

- Checking the wear of your transmission: chain, cassette, chainrings.

- Adjustment of front and rear derailleurs. 

What you need to remember:

  - Give your bike some love by cleaning it regularly
  - Check the pressure of your tires regularly, do not ride under-inflated
  - Monitor the wear and tear of your bike's mechanical parts: chain, sprockets, cables, brake pads, etc.
  - Take care of you battery to extend its life
  - Do an annual check-up for software updates.

Have a safe ride!