You’re “energized” by the freedom your electric bike has given you and you’d like to keep it running smoothly all the time. You know you need to get it tuned-up by a professional when the shifting doesn’t feel smooth, or when the brakes feel slack. In the meantime, you’d like to know what the best advice for e-bike maintenance is that you can manage on your own. Here’s what you can do to maintain your electric bike.

  1. Keep your tyres pumped – E-bikes weigh a fair bit more than your regular bike, and therefore put a lot more pressure on the tyres. Over time, tyres lose air, causing low tyre pressure. This will mean your e-bike motor will have to work harder, which can drain the battery faster so it’s practical to maintain optimal tyre pressure (see “What’s the best tyre pressure”). 
  2. Make sure your battery is adequately charged – It’s true that e-bikes are mostly pedal-assist, which means there is the option to pedal the bike without engaging it’s motor. But do you really want to be caught with a dead battery and have to pedal all the way home with a bike that’s nearly double the weight of a regular bike? Charge your bike before riding to avoid this.
  3. Regularly check your brake pads – As heavier e-bikes require greater stopping force, e-bike brake pads wear down twice as fast as regular bikes. If the pad material is worn down to less than 1 mm, it is time to get them replaced. (See “How to replace your disc brake pads” in this series).
  4. Check your bolts – Also because of their greater weight and speed, e-bikes tend to vibrate a lot. This results in bolts shaking and loosening over time. Once per month check the screws on your brake rotors and tighten any that are loose. Once every couple months check to make sure your crank, handlebar, and stem bolts are tight.
  5. Clean and lube your chain regularly – This is the easiest, cheapest e-bike maintenance you can do to keep it in tip-top shape.
  6. Keep your bike clean! – An e-bike is a big investment. Keeping it clean will protect it from dirt and contaminants that can wear it down fast (see “How to clean your bike” in this series)
  7. Tip: E-bikes are water-resistant but not waterproof so avoid high-pressure power washes, which can negatively affect your display.
  8. Check the cables – Routinely check to see that battery and motor cables are properly connected.

E-bikes are still essentially just bikes. But they do require some special handling when it comes to maintenance. Follow this advice for maintaining your e-bike and you’ll be supercharged to keep on riding.