Many E bike owners love how efficient and clean their mode of transportation is, with the ease of check ups and fixes. Even though E-bikes are more efficient than a gasoline vehicle, they will require more attention than a conventional bicycle.

Dirt can get in the gears, wires can be loosened or worn out over time, and fluid for the brake systems. Electric bikes tend to carry more weight and take on more weathering conditions like heavy rain and muddy conditions. Simple things like under inflated tires, old brakes, etc. This can limit your range and power output greatly if left alone.

Electric bikes never need to have spark plugs replaced, air or oil filters, moving parts or a new gas tank. It’s easier to fix a bike than a car, so over time as you work on your bike it will be obvious that you found your new mechanic – yourself! It’s really simple when it comes down to the details which we will get into later.

When using your bike as your daily commuter, it is important to clean your bike at least once a week. Using simple tools that you may already have in your home are all that you need! This will prolong the time between repairs and replacing parts will be less frequent. Depending on the style of the rider, more dirt and debris can be picked up and get inside the gears and electrical components.

 

Getting Started

A list of tools to get you going:

  • Large brush.
  • Small brush.
  • Microfiber cloths.
  • Soap.
  • Sponge.

Here are 3 recommended products that can be shipped from Amazon right to your door that have everything you need right out of the box:

 

Muc Off 284 Black Bike Kit – Comes with soap, degreaser, lubricant, brushes, sponge and microfiber cloth.

Muc Off 277 Yellow Chain Cleaner Kit – Specialized attachment with cleaner and lubricants that scrubs and lubricates your chain for you! (See instruction manual for further steps)

RAD Cycle Products 2002 Pro Stand – Makes all maintenance easier on your back by making the bike level to the operator. Max weight capacity of 65lbs, height adjusts from 36′ to 60′ and fits frames with standard 1.0′ – 1.5′ tubing, rotates 360 degrees and with a handlebar rod that stabilizes the front wheel.

Some tips we have when washing around or on the surface of electronic components are:

  • Use low water pressure around connections and seals.
  • Remove the battery if possible and all loose components to reduce the odds of any damage, cover any open ports.
  • Take precautions with wires getting caught on your brush when doing close-up detailing.
  • Keep water and soap away from the battery if you cannot remove it, this will prevent any water damage from occurring int the cells and casing.

 

Read the Precautions below:

Do not unseal parts if you are not experienced in reinstalling them. This can cause Unnecessary problems like going into a shop to redo work that did not have to be done in the first place. If you are uncertain or not experienced, seek a professional Derailleur to help you. This may cost a bill but pays off in the end in time, a nice shiny bike to reward your eyes and a smooth riding experience. It is important to note that you need to keep your seals on for the next step to avoid the issues we are about to look into – with proper lubrication and greasing.

If your bike has a design that requires removal of parts you aren’t familiar with, consult the owner’s manual that comes with the bike. In some cases, the Manual is missing and the manufacturer may not even provide one. This is the case with bikes that are cheaper and more mass-produced. It would be wise to research the product you are buying and read other’s opinions and experiences to make sure you are making an educated purchase and not an impulse buy just because it looks cool.

Here is a step-by-step approach to washing your bike:

  1. Spray down entire bike with water, being careful around any electrical components that are still on the bike after removing the battery and other items if possible. This is a good time to look for any worn out wires or connections. Make note of them and continue cleaning.

2. Use low pressure throughout the process, then using the brushes and soap to clear out sand,             dirt, and all other debris. Rinse off bike and parts, dry outside or in a well ventilated area,                   and be sure to keep it out of the sun so you don’t overheat the battery! Place all removed                     parts into position and make sure all seals and openings are properly done.

3. Time to clean and lubricate parts of your bike. Like the chain, cables, brakes and derailleur.                On an electric motorcycle, this can be easily done too. Since Electric motorcycles have no                    moving parts, most of the time you will not need to remove anything.

 

Lubrication and Detailing

The following items will help to lubricate parts and keep your hands clean:

  • Small or medium size brush for cleaning the chain.
  • Degreaser and soap.
  • Lubricant and cloth.
  • Vinyl / protective gloves.

See the recommended products for this task in the above section “Getting Started”. This will make the process easy and effective!

First degrease and clean your chain, then the cables, lines and brake levers. You won’t need to worry about the motor because they are usually the Brushless-magnetic type which do not require this type of maintenance. Apply the lubricant to the previously mentioned areas, then with a cloth wipe away all excess grease and / or oil.

Once again make sure you don’t try to put seals back on after lubrication. They will not fit properly and will give your bike way to corrosion, water damage and debris blocking connections and wiring. Bring your bike to a shop when you are not comfortable with any of the previous steps above.

Regular cleaning and maintenance goes a long way!

Your electric bike is now ready for action! This type of maintenance will vary for each rider depending on the nature of the trip and frequency of rding. If riding every day and going through rain, dirt and mud then you should make a more constant schedule for cleaning and care of your E bike, an example would be once a week in this case. Even though electric bikes are highly efficient machines they inevitably require some TLC from humans, and will reflect your efforts in the form of reliability and good times.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on what makes good bike hygiene and if you have a technique you would like to share with other readers.

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6 Comments

  1. Dave Sweney

    Reply

    Lots of good advice about pulling regular maintenance on the e-bikes or motorcycles in this article, and the kits that you mention seem like great sources to get the equipment you need to do the job yourself. Unless you have tons of money, the time it takes to clean and service your e-bike is minimal so you can do it yourself.

    I have learned to love doing this, as I get to know the bike much better and can see when there is some small problem that can turn into a big one it not addressed. The shop will take care of your bike if you pay them, but I am not convinced that they do the same job that I do when it comes to taking care of the bike week in and week out.

    You have touched on all the points to watch out for so you do not do damage or cause parts to fail because of your attempt to maintain the e-bike or motorcycle. I actually grew to enjoy spending the time cleaning and lubricating the machines I owned, and also changing out parts that I could handle.

    Regular cleaning and the small maintenance that you do on a regular basis will save you downtime and breakdowns while underway too over just riding your equipment until it fails. I have known riders that do no maintenance, but generally, they are the ones sitting at home on the weekends because their bikes are in the shop (again).

    • Rowan McLeod

      Reply

      I highly agree! Unless you have been going to a shop for an amount of time and have experienced the quality of the technician’s work, then you don’t really know for sure how good a job has been done. this is the case for me almost every time I have checked out a new shop. I feel out the vibe, figure out if they sound confident in their work as if they are masters of it. 

      I also like doing things myself as much as possible. Like the saying goes, “If I don’t handle this, then who will?” It is completely true. Unless the tech can give you a proper break down of what was done to the bike, you can be sure that they missed something that you had asked to get done and find yourself doing it on your own anyways.

      Regular maintenance on anything that has moving parts or is used daily should be treated like a tool – It’s gets you to where you need to go, and this type of hygiene will provide the ease of mind and provide a smoother ride.

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  2. Strahinja

    Reply

    My friend has an e-bike and we always have a discussions about pros and cons of each of our bikes. From what I saw e-bikes are much more easier to maintain. As you have mentioned, bikes with gasoline engines have many parts that need to either checked or fixed, after some time has passed. 

    On the other hand, e-bikes are problematic in a way that you have to pay attention to the power source and e industry for or motorbikes is not as developed as it should be.

    I still prefer my old gasoline motorbike, with all of its elements and parts :).

    Thanks.

    Strahinja

    • Rowan McLeod

      Reply

      Yes you are correct – the E vehicle industry is slowed by the obsolete fossil fuel industry. Part of this is because all the muscle car / bike lovers (That includes me!) are not warmed up to the concept yet because they have built a relationship with that type of vehicle or brand for some time. 

      Harley Davidson lost a huge chunk of change just for introducing their first electric model! If the public was more aware of how much delay there is because of old habits that many people share as a whole, then the potential for the E market would be much steadier and progressive.

      The first ever battery was made in 1851, so that might help you visualize the lies and extent of slander that these energy giants have gone to cover up something that at the time  was thought to be not “Profitable”. Tsk tsk…

      Thank you for sharing your experience with your friend about E bikes and their benefits! 🙂

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

  3. Robert Trevor

    Reply

    E-Bikes are  very interesting,having no spark plugs or air filters needing replacement,makes them really easy to work on,

    However they need a lot of attention,dirt can get into the gears,fluid for the brake system is needed ,and under inflated tires and old brakes can limit the range and power output, if not attended to,so this maintenance needs to be done regularly.

    When cleaning your bike,be careful around electrical parts and keep water away from the battery,using low pressure,and dry outside or in a well ventilated area,but keep it out of the sun so that the battery won’t become overheated.

    When lubricating the parts of your bike,like the chain,cables and derailleur,consult the owners manual if you have one.

    Don’t put back the old seals after lubrication,rather take the bike to the shop and have this done, to make sure everything is done correctly.

    • admin

      Reply

      Yes, no matter what kind of bike it will need to have parts replaced like brake pads, discs, fluids, that sort of stuff. Being mindful of these parts and fluids are crucial, with my bikes they go for about a year before anything starts feeling considerably wobbly. 

      Counting the amount of times you have charged the battery while keeping the remaining charge left in mind too will give you a solid base of awareness when it comes to how many times you can cycle a battery through it’s life.

      Typically Lead acid batteries get usually up to 300 – 500 cycles, where a Lithium battery can go up to 2000 cycles in some models.

      – Rowan @ Radical Electric Bikes

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