With an ebike, you are likely to be riding more often, riding further and travelling a bit faster than on an ordinary bicycle. This means more wear and tear on your bike. To keep your ebike safe and in top condition, we suggest having your bike serviced once or twice each year. At other times, some basic checks and procedures can keep your bike safe, smooth and more reliable. Here’s our top suggestions.
Teros eBike Care
Care for your eBike Summary
Below are some general tips for the care of your ebike:
- When cleaning your ebike take the battery off your bike and it is best to wash your bike with a bucket of water and a sponge. Don’t use a high pressure hose to wash your ebike. Water under high pressure can work its way into the electrical parts of the bike and cause corrosion and long term damage. After washing ensure your ebike is fully dry before storing.
- Unfortunately, ebike theft is becoming a problem. Ensure that you have details of you bike such as the frame and battery serial numbers. Also, it is helpful to keep a record of the number on you bike key as well (just incase you lose it). If your bike is stolen you can registered it on the Bike Vault Protected website. It is wise to spend 10% of the value of your ebike on a good quality bike lock.
- Ensure that your ebike is insured under your current insurance policy. If you join the Bicycle Network this automatically give you 3rd party bike insurance.
- If your brake pads start screeching please check if your brake pads are worn. If they are worn it is unsafe to ride your bike until you replace the brake pads. However, brake pads also can screech when they are new, wet or if there is dirty between the brake and rim or disc.
- If you keep your chain clean it will extend the life of your bike chain. So if your chain is getting dirty brush off the dry dirt with a brush. If you use a chain wax or graphite rather than a chain oil this will help dirt not to stick to the bike chain.
- Ensure you keep your ebike’s tyres inflated to the pressure recommended on your tyres to ensure the best bike performance. The pressure units are written on the side of the tyre in bars or psi (pounds per square inch).
- If your bike does gets wet ensure that it is thoroughly dried out before storing it. If your bike battery contacts get wet ensure they are thoroughly dry before you put the battery back onto the bike.
- Ensure that your ebike is serviced every 6 to 12 months to ensure that it is in good working condition.
eBike Care Details
Check your Brakes
Keep your brakes safe by making sure they are working normally. Press each brake lever in turn and move your bike back and forth. The wheel shouldn’t spin and the brake lever should in no case touch the handle grips. If the brake is too loose try to adjust brake and/or replace brake pads.
Check the rim where the brake pads make contact. On most rims you should see a groove/hole on the edge of the rim. This groove/hole is used to determine the wear of the rim from braking. Once the hole/ groove is too shallow or is flush with the rest of the rim, it’s time to replace the rim. Brake pads will also have grooves in the rubber again replace these when the grooves are shallow to flat. In addition look for uneven wear on the pads and replace if drastic.
Run your finger along the diameter of the disc brake rotor, towards the outer edge of the disc you should feel a ridge (no ridge = perfect condition). The higher ridge the more likely your disc needs replacing. Like rim brakes disc brakes have pads as well. The material of the pad is designed to slowly wear away and start squeaking when it is nearly worn and needs replacing. If you are unsure; 3mm of brake pad material is fine, 1mm of material left is on its way out and should be replaced. Use a torch light to check and do this at least once a month.
WARNING: Never use oil to stop squeaking brakes! This will ruin your brake pads and can cause an accident. The noise may be a pain but the oil will most likely cause real pain.
Keep up the tyre pressure
Check your tyre pressure before every ride. The pressure range is normally written on the side wall of the tyre in bars or psi.
If you don’t have a pump with a pressure display you can stop at a petrol station and use their car tyre inflator (works for Schrader valves). Even a simple “thumb test” can give you an idea whether your tyre needs more air. As a rough guide, if you can “make a dent” into the tyre with your thumb, your tyre is most likely too flat.
So do the “thumb test” each time you go for a ride and do a proper pressure check once a week.
Clean the drivetrain
Keep your drivetrain – the front chainring, chain, rear sprockets and gears – clean and lubricated. Don’t use WD40 as a lubricant! Use proper chain oil.
Clean your chain before you put oil on. Wipe off any excess oil as this will collect dust and dirt and that will increase wear of chain. Putting heaps of oil on once a year is not as good as using little oil but more often.
HINT: Don’t tighten derailleur limit screws, they are set in certain positions to keep derailleur within the gear limits.
Adjust your gears
To calibrate your derailleur gears, you will need to adjust the cable tension. If your bike has three front chain rings, shift the chain to the middle chain.
Shift the chain to the smallest sprocket on the rear, and try to shift on to the second sprocket. If it doesn’t quite make it there, rotate the barrel adjuster on the derailleur anti-clockwise to increase the cable tension. If it over-shifts and tries to get onto the third sprocket, turn the adjuster clockwise to decrease the cable tension.
Shimano Nexus and Alfine hub gears have handy calibration marks in a small window on the top of the rear hub. Shift to 4th gear and turn the adjusting screw on the end of the gear shifter until the two calibration markers on the hub line up.
Other hub gears have similar calibration options.
Look after your battery
Charge your battery regularly but you don’t have to charge after every ride. Lithium batteries only need to be charged when needed.
When not using your battery, it is best to store it at 30-60% of its capacity. If you are away or not using the battery for more than six weeks, it’s a good idea to arrange to have it charged for ten or twenty minutes every month.
You can extend the life of your lithium batteries beyond their normal life by avoiding charging them to 100 percent every time. This causes less degradation of the battery chemistry and can extend it’s life by 10 to 40%. The simplest way to achieve this is by using a power timer and setting a time shorter than needed for a full charge. If you are following this approach, it’s important to occasionally charge your battery to 100 percent to ensure it’s “balance” charged.
Keep your eBike clean
A clean bike will ride better but a clean ebike will also perform better. Not only will regular cleaning extend the life of your drivetrain components, but it’ll also lead to a longer service life.
Before cleaning, remove the battery and display, and cover the control unit with a cloth. Clean with a little water and brush. Use mild soap or specialist biodegradable degreaser and cleaner.
Avoid using a jet wash to clean your ebike as this can force water into the e-bike electronics and wash out grease in the bearings.
Make sure to add a little oil to your chain and derailleur components afterwards.