First came electric cars, and now electric bikes are pedaling onto the scene. For good reason, too.
Research has found that e-bikes are substituting for car travel more than regular cycling. This has the ability to allow people to get around without a car and make a positive impact on the environment. E-bikes can help reduce CO2 emissions, especially in rural areas.
If you’ve recently purchased an e-bike, taking care of it as if it were a car is important. This won’t require oil changes and going through the car wash, but it does mean you’ll need to store your e-bike properly. Here are the best tips for storing an e-bike to preserve its battery life and mechanics as long as possible.
Importance of Proper E-Bike Storage
An electric bike is a machine. This means you can’t leave it outside in inclement weather. Doing so can lead to external wear and tear as well as damage to the e-bike’s battery. You wouldn’t leave your laptop or smartphone outside all year round, right? Put your e-bike in this category to ensure it will run smoothly for you.
Maintaining Bike Performance
There are a few things you should do before storing your e-bike to keep it in top functioning form when you decide it’s time to take it back out. This includes:
- Keeping the e-bike clean, especially the drivetrain and brakes. This will help your e-bike last longer and ride smoothly.
- Checking the tire pressure on an e-bike. If your e-bike uses tubes in its tires, keep air in them even when not using your e-bike. Reduced air pressure in your tires can lead to folding and cracking of the sidewalls over time.
- Conducting frequent safety checks via the e-bike manual to make sure all bolts are on tight. Make sure to test the brakes when you’re not using your e-bike so that you know the brakes function correctly when you ride it. You can do this yourself, but getting friendly with the local bike shop in town is also a good idea. They’ll be able to give you extra assurance your e-bike is ready to ride. This is a great preventative step for keeping your e-bike in top shape and minimizing your risk of injury when riding an e-bike.
Doing these frequent e-bike check-ups will prevent you from making expensive repairs when you take your e-bike out of storage.
The best way to prevent damage to your e-bike’s electronics is to store it properly. Excessive heat or cold exposure will impact the electronic components of your e-bike. To keep your e-bike safe, you want to store it in a cool, dry place. The ideal temperature range is 32°F and 68°F. This means an insulated garage or basement is a great place to store your e-bike. To prevent damage to your e-bike’s battery, remove it from the e-bike and place it completely indoors, such as in a closet or pantry. This is the best way to ensure the e-bike’s battery life and performance when it’s time to use your e-bike again.
Potential Risks of Improper Storage
The biggest risk of improper e-bike storage is that it will not work as it should when taken out of storage. Not only can this cost you money, but it can also become a safety issue. Here’s a look at what can happen when e-bikes are not stored properly.
Storing your e-bike in direct sunlight will cause damage to the plastic and rubber components of the e-bike. This can lead to cracked handlebars, tires that may begin to crack and leak, faded paint, and more. The same applies if your e-bike is exposed to moisture and extreme cold, increasing the risk of corrosion and rust.
UV rays can damage the e-bike’s battery and lifespan if left out for too long. This means that the same rules apply to storing an e-bike’s battery. Store it in a cool (40-60 degree F), dry place and remove it from the e-bike. Keep the e-bike battery 40-50% charged for optimal e-bike battery storage.
Day-to-Day Storage of Your E-Bike:
When using your e-bike daily, you must ensure that you have a secure place to store it when you’re not actively riding it. Here are some things to consider when storing your e-bike in season.
Short-Term Storage Tips
There are some easy ways to save space and store your e-bike. When possible:
- Utilize a bike rack to keep your bike upright and secure.
- If you don’t have a rack or don’t have the space for one, ensure you don’t lean your e-bike against another object or place objects on top of it. Doing either can be a recipe for an accident.
- Consider investing in a folding e-bike to make the most of a small space.
- For e-bikes with tubeless tires, you’ll want to open up the tires and rinse them out. Let them hang dry in storage. When taking your e-bike out of storage, use a sealant to fill the tires back up.
Long-Term Storage of Your E-Bike
When storing your e-bike in a room like your garage, make sure the area is clean. You can use a waterproof cover, a floor rack, a wall mount, or a ceiling pulley to keep your e-bike safe and store it properly. These options also provide ways to save space when storing your e-bike.
While the space you store your e-bike in should be clean, you’ll want to wipe down and clean the e-bike itself before putting it away. Getting water and dirt off the e-bike will prevent rust or damage from occurring, particularly to the moving parts of the e-bike. Pay extra attention to the drivetrain, suspension, axles, brakes, derailleur, and shocks. If you get your e-bike serviced at a local bike shop, they may provide a maintenance and cleaning service before you store your e-bike.
Battery Care and Charging During Storage
The most important thing to do when prepping your e-bike for long-term storage is to remove and store the e-bike battery separately. (You should remove your e-bike’s battery whenever you’re not using it, even if it’s not in storage). When you’re not using your e-bike, remember to charge the battery to 50% every 30-60 days to keep its lifespan intact.
E-bikes help give you the freedom to get around without relying on a car and improve your carbon footprint. Take care of your e-bike by storing it properly so it remains a reliable form of transportation for you long-term.