An electric bike is a durable workhorse that can give you miles and miles of fun and utility. But, over time, like any machine, it will need some care and maintenance as brake pads and tires need to be replaced and parts need lubrication.
But with proper care and attention, your e-bike can give you many years of riding joy.
How Often Should You Service Your E-Bike?
Regularly servicing your vehicle ensures you maximize your e-bike’s range and prevents key components like the motor, battery, drivetrain, wheels, and more from maintaining a high level of performance. Below, we’ll run through some factors you need to consider supporting your e-bike’s lifecycle, from general tune-ups to more personalized maintenance intervals.
An easy-to-remember rule is to service your bike every six months or per 1,000 miles of riding. However, this is a very loose estimate, and the best service routine is based on how often and intensely you ride.
A basic tune-up at a qualified bike service shop will typically include the derailleurs, chain, hubs, wheels, rims, tires, and, most importantly, brakes. However, most service providers will charge slightly more for an “overhaul,” which replaces worn or damaged components. Generally, an overhaul is still a pretty affordable option, and if you haven’t had your bike serviced for a while, it’s advisable to book a service.
Intense Rider Services
Intense riders, such as people riding to work and running errands daily with heavy pedal assist, should consider more frequent tune-ups. Taking on hills, carrying cargo, and powering through rain and mud, you can see your bike take on a lot. Your e-bike will generally be able to handle it, but intense usage can see some components wear down faster and need more frequent servicing. Specific service interval guidelines include:
- Inspect Parts: 100 Miles
- Tune-Up: 300 miles
- Full Overhaul: 1,000 Miles
Regular Rider Services
If you’re not a daily rider but regularly get out on the e-bike with some cargo for intense rides or using moderate pedal assist, you’ll still face some wear and tear. You won’t need as much maintenance as intense riders, but some action will be needed to minimize the effects with the following regular maintenance interval guidelines:
Inspect Parts: 150 Miles
Tune-Up: 300 Miles
Full Overhaul: 1,200 Miles
Light Rider Services
If you only use your e-bike for the occasional ride on a nice day or only use minimal pedal assist with limited cargo, you won’t place a huge strain on its systems. This means you can get away with more infrequent maintenance, but we’d recommend the following intervals:
Inspect Parts: 200 Miles
Tune-Up: 300 Miles
Full Overhaul: 1,500 Miles
Performing regular maintenance at home can appease the need to regularly check your e-bike in for a full service. It’s not advisable to try and carry out all the maintenance your e-bike requires, but you can complete some of the easier-to-perform actions, including:
A build-up of dirt can accelerate part wear, particularly in moving components like the drivetrain and derailleur. Regular cleaning can involve a significant time investment but minimize the risk of damage and delay regular maintenance requirements.
By regularly cleaning the bike, you’ll find it’s a faster process every time you do it. There is a wide range of cleaning products on the market; however, some diluted dish soap, an old toothbrush, and a hose are enough. Carefully clean the chain and derailleur before relubricating them to prevent a build-up of harmful paste that can accelerate wear. Then there are post-cleaning products that can restore your bike’s shine and protect it from rust and dirt particles making the next clean even easier. Just make sure it remains clear of brake components.
Check Tire Pressure
Checking the tire pressure is good practice before and after every ride. It can go a long way to preventing flats and potentially a long walk back home if you don’t have a spare tube and other tools on hand — although carrying appropriate tools is a good idea. It can also prevent wear on other components and make pedaling easier.
Use a tire gauge to check whether the pressure is up to specifications, which is often printed on the side of the tires. If you don’t have a tire gauge or the time to perform a full check, simply use your thumb to squeeze the tire and check to see whether it’s firm. This is enough for a limited number of rides, but check for tire pressure at least once a week.
The chain should always be cleaned as a part of your regular home bike maintenance. Keeping your drive chain free of dirt and, even worse, a paste of dirt and lubricant ensures smooth gear changes and prevents wear on the chain and derailleur. Clean these components thoroughly to remove all dirt and grease, and consider using an old toothbrush to thoroughly scrub between chain links. Then use a bike chain lubricant to further prevent dirt build-up.
Paying attention to the first sign of weakening brakes is crucial to maintaining high performance. Monthly examination of the front and rear brakes can avoid excessive wear. To do so, squeeze both brake levers and ensure they function smoothly and grip properly. If you notice any wear or weakening while riding, err on caution and take your e-bike into a repair shop for a check-up. Fortunately, replacement brake pads are typically quite affordable.
Stay Safe On The Road With Regular Maintenance
Ongoing maintenance ensures your e-bike remains safe and provides tip-top performance. By paying attention to your riding habits and performing appropriate maintenance, you can protect your e-bike investment and ensure you can ride it for years to come.
Learn more about how to get the best out of your e-bike with our guide to riding an electric bike safely.