Electric Bike Maintenance Made Simple

Electric Bike Maintenance Made Simple

The Weekly Squeeze

Proper Electric Bike Maintenance

Electric bikes are sweeping the globe as more and more riders discover their limitless transportation functionality, not to mention an e-bike's unmatched "fun factor." From the road to the trail and everywhere in between, Juiced Bikes are revolutionizing how riders live, work and play. Once you've taken a ride on a Juiced Bike, all roads are open to you.

Once you own an electric bike, you want to keep it rolling smoothly and in tip-top condition for as long as possible. Proper maintenance is critical to ensure you can maximize your e-bike's performance. Your responsibilities include: 

  • Taking good care of it 
  • Regularly cleaning it 
  • Wiping it dry after riding in wet conditions 
  • Taking it to a local bike shop once a year for a routine tune-up. 

Neglect can leave you stranded at the most inconvenient times. However, these electric bike maintenance tips will help you stay smoothly on the road for the long haul.

Performing regular electric bike maintenance is easy as long as you’re consistent about checking it before taking it out for a ride. Learn which items on your bike you should monitor to ensure it's operating correctly.

How to Clean an Electric Bike

Knowing how to clean an electric bike is essential. As with any investment, you want to do whatever you can to make sure your e-bike is running smoothly and looking great all the time. Though many people may focus on inspecting the brakes, motor or other components of the e-bike, all riders must remember that regularly cleaning the entire e-bike will help keep these mechanical elements in working order. To help you keep your Juiced Bike in the best possible condition, here are some cleaning tips.

How to Perform a Quick Clean on Your E-Bike

If you can't commit to a thorough cleaning, but need to give your e-bike a quick wash and once-over, follow these tips:

  • Always remove the battery before cleaning.
  • Scrub the bike from wheel to wheel with a damp cloth or brush, using a small amount of soap if necessary.
  • Clean the drivetrain with a bike de-greaser.
  • Clean the brakes with a disc brake cleaner. Don't use soap on your disc brakes, as any residue can cause the brakes to squeal.
  • Dry the bike thoroughly, and do not replace the battery until you're sure it is dry.

How to Perform a Thorough Clean on Your E-Bike

Juiced Bikes can handle different terrains and weather conditions, meaning yours will likely see its share of dirt and grime. Your bike will require a thorough cleaning using these additional tips:

  • Hand-wash the frame slowly to get caked-on mud off without chancing any sharp particles scratching the paint.
  • Scrub hard-to-reach areas with a toothbrush to remove small particles of sand and dirt.
  • Clean the rear tire cassette and chain.
  • Check and tighten loose screws.
  • Remove the seat and allow water to drain out of the stem.
  • Remove the front steering headset post and grease the headset.
  • Remove the pedals to clean and grease the bottom bracket.
  • Use chain oil to lightly lubricate it after cleaning.
  • Dry the e-bike thoroughly and store it responsibly.

When to Clean Your E-Bike

How often you need to clean your e-bike will depend on usage. As a rule, you should always wash your e-bike after a ride through exceptionally soiled terrain such as sand, snow and mud. We recommend creating a cleaning schedule for your Juiced Bike. For instance, commit to a thorough clean once a month while performing a quick touch-up when needed. Remember that regardless of when you clean it, you need to leave no spot untouched, dry it correctly and store it responsibly.

Electric Bike Battery Maintenance

Whether your Juiced Bike has a 48V battery or Juiced Bikes' signature powerful 52V battery pack, you're going to need to give it the attention it deserves. A dead battery will immediately limit your ride and level of enjoyment. You can care for the 48V and 58V battery packs similarly, and check them as regularly as you monitor the motor, brakes and drivetrain. A good rule of thumb is to give your battery attention when you thoroughly clean the e-bike.

How Often Should You Charge Your E-Bike Battery?

First, and well before you take it out, charge the battery completely. Nothing’s worse than jumping on a bike, only to discover you may not have enough juice in the battery for the ride length you were about to go on. Try not to let it discharge completely, as letting it fully die can cause performance issues. Consider charging it when it falls below 60% and definitely when it hits 30%. The more you use and recharge your battery, the better it will perform. Make sure you remove the battery from the charger once it hits 100%. Keeping it on the charger for extended periods, like multiple days at a time, can negatively impact its charging cycles and performance.

How to Store Your Battery

Just as you need to store your e-bike responsibly in excessive cold, hot or wet conditions, make sure to also keep the battery itself in a safe space. Ideally, you shouldn't leave your e-bike and battery idle for long periods. After your initial charge, the battery management system will begin constantly drawing power from the battery. Recharging it periodically when you're not using the bike is a wise way to keep it at its highest lifespan. Never store it without use for more than a year.

Store your battery in a cool, dry place — preferably indoors. Regardless of whether you're storing your battery for the season or only for a week, make sure the battery is more than half-charged before storing it. Do not store it outside on your e-bike in temperatures that are near freezing, close to triple digits or when humidity levels are high. Remember, even spaces like sheds and basements can develop moisture as temperatures change, which could harm the battery and bike. Store it safely indoors at all times.

When to Replace Your Battery

All batteries have an end to their lifecycle, and your e-bike battery is no different. Lithium-based battery packs, like the ones Juiced Bikes uses, have long lifespans, which could include between 500 and 1,500 charge cycles. Though it will still function, we consider a battery pack to be nearing the end of its life when it is at less than 70% of its original capacity. We recommend replacing your battery with a new one at this time, so you can optimize your performance and continue riding confidently.

E-Bike Tire Maintenance

If you own a bicycle or any other vehicle, you know how easy it is to neglect your tires until it's too late. Thankfully, as you get into the habit of cleaning and maintaining your e-bike regularly, you'll easily be able to monitor your tires and make sure your fun ride doesn't fall flat.

E-Bike Tire Pressure

When you fill a car tire or mountain bike tire with air, you'll ensure it can provide you with the traction and support you need depending on the terrain you're tackling. With a Juiced Bike, no surface is off-limits! Knowing which tire pressure you need to maintain on specific surfaces will help you care for your tires and ride comfortably. If tire pressure is down in either tire, you’ll lose distance range. Low tire pressure can also let a tube rub against the rim and get pinched flat, so strive to have each tire inflated to within its recommended pressure range. For example, you generally will want a higher tire pressure when riding on trails, and a lower tire pressure when riding on the beach.

When to Replace a Tire

Like tires on a traditional bike or any other vehicle, you'll want to replace your e-bike tires when you notice signs of wear and tear. Though this is usually due to heavy usage, you should also consistently check new tires for problems, just to be safe. Inspect your tires and clean out any embedded glass, stones or other debris. It may be time to replace the tire when you notice significantly reduced tread or wearing on the sidewall. Replacing the tire may save you from an accidental blowout, and it will smooth the ride.

What to Do If You Get a Flat Tire

If you get a flat tire while you're riding, stop in a safe space and assess the damage. Though we do not recommend riding on a flat tire, you can carry a few resources that may help. Rim tape, CO2 cartridges and a spare tube can help you get back on the road safely in most cases. Read our guide on fixing a flat tire for more information.

How to Prevent Tire Damage

No one wants a flat tire, especially while having the time of your life on a Juiced Bike. Here are a few tips to help you prevent tire damage.

  • Avoid road debris whenever possible: Safely avoid any hazards in the roadways. To minimize your chances of puncturing a tire, try not to ride your e-bike through parking lots or spaces where you observe a lot of garbage or debris.
  • Check your tires regularly: You should inspect your tires every time you clean your bike to keep track of wear and tear.
  • Check and maintain your tire pressure before and after your ride: Not only will this habit ensure you get optimal performance on the e-bike, but it will also help you avoid getting a flat.

E-Bike Drivetrain Maintenance

E-Bike Drivetrain Maintenance

The drivetrain is another area of an e-bike that requires more maintenance than most new riders expect. If this is your first time riding any electric bike, the drivetrain works in the same way a chain-driven bicycle does. It collaborates with the pedals, chain, cranks and other components to propel you forward as you pedal. As you continue riding, these components rub against each other — without enough lubricant between them, they will wear down.

Lubricating Your Drivetrain

Proper lubrication is one of the essential maintenance tasks you'll need to complete on your e-bike. We recommend you clean and lubricate your chain every couple of weeks. Ideally, you'll make this a habit each month when you thoroughly clean the entire e-bike. A penetrating oil is an excellent cleaning agent to remove rust. However, this substance will dry the chain out, which is why you must also always use lubricant.

If your chain makes noise while you pedal or is dirty, quickly clean it off and then re-grease it. To clean the chain, mix dish soap with water in a bucket, grab a toothbrush and carefully clean away. After, gently rinse it with water and towel-dry the chain. Then drip some bicycle chain lubricant over the chain top while turning the pedals backward.

Another critical piece to maintain while servicing your drivetrain is the derailleur. This component must also be clean and thoroughly lubed to prevent any small particles of dirt and grime from clogging up the gears as they shift.

When to Replace an E-Bike Drivetrain

The chain will likely be the first component of the drivetrain that requires a replacement. Thankfully, many bike shops have a tool that will check the integrity of the chain for you. If your chain is still in good enough condition to allow service and repair, you'll be OK to ride. If not, you'll need to replace the chain, cassette and potentially other parts of the drivetrain. You'll likely feel problematic drivetrains when you pedal or shift gears, and hear unfamiliar noises while doing so.

E-Bike Brake Maintenance

One convenient part of e-bike brake maintenance is that it's relatively easy to perform an inspection. In many cases, you may feel any issues with your brake pads as you try stopping your e-bike. If you haven't ridden your e-bike in a while, or you're unsure when you last inspected it, we always recommend attempting a few quick stops in a safe space to feel if there is any delay in your braking, which could be due to worn brake pads.

Also, make sure the brakes are connected correctly. The brake levers should function properly and the closing pads must grab the rim. If the brakes need maintenance, eliminate the doubt by immediately taking the bike to a shop and getting it done professionally.

Knowing Which Brake Pads Your Juiced Bike Has

We design all our Juiced Bikes to deliver high-end performance for all riders, but we don't manufacture them all with identical parts and components. Knowing which brake pads your specific e-bike requires is a vital part of e-bike brake maintenance. Juiced Bikes uses five different brake systems, four hydraulic and one mechanical. Three of these systems are compatible with our Shimano B01S pad, while the other two need either a Tektro D40, 11 or Avid Elixir pad. Use this chart for reference.

E-Bike Brake Maintenance: Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Disc Brakes

Since your e-bike will have either a hydraulic or mechanic brake system, you'll need to know how to maintain them properly. If you ever discover a bent brake disc, you should not ride your e-bike until you have had a chance to replace it. To help you maintain both types of brake systems adequately, we've created informative videos that discuss these brake systems in depth and provide tips for aligning, bleeding, installing, adjusting and replacing hydraulic and mechanical brake systems.

We recommend doing a monthly check on your brakes. Ensure all screws in the brakes are tight and check to see if any of the other brake parts look worn. You may need to change these parts more often on disc brakes than you would have to on a traditional bicycle. You should also check your brake pads regularly and replace them when they're too worn to safely stop your e-bike.

When to Replace Your Brake Pads

You'll naturally begin to wear new brake pads down to ensure 100% grip efficiency, but after a few dozen full brake stops, you'll need to monitor the additional wear and tear the pads incur. Most of the wear will show on the front brake pad, as it controls most of the braking power for the e-bike. We recommend that you replace a brake pad when it has worn to a width of one millimeter — change them sooner if you feel delayed braking before it hits this width.

Electric Bike Motor Maintenance

Electric Bike Motor Maintenance

Thankfully, your motor should run without requiring much maintenance. However, you still need to be diligent and evaluate your motor every time you inspect the rest of your e-bike. Electric bike motor maintenance is relatively simple — minor problems are usually the result of loading issues, such as if your assist level is too high or if you're attempting to scale a hill using throttle only. More significant complications will likely require professional assistance, but these problems are usually few and far between.

Keep an Eye on the Motor

You'll notice your motor cables have a wire wrap to protect them from wear and tear. Check them regularly and make sure they have enough slack. You'll always want to keep the power rating on the motor balanced with your weight and speed as well. If you ever hear a concerning noise, it may be from a loading issue or loose components. Always inspect your entire e-bike if you ever hear new sounds.

Though most riders use the motor, you can choose to ride your Juiced Bike like a traditional bicycle instead. The motor has a freewheeling clutch, so even when you turn all the e-bike's electronics off, you won't experience much drag.

Who Can Help Me Maintain My E-Bike?

Regular inspection and routine maintenance on your part will reduce many potential problems down the road. If you’re the average rider who doesn’t feel comfortable dismantling the e-bike, take it for an annual tune-up and leave those items to the experts. You’ll get much more life out of the bike with professional repair services.

There are likely many e-bike repair services in your area, especially if you live in a bike-friendly city. These shops may specialize in e-bikes or be cycle stores that can meet the needs of anything on two wheels. If you ever encounter a problem, we recommend you troubleshoot it first before riding it again. We also encourage riders not to attempt to perform major repairs themselves. Not only could you chance harming your e-bike's performance, but you could also jeopardize your safety.

Of course, if you ever have any questions regarding any aspects of your Juiced Bike, give us a call and speak with our support team. Our warranty covers many components of your Juiced Bike, and we'll do whatever we can under your warranty to get you back on the road.

Maintaining Your Juiced Bike

Correctly Maintaining Your Juiced Bike

Your Juiced Bike can take you far beyond where the road ends, giving you the control to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Unfortunately, all electric bikes will begin to suffer in performance and appearance if their riders neglect them. By cleaning, maintaining and servicing your Juiced Bike, your ride will always be safe and smooth.

Experience the freedom of riding without limits. Browse our selection of electric bikes, helmets and accessories or contact us today to learn more about how Juiced Bikes can transform the way you ride.

 

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