The weather’s drying up, the sun’s setting later in the day, and temperatures are (finally) beginning to rise. So, who’s ready for an e-bike ride? Before you pull yours out of the garage or storage to hit the road, you’ll need to follow these 6 steps to make sure your electric bike’s in a proper and safe condition to ride into spring!
Regardless of where and how you stored your e-bike, it’s almost guaranteed to have accumulated some dust. Cleaning it off properly not only spruces up its appearance but will also make it a safer and more durable to ride.
- With the battery removed from the bike, first wipe off the frame with a dry cloth. Then add a little bit of basic cleaner to the cloth and lightly dampen the cloth – without drenching it. Too much water on electronic components can destroy the tech, and too much on metal parts can cause rusting. Give the frame, lights and reflectors another wipe down.
- Use an old toothbrush to remove stubborn greasy gunk that you may find on the chain, underneath fenders, within brackets, and anywhere else.
- After the chain’s clean, lubricate it – preferably with dry lube – to protect it from corrosion and to quiet the ride. Make sure it isn’t sagging, either. And in the case your chain has excessively rusted, replace it immediately for safety and convenience – the last thing you want in the new season is to experience a broken chain during a ride.
- Be sure to check all of the screws and tighten any loose ones – like on the handlebars, near the fenders and on the rear rack.
Assuming you didn’t tune up your e-bike before putting it away for the winter – don’t worry, that’s common – then it’s time to sync up the moving parts so your e-bike’s in prime condition for the year. So perform adjustments where needed – like aligning the handlebars, checking the tire tread, making sure the pedals are fastened properly, and tightening the electrical connections.
You’re almost ready to ride! But first do a brake check.
- Your brakes may also squeal a bit the first few miles of the season – it’s normal. But if it continues, then clean them up with a disc brake cleaner. But avoid sprays that may cause dangerous splatter onto the brake rotors. Are the brakes scraping or loud? If so, it may be time to swap out the brake pads for fresh ones.
- And of course, test the brake levers and cables to make sure they’re properly engaging and have the right amount of travel when you pull the levers.
As you know, the battery is the heart of your e-bike. And like the human heart, the one in your e-bike must be in optimal health to power up your rides.
- Obviously, you want to charge it up completely before your first ride. But before you do, make sure the battery ports are dry and clean before connecting to your charger. And before you plug the charger into the wall socket, ensure that you have a secure connection from the charger to the battery port.
- Remember, that lithium-ion batteries like the one for your e-bike can lose life if left to sit for too long – like three or four months during winter. That’s why it’s key to store your e-bike battery in a warm and dry area with less than an 80 percent charge. If you can’t fully charge the battery or if the battery simply won’t charge at all, it may have been improperly stored. If you find this to be the case with yours, contact the Juiced Bike’s Support Team so they can help you troubleshoot the issue.
Clearing the Air
Cold winters can wreak havoc on e-bike tires, causing them to lose air pressure quickly. That’s because cold air compresses, dropping the PSI inside your tires. Therefore, you need to check your tire pressure. And it’s especially important to pump up the tires fully before your first ride. Use a tire gauge, if you have one, to monitor the air pressure. You’ll need to go by feel, if you have no gauge. In that case, wrap the tire with your hand and squeeze the sidewalls with your thumb and forefinger – pumping more air in until you can no longer squeeze. But when you’re able to, use a gauge to double-check the tire pressure.
If some of these steps are over your head, take the easy way out and hire a professional bike mechanic to do the job: Either take your bike into a shop that handles e-bikes, or call a mobile service that will come to your home. They can competently take care of everything we’ve covered so far and it’s better to be safe than sorry.