In many parts of the country the weather is warming up and it is time to get riding. Now, like any standard bike model, you will need to do some annual maintenance before being ride ready. What do you need to check on electric bikes to make sure that the winter months have not done damage? What should you be looking for?
2020 was a huge year for the bike industry and as some of you may have found out it can be difficult to get even standard parts. 2021 is no different so far and even getting someone to take a look at a local shop can be a wait. So whether it is warm enough in your neck of the woods or not, now really is the best time to pull your model out and see if you need anything to be ready to ride. Here is a handy guide for getting your bike ready for spring rides and headed for summer fun.
Clean the bicycle.
- Making sure your bike stays clean helps to lengthen the life of the components. Start by using a basic cleaner, a toothbrush and a dry towel to remove dirt. Try to use as little water as possible to keep parts from forming rust or getting into other water sensitive components. Use the toothbrush on any stubborn stains. Apply a lubricant on the chain after it dries.
- For more information check out our FAQ on how to properly wash your e-bike I wash my bike? – Juiced Bikes
Get a tune-up.
- If you didn’t get a tune-up before you put your bicycle away for the winter, now is the time. A bicycle tune-up is the best way to ensure your bike is in the best condition for riding season. Any bike repair shop near should be happy to assist you, but if not check out Velofix.com to see if there is a service provider in your area. Now you may find that your local bike shops and mechanics are backed up in requests as everyone has recently got the bug to get on their bikes.
Refill your tires.
- Just like your car tires, your bike tires lose air pressure in the winter. Cold air compresses, dropping the PSI in your tires. You should check your pressure routinely, but it is important that you take special care to refill before your first ride. Press on the tire firmly with your thumb. If there is no resistance, it needs air.
Add wax to the frame.
- This is a step which many riders overlook. Every six month, a new coat of wax should be applied to the body to protect the paint. If you can’t find bike polish, car wax or furniture polish will work instead.
Test your brakes.
- If you don’t check your brakes before your first ride, you could be in some trouble later. Look to make sure the brake pads are still intact and that they don’t make a loud scraping sound. If you haven’t changed your brake pads out in a few hundred miles this is a great time to do so. Make sure to test the brake levers and cables. Really give your bike some attention before asking it to do the heavy lifting for Spring and Summer.
- Also check your gears, chain and other components for rust. Now if there is some rust, don’t worry too much - rust which has built up on rotors will be sheared off within the first few rides you take. So expect slightly noisier brakes for a few miles, this is normal - your bike is just waking up from hibernation.
- Now a really rusty chain from any salty winter rides will need to be replaced or you could be looking at a broken chain mid-ride which can cause a great deal of damage to the model.
- One of the most common issues we run into after winter are bike battery issues related to improper winter storage. Lithium batteries are thermally sensitive and they can lose life if left to sit for too long. Now you may have seen our blog on Riding and Storing Your E-Bike During Winter, hopefully you took our advice and stored your bike battery in a warm/dry area at less than 80% voltage. That is a big first step. If you didn’t do that you may have lost some battery life over winter.
- If you are noticing your bike battery is unable to fully charge back up to full voltage or that the battery simply won’t charge at all this may have been caused by improper storage. Contact support to troubleshoot at first to see if there is anything which can be done or ruled out. Since improper storage is not a warranty issue you may need to contact our friends at fthpower.com to repair your current battery.
- Make sure you are doing a standard pre-ride check anytime you roll out. This is good practice to prevent issues which could leave you stranded out on the road.
- Check spoke tension using a spoke wrench.
- Check your wiring harness and cable connections are still good, no unwanted pests have nibbled at them while the bike has been in storage
- Check your voltage and charge your battery as needed pre-ride.
Remember to ride your bike as often as possible.
- Riding your electric bicycle regularly may not seem like it would assist in maintenance, but it does. When you use your bike frequently, it keeps rust from building up.
- Anytime you leave your bike idle for a long period of time it could do damage to your power system, so even if it's not cold weather and just a lazy phase - the above can help you avoid a good amount of surprises after any period of storage.