Battery Bliss – How To Get The Most Out Of Your E-Bike
Bicycles, whether electric or not, require regular maintenance to make sure all the moving parts, the battery and the motor are in tip-top shape. An e-bike is a fun and cost-effective transport option with great health benefits, and encourages a modern way to enjoy cycling.
Whether you’re a regular or an occasional e-bike rider, you’re probably used to exploring, meeting friends, and getting to work on time. But don’t sacrifice the long list of benefits by ignoring the maintenance – though at times it can be tedious, you will end up thanking yourself and E-BikeTec for their great advice.
Just like ordinary bicycles, electric bikes demand regular maintenance, as well as checks on the specific components. They are an efficient way to get around; but failing to take care of them properly could end up costing you. And most of the maintenance of an electric bike involves the standard bicycle parts.
Before each ride, check to make sure your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure – and remember that an e-bike is heavier than a standard bike, so you’ll want slightly higher pressures than normal. Under-inflated tyres require your motor to work harder, and will drain the battery more quickly. A good bike pump with a pressure gauge should be in every rider’s maintenance kit, along with some bike lube.
Once every few weeks, clean and lubricate your bike’s drivetrain. Apply some degreaser to a rag, and wipe away any dirt and built-up grime. Once it’s dry, apply drops of bike lube to the entire chain. Wipe away any excess oil to avoid over-lubricating.
You should take your bike to a repair shop for a proper service at least once a year. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to get to know the staff at your local bike shop – they can be helpful, and they’ll appreciate your business.
When performing bicycle maintenance, it’s important to remember that electrical and mechanical elements require particular attention. Cleaning the bike often will help to keep dirt and debris from blocking the chain and motor. On average your electric bike should be washed around once a fortnight, more or less, depending on how often you use it.
- Use a low-pressure water stream or a damp cloth, and move in gentle motions.
- For stubborn dirt, use a mild degreaser, and apply it with a soft brush.
- Dry off with a towel to buff up and shine, and you’re good to go!
For most e-bike batteries, the biggest threat to longevity is overcharging. When you plug your battery in before your next ride, avoid charging it to 100%. Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time; the longer they stay charged to a higher voltage, the more that degradation occurs. Also, avoid leaving your battery fully charged if you don’t plan on riding your e-bike for an extended period.
It is important to charge the battery fully once every few weeks, to balance the cells. This will improve the battery’s overall capacity for a longer period of time. Think of it as exercising its muscles, so it doesn’t get weak! This is a general rule, but not all e-bikes have the same battery or charger – consult your bike’s manual for proper charging instructions.
Just as you should only fully charge your battery every few weeks, you should also not fully discharge it every time. It is recommended that you recharge your battery when it has between 30% and 60% of its charge remaining.
Staying safe is important; there’s a risk of fire with all large lithium batteries. It’s smart to designate a safe place to charge your e-bike battery. Two good options are outside, or in the centre of an empty garage floor. And make sure the location is dry.
Brand-new battery care
Most e-bikes run on either a 36-volt or a 48-volt drive system. First, make sure you have the right charger, and that it works properly. If you purchased your e-bike online you may want to be more cautious, as batteries end up in shipping containers and in warehouses for a long time, and don’t receive proper care.
Plug your charger into the battery, and let it charge all the way. Once the battery is fully charged, your charger should indicate this in some way (e.g. an LED that switches from red to green). Unplug your charger. You may want to take your bike for a test ride, to make sure there’s no unexpected voltage sag.
E-BikeTec resellers in South Africa
- Cycle Lab
- The Bike Shop Plett
- The Bicycle Service Company
- The Bicycle workshop
- The bike shop
- West Rand Cycles
- Mellow Velo
- E-Bike Adventures SA
- Bike Addict
- Hatfield Cycles