Once you purchase an electric bike, you’ll be excited to take it out around the town. But to get the most out of your new electric wheels and enjoy them for a long time, you’ll want to be aware of how to maintain and service your bike. So, how often should you service your electric bike?
You should service your e-bike at a shop at least twice a year, roughly every 600-900 miles. Servicing at a shop will take anywhere from one hour to two days and cost $50 to $150. You can do some of the work yourself, like inspecting the tires, inspecting the brakes, and cleaning.
The maintenance needed for an electric bike doesn’t have to cause headaches or be time-consuming. If you stay on top of care and develop a plan, your bike will thank you and run smoother for longer. Keep reading for all the ins and outs of servicing your electric bike!
How Often Should You Service Your E-Bike?
Owning an electric bike comes with a fair bit of maintenance. The maintenance required ensures you get the most out of your bike. But, how often should you service and do maintenance on your electric bike?
The type of maintenance and the frequency is going to vary from bike to bike. Checking your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website will ensure you’re servicing your bike at the correct times. However, servicing your e-bike every 600 to 900 miles/1,000 to 1,5000 kilometers is a good rule of thumb.
You’ll know your electric bike needs servicing or a tune-up because it might not be shifting gears as smoothly, the derailleur could need adjustment, and the brakes can start to wear out. This will differ
r from bike to bike and rider to rider. Some riders may need a tune-up within the first month of owning their bike, while others may not need one for an entire year.
Now that we’ve talked about how often you should service your electric bike, what do we actually mean by “service?”
What’s Included in E-Bike Servicing?
When looking at what’s included in the service for an electric bike, you can generally sort it into two categories: conventional bike components and electric bike components. Let’s take a look at both.
Maintenance of Conventional Bike Components
If you ride your bike frequently, you might notice wear and tear on your drivetrain. The drivetrain is one of the most likely parts that will take damage. A worn chain can damage the rear cassette or even the front chainrings. You might need parts replaced, relubricated, or tightened.
Cleaning and degreasing your bike is crucial to its overall performance and maintenance. When getting your bike serviced, every part will be clean and degreased from top to bottom. Essential parts, including the chain, will receive a high-quality lubricant treatment.
The wheels of your bike will also be tuned and adequately serviced. The external tension might be adjusted; they might align the wheels with the axle and ensure the wheel and rim is properly straight by using a trueing key.
Next, your bike’s headset and bottom bracket will get adjusted. These components take a lot of wear and tear, even for average riders. The tension on the bearings will be adjusted to ensure the maximum lifespan.
Finally, the gears and brakes will be serviced. The cables and brake pads might be replaced during this part. Your derailleur cables will be replaced or adequately lubricated, re-tensioned, and have their position adjusted to ensure your switching gears smoothly.
Maintenance of Electric Bike Components
The motor of your electric bike will be checked and cleaned to make sure it’s operating at a satisfactory and safe level. Parts may need to be replaced, tightened, or cleaned during this part.
During servicing, your bike’s battery will also be checked. They’ll see if the battery is dying and needs to be replaced. The mechanic will usually hook it up to an external system to make sure it’s working correctly.
The controller will also be checked. The controller is tricky to check and is also one of the most vulnerable parts. The mechanic will ensure the controllers are working correctly with the rest of the components on your electric bike.
And normally you know if there’s a problem here pretty quickly because it will be obvious while riding that something isn’t quite right.
What To Expect When Getting Your E-Bike Serviced
When dropping off your bike at your local bike shop for the first time, you may not know what to expect. You may be curious how long it takes or what the process is.
You should expect to leave your bike at the shop anywhere from one hour upwards of two days. In most cases, it will take one to two days to fully service your bike. There are also instances where you’ll have to schedule in advance, as some bike shops are fully booked for service for months.
There are also cases where the mechanic will tell you your bike needs additional maintenance and servicing. Don’t worry; this isn’t an auto shop, and you aren’t getting scammed.
Trust your mechanic and follow the process to ensure your bikes coming back in tip-top shape.
It’s a good rule of thumb to bring your bike in clean when going to a bike shop. You don’t have to get crazy, but make sure there’s no mud, dust, or build-up on the frame. It’s also a good idea to talk to your mechanic about other servicing options and what you can do at home.
You should also consider stocking up on parts or purchasing something from the shop to support your community and show your appreciation for the mechanics.
Can I Service My E-Bike Myself?
With all this in mind, you may be wondering if you can service your bike yourself and what that entails. Doing some of the maintenance yourself ensures the quality of your bike and can lower expenses down the line.
Before Every Ride
Before every ride, you should know the “ABCs” of your bike. This includes the air, brakes, and chain.
You’ll want to make sure your tires are properly inflated before every ride. You can find the recommended pressure on the sidewalls of the tire. Properly inflated tires lower your risk of flats and ensure a smoother ride. It’s also a good idea to keep a patch kit and pump with you on rides.
Before a ride, squeeze your brakes to make sure they’re engaging and operating smoothly. This may seem silly before a ride, but this ensures a safe ride.
You’ll want to take a look at your chain and all the gears. Make sure it’s well lubricated and working smoothly to maximize the lifespan of your bike.
With an electric bike, it’s essential to make sure your battery is sufficiently charged before each ride. Make sure you’re storing your battery correctly, leaving it a little bit charged, and aren’t overcharging it to ensure its maximum lifespan.
Cleaning And Lubricating Your Electric Bike
Properly cleaning and lubricating your electric bike is vital to its overall performance and lifespan. This is especially true if you ride in hard weather conditions. Lubricating your parts ensure less wear and tear, prevents them from “freezing up,” and reduces the risk of rust and corrosion.
Be warned; excess lubrication can be just harmful as not enough lubrication. Wipe off any extra lubrication on any of the components of your bike to ensure your bike’s performance is not at risk.
Tools You May Need For Cleaning:
- Clean rags
- Different sized brushes
- Soap or general cleaner
- Chain Lubricant
- Bike Stand
With these different tools and supplies, you’ll be able to handle every cleaning and lubricating job for your bike. Old toothbrushes can work great for getting into hard-to-reach places on your bike. When it comes to using water, be careful not to damage any of the electrical components or bearing systems. Make sure you’re using a bike-specific degreaser to clean up build-up on your bike.
When choosing and applying lubricant, go with a bike-specific option and make sure your chain is clean beforehand. Wet lubricant is ideal for wet weather conditions, but dirt and grime can stick to it. Dry lube works better for dry climates. Dirt and dust are less likely to stick to dry lube, but it’s more likely to wash off in the rain.
Other Tools You May Need
For general bike maintenance, you may also want to invest in some other tools. Having these tools on hand with you during servicing or during a ride can reduce significant headaches down the line.
Multi-tools and Allen/hex keys are great tools to have handy. Bike-specific torque wrenches will ensure you aren’t overtightening anything and allow you to get into hard-to-reach places. Pedal spanners will give you an easier time removing and adjusting the pedals.
Chain breaker tools are an essential item to keep handy. This tool will allow you to repair stiff links and remove your chain for cleaning. You may also want to consider adding a chain whip, cassette lockring tool, and a bottom bracket tool to your arsenal.
You can find complete bike tool kits ranging anywhere from $50 to $400 online. The average price seems to be in the mid-hundreds, but this investment will ensure you can service your bike for the long term.
There are plenty of approachable options like the Anndason 8 Piece Precision Bicycle Cleaning Kit (on Amazon) or the Ultrafashs Bike Chain Cleaner, Degreaser, and Lube Kit (also on Amazon) that will make sure you’re ready for handling all of the “normal” servicing and maintenance requirements of your bike at a low added cost.
Some things you’ll just need to be serviced by a shop, though. And with that being said, let’s turn our attention toward, how much this shop-service will cost?
How Much Does E-Bike Servicing Cost?
Going to a shop to service your electric bike will vary in cost depending on location, work needed, and model. In general, servicing your e-bike through a shop will cost anywhere from $50 to $150. Keep in mind, if you need additional parts and work, this price can increase.
If you’re looking to service your electric bike on your own, you may be able to save some money after the initial investment of tools and supplies. As mentioned earlier, a complete set of bike tools may cost around $150.
If you buy an additional bike stand, you could spend upwards of an additional $300. Other odds and ends like brushes, degreaser, and lubricant could run you upwards of $50.
After some of the initial investment, servicing your bike yourself can save you a lot of money down the line. Some people have claimed to spend upwards of $1,500 a year at bike shops to service their e-bike.
This number won’t pertain to everyone, but the initial $400 – $600 investment and learning curve, could save you a lot of money.
A Good General Service Plan for Your E-Bike
Here’s a general service plan you can follow for keeping your electric bike in peak performance:
|Inspect tires to make sure they’re properly inflated||Yes||Before every ride|
|Inspect brakes, calipers, and levers||Yes||Before every ride|
|Wipe down bike with a cloth to remove buildup||Yes||Before/after every ride|
|Degrease drivetrain and lube chain||Yes||Every other ride|
|Check for wear and tear on chain and drivetrain||Yes||Every 250miles/402km|
|Replace brake pads||Yes, somewhat complex||As needed|
|Deep cleaning of the electric bike and components||Yes, somewhat complex||Quarterly|
|Torque bolts to specifications||No||Quarterly to once a year|
|Wheel trueing||No||Once a year|
|Complete tune-up||No||Once a year|
|Battery and motor dianostics||No||Once a year|
In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to look over your bike before and after every ride. Check your tires, chains, brakes, and battery before rides to ensure safety. Wipe down your e-bike after a ride to reduce build-up and grime.
Degreasing the drive train and lubricating the chain should be done every other ride.
That being said, besides the safety check for each ride, you can do weekly cleaning and maintenance as needed. Set up a schedule and allow yourself enough time for each component of services.
After that, you’ll want to service your bike quarterly, bi-yearly, and yearly. Complete tune-ups, wheel trueing, battery/motor diagnostics, and torquing the bolts should be left for the professionals. Doing all these things ensures you maximize the lifespan of your electric bike and get the most out of it.