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How Long Do Electric Bike Motors Last?

One consideration when purchasing an electric bike is how long it will actually last. Electrical components can naturally run into issues with frequent use. One of the most critical, and expensive, elements of the e-bike is the motor. So, how long do they last?

E-bike motors can generally last between 3,000 to 10,000 miles or roughly 3 to 10 years. The lifespan depends on many things including the type of motor, riding style, etc. To get the maximum lifespan from your motor you should keep your motor clean and dry, and have your bike serviced annually.

Electric bike motors will probably outlast the other components of your bike. That being said, they can run into some common issues and require regular maintenance. So, what are the specifics, and how can you take care of your motor? Read on for everything you need to know!

What’s the Lifespan of an E-Bike Motor

Electric bicycle motor inside the frame

The lifespan of an electric bike motor can be hard to identify accurately. Online you’ll find people saying around 10,000 miles. This is a good round number, but it may not be the case for all of them.

We know one thing for sure: e-bike motors are built to last. On average, you may be able to get about 3 to 10 years of usage out of an electric bike motor. That being said, this range can vary quite a bit.

Your motor type and riding style will affect the lifespan of your motor. Geared-hub motors are typically going to face more wear and tear than mid-drive motors. People estimate geared-hub motors can last anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 miles.

With mid-drive motors, there’s more stress applied to the other components of your bike. You might have to replace the chains, sprockets, and derailleurs before replacing this type of motor. But overall this motor type is more at risk of overheating and building rust.

The 10,000-mile estimate may not be as accurate either. Different riders have claimed different results. Some consumers have claimed motor failure within 1,500 to 2,500 miles. Others haven’t claimed a mileage but have reported over three years of use on their bikes. This goes to show, your mileage may vary.

Here’s a little example for you. If you rode a 35-mile range e-bike at its max range every day for a year, you would travel 12,775 miles. That’s much more than the 10,000-mile rating everyone is giving to typical e-bike motors. This doesn’t overtly prove anything, it’s just something to consider.

So, what’s the verdict?

The 3,000 to 10,000-mile estimate is a reasonably safe range for most motors and riders. That being said, the BAFANG BBSHD (on Amazon) motor only has a 1-year warranty. This may not reflect how long the motor will last, but it’s important to keep in mind.

So, how can you ensure you’re getting the most life out of your e-bike motor?

How to Maintain Your E-Bike’s Motor

Smiling woman washes a bicycle and takes care of the details.

Electric bikes come with different maintenance responsibilities. The motor is a part of this and can’t be avoided. Properly maintaining your e-bike and the motor will ensure you get the most use out of it.

Keep Your Motor Clean & Dry

Properly cleaning your e-bike motor is crucial to guarantee its longevity. Clean off any dirt, grime, or build-up regularly. For hub-motors, you’ll want to ensure that you clean in between the cassette. For mid-drives, cleaning will vary based on the model but is much the same.

Another way motors can develop wear and tear or break is through rust and water damage. Even if your electric bike motor is waterproof, dry it after riding in wet conditions. Keeping your motor dry is especially important for mid-drive options. Check out our article on riding in the rain for some more pointers on how to maintain your bike in this situation.

Have Your Bike Serviced Regularly

Regularly service your e-bike at a trusted bike shop. You should go in for a full-tuneup biyearly. They’ll be able to run diagnostics, achieve a deeper clean, and handle issues you may not be able to deal with at home.

Treat It With Care

This may be obvious, but don’t drop your bike or treat it poorly. Treat your e-bike with care and love! Damaging the housing or components can loosen parts and cause them to malfunction.

Changing the way you ride can help you get more out of your motor too. Don’t slam on the brakes or accelerate too fast when riding. This will not only save your battery life but reduce wear and tear as well.

Use Pedal-Assist Often

If you have a pedal-assist on your electric bike, use it! Using pedal-assist over the throttle will take a load off your motor and help save battery life and lengthen its lifespan. It’s also a great way to get a little bit of a fitness bonus from using your E-Bike.

Many bikes fall into Class 1 and only offer a pedal-assist mode. We have a separate article looking at the value of pedal-assist, but along with all the other benefits of this feature, letting your motor last longer from taking the strain off it is just one more bonus.

Can You Upgrade the Motor on Your E-Bike?

One of the significant advantages of e-bikes over other transport is the ability to upgrade them and their inherent DIY nature. You can upgrade your electric bike’s motor, and the difficulty will depend on your skill level, model, manufacturer, and experience.

When your e-bike motor dies, you may think it’s time to get a new bike altogether. In some cases, this is the only option. However, with some models, you can upgrade your motor after your initial motor dies!

For instance, some manufacturers have specific motor upgrades for certain models. This means that if your motor gives up or you’re just generally seeking more power, you can just install an upgrade.

With other models, you may be able to piece together different upgrades. That being said, the components of your bike have to be compatible with each other, so make sure you check that before purchasing anything. But, you might be able to upgrade those components as well!

On top of all that, conversion kits allow you to upgrade the motor of your e-bike or add one to your traditional bicycle. These kits offer different customization options for you to experiment and play around with. Again, we have another dedicated article with more details on E-Bike conversion on this if it’s something you’re interested in!

As mentioned earlier, the difficulty of upgrading your motor will vary. Typically, hub motors are easier to install than mid-drive options. If you’re mechanically savvy, some of these upgrades can be done in a few hours. However, if you aren’t mechanically inclined, it might be best to get your motor upgraded at a professional bike shop.