How to Maintain an Electric Bike

How to Maintain an Electric Bike

At EVELO, ease of maintenance is one of our highest priorities. The components chosen for each bike combine advanced technology, serviceability, and ease of use. For example, consider the Nuvinci Harmony automatic shifting system. Not only can this shifter be calibrated with the press of a button, but the drivetrain itself eliminates the need for a derailleur. This means there is no regular cable replacement or constant adjustment of derailleur tension and alignment.

The Gates Carbon Belt does not require lubrication, which translates to less mess, and less maintenance. Hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting for pad wear, which is one less adjustment to make as the miles fly by.

With that said, all vehicles need maintenance. For you, the rider, this means conducting pre-ride safety checks. We also recommend taking your bike for an annual checkup at your local bike shop at minimum. Factors like mileage, weather, and terrain may lead to more frequent tune-ups. This is an opportunity for a mechanic’s fresh set of eyes to inspect the bike for any unusual wear. Below you can find a pre-ride safety checklist to follow, as well as recommendations for annual maintenance.

The following information does apply to most all bicycles, including EVELO Electric Bicycles:

Pre-Ride Safety Check

Prior to each ride, it is essential to follow steps 1-3. Steps 4-7 are recommended but can be followed on a more periodic basis as part of preventative maintenance.

  1. Check your wheels to make sure they are secure. This means that the nuts are properly tightened on the rear axle, and the quick release lever is closed with the proper tension on the front axle. You should be able to open and close the quick release with your hands (no tools), but it should require some muscle. If you are unfamiliar with quick release levers, ask your local mechanic for help.
  2. Check the tire pressure in both tires. This is easy to do with a tire pressure gauge. The pressure should be in between the range of tire pressures labeled on the sidewall. If you are riding on road only, it should be at the high end of the range, but if you need more grip for off-road riding, you can reduce the pressure to the lower end of the range. It is a good idea to squeeze the tire with your hand to get an idea of what it should feel like when the tire is properly inflated, so that you can more accurately guess if you do not have a gauge handy.
  3. Check your brakes to ensure functionality. You can do this by standing next to the bike and rocking it forward and back, while squeezing one brake at a time. The brakes should stop wheels without slipping. If they do not, the brakes will need adjustment.
  4. Check your stem and headset. Combined with the handlebar and fork, this is the steering system for your bike. To make sure the stem is in good working order, stand over the front of the bike, straddling the front wheel. Firmly grip the handlebars and try to turn the handlebar without turning the wheel. If there is any movement, the stem will need to be reset and retightened.
    The headset keeps the fork attached to the frame and contains bearings that allow the bike to turn. To check for play in these bearings, stand next to the bike, hold the front brake, and rock the bike forward and back while holding the parts of the frame next to the bearings (top and bottom of head tube). Any play in these bearings indicates the need for an adjustment to the headset.
  5. Check for play in your crank arms and pedals. This can be done by standing on either side of the bike and tugging firmly on the crank arm towards you and then laterally. Repeat this on the other side of the bike. There should not be any play.
  6. Check your chain or belt. For chain driven bicycles, the chain should remain clean and properly lubed. Significant rust or other grime that cannot be easily cleaned is indicative of a chain needing replacement. Furthermore, if you spin the cranks backwards, the chain should move freely without any skipping. If it does not, the chain should be cleaned and lubricated. There are also chain wear indicator tools that can be used to check the condition of the chain.

    For belt driven bicycles, it is advised to keep the belt clean and properly tensioned. No lubrication is necessary.
  7. Check your wheels. In conjunction with step 1, it is good practice to check your wheels to make sure they are straight and true. First, try to rock the front wheel laterally while standing over the bike, holding the handlebars with your other hand. There should be no movement or play. Then, lift the front of the bike and spin the wheel. It should not show any wobbling or make any grinding or crunching noises. Repeat these two actions for the rear wheel. If the wheel shows any signs of misalignment, it may need to be trued.

Annual eBike Maintenance Checks

While at a local bike shop, your mechanic should be checking the following items:

  1. Check and replace cables, if present. Both shifting and braking systems benefit from regular cable and housing replacement.
  2. Inspect the chain or belt, and clean, lube, and/or replace as needed
  3. Check the braking system. Make adjustments as necessary to ensure the bike can stop safely. Check brake pads for wear and replace as needed.
  4. Inspect tires. Check for tread wear, any punctures, and replace as needed
  5. Check that all fasteners on the bike are properly tightened
  6. Make any adjustments to the shifting system as needed

Electrical Components

At EVELO, the electric system on our bicycles is designed to be maintenance-free. Of the components that make up this system- battery, motor, controller, and display, it is only the battery that needs any consideration in terms of maintenance. There are many tips and tricks to maintain a healthy battery, which you can view on the EVELO blog here.