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Tips for maintaining your electric bike

Close-up of the hands of an electric bike repairer during maintenance.

Maintaining an electric bike is not very different from maintaining a conventional bike. In fact, apart from the battery and motor, the general operation is the same. The electric-assist bike is just a cousin of the traditional bicycle, but with super powers! When and how to give your EAB a thorough cleaning ? Do I need to know anything about mechanics to maintain an electric bike ? From frame cleaning to chain maintenance and rear derailleur adjustment, we tell you everything you need to know to ride a bike worthy of a pro!

Why maintain your electric bike?

Like all types of bicycles, EABs need regular maintenance. Indeed, cleaning your bike and taking care of its mechanics are actions that ensure safe and fluid use in all circumstances.

Beyond the safety aspect and the pleasure of riding, maintaining your bike not only contributes to extending its life, but also its resale value the day you want to part with it.

That's right, there's no argus price based on mileage when it comes to bicycles... The value of a muscle or electric bike is therefore estimated on the basis of its aesthetic appearance, of course, but also on the overall condition of its components. And that's something you can work on every day, with regular maintenance!

Our tips for a clean bike

Don't worry, bike maintenance is actually quite simple. You don't need to be an experienced mechanic for routine maintenance. By following our advice, you should be able to preserve your precious machine.

Brief cleaning after each use

What a pleasure it is to start the day with a clean bike... There's no secret to that.

Every time you get home, you need to wipe off the dirt, even if it's just a quick wipe with a clean cloth. It only takes 5 minutes and a little elbow grease, and frankly, it's worth it.

Bicycle chain maintenance: it's not that complicated

Your bicycle chain must always be properly lubricated. Correctly doesn't mean covered in grease! It should leave a thin film of grease on your fingers when you touch it, no more.

But maintaining your chain means more than just lubricating it from time to time. That would be like putting on clean clothes without washing. You need to degrease it regularly (with a suitable product degreaser), and then apply a few drops of chain lubricant to the links. This way, your chain will never turn black, and you won't get any grease on your pants or calves...

The pressure of tires

We recommend re-inflating your tires every 3 outings, or even more frequently! A well-inflated tire is a guarantee of safety and performance (it won't be as hard as a soft tire ). You'll also avoid premature wear of your tire.

For pressure, refer to the manufacturer's instructions on the sidewall. It's generally expressed in bars.

Regular maintenance operations

Periodically, you should check the condition of the various components: chain (using a chain tester, for example), sprocket and chainring tooth patterns, cable integrity, and the visual condition of your brake pads and disc brakes.

Also check the tightness of your bike's various components (respect the tightening torques recommended by the manufacturer, especially on carbon parts!).

What's special about maintaining electric-assist bicycles?

An electric bike is not very different from a muscle bike, as we have already said, but there are still some specific instructions to follow:

  • Take care of your battery to prolong its life.
  • Have your bike's system updated.
  • In the event of a problem or error message, contact a bicycle dealer for diagnosis. Never attempt to disassemble the motor or battery.

On the other hand, some components, particularly the drive train, are subjected to greater stress than on a conventional bike. This can lead to more rapid wear, so you'll need to keep a close eye on them if you ride a lot.

Cyclist servicing his electric bike.

Cleaning your electric bicycle

Dirt and mud get into every nook and cranny of the bike. If you never clean your bike, it will not function properly. These ingredients, mixed with grease and water, form a paste that coats sprockets, chainrings, chain links, brake calipers, rims... In short, a disaster for these mechanical parts. And what's more, it doesn't look very good.

To clean your electric-assist bike, we recommend investing in a workshop stand. It doesn't cost a fortune, and it's much more practical (and better for your back). Here are the steps to follow for a spotless bike:

Step 1: Rinse your bike with water to roughen it up and remove accumulated dirt. Above all, don't use a high-pressure jet, as this could damage the electrical components: they're watertight under normal conditions (cleaning with a hose or rain), but they won't withstand this amount of pressurized water. You could also damage the most fragile mechanical components.

Step 2: Degrease the drivetrain: apply a product specifically adapted for this purpose to the sprockets with a brush. Then use a double brush or chain cleaner for the chain itself.

We recommend Muc-Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner, which is harmless to your mechanics and to the planet, but you'll find products eco-responsible at Decathlon too. Then wipe clean with a dry cloth and leave to dry while you take care of the rest of the bike.

Step 3: Clean theframe with a sponge and product degreasing cleaner to remove stubborn dirt. For transmission components, use a stiff-bristled brush (a toothbrush will do) to make the job easier.

A word of advice: protect your brake discs when cleaning. These components have a very hard time with products cleaning, which can irreversibly damage their proper functioning.

Step 4: Lubricate the chain with a few drops of "all-weather" or "dry weather" lubricant (depending on your habits).

How often should you clean your bike?

  • Every time you go out, it's messy if you're a fan of MTB or if you are riding in difficult conditions (rain, salty road, etc.).
  • 1 or 2 times a month under normal conditions is the minimum... But in absolute terms, whether it's a road bike, a VTTAE, or anything else, the ideal is to wash it every 2 rides... If you have the courage!

Take care of your battery!

Generally speaking, the battery is the most expensive part of the EAB to replace (between €500 and €1000).

Although battery ageing is inevitable, since it has a limited lifespan, you can slow down the deterioration process by taking good care of your battery:

  • Careful storage : if you don't use your battery for several weeks, or even months, we recommend removing it from the bike and storing it away from light, at a temperature of between 10 and 20°C. The cellar is the ideal place to store your battery until the warm weather returns! 
  • Shocks : batteries are sensitive to shocks, and a fall from human height can damage them permanently. Be very careful when removing it from the bike! If your battery stops working after a fall, it will need to be diagnosed.
  • Discharging and recharging : To extend the life of your battery, avoid leaving it fully charged or discharged for long periods. If you're not going to be using the bike for a long time, remember to charge the battery as little as possible to prevent it from remaining flat for too long. According to Bosch, a charge level of between 30% and 60% is ideal for long-term storage.
  • Climatic conditions: don't leave your battery in the sun for hours on end, and put it under cover when it's freezing.

Good to know: properly maintained, a lithium battery (the material found on the vast majority of e-bikes) can last 1000 charge cycles. This number of cycles is given as an indication, it represents the number of charge cycles that your battery can undergo without seeing its autonomy (too much) deteriorate.

Once this number is exceeded, you can continue to use your electric bike without replacing the battery if the range is still sufficient for your use! In order to convince yourself of this, it is easy and quick to test the battery of your electric bike.

Updating your bike's software

Most e-bike manufacturers offer regular application updates.  

Electric bike control screen.

Depending on the make and system of your bike's motor, these firmware updates may help increase torque, extend battery life, or provide other useful upgrades.

You don't have to visit your dealer for every new update. Unless it's a major correction, you can consider that an annual update at the time of revision is sufficient.

How much does it cost to maintain an electric bike?

It's all very well to maintain your bike yourself. But we strongly advise you to have it serviced by a professional about once a year. The mechanic, who is better equipped and more knowledgeable than you, will be able to see and correct any defects you may have overlooked. He will also be able to give you a reliable diagnosis of the condition of the various parts.

If you need to hire a professional, here are the prices you can expect for the most common operations:

Revision package


 Puncture  


 Derailleur adjustment  


 Change of channel  


 Changing the pedals  

 Changing the cassette  


 Brake adjustment  


 Changing skates  

Change of pads  


Bleeding the hydraulic brakes  


Wheel Unveiling  


 Battery/engine diagnosis  


 Change of connectors  


 Change of controller  


 Change of pedal sensor  


60 à 100 €


30 €


15 €


15 €


20 à 25 €


20 à 25 €


20 €


20 €


20 €


30 à 40 €


20 à 30 €


30 à 50 €


25 €


35 €


25 €


These rates were observed in June 2021 by the association UFC Que Choisir, they do not include the price of spare parts, only labor.

Cyclist servicing his EAB and adjusting the saddle.

The average cost of updating the Bosch System is €25.

Good to know: An overhaul will cost you between €60 and €100, but allows you to check all your bike's critical points! Here's what a good overhaul should include:

  • Adjustment of front and rear brakes and cable tension.
  • Bleeding of both hydraulic brakes (including oil)
  • Checking of all tightenings
  • Headset adjustment
  • Unveiling of the wheels
  • tires pressure and general health check
  • Lubricating your bicycle transmission
  • Lubricating the bottom bracket
  • Checking the wear of your transmission: chain, cassette, chainrings
  • Adjustment of front and rear derailleurs.

What you need to remember

  • Give your bike some love by cleaning it regularly - it'll love you back!
  • Check the pressure of your tires regularly, do not drive under-inflated.
  • Keep an eye on the wear and tear of your bike's mechanical components: chain, sprockets, cables, brakes...
  • Take care of your battery to extend its life.
  • Do an annual check-up for software updates, but also to take stock of your bike's condition.

 

Bonne route :)