So you’ve decided to get an electric bike?
It’s a great choice for you and for the environment! The demand for electric vehicles is growing rapidly as awareness about the environment increases and people realise the superior experience of going electric. Now, buying an Electric Bike in NZ is easy, there’s lots of choices, but maintaining it (especially if it’s your first ebike) can be a little daunting. No worries! We’re here to help. The following basic tips can help you take better care of your green machine so that it lasts longer and takes you further.
Try not to carry any weight on the bike that’s not necessary for the journey. That weight needs to be carried by you and the motor and that means you’ll drain your battery quicker. Especially avoid overloading the bike with too much weight. It will put pressure on your gears, brakes, tires and motor and will accelerate the wear on these components. It might be okay on one or two occasions, but regular overloading of the bike will eventually result in damage. So keep the load down to make your new e-bike go the distance!
The battery is the lifeblood of your electric bike, without it you’ll just have a big heavy push bike, so it’s a good idea to make sure your battery is in tip-top condition. Now, all lithium-ion batteries will eventually degrade over time, but if you follow these basic steps, you’ll get the most out of it and maximise its potential lifetime.
- With a new battery, make sure to fully charge it after use at least the first five times. That means don’t disconnect it before it’s full, even if you’re craving to get out there. This helps the onboard Battery Management System (BMS) to balance your batteries to keep them balanced.
- Don’t fully deplete your battery, if you don’t have to. Yes, long rides are great fun on ebikes and you should totally get out there and ride until your heart's content. But running down to almost empty puts the most strain on a lithium-ion battery and shortens its life. So our advice, if you get a chance to top up your battery, take it and keep it full.
- Ok, you know what I just said about keeping it full? Well, if you’ve going to be off the bike for an extended period, rather than leave your battery completely full, it’s actually best to leave it at about 60 to 80% charge. This is the most comfortable level of charge of a lithium-ion battery and will keep it healthy while you go on that holiday or leave it over winter.
- The most important battery advice we can give is, never, ever, leave a lithium-ion battery flat and out of charge for an extended period. The BMS will hold a little bit of charge in the cells to try and protect the voltage from running too low. But it will eventually reduce over time – especially if left somewhere warm – and beyond just reducing the life of the battery it might actually get to a point where the voltage is no longer safely recoverable. At this point you will not be able to charge the battery and it will be, as they say, ‘bricked’ – time to safely dispose of it and get in touch with your supplier for a new one.
Clean and lubricate your ebike regularly
Dust and debris are an electric bike’s two biggest enemies. If you regularly use your ebike, it’s best to clean it once a week to remove all dust and dirt from it. Otherwise, this grime will work its way into all the various components of your bike and will reduce efficiency, slowing you down, creating more noise and wear. In the long run, it will reduce your ebike’s life and result in more expensive replacements for broken components. Pay particular attention to the chain and gears. To reduce friction, make sure to lubricate these moving parts with products specifically designed for use with bikes. While you're down at your local bike shop, you may want to talk to a professional regarding how to maintain your bike properly – you can even pay them to do it for you!
When you’re planning to buy an Electric Bike in NZ, look for a seller who is ready to go the extra mile to make you understand everything about your bike’s maintenance and care needs. It will help you avoid running up excessive costs for maintenance and replacements and you’ll get the most out of your new e-bike for many years to come!