Electric Bike Care Guide
New electric bikes are so much fun to ride, but what happens when the chain starts to squeak or you get a flat tire? We always encourage our customers to get regular tune-ups, just like you would a conventional bike. How often you need perform regular maintenance will largely depend on how much you ride your ebike - the more frequently you ride, the more frequently you will need to perform routine maintenance. Common issues are, for example, when the derailleur is out of adjustment because the gears aren’t switching smoothly; the brake cables stretch and need adjusting; and sometimes with heavier riders, the spokes can get stretched and need to be tightened up and trued. These types of maintenance require a level of knowledge and expertise to get right, so you might want to find your local bike shop or bike mechanic and see if they can help you.
However, there are some quite easy things you can do yourself at home. First, keep your battery maintained by charging it on a regular basis. Second, make sure to keep your tire pressures maintained to within the pressures stated on the side of the tire. All bicycle tires lose pressure over time. Low tire pressure can affect range, ride performance and handling, among other factors.
Here are some more things you will want to consider to keep your bike in good working condition.
1 - Maintain your chain– Most people can maintain their bike chain at home by keeping it both clean and lubricated. However, we do not recommend using only standard WD40 alone, because it is a 'penetrant' and not a lubricant - it will dry out the chain. Instead, you can clean your chain with some standard WD40, but you should always follow this up by appying a lubricant specifically designed for protecting bike chains. A properly lubed chain should not be dry to the touch, but instead should a greasy residue on your fingers. A properly lubricated chain will prevent rust and facilitate the movement of metal-on-metal parts.
2 - Aligning the derailleur – If the derailleur is making noises, then the cable that shifts gears may require an adjustment, which on the Adventuri e-bike is made on the handlebar mount. However, this is a more advanced maintenance task and should only be done once the process is fully understood. We recommend seeking out some helpful videos online to get up to speed.
3 - Cleaning and lubricating – How often should you’ll need to clean and lube your bike depends on how you use it, and how often you use it. For example, if you’re going on dusty or muddy trails, then every time you return would be a good time to fully wipe down your bike, and clean and lube the chain. Likewise, if you take your e-bike camping, then when you get home, you should give it a good clean and lubrication. However, if you’re just staying on paved roads and bike tracks, it would probably be ok to clean and lube the chain every 200 to 300 kms.
4 - Stop squeaking disk brakes– A common complaint with disc brakes, is that they begin to squeak. To fix this problem, first check to see if the pads are properly aligned with the rotor, and not brushing up against it when the wheel rotates; if they are not, make the necessary adjustments by loosening the calliper tightening bolt, grasping the brake (which has the effect of centring the brake pads around the rotor) then re-tightening the calliper bolt. If the squeaking continues, you will need to take the calliper off, take the pads out, spray the disk with a disk brake silencer (like SwissStop). If this doesn’t remedy the squeaking, it could be an indication that the rotor is bent, which will require further alignment or replacement.
5 - Tighten the bottom bracket and crankset– When you first take your new ebike out of the box, make sure the bolts at the crankset and bottom bracket are properly tightened with the correctly sized Allen wrench. This is particularly important with mid-drive motors which are integrated into the bottom bracket - otherwise there is a risk of damage to the cadence sensors and connector cables.
6 - Keep your ebike dry – Our Adventuri Electric Bikes are water resistant and will not be damaged by getting a little wet – for example, when splashing through a puddle. However, e-bikes are not generally waterproof. It is always best practice to wipe down your bike after getting wet – particularly in coastal areas where the water is likely quite salty. Getting water on the motor, the display and the throttle should not be a problem. However, particular care should be taken with the controller and battery compartment. These are the most sensitive parts of an electric bike. If these parts become submerged in water or exposed to water over an extended period then this could cause short circuiting and damage the bike.
7 - How to deal with flat tires – What do you do when on a trail or far from home and you get a flat tire? First, it’s recommended that you don’t take the wheel and tire off the bike and try to change out a tube. Instead, we recommend you carry a patch kit, because most times a flat tire is a result of a single puncture point and can be easily fixed while the tire is still on the bike. If you bring a pair of tire irons with you (and a patch kit) they can be used to remove the bead of the tire (the part the tucks into the rim) from one side. Try to find where the puncture is located by listening for a hissing sound. If possible, wet the tube and look for bubbling to reveal where the air is escaping. You can even hold the tube close to your face to feel where air is escaping. After locating the puncture point, you will need to deflate the tire, put the patch in place following the instruction provided and then re-inflate the tire.