How Often Does My Electric Bike Need Maintenance?

Man wearing a helmet riding a well-maintained EB12 electric road bike.

An eBike provides you with unlimited fun, cost-effective transportation and an easy way to keep in shape. Plus, it’s an accommodating vehicle to have on hand. But if you want to keep enjoying all the benefits of the electric bike experience, you’re going to have to learn how to maintain your eBike properly.

It might seem like electric bikes require more complex maintenance than a regular bike. This is only partly true, however, since most of the parts on both types of bicycles are completely interchangeable. And, the electric wiring, motors and batteries that separate them are mostly quite low-maintenance.

Taking care of a state-of-the-art electric bike may be slightly more involved than the upkeep on the rusty one-speed in your garage, but it’s still the same ballgame. If you engage in good routine maintenance practices, you should only need to take your eCycle into the shop a few times a year, no matter how heavily you use it.

Man wearing a helmet riding an EB12 Road eBike from SWAGTRON.

The EB12 Electric Road Bike from SWAGTRON®.

Read your Electric Bike Manual

The first step after getting an eBike is to read the manual and search for any important safety notes and guidelines. Whether you’re getting an electric bike for your kid on Christmas or you feel like you’re a kid on Christmas, this is a nonnegotiable step to understanding the manufacturer’s safety recommendations.

In particular, you’ll find the requirements for tire inflation; bikes often have unique requirements for inflation that are different from what’s posted on the tire itself. When it comes to day-to-day maintenance practices, tires are one of the most important considerations.

Routine Cleaning, Maintenance and Pre-Ride Checks

Close-up of a rear gear system of an eBike being worked on by a mechanic.Regular maintenance is the key to longevity with any eBike.
When you first learned to drive a car, your teacher probably hammered the necessity of routine checks into you like a nail, “Kick the tires, check the lights, scan the dashboard,” and so on. The same principle applies to a bike; certain steps to maintaining your eBike need to happen regularly.

Check the Tires

You should perform a rudimentary inflation check before every ride and after any long rides. Maintaining proper vigilance can go a long way toward helping you avoid flats and keeping your bike running efficiently and in good condition. It will also save you a long walk home should your tire give out during your ride.

Check with a tire gauge to make sure the tires are properly inflated. If that isn’t practical, you can take a more hands-on approach and squeeze the tire with your thumb to see if it’s as firm as it should be before going on your ride. This method is only so precise, though. As a rule, make sure you’re using the tire gauge at least once a week.

Clean Your eBike

Dirt and mud can be a problem for the electrical and mechanical components on your electric bike, so you should make sure that it’s relatively clean whenever you go on a ride.

Maybe you took your mountain eBike on a real adventure the other day and plowed through miles of muddy hiking trails. Or perhaps your bike spent the winter collecting dust, and now it’s time to take it out again. Either way, break out a brush and a bicycle-friendly cleaner and make sure your bike is dirt-free before you ride it.

Check Your Brakes

If you want to experience the thrill of your life, go flying down a hill on your bike and squeeze the brakes, only to find they don’t work.

No, wait; on second thought, don’t ever do that. In fact, you should take precautions to make sure it never happens. Thankfully, brake pads are typically quite cheap to replace, and it’s easy to tell when they’re degrading. Once a month, you should examine them for signs of excessive wear and tear.

Given the importance of responsive brakes, you should err on the side of caution and replace them if it looks like they’ve seen much better days. Additionally, you may notice your brakes feeling looser or weaker during day-to-day riding. If this is the case, you should have them looked at by an authorized repair shop.

Professional eBike Tune-Ups

Being a responsible bike owner helps you get years and thousands of miles out of your eBike. Nonetheless, there’s no replacement for the keen eye of an expert. In general, we recommend a semi-annual professional check-up. That means you should take your bike in for a check-up every six months or so. But this can vary greatly depending on how intensely you use your bike.

If your bike is your constant ride-or-die companion and you cross the city with it daily, your needs will be different than someone who makes a trip around the neighborhood now and then. If your bike doesn’t get much use, it’s a good idea to take it in every 1,200 miles or six months, whichever comes first. For heavier usage, consider taking your bike to a professional every 800 miles.

If a sweltering summer or brutal winter kept your bike in storage for a season, that’s also a good reason to get your bike checked out. After any long breaks between rides, a professional can make sure your bike is still in good working order.

Battery and Motor Care

Close-up of a SWAGTRON eBike gear system.

Gears need loving too!

You might expect the electronic components of an eBike to add a significant maintenance burden. However, most electric bicycles have sealed motors that cannot be accessed for maintenance. If the motor dies, it’s time to visit a repair shop.

Always check with the eBike’s manufacturer to find an authorized repair dealer to prevent voiding your warranty.

Close-up of a man removing the swappable EB9 battery.

The easy-swap battery of the EB9 Electric Bike.

Some bicycles come with batteries that can’t be removed and installed easily; you need to head into a shop to replace a broken battery on one of these bikes. Others, such as the SWAGTRON® EB7 PLUS and the EB12 Road eBike, allow you to swap out batteries easily.

While you can’t perform maintenance on the batteries, you can take steps to ensure you get many, many charges out of each individual battery.

  • Store your electric bicycle away from prolonged, direct sunlight.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme cold and inclement weather.
  • Keep the bike, in general, and the battery, in particular, clean and dry.
  • Modern lithium-ion batteries perform the best when regularly topped up; don’t run the bike until it dies if you can avoid it.

Keep Your Bike in Great Shape

Maintaining your eBike is a continuous process. If you store your bike properly, keep it clean and perform quick, routine maintenance checks, most of the work is done. You should only need to turn to a professional bike shop every few months to help your eCycle stay in working order for years to come.

Last Update: July 9, 2020  

July 9, 2020    EB10, EB11, EB5, EB7, EB7 Plus, EB9, EBIKES    
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