One of the coolest things about electric bikes is how easy it is to keep them running well and how easy it is to repair them. Cars these days are so complex that even people who used to work on their older cars are forced to take their newer cars to a mechanic for costly maintenance and repairs. Being able to maintain and repair your own e-bike is another way to save money and an advantage over costly car maintenance.
Here are my top three tips for keeping your electric bike running well. There are many more tips that I will share with you later but I think that these three will cover the bases for now.
First of all it always a good idea to keep your battery topped off. Some batteries can handle being drained all the way down but in general it is a good idea to always charge your e-bike battery when you can. Consider charging your battery when you are at work or when you stop somewhere to run errands. Most employers and shops are ok with people charging their batteries when they understand that it only costs pennies to fully charge an electric bike battery! Keeping your battery topped off is good for the overall life of your battery and it helps if you have an unexpected trip you need to make and you need the extra juice.
The second tip is to keep your chain lubricated with a good bike chain lubricant. This will keep your bike running smooth and efficient and it won’t make that squeaky “old bike” noise! Just apply the lubricant to the chain and let it sit a few minutes before wiping off the excess lubricant with a shop rag. Eventually you will need to clean the chain with a degreaser to remove all the excess dirt that has collected on the chain. I will do a video tutorial on this soon.
Finally the last tip is to keep your tires inflated to the proper air pressure. This will keep your bike running smooth and efficient and it will prevent flats. If your tire pressure is too low your bike will be more difficult to pedal and you risk a pinch flat (when you roll over an obstacle and it causes the tube to puncture by pinching it between the tire and rim). If your tire pressure is too high it will make for a rougher ride.
As a good rule of thumb I recommend 50 psi for an e-bike that will be used for cruising around town for an average rider weight. For a lighter rider 40-45 psi and for a heavier rider 55-60 psi.