E-bike care – do this to have a perfectly maintained and clean bike

To be able to enjoy your e-bike for a long time and prevent the brakes from failing at the wrong time, your e-bike needs regular care. In this detailed guide, you will learn how to clean and maintain your bike, and what to avoid at all costs to prevent damage of your bike.

E-Bike-Pflege und Wartung

Rain, snow, dirty roads, road salt … an e-bike is exposed to many adverse influences. To make sure that it does not get damaged as a result, a bike wash is necessary from time to time. It is a good idea to do one in autumn, after a long tour, after the winter break or before the start of the cycling season. And don’t worry, cleaning and maintaining an e-bike is not complicated. All you need are the right care tools and a bit of time. We will show you step by step how to care for your bike properly.

Preparation – what you need for e-bike care

As already mentioned: To clean your e-bike, you don’t need an arsenal of expensive cleaning products, pages of instructions or an evening course at an adult education centre.

The following tools are sufficient.

Is that it? Yes, that’s it! The preparation is done and you are ready to go.

Caring for an e-bike properly – a guide

1. Removing the battery and protecting the electronics

While you can start cleaning a regular bike straight away, you need to take a few precautions with an e-bike or pedelec before using soapy water and care products. After all, an e-bike has an expensive motor.

This means:

  • As part of the first step, remove the battery.
  • Then do the same with other electronic components, such as a bike computer. Permanently mounted displays can be protected with a foil while you clean your e-bike.
  • You should also tape connectors to keep them dry.

Generally, electronic components of e-bikes are protected against splash water. However, cleaning your bike with a high pressure hose is not the same as riding through the rain. So it’s better to be safe than sorry and protect all the electronics of your e-bike properly. Because if the battery “short-circuits”, you will have to replace it. And then cleaning your bike will turn into an expensive pastime activity.

2. Removing coarse dirt

Once you have disconnected or taped off all electronics, you can remove coarse dirt using water and bike cleaner.

You should proceed as follows:

  • Spray your e-bike with special cleaner. Wipe the wheels from the hub towards the rim. If you use a brush and/or a clean sponge, you can also reach more dirt in hard-to-reach places. However, avoid spraying the cleaner on the rim brakes. To be on the safe side, you can remove the wheel first and clean it separately.
  • Leave the cleaner on for a minute or two.
  • Remove water and dirt with a cloth, brush or sponge. You can also use a gentle pressure sprayer. But don’t overdo it. Your e-bike will appreciate gentle water pressure. Also make sure that not too much water gets into the battery compartment. If you have taped everything off, this step will not harm your e-bike. However, rubbing your e-bike dry as the next step is more time-consuming.

3. Drying

It is best to use a clean and soft microfibre cloth to dry the bike frame and the like. This will prevent damage and water stains, which would appear if you left the frame to dry outside on a sunny day.

You should pay special attention to the battery compartment so that there is no short circuit when inserting the battery again. And take your time before putting the electronics back in.

4. Caring for the chain

Finally, it’s the turn of your e-bike chain:

  1. First apply a chain cleaner to the chain and chain rings and let it soak in. Then pull the chain through a cloth to remove dirt. Possibly, you can even use a chain cleaning device.
  2. Once you have a clean chain, apply a suitable chain lube (wet lube or dry lube). You can simply apply the lube to the e-bike chain and run the chain over the sprockets a few times.

Again, avoid getting excess lube on the disc brakes or rim brakes.

5. Applying care products

To keep your e-bike clean for a longer time and to prevent new dirt from settling easily, you should apply an e-bike care product to the frame at the end of your cleaning session. These products also help to get a nice “bike shine”.

After that, inspect your bike again from all sides, dispose of dirty cloths and dirty water, and you’re done – at least with the cleaning.

Tips for maintaining your e-bike

In case you are not totally exhausted after the cleaning session, we recommend that you take some time to maintain your bike as well. It’s not rocket science and it is crucial for avoiding breakdowns and accidents.

The most important thing is to check these specific components of your bike:

  • Bremsen kontrollieren: Check the brakes and braking surfaces: At the top of the “maintenance list” are the brakes and braking surfaces as it can lead to serious consequences if they do not function properly. In addition, brakes and brake pads on e-bikes wear out faster than those on other bikes because the motor and battery make the bike heavier. Therefore, take a close look at them. If the brake pads are badly damaged, have them replaced. And if you are unsure, ask a specialist.
  • Check the screws and connections: Is everything tight? Are all the screws tight enough? Is the spoke tension sufficient or does it need to be reworked?
  • Check the gears: Because the Bowden cable of many gears stretches over time, it is sometimes necessary to increase its tension. This can be done with a separate adjustment screw on the rear derailleur. The problem of not being able to shift into the highest or lowest gear can usually be solved with two additional screws on the rear derailleur. This adjusts the stop of the largest and smallest sprocket.
  • Check the air pressure of the tyres and suspension fork: Check whether there is enough air in your tyres. If your e-bike has a suspension fork, do the same here. However, you will need a suspension fork pump for that.

Checking the theft protection – a few tips

Before starting the new cycling season, you should check whether your e-bike is properly protected against theft:

If you use the BikeTrax GPS tracker with the PowUnity app, you should pay attention to the following things:

  • If necessary, renew your subscription.
  • Check whether your Bike Pass is completely filled out.
  • To be on the safe side, set off a test alarm.

Professional service – How often should you visit a bike service?

From time to time, you should take your e-bike to the bike service and have it thoroughly checked. Bike mechanics will inspect all sensitive components on your bike, from the drive to the brakes. They can also install software updates and fix bugs that you might be overwhelmed with.

How often you should have your e-bike serviced depends on how intensively you use it. If you often go on longer tours through deep mud, your e-bike will need more attention than if you bike regularly to work or to the nearest supermarket.

PowUnity visited the dealer Zweirad Loitz in Vorarlberg and asked him: What is the best way to maintain your e-bike? He reveals his expert tips in this video:

How do I reduce the depreciation of my expensive e-bike? 7 expert tips from Christian Häfele and Zweirad Loitz!

The don’ts of e-bike maintenance

Finally, we would like to point out some common mistakes in the care and maintenance of e-bikes. Even though an e-bike is quite robust, small things can sometimes be enough to cause major damage.

  • Finger weg vom Hochdruckreiniger: Hands off the high-pressure washer: It is tempting to leave the garden hose in the corner and reach for the pressure washer. Unfortunately, common types of pressure washers have too much power for an e-bike. This allows water to get inside the engine or other places where it doesn’t belong and where it can cause serious damage. Although some gentler pressure washers are now available, it is best not to use them and rather invest a few extra minutes in the bike cleaning.
  • Do not use washing-up liquid: We don’t recommend using a washing-up liquid as it is often fat-dissolving and, therefore, not a good choice for the chain or wheel bearings. Apart from that, the price difference between proper bike cleaner and a dish soap is not that significant.
  • Remove the battery carefully: Be careful when removing the battery from your e-bike. Before you remove the battery for the first time, read the instructions carefully.

E-bike battery care – how to make it last longer

With the following tips, you can extend the life of your e-bike battery:

  • Ideally, an e-bike battery should rarely fall below 30 percent storage capacity or be discharged. It is best to charge it after every long ride. Don’t worry, with modern lithium-ion batteries this has no negative effect on the storage capacity.
  • Batteries prefer a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Of course, you have little influence on this during an e-bike tour. However, if possible, avoid exposing the battery to direct sunlight when parking. If you are not going to ride your e-bike for a longer period of time, store the battery in a dry place at room temperature.
  • For charging, only use an original power supply unit from the manufacturer. Third-party models can damage the battery and increase the risk of an accident.

It’s worth the effort

Maybe you are one of the many people who hate spending their time cleaning up. If so, it’s still worth “conquering your weaker self” from time to time and reaching for the bike cleaner.

Cleaning and maintaining an e-bike only takes a short time, costs little and has many advantages: it can prevent accidents and wear and tear and ensure that your expensive bike stays in good condition for a long time. And the fact that a clean bike also looks better is an additional advantage.

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