Whether you're new to electric bikes or already the proud owner of an eBike, you should learn how to care for and maintain your bike to keep it ready-ready and extend its life.
Like a traditional bicycle, eBikes require some regular maintenance to keep them road-ready. Knowing how to care for a conventional pedal bike will give you a good head start. But eBike's are heavier, more durable, and more complex than traditional cycles, so they have some additional maintenance considerations.
Regular electric bike maintenance is essential, especially if you are riding hard through rough or muddy terrain. Below are some tips and tricks to keep your bike on the road and out of the repair shop.
What tools do you need to do eBike maintenance?
There are a few eBike tools and supplies that will come in handy when performing general electric bike maintenance. You can buy these tools individually or get an eBike tool kit.
- Bicycle lubricant
- Tire pump
- Tire pressure gauge
- Pedal Wrench
- Bike repair stand
- 2 In 1 Crank Tool
- Spoke Wrench
- Tire Patch Repair Kit
- Chain Rivet Extractor
- Chain Whip
- Cleaning rags
- Degreasing soap
The QuietKat Home Tool Kit features 22 eBike specific tools you can use for essential maintenance, upgrades, and repairs. You can easily fit these kits into your bike's pannier bag so that you can bring the gear on long rides in case of emergency.
How to take care of your eBike battery
The battery is a top priority when it comes to maintaining your eBike. The battery is one of the most important electric bike parts and one you won’t be familiar with from using a traditional cycle.
E-Bike batteries can last for years and be recharged thousands of times, but you will need to properly care for the battery if you want to get the most charges out of it.
To extend your battery be sure to top up the charge whenever you have the chance. Use your eco mode when you don't need full power, and remember that wind resistance in bad weather may drain your battery faster than on a mild day.
For long-term storage, refer to your manual to see whether you should store your battery with a specific charge. Some models recommend keeping the battery with a 30% to 60% charge, while others recommend storing your bike with the battery fully charged.
How to clean and lubricate your eBike chain
The last thing you want is a chain issue when you're out enjoying your ride. E-Bike chain maintenance is essential, as metal chains are prone to rust when left dirty or not properly lubricated. A dirty chain is also harder on your chainring and cassette.
You will need a degreasing soap and a chain scrubber to clean the chain and drivetrain. It’s important to clean this area by hand. Don't ever point a high-pressure hose directly at your bike's electrical components as this could damage them.
After cleaning the chain, you should apply a chain lubricant; there are different chain lubes available on the market for different climates and seasons, so check the labels before you buy. Don't forget to remove any excess lube with a cleaning rag; extra lube will attract more dirt.
Taking care of your eBike tires
When it comes to electric bike maintenance overlooking your tires is a big mistake. Ensuring your eBike tires are in good condition is an important eBike safety measure. E-Bikes are much heavier than conventional bikes, so they need a robust set of tires under them.
Flat tires are every rider's worst nightmare, so stay on top of your tire pressure. Keeping your tires pumped and within the recommended pressure levels will help you avoid flats, improve your battery and pedal efficiency, and make riding more comfortable.
On a traditional bike, you notice pretty quickly if your tires deflate because you'll find yourself having to work much faster to propel the bike. But on an electric bike, the motor will compensate and mask the problem, all while draining your battery faster. It's always a good idea to check your tire pressure before you head out on a ride.
QuietKat's eBike tires are some of the most durable on the market, but you never know when you'll ride over a stray nail or another sharp object. Every rider should carry a tire patch repair kit in case of emergencies. This kit will help you get home safely if you puncture your tire and help avoid needing to buy a replacement.
Check your eBike brakes
Reliable brakes are an essential safety feature of an eBike, and maintaining them should be a high priority. Brakes that aren't in good condition can put riders in danger, especially when you're riding on steep terrain.
New brakes can be squeaky, but if you've owned your bike for a while and the brakes are squeaking, that's cause for concern. Squeaking can occur when oil or grease gets on the brake pad, wheel rim, or rotor. A misalignment between the braking surfaces may also cause squeaking.
You should check your brakes before riding and replace brake pads and rotors promptly if you see any signs of wear.
Check and clean your eBike frame
Bike frames get dirty with regular use, especially if you’re riding out in the backcountry. It may seem pointless to wash the frame of your bike when you know it will just get dirty again. But if left uncleaned, the dirt and grime can build up and leave your bike susceptible to rusting.
Check your manual before applying chemicals to the frame of your eBike, as some paints may react differently with cleaning chemicals.
A light cleaning solution and soft cleaning rags are usually all you need to keep your frame looking fresh. If you've been out in the backcountry and the bike is particularly muddy, then you may need to use a brush. Make sure you leave the battery on when cleaning your eBike to protect the connectors.
Understand eBike error codes
E-Bikes occasionally display error codes that warn you that there is something wrong with the system. Here are some QuietKat eBike error codes that can be easily fixed at home.
Error Code !
This error code means there is intermittent power cut off. This error code typically shows up when there is a connection issue between the battery and mount. To resolve this error, turn your whole system off and remove the battery.
Once the battery has been removed, turn on your QuietKat motor with the power button to use residual power in the system. Then, you can use a pair of pliers to tweak the two outside male prong connectors on your battery mount inwards. These checks will ensure that your battery has a good solid connection with the mount.
Error Code 30
This code is usually a simple connection issue; to resolve it, you should unplug and replug all of the connections on your kit. That means all of the main wiring harness connections, the display, throttle, brake levers, as well as all of the Motor lead connections with the Battery and Speed Sensor. Check none of the pins between the connectors are bent or damaged. Reconnect, ensuring arrows and pins line up.
ERROR 04/ERROR 05
This code indicates there is a throttle error, and the throttle does not work. You can usually fix this quite quickly by unplugging and replugging your throttle. When you replug, make sure to line up the arrows and pins to ensure a proper connection.
To find instructions for all error codes, check out the QuietKat Owners Toolbox.
Check your cables
The cables on an eBike carry all the data through the system, so it's essential to check them before heading out. It's easy for cables to get damaged or when you're taking the bike off a car rack so try to avoid catching them on anything. If the cables do get damaged, it can cause an error to occur.
How to store your eBike
The proper storage will help you keep your electric bike in tip-top condition. Clean the bike before storing it, and keep it in a dry place to prevent rust. Damp or humid conditions can cause corrosion of the electrical parts.
Don't cover the battery or charger when you store the bike; the battery can get warm when charging and create a fire hazard if you cover it or leave your cleaning rags draped on the bike.
The battery can also drain faster when stored in cold temperatures, so you should move your bike to warmer storage in the winter months.
It's a good idea to inspect your bike when you put it away, so you know it will be ready and in good condition when you next come to use it.
When to take your eBike to a professional
Although QuietKat electric bikes are highly durable, if you have serious issues or specific fixes, it's a good idea to take your bike to the pros.
E-Bike motors are reliable and designed to be maintenance-free. In the rare case that a motor problem arises, then the fix likely requires a visit to a professional or the manufacturer.
You may want to have your eBike professionally serviced once a year to keep it running smoothly. If you're not comfortable with the more complex maintenance of the electrical components, a professional service will check these for you.
Final tips on electric bike maintenance
Before heading out to ride on your electric bike, you can do a few quick checks to help you get the best ride possible. Check the tire pressure, battery charge, and ensure your brakes are working.
QuietKat eBikes are known for their durability, so it doesn't take much effort to keep your electric bike running like a dream. With just a little bit of TLC, you can keep your bike on the road for years.