Your relationship with your E-Bike simply is not function if you do not invest a significant amount of time when it comes to maintenance. It can be dirty as long as it's tight and it's well-lubed. Remember to have some humility when it comes to maintaining your E-Bike. Admit that you're make mistakes along the way but you simply have to learn as you go along. Now a lot of people really panic that it's all about the battery and the motor when it comes to E-Bike maintenance, but in our experience, we find that simply not the case. There's loads of other parts on the bike that will probably go wrong before the battery and the motor. So in this article we're concentrate on some of the parts you need to keep an eye on to keep everything running smoothly.
In order to make sure that your mountain e-bike can ride smoothly, first of all, you need to keep your mountain e-bike clean and tidy. Especially during the summer months, but of course, there is no need for you to over-maintain it; over-maintenance is sometimes not very effective. Speaking of maintenance, the first thing you need to do is to take care of the chain, as it is the only connection between the engine and the rear tire.
So what do you need to do? It's simple, lube your mountain e-bike, you can use either a dry lube or a wet lube. Now I tend to use wet lube, you need to use it more often than dry lube because dry lube will stick to the chain more easily, although it keeps everything a little cleaner. So come summer, you'll want to do this at least every time you go on a long mountain e-bike ride.
The second part of chain maintenance is to check that the chain is not stretched, because on a mountain e-bike the chain can be stretched twice as much as on a conventional bike. This is very simple, just purchase a chain checker. And crucially, it's much cheaper to replace the chain frequently than it is to replace the cassette, cogs and sprockets on your bike. And checking the chain is as simple as putting two pins in the chain and adjusting the black marker dial.
The next thing is tire pressure. If the tires are too soft, they will drain the ebike and will be very unstable in turns. So keep an eye on it, and assuming you weigh about 90 kg, the front and rear tires typically have air pressure around 25 psi. Conversely, if there is too much air in the tires, there will be less pressure on the battery. However, off-road, the tires will have less bite when going uphill, and mountain e-bikes can be difficult to maneuver on off-road trails.
It's also important to consider the tread and pressure of your mountain e-bike tires for two reasons, as sharp tires mean good grip on climbs and are more efficient when braking. Worn out ball tires work well on tarmac.
Nuts and bolts are also a factor you need to consider, then you need to own a set of Allen wrenches. So who is the culprit for loose nuts and bolts? The derailleur is definitely the culprit when it comes to making sure it's tight. Additionally, chainring bolts and cranksets should be watched when riding further forward on a mountain e-bike. All suspension linkages, all nuts and bolts also need attention. Then there's the front end, which I think tends to come loose a lot due to the added weight of a mountain ebike and all those crashes. So you'll want to go over every nut and bolt on your mountain e-bike at least every once in a while. It's easy too and takes about 10 minutes.
If the front end of your mountain e-bike is loose, you'll realize it because the front of your mountain e-bike will be making a knocking sound, which will be easy for you guys to notice. To do this, you will need to check the stem bolts, and most stems have two bolts. This will take some time as you may need to turn them twice and loosen them. Finally tighten the top cap on the top of the stem, tighten the bolts, not too tight, and then rock the mountain e-bike back and forth until there is no looseness. Don't over tighten the top bolt as this will wear out your ebike and it will make your steering really bad.
If you have a mountain e-bike and only need to charge the battery on your mountain e-bike then for the most part you can leave it alone. However, if you regularly remove the battery from your mountain e-bike, it's worth checking it, especially the wires connecting the motor to the battery, to make sure there's no grit at the contact points.
Today, most mountain e-bikes come with front and rear air suspension. You'll need to familiarize yourself with sag, which is the amount of compression in the front and rear suspension systems when you're sitting on the bike. But you don't need to go into these details because it should have been set up when you bought your e-bike, or at least when you owned the mountain e-bike. What we're going to do now is make sure that you keep these settings on your e-bike. This is important because if your suspension is too soft, it means that the mountain e-bike is out of balance and it's going to be very unstable on the e-bike, which isn't a great experience. It can actually be quite tiring. On the other end of the spectrum, if the suspension is too stiff, it means that the e-bike will have less grip and the handlebars and rear wheel will be very stiff.
There's nothing better than a set of gears that's working crisply, sweetly and is generally well aligned. At the same time there's probably nothing more frustrating than gears that jump from one to another, making noise and rattle, derailleur's bent. Now the reason why it's important you keep on top of gear maintenance is because the motor relies on the gears working precisely for it to function correctly.
And finally, brake pads. Now you really do not want to have a runaway truck on your hand. And it's quite easy to identify if your brakes are worn out or not because you'll have that metal to metal feeling and quite a racket. But you don't want to let it go that far. It's a really easy thing to identify because if you look down on your disc you should see three bits of metal; you'll have the disc in the middle, you'll have the brake pad holders on the outside and then in between that, you'll actually have the pad itself. Now if those bits of metal are close together, there's a good chance that your pads are worn out. However, if those three bit of metal are quite widely spread apart then that means your pads should be in good condition. Replacing brake pads are a really simple job, all it requires you take your wheel out. Alternatively, take it down to your shop. They shouldn't actually charge you to fit a new set of brake pads, especially is you're buying them. Now that's about it. Break pad wear, pretty much depends on where you live. If you live in a sandy area, you're get higher wear. Also if you ride a lot of trail centers, you'll find you're be replacing your brake pads a lot more often when it comes to that.
That's our basic mountain e-bike maintenance. Any questions? Let me know on the comments below, I'm sure there'll be a ton of them. GreenPedel also has a mountain e-bike available!