How to maintain your electric bike

Electric bikes are constantly growing in popularity, and for good reason!

Providing added assistance, an e-bike helps make riding a bike easier and is a great choice for commuting.

However, with more components than a regular bike, you’ve probably got lots of questions about how to maintain an electric bike.

Below we have all the answers to your e-bike maintenance questions, so that you can ensure your electric bike and its components will keep going for as long as possible.

Keep it clean

One of the simplest bike maintenance tips in the book!

Scrubbing your bike after each ride will prevent muck and dirt from interfering with electronics and components. Most electric bikes are water resistant, so you can go ahead and clean them like you would a normal bike. However, we’d advise you to remove the battery before you start, and only use cleaning products that are recommended for use with bikes.

Take care not to use a pressure washer, as this can cause water to enter sensitive areas or strip grease away from places it’s needed, like around your wheel bearings and bottom bracket. The garden hose is fine for a quick rinse, then give it a good scrub with a sponge or cloth and your preferred bike cleaning products. Dry everything off with a towel and leave your e-bike for a little while before reconnecting the battery to make sure no residual water meets the battery contact points or other sensitive areas.

To make life easier, grab a Muc-Off 8-in-1 Bike Cleaning Kit. It has all the brushes and tools you’ll need, plus a nano tech bike cleaner and bike spray for protection once you’re done cleaning.

Use lube and grease

Friction between the moving parts and damage from dirt and rust are the main reasons for components wearing out, so make sure your chain, wheels and brakes have sufficient lubrication. When servicing your brakes, make sure you don’t get lubricant on your brake discs, blocks or wheel rims.

Use a wet lube if you’re going to be cycling in wet conditions or a dry lube if you’re cycling in summer. Also, re-apply any grease to your bearings and bottom bracket regularly, especially in the wet or if you wash your bike regularly.

Depending on the weather, Muc-Off Dry or Wet Lube will go a long way to making your chain and chainset last much longer.

Although e-bikes are packed with lots of technical kit, most will be the same as a regular bike in terms of materials and components. From repairing punctures to learning how to replace brake cables, knowing how to do some of the more fiddly jobs will not only allow you to get your electric bike back on the road, but also spot problems before they happen.

Our Cycling Help and Advice Centre is a great starting point for novice bike mechanics who want to keep their e-bike in good condition. With plenty of videos and step-by-step advice, you can pick up the basics and start to lengthen your e-bike’s lifespan.

If you don’t fancy having to maintain your own electric bike, or don’t have the tools or time, then let Halfords do the hard work for you. By choosing our specific E-Bike CycleCare service, we’ll make sure your electric bike stays in top condition.

Electric bike battery care

Like a phone battery, a bike battery’s strength can deteriorate over time, and can be affected by extreme temperatures.

Therefore, it’s important to take that extra bit of care with your battery, and here’s our top tips for how.

Always charge and store your battery in the house

As mentioned, batteries can be temperamental in certain temperatures, so a cold shed or garage can have a negative effect on charging and performance.

After each ride, remove the battery and store it somewhere indoors. A cupboard will do!

Try to reduce the number of charges

The process of fully discharging a battery then recharging it back to full capacity is known as a ‘cycle’. The more cycles your battery goes through, the less effective it will be. To ensure you get the maximum lifespan out of your battery, simply charge it less often. One way to do this is to only charge it when it contains less charge than you need to complete your ride, rather than recharging it after every use.

You can also extend battery length by using the motor more efficiently. Try not to use it when it isn’t necessary and save it for those moments when you need the assistance.

How long will an electric bike battery last?

This will depend on the battery your bike has, so it’s best to check this with the manufacturer.

However, by following the tips above, you should be able to maximise your battery’s life.

Can an electric bike battery be repaired?

If your battery stops working, you can bring it to your nearest Halfords store where one of our technicians can help diagnose the issue.

If required, replacement batteries are usually easy to source.

Important safety note: Never attempt to dismantle an electric bike battery. Batteries can contain harmful substances and give electric shocks, so always leave any battery repairs to the professionals.

When you reconnect your electric bike battery, take care to make sure it is fastened securely in place. Loose connection points can damage the battery, plus you’ll probably notice that your e-bike isn’t performing as it should.

Electric bike motor maintenance

Electric bike motors tend to look after themselves. They are usually housed in a self-contained unit, so there’s rarely any need to take them apart. If something does go wrong, it’s best to visit your local Halfords store to have the problem diagnosed and repaired by one of our trained experts.

How long does an electric motor last?

Most e-bike motors last at least 10,000 miles.

The only real thing electric bike owners can do to help maintain their motor is keep the motor housing clean and keep an eye out for any wear and tear. Beyond this, if any issue does arise, it’s best to take it to one of our trained technicians.

Electric bike controller maintenance

The small controller on your handlebars that controls how much assistance you get from the battery and motor also needs a bit of TLC every now and again.

Controllers are essentially mini computers that tell the battery and motor what to do, but some may have additional features such as performance measurement.

As with any computer, the software will need to be updated. Keep an eye out for messages telling you the device needs to be updated and regularly check the manufacturer’s website to see if a new version is available to download.

Top tip – If your bike controller freezes, try the TIO, TIOBA technique – turn it off and then turn it back on! From memory errors to overheating, this old trick can get your electric bike controller back to full working order.


Electric bike servicing

Even with all these tips, it’s still important to take your bike for regular servicing.

How often does an e-bike need servicing?

Depending on how much you ride, most e-bikes will need servicing every six to twelve months. Even if you don’t ride that often, and your bike has spent months stored away, it’s best to get it serviced before going out riding.

What e-bike services are available?

Here at Halfords, we have a range of bikes services, going from our basic bronze through to our comprehensive gold service.

We also offer one and three-year e-bike CycleCare packages, in which you get unlimited puncture repairs, unlimited brake and cable adjustments, a 6 weeks bronze service, an annual silver service, free fitting for parts and accessories, and 10% off parts.

Follow these tips and your e-bike should run smoothly and last longer. Remember, if you don’t think your e-bike is performing as it should, you can always visit your local Halfords store where we offer a range of e-bike services.