The popularity of electric bikes shows no signs of slowing down, as more of us experience the amazing benefits of electric-powered pedalling. E-bikes come fitted with an electric motor and battery pack that provide an added boost whenever you need it, but the rest of the bike is reassuringly familiar. And like a normal bike, you can maximise your e-bike’s performance with regular care and maintenance.
Want to know more about how to get the most out of your electric bike? Here are our top tips.
Electric bikes may use motors and batteries, but at their core, they’re good-old-fashioned pedal cycles. Which is great, because it makes them simple to maintain. And if you want your e-bike to run smoothly, learning a bit of basic bike maintenance is a must.
Powered by this extra knowledge, you should give your electric bike a once-over before every ride. Check that the tyres are inflated, the gears are indexed properly, and that the whole thing runs smoothly and without a squeak.
Electric bikes are deceptively quick with the battery-powered motor adding an impressive kick to each pedal stroke. So, always check your front and rear brakes are working, providing progressive stopping power – which means the more you pull, the harder they brake.
Electric bike battery charging
The motor provides all the assistance as you ride, powering you up leg-burning hills. However, it’s the battery that powers the motor, so you want to keep it charged and in tip-top condition!
Keeping your e-bike battery topped up isn’t just about having power when you need it, it’s about maintaining the condition of the battery and extending its lifespan.
The first complete charge will take longer than the subsequent charges, with top-ups then usually taking between 3 – 8 hours. Only ever use the charger that came with your bike or an approved replacement. Cheap chargers can be dangerous and damage your battery. And if a non-approved charger damages your battery, it’ll invalidate your warranty.
Here are some more top charging tips:
- Letting lithium-ion batteries fully drain can speed up their deterioration. Instead, recharge it after every use, and it will stay healthier for longer.
- We recommend never letting your battery’s charge level fall below 25%. If you’re cycling to work or are heading out for a longer ride, pack the charger in your bag or leave a spare at your desk.
- It’s important to leave your bike’s battery for at least 15 minutes after charging before fitting it back onto your bike.
Electric bike battery care
Great news! Electric bike batteries are sealed units, which means they need no special care or attention – aside from regular charging of course.
However, lithium-ion batteries will naturally lose capacity over time, although this shouldn’t happen until they’ve been charged hundreds of times. But there’s good news here too, as there are simple things you can do to prolong your battery’s life.
As discussed, the most important one is charging it correctly. Lithium-ion batteries are also susceptible to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. If you use your battery in freezing cold temperatures or during scorching days, performance can be impaired. For this reason, if possible, you should store your bike (or at least its battery) inside where the temperature remains more stable than a garage or shed.
Eventually, the time will come when your battery needs to be replaced. But don’t worry! When that day comes, Halfords is here to help you find the perfect new battery, and you can explore our full range of e-bike batteries here.
Maximise your electric bike battery range
Every e-bike comes with a maximum range, and there are some simple tricks you can use to eek out as much distance as possible during a ride.
The first thing to be aware of is the mode that you’re using. Most battery-powered bikes have a variety of modes, including turbo, tour and eco. Turbo – as the name suggests – will get you there as quickly as possible but will use the most energy. Eco mode provides less assistance but uses less power.
The higher the mode, the harder the motor will have to work and the more power it will use up. So, to maximise your bike’s range, only use the highest levels of assistance when you need to.
Under-inflated tyres are another battery-draining problem. They create drag on the road, which is inefficient. Inefficient results in more effort from the rider and the motor to make progress. A well-maintained bike with correctly inflated tyres and lubricated parts will be the most efficient.
Keep your e-bike clean!
Electric bikes, like all bikes, get dirty – but if left, this dirt, dust and grime can affect the crucial components on your bike, which can lead to breakdowns. That’s why you should wipe your e-bike down after every ride, removing any excess mud and muck from the motor and battery.
Then, every few weeks, give the bike a proper clean with a dedicated bike cleaner and degreaser. Muc-Off’s range of cleaning products are a great choice as they’re specially designed to be used on bikes, so you won’t need to worry about them damaging paintwork or parts. And don’t forget to remove the battery before cleaning. While it’ll be water resistant – essential for this climate! – you still don’t want to take any risks.
When finished, wipe the bike down with a towel or cloth to remove any residual moisture, taking special care to ensure no water comes into contact with the battery or terminals. Finish by applying a special bike lube to the moving parts of your bike, such as the chain, front and rear mechs. Again, Muc-Off have a great selection of bike lubes that’ll get your e-bike running smoothly.
Top tip: Although it may be tempting, avoid using a pressure washer. When water is blasted at your e-bike, it can get into terminals and damage your bike. Instead, stick to the tried-and-tested bucket and sponge approach.
E-bike CycleCare packages
Here at Halfords, we want to keep you and your e-bike on the move. That’s why we offer our E-bike CycleCare packages.
Available for either one or three years, you’ll get free repairs and replacements for inner tubes, free brake and gear adjustments, a 6-week bronze service, an annual silver service, free fitting for all parts and accessories plus 10% off the cost of any parts. Everything you need to keep your e-bike in prime condition!
Available from only £45 for electric bikes under £1000 and £70 for more expensive e-bikes, you can enjoy a year of trouble-free pedalling.
Follow these tips and you’ll keep your e-bike in the best possible condition.
And if you’re considering an e-bike, check out our electric bike buyer’s guide which is packed full of information and advice to help you select the right one.
To top it off, our expert technicians will build your new e-bike for free. So, all you need to provide is the pedalling power. You can shop our full range of e-bikes here.
You want to get the most out of your e-bike, you want Halfords.