Like any vehicle, an e-bike requires proper care and regular maintenance to ensure that it provides several years of safe, efficient and comfortable riding. Here are a few tips for taking care of your e-bike.
Bike care basics: Air - Brakes - Chain
Air: Keep the tyres inflated. Properly inflated tyres are far less likely to puncture and will make your ride faster! Inflate to within the recommended pressure range written on the side of the tyre (look for the ‘PSI’ or ‘kPa’ numbers), preferably towards the maximum. If you don’t have a pump with a pressure gauge, drop by our workshop to borrow ours, purchase your own, or pump the tyres until they feel firm when pressed with your thumb. The pump at your local petrol station can also be used if your bike has car-type valves (schrader).
Brakes: Feel, hear and watch your brakes. Well maintained brakes can save your life! Book your bike in for a brake service at our workshop if (a) your brakes start to feel soft instead of firm, (b) you have to pull the levers all the way to the handlebar to get enough brake power, (c) brakes make a squealing, rubbing or grinding noise, (d) your brake pads have worn to less than two business cards in thickness and/or (d) you think your bike takes too long to stop when braking. Replacement of the pads and/or rotors and servicing of the hydraulic brake system (if your bike has one) may be required.
Chain: Clean and lubricate your chain. Caring for your chain will make it last longer, perform better and save you money by delaying its replacement and the replacement of other drivetrain components.Wipe your chain with a rag at the end of your commuting week and after riding in the rain. Clean and lubricate your chain with a purpose-made bike chain lubricant every 100 km (for example, every 2 weeks for a 10 km weekday round-trip to work). Ask a Glow Worm mechanic about how you can clean and lubricate your chain in just one minute! Keep the rag and lubricant next to where you store the bike to make this easy.
- Service your bike annually. We recommend booking in your e-bike for a service with us at least every 12 months or as required if you have specific issues, such as electrical problems, poor braking, difficulties changing gears or repeat punctures. If in doubt, call us or drop by our workshop for a quick assessment.
Battery care and safety:
- All lithium-ion batteries contain chemical components that, under some circumstances, can pose a fire risk. Charge your battery in an uncluttered, dry, well-ventilated area away from flammable materials and direct sunlight. Ensure your smoke alarms are in good working order.
- The ideal charge level to maximise the lifespan of a battery is between 20-80%. Outside this range, a battery is more chemically stressed and will degrade faster. This means trying to avoid fully draining your battery (plan your trips and access to charging), and minimising the time that your battery is fully charged. This can be done by charging every few days if you can get by without charging every day, or by using a powerpoint timer so your battery is not left charging longer than necessary. Most e-bike batteries take 4-6 hours to charge.
- Keep your battery charged at no more than 80% if you are not using the bike for a month or more. If you are not going to use your bike for a period of more than a year, consider selling it or lending it to a friend to use, as batteries don’t like to remain unused for that long. Regular riding is the best way to ensure your battery stays in a good condition.
Ride safe, and enjoy your e-bike!