The cycling season is about to start and to have your electric bicycle ready when those warm temperatures are hitting Ireland and the days are more inviting to go out for a cycle, we have five top tips for you on how to ensure your bike is ready for the season!1. Clean your electric bicycle!
If your e-bike has been parked in a garage or shed for the winter months, it needs some basic love and caretaking. Even though you might have cleaned your bicycle before giving it a well-deserved winter break you might want to give it another good clean before getting back on it. Trust us – your bike will thank you!
Make sure you have the following items with you:
- A Bowl
- A Bucket
- Lukewarm water
- Soft Sponge
- A Watering Can
- A Microfibre Cloth
Remove any coarse dirt with a bucket of lukewarm water and a soft sponge. Do not use a pressure sprayer or cold water from the garden hose as this may damage the electricity on your electric bike or cause rust.
When cleaning your electric bike always use a proprietary bike cleaner, such as our Veloci maintenance kit, this will ensure you will clean your bike without causing any damage.
Once you cleaned off the coarse dirt clean the chain with a spare chain brush and a special chain cleaner to ensure the chain does not dry off. Afterwards, don’t forget to lubricate the chain, cassette, sprockets, and gearbox.
Using a bicycle shampoo, a soft sponge, and some lukewarm water now it’s time to do the fine work. Wash your bike thoroughly with the soft sponge and rinse the shampoo off with clean water.
Once you are done cleaning your bike make sure to fully dry the whole bike, chain, cassette, sprockets, and gearbox with a microfibre cloth.
Please note: sensitive parts such as the motor, battery, battery contacts or display should not get wet. In such cases, we recommend cleaning with a soft cloth so as not to cause any damage.
Watch our tutorial video here to learn more about how to properly clean your electric bicycle.
2. Check the gears on your e-bike!
Once your bike has been properly cleaned and lubricated the gears should be changing smoothly. After every clean, we advise testing your gears and the gear change. The gear levers should be easy to operate and the gears themselves should work smoothly and should not jump. The tension of derailleur gears, for example, can be adjusted using the screw on the gear lever from which the cable pull emerges. The gears can also be fine-tuned at the rear derailleur itself. If the gear change still feels stiff, it’s possible that the gear cable has become rusty within its outer cable. Pouring oil down the inside of the cable may lubricate it, but if this fails then a new gear inner and potentially an outer cable is needed.
Please note: if you feel any tension on the gears or they are not changing the way they should we always recommend getting advice from a bike specialist.
3. Check all the bolts on your e-bike!
After you have cleaned and lubricated your bike, the next step is to check all the screws. This is one of the most important things to regularly check to ensure your safety when cycling. If a screw got lost, does not fit, or became loose, this can cause serious consequences for you.
It is therefore advisable to check the screw connections – for example on the handlebars or seat post – for a tight fit and any rust. It is advisable to use a torque wrench for this work on sensitive components so that the tension recommended by the manufacturer can always be set exactly. You should also check the wheel spokes and adjust the tension using a spoke wrench if you have the appropriate know-how.
Please note: if you feel not sure about how to correctly check any screws or how to tighten them correctly, always get advice from a bike specialist.4. Check both tyres!
It goes without saying that the tyres should always be part of any check on your electric bike, especially after the winter or a long time in storage. It will be very likely that the tyres have lost some pressure and will either need to be pumped up or the tube might need to be exchanged. The correct pressure for the tires can be found with any manufacturer. For our Veloci electric bikes, we recommend 4 bars. As well as the tyre pressure you also need to check the wear on your tyres. If the tyre is too worn down you will not have enough grip on the road, it will then be advised to fit a new tyre. Also, look for any cracks or split on the tyre.
It might be surprising but when you feel the bike is less powerful, most of the time is not the battery but the tyres that are reducing the performance of your e-bike.
5. Check the brakes!
Checking your brakes can be a little more complex, depending on the brake system on your electric bike. The brakes should be easy to operate, so if the brakes feel stiff it might be advised to use some brake cable oil to help ease the stiff brake cables. Again, we always recommend asking for advice from a bike specialist. Brakes should also grip evenly so that there is no disparity between the front and rear brakes. The brake pads also require careful inspection. Notches in the brake pads of rim brakes indicate whether they still have sufficient material. If the notches are no longer visible, the brake pads must be replaced as soon as possible. You should also have your disc brakes checked regularly by an expert. Changing the pads is quite complicated, as disc brake pads are sometimes difficult to see. If the brake levers pull almost up to the handlebars, then they need adjusting or the pads replaced entirely. If the brakes are hydraulic then they may need bleeding. Hydraulic brake systems can also draw air and then must be ventilated in the workshop.
6. Check the electronics!
Last but not least and just as important is the check of all the electronic compartments on your electric bike.
Even though the summer days are usually longer and bright, visibility is just as important as it is in the winter months. Especially on an electric bike, where you are going fast than on a normal push bike, checking the light system is crucial. Check the cables between the lighting unit and the battery regularly. During the winter months moisture or rust could have formed and penetrated the cable system and made it dysfunctional. Check that all lights are still working, if they do not, get them replaced before you go on your first cycle.
Please note: due to the electronics and batteries, this is classified as hazardous waste that can only be disposed of at the appropriate locations.
The next electronic part on your bike is one of the most important parts of your e-bike – the battery. During the winter months, do not let the battery run completely flat as this can cause damage to it and you might have to replace the battery at the beginning of the cycling season. Before your first ride, fully charge the battery. Make sure the battery is clean and all contact points on the battery itself and the battery holding compartment are free from dirt.
If you have any issues with the battery on your Veloci e-bike, contact us!