Electric bikes (ebikes) are prone to gathering dirt all year round. The wetter, colder, and gloomier months, however, may require more cleaning attention. It's crucial to maintain your ebike's cleanliness, not just to ensure you always cut a dash on your travels, but more importantly, to protect its mechanical components from damage and ensure your safety. Here's our ultimate guide on cleaning your electric bike correctly.
Frequency of Cleaning an Ebike Understanding how to clean an ebike and maintaining its cleanliness is an essential part of being an ebike owner. The frequency of cleaning hinges on usage. Daily users may need to clean their ebikes weekly, while weekend riders may require monthly cleaning.
The condition under which you ride also influences cleaning frequency. For example, riding on a muddy trail may necessitate immediate cleaning afterward, while the same trail, dry and clean a week later, might leave your ebike virtually spotless. Weather and trail conditions will guide when to grab your degreaser.
Regardless of cleaning frequency, wipe down your ebike after each ride to prevent dirt accumulation. This practice prolongs the ebike's lifespan and its moving parts and simplifies the comprehensive cleaning process.
The Right Time and Tools for Cleaning It's advisable to clean your ebike when it's dry, especially after a muddy ride. Letting the dirt and water dry makes it easier to remove. Contrary to popular cleaning norms, it actually helps in cleaning your ebike.
Your ebike's battery should remain installed during cleaning, as most ebikes are built to resist splash water, and mild soap won't affect this resistance. Ensure you have enough workspace around your ebike for effective cleaning, whether it's on a stand, leaning against a wall, or on its kickstand.
Before you start cleaning, do a quick check to ensure all components, such as the drivetrain and batteries, are properly affixed. Use light dish soap in your water for cleaning but avoid heavy degreasing soaps like car wash soaps. You'll also need a sponge or rag for cleaning the frame, a soft-bristled brush for the tires, and a dry cloth for wiping down afterward.
You can either use two buckets—one with lightly soapy water for cleaning and one with plain water for rinsing—or a garden hose with a soft sprinkle setting. Avoid high water pressure. Lastly, you'll need some chain lube to protect your chain from rusting after the clean.
What Not to Use in Cleaning Your Ebike Avoid using a pressure washer, as the high-pressure water can damage parts of your ebike and push dirt and debris into areas where they shouldn't be. Also, avoid car cleaner and soaps, which often contain wax unsuitable for ebikes.
Parts to Avoid When Cleaning Your Ebike Certain parts of the ebike should not be cleaned with water. They include the hub bearing (center of the wheel), the bottom bracket (where the pedals connect), the headset bearing (where the handlebars connect to the frame), the seat post, the brake pads and rotor or discs, and the chains and gears. These parts are best cleaned by wiping them down with a dry rag. The goal is to avoid getting water in the motor or frame and to prevent soap from interfering with brake functionality.
Cleaning Process Begin by using your brush to clean the dirtiest parts of your ebike, such as the rims, tires, and pedals. Be careful to avoid the hub bearing and brake pads. Next, use your wet rag or sponge to wipe down the frame, paying special attention to the underside where dirt accumulates. Stay away from the bottom bracket, headset bearing, and seat post.
After thoroughly cleaning your ebike, rinse off the dirty soap and water. This can be done with a light sprinkler setting on a garden hose or a wet rag. Dry the bike with a clean, dry rag, starting from the top, with particular attention to the headset bearing and seat post, down to the rims.
Once the bike is dry, lube the chain to prevent rusting. Do this by wiping any water off with a clean dry rag, then apply a steady stream of chain lube to the inside of the chain while rotating the cranks. This ensures the entire chain is covered.
Finally, remove the battery and use a fresh dry rag to clean the battery contacts and the areas that the battery touches on the frame. Avoid using water on these parts. Now, your ebike is clean and ready for your next ride.
Conclusion As we've discussed, maintaining the cleanliness of your ebike depends on a variety of factors. Be patient with the process, and with practice, it'll become easier and more enjoyable. Remember, taking care of your ebike ensures it takes care of you during rides. If you need more information on how to clean an electric bike, we're here to assist.