Basic eBike Maintenance: What to Look At & When
- Like any piece of complex or valuable machinery, eBikes require maintenance at regular intervals to keep them running smoothly.
- Simple daily checks on things like your tire pressure and battery status can help ensure smoother rides, while bolts should be tightened, chains lubed, and brake pads adjusted every month or so.
- For complex maintenance involving your motor, bearings, or instrument panel, always go to professionals. Attempting to fix these on your own can risk further damage and void your warranty as well.
- For specific torque specs or care instructions, always follow the information in your owner’s manual. You can also contact a Michael Blast dealer with questions about any of our eBikes—we’ll be more than happy to help you care for your new acquisition.
Maintenance is the key to keeping your eBike in pristine condition. Think of your vintage Michael Blast eBike like a classic Harley or Ducati; you want to keep it in showroom shape so you can enjoy years of turning heads while you ride by in style.
Of course, some maintenance should always be done by professionals—but there’s quite a bit of basic maintenance you can tackle all by yourself, as long as you have a few simple tools and clear instructions. That’s why we created this handy reference guide that shows you what to do, and how often to do it. Let’s take a trip to your garage.
The Best Times for eBike Maintenance
You don’t have to do all your eBike maintenance at once—in fact, some tasks are quick daily matters, whereas others only need to be performed once a year or so. Knowing which tasks fall into each of these categories is your first step towards caring for your ride efficiently. Here’s a breakdown:
Regular (Everyday) eBike Maintenance Checks
- Tire Pressure
- Brake Feel
- Battery Status
- Chain Tension & Lubrication
Seasonal eBike Service
- Bolts, Screws, & Bearings
- Motor Functionality
- Wheel Condition
- Electronic Systems
Next, we’ll take a closer look at each of these jobs—giving you tools and steps for the DIY jobs and referring you to pros for the tough ones that require an expert touch.
How to Perform Basic Maintenance On Your eBike
This is a DIY job. Checking your tire pressure each week (or better yet, before every ride) ensures that your rubber is always road-ready.
What You’ll Need: Tire pressure gauge and a hand pump or air compressor
What to Do:
- Check the maximum PSI for your tires by looking at the sidewall.
- Use a pump or air compressor to inflate your tires.
- Check the pressure with a high-quality pressure gauge and avoid overfilling, as this can increase the risk of a blowout and make your ride less comfortable.
- If you notice damage to your tires or worn rubber, consider replacing them.
It’s easy to check your brakes by yourself—and it’s best to do it regularly so you can have confidence that they’re working.
What You’ll Need: Brake cleaner (you’ll also need Allan wrenches and a kit with brake fluid if you have to bleed them)
What to Do:
- Look closely at the brake pads and make sure there are no gaps when they make contact with the rotors. If there are, you’ll either want to take them to a pro to get realigned or replace them with new pads.
- Check the way your brakes feel by pumping them a few times. If they’re spongy, you can bleed the brake lines by removing the bleed screw cap from the brake lever assembly with an Allan wrench and pushing the old brake fluid out with new fluid from your kit—which should also include a syringe.
The battery is more or less the heart of your eBike, giving you power when you need to throttle up or engage pedal-assist. While actual battery service is a pro job, caring for your battery and helping it last is easy.
What You’ll Need: Next to nothing
What to Do:
- Store your eBike in a cool, dry environment when not in use (heat and moisture can wreak havoc on its lifespan). If you can’t, remove the battery and take it inside with you during long periods when you’re not riding.
- Recharge your battery after every ride or two, since leaving a lithium battery empty is a quick way to reduce its overall lifespan. If you’re storing the battery for a long period, try to keep it around 60% full.
Chain Tension & Lubrication
Your chain is ultimately responsible for turning the gears that move your wheels, so too much tension or slackness is asking for trouble. You’ll also want to stop it from drying out, as this can increase wear and tear and cause an unpleasant grinding sensation. The good news is: chain maintenance is easy enough to do every week or so, and you shouldn’t need any help!
What You’ll Need: A chain tensioner, two soft cloths, some degreaser, and bike-specific lube
What to Do:
- Place two fingers in the middle of the chain (between the sprockets) and pull gently. You should feel a little give, but not much. You can use a compatible chain tensioner to adjust this if it’s too loose or tight.
- Apply some degreaser to your cloth and wipe the old lubricant off the chain, as it will get dirty and lose its effectiveness over time. Then, apply the new lubricant while slowly turning the pedals in reverse to spread it out evenly and wipe any excess away with the second cloth afterwards.
Bolts, Screws, & Bearings
These small fasteners and load-bearing components are easy to forget, but they hold your eBike together and keep it moving as one cohesive unit. Bear in mind (pun intended), however, that bolts often have specific torque settings—so it’s usually best to have professionals adjust these every season or so if you don’t feel like flipping through your manual for them. If you are intent on doing this yourself, though, it’s still possible.
What You’ll Need: Allen wrenches and a torque wrench
What to Do:
- Find the torque settings for each bolt in your bike and use your torque wrench to tighten them as needed. Work over the bike from one end to the other instead of going randomly so you don’t miss any.
- Replace damaged or rusted bolts as soon as possible—these aren’t reliable, no matter how tight they are.
- Don’t try taking apart bearings by yourself. If your bearings are giving too much play or feeling stiff, take your eBike for professional service.
You can’t really work on your motor by yourself (unless you happen to be a mechanical engineer, in which case you probably don’t need to be reading this guide anyway). But here are a few steps for keeping it clean, which can help you avoid problems between professional service calls.
What You’ll Need: A soft cloth and a little elbow grease (an air compressor if you’re really picky)
What to Do:
- Gently wipe down your motor with a soft cloth every couple of weeks to prevent dust and grime from making its way inside. Use an air compressor for hard-to-reach places if you’re a keener.
- Pay attention to the sound and feel of your motor when riding. If anything seems too rough, you might want to take it in for service sooner rather than later.
Just like on a motorcycle, wheels tend to be some of the most vulnerable spots on an eBike to corrosion. That’s because spokes or rims tend to be the most exposed to different elements while you ride. Replacing these is the only option when corrosion gets too intense, but you can mitigate it in a few different ways:
What You’ll Need: Keen eyes and a microfiber cloth or two
What to Do:
- Wipe down your spokes or rims periodically (every few rides), or immediately after riding in inclement weather.
- Store your bike in a cool, dry place if possible. Consider a cover if you regularly leave it outside.
- If you notice widespread corrosion, book your eBike in for service by professionals who can assess the damage.
Like your motor, the instrument panel on your eBike isn’t really something you can mess with unless you have specialized skills and knowledge. The best you can do is keep an eye out for anything that looks weird and take it in for service quickly when necessary.
What You’ll Need: Fingers to press buttons and eyes to see what they do
What to Do:
- Key through your bike’s display and verify that all settings are correct. If you notice any power issues or if your settings don’t appear to match your riding experience, contact your dealer for professional service.
Frequently Asked Questions about eBike Maintenance
Does my eBike chain need special lubricant?
You can (and should) use lubricant specifically made for use with bike parts—the thickness and viscosity of standard car oil often causes it to attract too much dirt and grime, which can lead to corrosion and create wear and tear in the long run.
When should I replace my battery?
If your eBike battery is causing any of the following, it may need professional service or replacement:
- Not charging to full or not charging as quickly
- Depleting faster than usual (resulting in less range for your eBike)
- Draining unexpectedly between rides
The steps we’ve outlined above will help you avoid these issues. Follow them and you should be able to get years of dependable service from your battery.
Is the PSI on my eBike’s tires the recommended level or the maximum level?
This varies between manufacturers, so it’s important to read the information on your tires’ sidewalls fully and carefully. If you’re still not sure, consult the manual for your eBike or look online.
Is it safe to repair my eBike’s motor or battery if I find a video on YouTube?
Probably not—making a mistake could ruin one of your eBike’s most expensive components and void your warranty as well. Instead of taking the risk, it’s usually just better to trust a professional who can get the work done right the first time and solve any problems you’re having.
When do my bearings need professional service?
Bearings are vital for your eBike's movement and should be dealt with by professionals. If you start noticing any excessive play or stiffness in the wheels, or hear unusual grinding or squeaking noises while riding, it’s time to have your bearings inspected and serviced by an expert.
Can I use household cleaning products to clean my eBike?
While household cleaning products might be close at hand, they sometimes contain chemicals too harsh for your eBike's finish and components. Instead, use bike-specific cleaners or mild soap and water for cleaning. Make sure to avoid direct water sprays on the battery and electrical components, and always follow your manual’s instructions for cleaning.
Can an eBike battery last forever if I take good care of it?
No—unfortunately, most lithium batteries begin to lose efficiency after a certain number of charge cycles (or around 3-5 years of use). Regularly following the care instructions for the battery as outlined above can prolong its life, but you should expect to replace the battery eventually.
Keep Your eBike in Collector Condition
Riding an eBike is one of the most carefree activities on earth but owning and taking care of one takes a little work. It’s a labor of love, though—with the tips above and the right parts for your eBike, you should have no problem keeping your ride shiny and sporty for years to come.
Take good care of your bike, get professional help when the need arises, and you can look forward to a future full of exhilarating rides. Find a Michael Blast dealer near you to see our moto-inspired collection up close or book service with an experienced pro.