Care of eBikes
Cleaning is essential. This applies following some eBike trips, especially in autumn and winter. But what is the correct way to care for an eBike? What preparations should be made? And what needs to be considered in winter, in particular? The expert Bosch advisor Harald Sterzl provides the answers.
What's the best way to care for my eBike?
Sterzl: That depends on how dirty it is. Water is never wrong, provided it doesn't come from a steam cleaner. It is simply a no-go to work on the components of an eBike with high pressure, as water can penetrate into the bearings of the motor, hubs or rear frame.
Which cleaning agent can I use?
Sterzl: Bike shampoos and care products from specialist stores are highly recommended as they do not attack plastics and seals. Even soap solution or washing-up liquid can be used. They should however not be too aggressive or strongly degreasing.
How regularly would you recommend cleaning an eBike?
Sterzl: Ideally after every eBike trip so that the dirt does not become engrained. Therefore as often as possible or necessary. Corrosion prevention must also be taken into account, e.g., after trips at the North Sea or Baltic coast.
And what preparations should I make before washing?
Sterzl: Always remove the battery and, if possible, the displays. Permanently mounted displays such as our Purion or remote keys which control the eBike system should be covered with a cloth or film.
What should I do if water runs into the battery mount?
Sterzl: The mount is designed in such a way that water can drain off and the contacts can dry. To ensure that this happens, the mount and plug area should be kept clean. The contacts are provided with a coating which protects the surface against corrosion and wear. Terminal greases or technical vaseline may also be used if necessary.
Must I lubricate the chain of an eBike more often than that of a bike without electric ride support?
Sterzl: That depends entirely on use. Basically neither more nor less often. A chain is especially stressed when riding off-road or if gears are not shifted smoothly enough.
Where should I lubricate the chain – at the front sprocket or at the rear?
Sterzl: Neither of these. When applying lube, care must be taken that the brake discs are not contaminated or the sprocket gummed up. It is therefore best to spray where the chain runs freely. It is best to remove excess lube with a rag or soft cloth.
How should I care for my eBike during the winter if it is not used for some weeks or months?
Sterzl: It should be clean and lightly lubricated, the chain and exposed aluminium parts treated with suitable care products. Battery and display should be removed and stored in a dry place at room temperature, ideally between zero and 20 degrees. It is important for the battery to have a residual charging capacity of between 30 and 60 percent.
What if I also use the eBike in winter?
Sterzl: Simply remove the salt from spray water or snow after riding and allow to dry well. Don't worry, eBikes are very robust.
About Harald Sterzl
Harald Sterzl has five years of experience in specialised bicycle retail; he worked for an international bicycle manufacturer for 12 years, most recently as service manager and has been a technical representative for Bosch eBike Systems for four years.