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How to Clean your E-Bike
How to Clean your E-Bike
E-bikes are all the hype, and they offer all the features that the new generation looks for. One of the main aspects of E-bikes that make them a superior means of transport is their sustainability. They consolidate eco-friendliness with good health and an enjoyable ride to your destination.
Not much different from a conventional cycle; in fact, at a glance, you will not be able to tell them apart. However, once you ride an E-bike, you will feel a great deal of difference since it involves the exhilaration of the electrical assist.
This electrical push is due to the installation of the battery on the down tube. The battery contains stored energy that you can use to mitigate your efforts in riding the bike. Ultimately, with an E-bike, you can travel faster and longer distances without excessive exertion.
The battery is not the only thing that sets E-bikes apart from a regular cycle. It consists of motors and sensors that conduct electricity from the battery. A motor is responsible for the mechanical push on either the wheels or the pedal.
If an E-bike has a motor on either the front or the rear wheel, this is what you call a hub motor. You can refer to E-bikes that come with a hub motor as hub drives. Most of the commute-purpose E-bikes that you come across in many parts of the world are usually hub drives. Alternatively, if you come across an E-bike that has a motor in between the two wheels, then it is a mid-drive.
In terms of the exact location, these motors are in between the two pedals; hence, they offer pedal assistance. There are a few advantages to the mid-drives that make them better than the hub drives, and vice versa. For instance, Hub-drives come with a throttle assist, which means that you can ride them without pedaling at all. People who are looking for a pedal-free, relaxing bike experience will love a hub drive.
On the other hand, a mid-drive has small sensors in the pedals that regulate the electrical assist depending on the force that you exert on the pedals, making them turn easier as a result. Pedal assists or mid-drives provide you an E-biking experience that does not take away the essence of cycling. Thus, most people find them a better option for exercise.
Regardless of what you own, maintenance is key when it comes to the longevity and condition of your E-bike. They are initially costly, but if you transition to E-bikes from cars, they can save you an astounding amount of money annually. This is because they rid you of the hefty gas expenses and maintenance costs.
Even though they require some care, it is nothing when you compare them to other motorized vehicles. You can further avoid the maintenance cost of your E-bikes if you keep a good check on them and regularly service them. This includes tightening a few bolts, replacing a few screws, removing debris, and most importantly, cleaning.
How to Clean an E-Bike
Getting out in the mud and rugged terrains on your E-bike is great fun, especially if you own a mid-drive E- mountain bike. However, it makes your E-bike incredibly dirty and muddy. Washing it may seem like an easy task.
Nevertheless, there are a few things that you must do correctly to avoid any damages. To properly wash your E-bike, resort to E-bike-specific washing products for the best cleanup. Despite the types of equipment that you use for washing, keep in mind the water source.
Before you begin with washing, you must make sure to turn off the power of the E-bike before you lift it. Moreover, installing a work stand at your garage or backyard will make cleaning the E-bike a lot easier. An alternative to work stands is to lean the bike against a wall. However, the convenience of a work stand is unmatched.
Regardless of what you own, maintenance is key when it comes to the longevity and condition of your E-bike.
Install a Work Stand
Putting your E-bike up on a work stand means that you can wash it more thoroughly. Make sure that it is clean all around the bike, and move the drive train and spin the wheels so that each component is spic and span. In other words, you can wash the E-bike by keeping a better consideration for detail. Moreover, it makes washing your E-bike easier.
Bucket and Sponge
This method resonates with the elements of hard labor. It is an old-school and predominantly the cheapest method of cleaning your E-bike. Using a bucket and a sponge is a tedious but thorough way of cleaning an E-bike.
If you do not mind putting in the effort and time to clean your E-bike so you can save the cost of cleaning pieces of equipment, then this is the best method for you.
Once you have chosen the preferred method of cleaning your E-bike, you must follow the steps to ensure the best results.
Get the bike wet. This is the first step that you need to do before you can start scrubbing. It refers to pouring water on the bike by a tub, hose, or power washer. Regardless of what you use to get the bike wet, make sure that you are starting from the top and working your way to the bottom.
This is important because all the dirt falls downwards after a splash of water; thus, starting from the bottom means that you are blasting the dirt upwards and making it difficult to get it all off. If you are using a power washer, look out for the dirt entering into the bearing after a rapid water collision.
Moreover, be wary of the electrical components of the E-bike, the battery, control units, and motors. Although water-resistant, they are still vulnerable to direct high pressure of water. Apart from the electrical components, look out for your bearings, suspensions, headsets, and forks since they also not like a dash of water.
Use a Cleaner
Now that you have washed the E-bike thoroughly with water, spray it from top to bottom with your desired cleaner. You can find bike cleaner sprays from your local E-bike store, or you can also use one for your car. Do not worry about over-spraying your bike so that it comes out shiny and glistening.
After spraying the cleaner solution all over the E-bike, use a soft brush to run it over the metal. Brushing allows you to get rid of the more stubborn dirt that refuses to wash off with water. You can find this stiffer dirt usually inside nooks, crannies screws. Moreover, do not forget to wash your brush after brushing it over the E-bike.
It is also advisable to wash it after you get dirt, grime, and mud all over your brush. This prevents you from re-transferring all the horrible dirt on your E-bike. Done with the rigorous brushing? Now, you should stand back and wait for the cleaner to do its job. After a couple of minutes, your E-bike should be free of all the stubborn dirt.
Once the cleaner comes off, along with all the excess dirt, repeat the wash and spray it from top to bottom one more time; be careful of electrical components. If you do not have a water hose or a power spray, you can always splash some water with the help of the tub. After completing this process, it is now time to move over to more detailed cleaning.
To clean your E-bike in more detail, you should invest in a couple of different cleaning brushes. Do not use the same brush to clean your drive train as you do to wash other components. This puts your E-bike at risk of contamination of certain parts.
You can find many different types of brushes when it comes to E-bikes cleaning. For example, purchasing a two-prong brush is great. This type of brush gets in between the hubs and the spokes fairly easily, which are places usually difficult to reach.
Similarly, you can also invest in a drive-train brush; this helps you reach the cassette and the chain of the bike. These areas on the E-bike are unreachable by just one kind of brush. The drive-train brush is very stiff and emphatic for cleaning the chain-up well. It helps you successfully wind up the chain around the brush into the tiny holes inside.
It also comes with a claw on the back, which helps you clean all the dirt out of the cassettes easily. If you use your E-bike regularly, then the gradual accumulation of debris and dirt inside the chains and the cassettes is common. Even though you cannot see the chain debris unless you look at it closer, it does not mean that you should leave it unattended.
Lastly, use a smaller brush apart from the bigger one to clean the motors, suspension linkages, and other places. Smaller brushes are great for cleaning components of your bike that the bigger brush simply cannot fit. You can use them to scrub the small suspension linkages, motor cases, inner side of handlebars, and other things similar to that.
After you brush your E-bike with the detail brushes, you have to once again splash some water on it. This is because most of the debris and dirt that you scrubbed is now out of the small crooks and on the metallic structure. Washing it one more time will help you get the remaining dirt off the bike.
After giving the E-bike its last dash of water, it is time to dry the soaking wet E-bike. The first step of doing that is to get it off the work stand and bounce it against the floor. This helps get rid of the water from major components in the E-bike, such as the seats, frame, and wheels, and saves you plenty of time in terms of drying.
Once you have bounced off all that excess water from your bike, you can move forward to drying it with a cloth. You must move on to this step immediately because leaving your E-bike wet is not the best option. Water and electricity are not the best combinations. Apart from cloth, you can use leaf blowers or compressed air to blow the E-bikes dry.
Degrease the Drive-Train
Now your E-bikes start to look sparkly, shiny, and ready. However, even after cleaning all the mud off, your drive-train will still likely contain old grease and oil from previous commutes.
Therefore, you must follow the drying process mentioned above with the degreaser. If you are looking to put the degreaser around the rear areas, such as the cassette and chains, then you mustn't overspray the disk with the degreaser since it leads to damage.
Hence, it is ideal that you spray the degreaser on a brush and then use that brush on the cassettes. Scrub the front and the back chain with the degreaser vigorously to ensure that there is no residue oil or grease on it.
You can use either a chain brush or a chain bath. A chain bath makes for a better and deeper clean of the chain. Once you cover the chain with the degreaser, it is now time to get rid of it with the help of water and follow that up by drying it with either a cloth or a dry sponge.
Applying lube to the chains after drying them is crucial. Lube allows the chain from rusting and, more importantly, prevents friction when they rub against each other, resulting in a smoother ride. If you live in a location with wet weather conditions, then you are better off using wet lubes and dry lubes for dry conditions.
It is pivotal that you lube the chain from the inside and not the inside. Lubing the chain from the top side puts it at risk of falling off. Thus, to get the maximum insertion of oil inside the jockey wheels and the cassette, lube the chain from the inside.
Clean the Battery Terminals
After cleaning your E-bike, you must be willing to remove the battery and give the terminals a good wash. For this, you should invest in a water displacer or contact cleaner spray. Use this spray inside the battery terminals and the motor terminals so that the stagnant water inside them can dry off. This helps prevent the battery from coming in contact with the water.
Apply Disk Brake Cleaners
You can find these sprays easily at any local bike store. They consist of an amazing liquid that removes any excess oil and grime on the breaks. This not only helps you improve your disk brakes but also makes you get rid of any extra lube from earlier. Therefore, apply this spray on your brakes and the rooters after it dries.
Finish it with Some Bike-Protection Spray
This is like the final touches that you give to your bike. Applying the bike-protection spray allows you to get rid of some of the moisture on your bike. Moreover, it gives your bike that desired shine, which makes it look brand new. The last thing you should do after applying the spray is turn on the electrical assist and give it a good ride.
E-bike Washing Mistakes to Avoid
Your E-bike consists of many components, which means that the bike contains plenty of different materials –for instance, the rubber in the wheels, synthetics in the brake pad, and the paint material on the bike. Therefore, bike cleaners consist of a liquid that adheres to all this material without causing any damage to them.
When you use the wrong type of cleaner on your bike, this leads to the damage of the E-bike’s components that do not react well to that specific cleaner. Hence, use the right type of cleaner for your E-bike. Washing liquid or car shampoos can make the metal components in your E-bike rust and contaminate your brakes, making those weak and without any braking power.
Make sure that you do not skip to pre-wash your E-bike with water before you start to clean it. This helps soften the mud up and come off easily when you clean it later on. Another common mistake that people make is washing their E-bikes upside down.
This seems like a great idea since it makes the tires and lower components of your E-bikes accessible. However, it leads to making the water enter into the motor since there are drain holes under the motor cases. Spraying water on the E-bike upside down means that you are putting the water in the drain holes; this defeats their whole purpose and damages the motor.
Your relationship with your E-bike will be unsuccessful if you do not invest your time in maintaining it. As a new E-bike owner, you are likely to make mistakes when it comes to maintenance. However, have some humility and admit to them so that you can learn and improve the next time around.
The chain is one of the most important components of your E-bike since it connects your pedals to your tires. Apart from just lubing it, make sure that the chain is at a complete stretch. A loose hanging chain will affect the amount of torque on the E-bike. To address this issue, you have to purchase a chain checker from a local E-bike store.
The next important maintenance check is the tire pressure. Not having the optimum tire pressure can drain your battery and make for an uncomfortable ride. Therefore, you must keep a close eye on them and always set them to the recommended air pressure, which is generally around 25 psi.
If you have more than the optimum pressure range, then it will affect your offroad biking experience because of the reduction of tire grip. Moreover, it will also make you susceptible to slipping and falling off on wet and smoother surfaces.
Apart from the pressure, make sure that you check the treads as well. They are also key components when it comes to grip. If your treads are wearing off and no longer sharp, then this is an indication that you need a wheel replacement.
Lastly, make sure that all the nuts and bolts are tight, especially the chain-ring bolt and the crankset. These are mostly under the highest amount of pressure and usually loosen after long hours of off-trail biking.
Hopefully, this article will help you make better decisions in regards to E-bike cleaning and maintenance. If you have an E-bike, make sure to emphasize greatly on its maintenance and cleaning. This way, you can get your money’s worth and save yourself from repair expenses.