eBike Maintenance for Beginners

Here we have put together what we believe are the most helpful and very simple steps you will need to know about bike maintenance. We hope that these will prevent you from having to take too much time off the road and also saving you from having to spend too much money on bike repairs!

We have made sure that these tasks are simple and easy to complete to a great standard by absolutely anybody. We will be talking about using very basic bike tools to complete easy tasks in a small amount of time.

When it comes to bike maintenance, the main things to remember are grease, tighten and of course clean. You will notice this as we go onto talking about each step. If you make sure you do all of these checks on a regular basis it will not only bring you closer to your bike but it will help you to learn more about your bike and when to notice that something may be wrong.

1. Clean and lubricate your chain

Why do this- 

When your chain begins to get dirty, all of the dirt starts to get fed around which will cause damage to more components of the bike. This could result in having to spend money on replacement parts.

Tools you will need- 

  • A clean cloth
  • Chain lube
  • And possibly some degreaser

How to clean- Important note- Cleaning your chain too often could remove the original lubricants that your bike chain was built with. Replacing this can be very difficult so try to be careful.

  • Clean all the dirt off the outside of the chain using your cloth. Push the pedals around whilst holding your cloth in the same position on the chain. Let the chain run through the cloth to clean.
  • If your chain is exceptionally dirty, spray some degreaser on your cloth and run it over the chain. This should help lift of any remaining dirt.
  • If the internal parts of the chain are not greasy, add some lubricant.
  • Place a small drop of lube into every link of the chain and rub off any of the excess.

2. Re-grease your saddle post-

Why do this- 

As time goes on, water can make its way in between your saddle post and the frame which will eventually cause corrosion. If left and not treated, it can result in the saddle being nearly impossible to remove from the frame.Tools you will need- 

  • Allen key
  • A clean cloth
  • Grease

How to grease- 

  • Loosen the bolts from the seat post clamp and remove your saddle.
  • Using your cloth, clean all of the old grease off the seat post.
  • Reapply the grease.
  • Replace your saddle and tighten all the seat bolts.

3. Lubricate clip-less pedal

Why do this

Due to the face your pedals get very close to the ground, they can pick up dirt very easily which means they need to be cleaned as well as re-greased on a regular basis.

Tools you will need- 

  • Allen key
  • Degreaser
  • Grease
  • A clean cloth
  • Spray lubricant

How to apply the lubricant- Important note- Before you begin, put your front gear on the biggest ring. If you were to slip whilst removing the pedals, you could catch your hand on the teeth of the chain which could be very painful.

  • Unscrew your pedals from the crank arms of the bike with a Allen key.
  • If you are having difficulty removing your pedals, you may need a hollow piece of pipe to act as a lever. Remember that your pedals unscrew in different ways. The right is loosening by turning it anti-clockwise and the left needs to be turned clockwise.
  • Please your pedal with a clean cloth and use degreaser to clean off any remaining dirt.
  • Spray some lubricant in the clipping mechanisms of the pedals and wipe of any excess lube.
  • Grease up the threads of the pedals and screw them back into the crank arms. This will make them a lot easier to remove in future.

3. Maintain your cleats

Why do this- If you ride your bike with clip-less pedals, cleats are your connection to your pedals. Your cleat will over time wear, which will make it difficult for you to clip them on and off. The lifespan of your cleats will depend on the type of cleats you have, the way you ride your bike and the terrain you’ve been riding on.Tools you will need- 

  • Allen key
  • A clean cloth
  • Grease
  • Pencil

How to maintain- 

  • Using the pencil, make a marking around your cleat position on your shoe.
  • Remove all of your cleats bolts.
  • Clean your cleats and the bottom of your shoes using your cloth. Try to be careful not to rub off the pencil mark.
  • Grease the bolts and screw them back in.

5. Clean your bottom bracket cable guide-

Why do this- If your bike has external cabling you will see that underneath your bike is a cable for the rear brakes and the deraillers run through a guide. Seen in this photo.Because of where this bracket is, it attracts dirt.Tools you will need- 

  • A clean cloth
  • Cable wire
  • Spray lubricant

How to clean- 

  • Using a stand, position your bike so you can see the bracket.
  • Clean the guides using the cloth and some of the cable wire.
  • Spray the lubricant on the guide and the cable housing. Make sure to clean off any excess lube to stop from dirt sticking.

6. Lubricate inside the cable housing and check end for fraying

Why do this

If water get into the housing of your brake cables, it can cause it to rust and fray. If you regularly apply lube to the cable, it can

prevent damage happening. Cables can also lose their ends and begin to fray when they’ve been on the bike for a long time.

Tools you will need- 

  • A clean cloth
  • Old wire cable
  • Wire cutters
  • Cable ends
  • Crimper to secure cable ends

How to look after- Housing-

  • You need to work your way around your bike cable. Look for the places where they will enter a plastic housing.
  • Then spray some lube into the housing whilst you hold a cloth at the other end. Doing this helps to remove the grease from the cable.
  • If you can still see dirt after doing this, use some old wire to push the dirt and grease through.
  • Wipe away any excess lubricant.

Ends-

  • Have a look at the cables and check for any missing ends or signs of fraying.
  • If the end of the cable is missing, fit a new end and secure with some pliers.
  • If the cable end is fraying, see if it is possible to cut the end of the cable past the point of fraying.
  • If you can see that your cable has frayed too far, it will need a completely new cable. You can take your bike into any bike shop and they will be able to fix and replace this for you.

7. Check both of your tyres

Why do this – As your tyres are in constant contact with the road, you must remember to take good care of them and check then on a regular basis.

Tools you will need- 

  • Bike pump
  • Tweezers

How to look after them- 

  • Check your tyres to see if they are worn in any way. This can sometimes be difficult to tell on road bikes as the isn’t a lot of thread.

The following list are indicators of tyre wear-

  • If you have a road bike, your tyres may have some small dimples with a wear indicators. When these dimples are gone, this means the tyres are worn.
  • If you are getting punctures more often then usual then this is a sign that the rubber on the tyres are thinning and need replacing.
  • Check to see if there is any bulging on the sidewalls of the tyres.
  • You may see the thread showing through.
  • Important note to remember is, your rear wheel will wear faster then your front tyre as it takes a lot more weight.
  • Check your tyres for any damage, like glass or stones stuck.
  • If you see any cuts that are all the way through the tyre, it will need replacing. If a cut has not gone all the way through, you should be alright but we would suggest you check it regularly.
  • Pump up the tyres to the recommended pressure, though this should be a check you perform before pretty much every ride.

8. Inspect your brake pads and wheel rims

Why do this- Small pieces of dirt and stones can get stuck in the rubber of your brake pads. This will end up damaging your wheels if you don’t take care.Tools you will need-

  • A clean cloth
  • Sandpaper and a file 
  • Tweezers

How to inspect- 

  • Remove your wheels from your bike.
  • Make sure to inspect your brake pads. Check to see if they have gone past the wear indicators, which are usually 2mm. If you can see that they have gone past this point, you will need to replace them.
  • Check the pads for any dirt or grit and remove this with your cloth.
  • If the brake pads looked glazed then you will need to rub them very slightly with the sandpaper or your file. By doing this it will give the pads for grip.
  • Before your replace the wheels, you need to clean the rims where the brake pads make contact with the wheel. Do make sure to clean with your cloth so you don’t have any grease on the rim. This could cause problems when you brake.

9. Do the drop test

Why to do this- We suggest you do this test to check for any loose nuts and bolts. Tools you will need- 

  • Allen key
  • Screwdrivers
  • Grease

How to do it- 

  • We understand that it might seem a bit silly to drop your bike from a small height but believe us, it help to check for any rattling.
  • If you hear a rattling noise, try and locate what is rattling and either remove, clean, grease up, replace or tighten.

Below are some of the common areas-

  • The saddle rails
  • Bottle cage bolts
  • The locking ring on the inner tube valves

10. Clean your bike

Why to do this- This is probably the most important note out of all the one we’ve spoken about. We know that it can be a little boring but the benefits are huge!You need to keep your bike clean to prevent any damage from being caused.

Tools you will need- 

  • A clean cloth
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Brushes
  • Degreaser
  • Bike lube/grease

How to clean- 

Quick Clean – When you’ve just got back from a ride-

  • Grab two cloths, one oily and one clean.
  • Dampen the clean cloth and give the frame a quick wipe down to remove all the dirt and muck on the frame of the bike.
  • Use the oily rag to clean down the chain and other moving parts.

Big Clean-

  • When you do a big clean we suggest you place the bike on a stand.
  • Take a bucket of some hot and soapy water. Start cleaning at the top of the bike to the bottom.
  • Degrease the main key sections. For example, the chain.
  • Then remove your wheels and clean inside the forks.
  • Clean your wheels and the cassette