How to clean your electric bike
Riding your e-bike is fun and all but the prospect of having to clean it after a day splashing in puddles not so much. It needn’t be a dreaded task with our guide to cleaning your electric bike no matter how mucky it gets.
What do you need to clean your e-bike?
You’ll be relieved to know there are no expensive tools involved in keeping your e-bike clean. You’ll need a bucket of water, a few brushes, degreaser and chain lube. A bike stand and hose pipe can also be useful if you have access to them but otherwise just lean your bike against a wall carefully. It’s also good practice to keep your e-bike’s user manual handy at least the first few times until you get the hang of it.
Cleaning your electric bike in 3 steps
Remove the battery and electronics
Batteries and water rarely mix and cleaning your e-bike is no exception. Take the battery out and put it to one side while you get down to the nitty gritty. You should also remove the computer display but if it’s not possible (for example on the fully integrated Precede:ON e-bike) then cover it with cling-film or a small plastic bag to keep it dry.
Begin cleaning with water using either a hose pipe or jug to pour water over the whole bike. Be mindful of the amount of water you use - an efficient nozzle is best and remember to turn the tap off between rinses. Whatever you do though, don’t use a pressure washer: it’ll destroy the bearings and remove any important grease from hidden parts.
Don’t stress too much if the water gets in the battery compartment: there are small drains to combat this and the plugs have an anti-corrosion coating on them. Use your sponge or brushes to loosen the muck from the frame, wheels and pedals. Make sure you get right under the bottom bracket (where the motor sits) as that’s where a lot of the grime gathers.
Degrease and clean the drivetrain
An important part of cleaning your electric bike is ensuring the moving parts do just that. You’ll need to use degreaser on the chain, chainrings, cassette and rear derailleur to keep your bike running smoothly. Be careful not to get any on any braking surfaces.
After applying the degreaser, wait a few minutes before wiping excess liquid away with a damp cloth.
After you’ve cleaned your e-bike
Make sure it’s completely dry before replacing the battery. If need be, grab a dry cloth to absorb any remaining water.
Can you use bike cleaners on e-bikes?
How often do you need to clean your electric bike?
The general rule of thumb is you should clean your bike as often as you can, even if it’s just a quick wipe down. Doing so is better for the environment as you won’t need to use so much water and far fewer cleaning chemicals.
It’s particularly important that you wash your bike properly after bigger trips particularly if you venture to the coast where salty air will speed up the corrosion process. Winter weather also tends to be unkind to components but a good, regular wash will always help keep the wheels turning (literally!).