E-bikes are catching on fast across many demographics, with options perfect for a city commute or a mountain bike adventure. Whether you’re kicking up some spray from city streets or mud from the trails, it’s important to keep your e-bike clean and running at its best.
You should clean your electric bike with water, a cleaning solution, brushes, and a drying cloth. Degreaser or lube can also remove dirt from the bike chain. This cleaning routine offers preventative care to sustain your bike’s integrity, so you can ride without issues, no matter where you’re going.
Below, we’ll take a look at what you need to know to start cleaning your e-bike today.
How Often Do I Have To Clean an Electric Bike?
Throughout my cycling journey, I’ve found how often I should clean it depends on my cycling frequency and location. For example, If I use my e-bike for a city commute with dry weather, I’ll clean my bike about once a month.
However, if you are constantly riding through mud, dirt, rain, or other messy conditions, you’ll need to wash your bike more often. For this type of use, once a week would be a more apt timeline for cleaning.
Cleaning your e-bike isn’t all about its looks. You may not mind a bit of mud, but the cleaning routine is important to keep it running efficiently and for a long time. Keeping the chain clean, for example, will help you pedal easier. You won’t have as much resistance as when there is built-up grime on the chain.
When it comes to the electrical components, they will run better over time without the interference of dirt, dust, and any other particles that might come their way. Keeping these areas clean is important for the health and longevity of this kind of bike.
Cleaning the E-Bike
There are a few different options when it comes to cleaning your e-bike. You can always use a bucket and a sponge, cleaning everything by hand. This will work if you don’t have access to a hose, but it is the most labor-intensive option.
If you have a garden hose, you can use a basic nozzle attachment and have a great cleaning tool on your hands. You can adjust the nozzle settings to get the spray just right for the dirt and grime on your e-bike without being too harsh.
You may be tempted to use a pressure washer, but these can be too powerful and, if sprayed on the electrical components, can cause major damage.
The first thing you need to do is get the bike wet. It’s best to start at the top and work your way down, allowing all that mud, dirt, and grime to move downward. This will keep your electrical components safe because if you were to spray upwards, you risk sending debris into the motor or other sensitive areas.
Next, it’s time to apply a cleaner of your choice. Placing your cleaning liquid in a spray bottle is a great idea, as you can spray it directly onto your e-bike, moving from the top down to the bottom. Using a soft brush, now it’s time to scrub. Gently scrub all the surfaces of your e-bike, making sure to get into the crevices and other hard-to-reach spots.
Let the cleaner sit for about 5 minutes. Again, from the top down, rinse your e-bike, clearing it of any remaining cleaner suds. Next, it’s time for some more detailed work, like cleaning the chain of your e-bike.
Cleaning the Chain
If you have a drivetrain brush, this is the ideal tool to use to clean your chain. These brushes are stiff and allow you to dig into the grime likely to be found on your chain. As you clean your chain with this brush, slowly move your pedal, allowing the chain to move. This movement will let you reach all parts of the chain and scrub each link thoroughly.
You will also want to de-grease your chain after you have finished cleaning your e-bike. Simply spray a bit of degreaser on your drivetrain brush and carefully scrub your chain, freeing it of old grease. Rinse this off, and then add new lube to your squeaky clean chain.
Caring for your chain is an important part of the maintenance process. By giving it preventative care, you can avoid any mishaps on the road that could make your commute or leisure ride much more challenging.
After Cleaning the E-Bike
When you have finished cleaning and rinsing the bike and have completed your chain maintenance, you want to dry your bike thoroughly. Staying wet is no good for the e-bike and its electrical components. Grab a drying cloth and wipe off any excess water.
You can develop a great habit of spraying a water displacer inside the battery terminal. Remove the battery and spray inside. This will help eliminate any water that made its way into this part of the bike and could lead to damage or corrosion in the long term.
To check out a guided tutorial on how to wash your e-bike, clean the chain, and perform the after cleaning routine, you can check out this video on Youtube:
E-Bike Cleaning Do’s
I recommend using a work stand if you have one. By putting your e-bike up on a work stand, you will make the cleaning process much easier. The elevation will help you maneuver around your bike more effectively and clean places you may have missed otherwise. It also allows the wheels to spin freely, letting you access places you may have missed if they were stationary.
Do make sure that you clean your brush often. If you are scrubbing your e-bike with a dirty brush, you won’t be cleaning at maximum efficiency. You can develop the habit of rinsing this brush thoroughly after each use, so it is clean and ready to use for the next time you need it.
Do have some different brushes. The brush you use to clean the chain should not be the same brush you use to clean the body of the bike. Keep these brushes separate and use them for their intended purpose.
E-Bike Cleaning Don’ts
Don’t spray upwards. You want to work your way from the top down to avoid sending bits of mud and gunk into the motor and other electrical parts.
Don’t leave your e-bike wet. Electricity and water don’t do well together, so it’s best to spend a few minutes to dry your e-bike properly.
Components & Parts Not To Clean
When you’re cleaning your e-bike, there are some areas you will want to give extra care to. The electrical components, like the motor and battery, can be sensitive as well as the suspension and bearings.
Don’t be too aggressive around these parts, especially if you have chosen to use a harsher setting on the nozzle of your garden hose. You don’t want to cause damage during the cleaning process.
Remember to dry your e-bike thoroughly to keep your electrical components working properly.
Should I Clean Differently in Winter and Summer?
If you are riding your e-bike through winter weather, you will likely need to clean and care for it more often. Winter can mean snow, moisture, salt, and more residue on the road. You will need to keep your e-bike clean from these contaminants.
In summer, you may be tempted to let your bike dry in the bright sun, but this will be less likely to work in winter. It’s important that you thoroughly dry your bike before storing it in the winter months.
Also, your battery will be sensitive to winter temperatures. It’s best to take your battery out and store it in your home if you live in an area with especially cold winters.
To get the maximum usage out of your e-bike, it’s best to develop a maintenance routine. By keeping your bike clean, inspecting it for wear and tear, and maintaining your chain, you can improve the safety of your rides and enjoy your bike for longer!
Here are five tips for keeping your e-bike clean.
- Rinse your e-bike after every ride. A quick rinse with a hose after every ride will help keep your e-bike clean and prevent mud and dirt from building up.
- Use a biodegradable bike wash. There are many bike-specific cleaners on the market that are designed to be gentle on your bike’s finish and components. Look for a biodegradable option to be kinder to the environment.
- Remove the battery. When cleaning your e-bike, be sure to remove the battery. This will prevent damage to delicate electrical components and make cleaning easier.
- Clean with a soft cloth. Use a soft, clean cloth to wipe down your e-bike. A microfiber cloth is ideal. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage your bike’s finish.
- Lubricate moving parts. After cleaning, lubricate any moving parts on your e-bike. This will help keep them running smoothly and prevent premature wear.