Cleaning Ebike used on beach

anthony1979

New Member
Hi, I am going to be purchasing an ebike soon just to ride on the beach. I will probably use it 2-3 times a week and ride 10-15 miles each time. I don't have access to a hose to clean the bike. Also I work a lot so having the time to maintain it will be difficult. The bike store I'll be buying the bike from said I could bring it in about once every 2 months for $125 so they can clean and maintain everything. They said even if a part gets rusted I can replace it and it will not be that expensive. They said the chain, derailer and sprocket are the parts that can rust. Does that seem to be a good plan to follow or will my bike be ruined beyond repair after 2 months so I'm forced to buy a new one? Thank you
 

EbikeTestLab

New Member
Perhaps you could look for an ebike with a gates belt drive? There’s nothing to rust or clean and the belt and gears are self cleaning.

There are several on the market. Maybe even a Pedego Latch, which folds up if storage space is an issue. The Faraday Porter and Cortland have belt drives but the battery is too small for your needs.

I would think that a fat tire bike would be most appropriate for the beach unless the sand is really compacted. Maybe a Priority Embark? It doesn’t have fat tires though. Hmm, a fat tired, belt drive ebike might be a unicorn. If you don’t need fat tires, then there are plenty of options.
 

AZOldTech

Active Member
Hi, I am going to be purchasing an ebike soon just to ride on the beach. I will probably use it 2-3 times a week and ride 10-15 miles each time. I don't have access to a hose to clean the bike. Also I work a lot so having the time to maintain it will be difficult. The bike store I'll be buying the bike from said I could bring it in about once every 2 months for $125 so they can clean and maintain everything. They said even if a part gets rusted I can replace it and it will not be that expensive. They said the chain, derailer and sprocket are the parts that can rust. Does that seem to be a good plan to follow or will my bike be ruined beyond repair after 2 months so I'm forced to buy a new one? Thank you
Since you said you don't have access to a water hose... How to clean your ebike without water
But if you do have access to a water hose... How to clean your ebike with water
A couple of things... First, I use saran wrap to cover critical electrical components, instead of towels. It provides more specific/better protection IMO. Second, depending on how dirty your bike is, I either clean the drivetrain with a degreaser first if the bike is not really dirty, or if the bike has too much dirt on the drivetrain after the initial hose down. My point is I clean the drivetrain BEFORE I soap scrub the bike. I use the Park Tool chain scrubber and a brush and simply green as a degreaser (undiluted) which you can get from Sam's Club by the gallon dirt cheap. Immediately after cleaning the bike I use my electric leaf blower to dry the bike. I then lube the drivetrain. I have been using this method for all out bikes (both mechanical and now electric) for decades with great results.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Hi, I am going to be purchasing an ebike soon just to ride on the beach. I will probably use it 2-3 times a week and ride 10-15 miles each time. I don't have access to a hose to clean the bike. Also I work a lot so having the time to maintain it will be difficult. The bike store I'll be buying the bike from said I could bring it in about once every 2 months for $125 so they can clean and maintain everything. They said even if a part gets rusted I can replace it and it will not be that expensive. They said the chain, derailer and sprocket are the parts that can rust. Does that seem to be a good plan to follow or will my bike be ruined beyond repair after 2 months so I'm forced to buy a new one? Thank you
It's going to be important to wash the salt off the bike on a very regular basis. Weekly, or a couple times a week. It's not just an issue with the drivetrain components, all the fasteners on the bike are stainless steel or zinc plated steel. Steel bearings and seals will be affected. And there's the brake rotors and even the aluminum frame will degrade with salt. All stainless steel can rust, given the worst circumstances, due to the fact all grades of SS have iron content. Some bikes have better components and hardware than others. Then there are all the electronic components that will be degraded by the damp, salty Florida environment. Weather protection, regular cleaning and drying the bike will be important to protect your investment. People do it and good for you thinking about this prior to purchase. Maybe you can wash the bike at family, friends or neighbors.
 

anthony1979

New Member
Thank you for the replies. I forgot to mention it will be a fat tire bike and I will not be riding it anywhere near the water. It is Miami beach so the sand is soft. It is harder sand by the road which will be mainly where I be riding. I will be getting sand on the parts but not saltwater. Thank You
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
We don't have any beaches in New Mexico; but, we probably have just as much sand. I use a dry lube on my chain that is Teflon based.

Finsish Line Dry bike Lube with Teflon, $9, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IDZXRM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ).

It doesn't have the same issues as a wet lube with dust/dirt/sand sticking to chain. It doesn't wash off when it rains or when you hit puddles.

Salt water sandy beach AND it gets wet, I would look for a car wash and spend $2 just spraying it off with low pressure (don't squeeze the trigger for high pressure). I have an air blower I use to help dry my ebike after a wash (Xpower A-2, $50, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BI4UQK0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

I have a 4" fat tire ebike and it can almost glide over the sand because of the larger footprint. It might be helpful if you could let some air out the tires to help with traction with really loose sand. Thin tires and/or max air pressure might cut through the sand instead of riding on top.
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
My wife's bike has a completely enclosed chain and an internal gear hub so no sprockets or chain exposed to the elements. That's what I'd be looking for if I were planning on riding in sand all the time
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the replies. I forgot to mention it will be a fat tire bike and I will not be riding it anywhere near the water. It is Miami beach so the sand is soft. It is harder sand by the road which will be mainly where I be riding. I will be getting sand on the parts but not saltwater. Thank You
You don’t have to get it near the water to get salt exposure. I’ve heard about chrome failing in less than a year just from fog.
 

drewberz

Active Member
Rust doesn't look great, but it takes a while for things to 'rust out' so I think it's presence is blow out of proportion. Unless visually you hate rust, then hey, replace all fasteners with high grade SS! I'd say the sand is a bigger issue.

Once you get the bike, pack the bearings with marine grease (bottom bracket, front wheel, headset, rear wheel). A lot of bikes come under-greased in the headset and sometimes the wheel bearings. Expect the chain to go sooner too. Use a chain lubricant like mrgold35 said that leaves little behind and wipe off the chain to discourage attracting sand/grit.

As long as you aren't obsessed with having a perfectly clean bike, you can just wash the bike with a regular hose and soft water because that's better than saltwater exposure which you'll get because of proximity to the ocean.

I'm assuming you have an aluminum frame. You could also coat the inside of the frame with Boeshield T-9 to prevent corrosion.

Have you decided on a bike? Our bikes are an investment so a little prep goes a long way.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Are you near Miami Beach?

You can see if there are fat tire ebike rental places and "try before you buy" a fat tire ebike on the beach? The wife and I rented a Radrover 4" fat tire and Radcity Step thru with 2.3" plus size tires at Newport Beach, CA. Mostly to test ride the Radcity for her before we purchased on-line. We had the run of the whole city and no worries on the beach and getting the ebikes wet.

We learned even plus size tire don't like sand compared to fat tires and a throttle is a life saver in deep sand patches.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Beaches usually have outdoor showers. How about bringing the ebike through the outdoor shower after your ride-in-the-sand to get the salt off? You could pack along a large cup to fill to toss water on places the shower can't quite reach... No hose needed! :)