Maintenance tip for longevity - keeping the wheels true

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#1
I have a good friend who has two ST2's for himself and his wife.
he has passed 15,000 miles in the last 2 years. Still on the original battery and motor.

His secret: meticulous maintenance schedule. Wheel truing every 3 months and cleaning the drive train every few hundred miles.

I had known another person when I was in DC. He had BionX D series direct drive motor. He had over 20,000 miles with regular maintenance.

Keeping the wheels true and drive train clean, does wonders for bike's longevity.
 
Last edited:

JRA

Well-Known Member
#2
Excellent advice Ravi. Both of these items can be done DIY fashion also and are a good way to familiarize any eBike rider with their bike with a minimum investment in tools and a little time spent on You Tube.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
#4
I have built hundreds of wheels. JMHO, if wheels need to be regularly trued, something is amiss. It could be the wheels are poorly built to begin with, or it could be the components are poor quality and/or are not right for the intended use. Of course, some riders are just harder on equipment.

At the co-op, I am always advocating for people to keep their bikes clean, not just the drivetrain, but the entire bike. When you clean your bike, not only do drivetrains, tires, brakes pads, etc. last longer, you can spot potential issues before they become problems just because you have eyes on it.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
#5
If truing includes properly tensioning every spoke, and measuring/recording it with a quality spoke tensioner, and setting up all spokes to be within +/- 5%, then I agree with the "truing" regularity.
With all due respect I have been building bike wheels as I need them for 30+ years and never owned a spoke tensioner. None have ever failed.

Certainly the best possible way to start a wheels life is by the method mentioned but in reality very few are and I suppose that is more a testament to the inherent strength of the standard spoked bicycle wheel.

At some point in their lifespan it may be necessary to make adjustments to a wheel and paying attention to the overall tension is one aspect of truing but I personally see no need to be quite so fussy about it.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#6
At the co-op, I am always advocating for people to keep their bikes clean, not just the drivetrain, but the entire bike. When you clean your bike, not only do drivetrains, tires, brakes pads, etc. last longer, you can spot potential issues before they become problems just because you have eyes on it.
I agree on this part for sure. Cleaning the bike is just the right thing to do. I am quite serious about maintaining my bikes and I have befriended some expert bike mechanics in Chicago. They charge me $120 for a through tune-up and I do it twice a year.
Every tune-up, he replaces a spoke or two, changes the cassette/ some minor parts. E-bike wheels experience LOT more stress than regular bike wheels. My avg speed is around 19-20 and I carry a lot of stuff.
So, extra speed, more cargo and more mileage (6000 miles a year average) necessitates more stringent maintenance.

Since this is a Stromer forum, I will also add that the placement of hub motors do affect the dynamics within the wheels but nothing that regular maintenance couldn't rectify.
 
#7
I agree on this part for sure. Cleaning the bike is just the right thing to do. I am quite serious about maintaining my bikes and I have befriended some expert bike mechanics in Chicago. They charge me $120 for a through tune-up and I do it twice a year.
Every tune-up, he replaces a spoke or two, changes the cassette/ some minor parts. E-bike wheels experience LOT more stress than regular bike wheels. My avg speed is around 19-20 and I carry a lot of stuff.
So, extra speed, more cargo and more mileage (6000 miles a year average) necessitates more stringent maintenance.

Since this is a Stromer forum, I will also add that the placement of hub motors do affect the dynamics within the wheels but nothing that regular maintenance couldn't rectify.
Hey Ravi! Purchased a ST2 S back in August, and have since put on ~850 miles. I'm looking for Chicago bike mechanic recommendations for regular tune ups and general questions. Could you possibly recommend anyone? Tried to PM you, but wasn't successful do to "Spam like elements".

Danny
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
#8
Hey Ravi! Purchased a ST2 S back in August, and have since put on ~850 miles. I'm looking for Chicago bike mechanic recommendations for regular tune ups and general questions. Could you possibly recommend anyone? Tried to PM you, but wasn't successful do to "Spam like elements".

Danny
Not sure what part of Chicago you are in, however, there are so many good mechanics. One that I have always liked for many years is Rudy's Cycle and fitness Rudy's. They have good mechanics and are always very reasonable and thorough during bike inspections compared to the competition. Good luck!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#9
Hey Ravi! Purchased a ST2 S back in August, and have since put on ~850 miles. I'm looking for Chicago bike mechanic recommendations for regular tune ups and general questions. Could you possibly recommend anyone? Tried to PM you, but wasn't successful do to "Spam like elements".

Danny
As bob said, there are many good shops.

I take my bikes to Roscoe Village Bikes: They are small but skilled and trustworthy folks: http://www.roscoevillagebikes.com/

They never tried to up-sell anything. So, I went there couple of times and have had excellent tune-ups done.

Village Cycle center has some good mechanics for anything Bosch related: https://www.villagecycle.com/

Kozy's are supposed to have Stromer-specific mechanics but I have not used them.
 
#10
Mt ST1x with 1465 miles was down with a flat and I rode another bike instead. I finally got around to changing out the flat rear tire. Changed tire Big Apple plus, installed a lightweight Mr Tuffy, trued the rear rim. I'd have trued the rear rim earlier, but the hubs are too big for my Park TS-2, so I ordered a TS-4 and was too lazy/busy to mount it to a surface. I Finally did.

I could not believe how loose the spokes were, especially the non-drive side ! I was shocked, actually.
 

Attachments

DDBB

Well-Known Member
#11
I have a spoke tensioning tool but have no idea how to use it (besides the obvious, lefty loosey, rightie tightie).. My local bike mechanic trues my wheels and I've watched him do it.. It appears to be somewhat of an art. I fear I would screw up the wheel if I tried it myself?
 
#12
I have a spoke tensioning tool but have no idea how to use it (besides the obvious, lefty loosey, rightie tightie).. My local bike mechanic trues my wheels and I've watched him do it.. It appears to be somewhat of an art. I fear I would screw up the wheel if I tried it myself?
Much easier than it looks. but practice on a $100 kids bike. I'm sure you can youtube the basics of truing wheels - left and right, then graduate to hops - easier than we can describe here in this forum. Also get a quality spoke wrench tool like Park SW-1 (my nipples were green tool on the ST1x). Don't use the cheap spole wrenches that come in a kit that cost $8 for the whole kit, you'll round off your nipples. Also, I bought a TS-2 stand when I was about 22 yo, and still have it at 51yo. The tools last a lifetime. The TS-2 was too small for my fat bike wheels and my ebike wheels so now I also have the TS-4. I thought about selling the TS-2 but it is the perfect size for smaller rims, so I kept it.
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
#13
I want that park tools master took kit.. No more trips to the LBS.. It's only a little over $8,000... Wife said "no"
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
#14
As bob said, there are many good shops.

I take my bikes to Roscoe Village Bikes: They are small but skilled and trustworthy folks: http://www.roscoevillagebikes.com/

They never tried to up-sell anything. So, I went there couple of times and have had excellent tune-ups done.

Village Cycle center has some good mechanics for anything Bosch related: https://www.villagecycle.com/

Kozy's are supposed to have Stromer-specific mechanics but I have not used them.
Yes, I can also vouch for Village Cycle. I have purchased all my Trek bicycles from them over the years and have not one complaint. Their mechanics seem very knowledgeable and competent. The pricing has always been very competitive as well.

Kozy's is quite large and they have a lot of E-bikes on display and for test rides. Probably the largest in the Chicago area. However, I would check reviews for them before moving forward. Not really sure how good they are.