How often to get an electric bike tune-up?

How often should an electric bike be serviced by a bike mechanic if the owner is non-mechanical?


  • Total voters
    19

FitzChivalry

Active Member
So, the Pedego City Commuter documentation recommended a tune-up after 100 miles to check for cable stretching and other bedding-in that occurs as you start using the bike. I mentioned this in a another thread about tune-ups.

I checked with Pedego this week for a recommended schedule of service, and they told me:

It's usually recommended after the 1st 100 miles because the cables stretch and start to break in.
After that there really isn't a set timetable for tune-ups. It depends on how much you ride the bike and how much maintenance you do to the bike yourself (cleaning, storage, etc).​

So I told Pedego that I'd check with the electricbikereview.com community to get your recommendations. I've been looking for an excuse to use the site's Post a Poll feature, anyway, so here goes! Please log your response in the attached poll, and follow up with a post if you have more to offer by way of advice. Thanks!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Ohhh man! The first poll on the forum... nice job Fitz! Also appreciate the link to earlier conversation and background with your own tuneup schedule and chat with Pedego. Considering how much tuneups can cost, this is great info (however, in my experience many shops give you a tuneup or two for free if you bought a bike from them).

I was speaking with Larry Pizzi of Currie Technologies yesterday and chain replacement came up (in addition to gears/cables tightening). The interesting thing he shared is that the rollers (cylinders where chain links connect that gets pulled by the teeth on sprockets on your cassette and front chain rings) get spaced further apart over time. This is especially true on a center drive ebike where up to 3X force is being applied. I guess they are using new metals that are harder and less prone to this spreading and loosening over time but I had never thought about chain replacement (aside from when it completely breaks apart). He also talked about how the smallest gears (low gears) wear out faster since there may be just two or three teeth pulling on the chain vs. ten or more on larger cogs. You can see this on the image below where the chain is on a lower gear... Those circular dots where the chain links connect is a bolt that holds the cylinder inside.

low-gears-bicycle-cassette.jpg

Anyway, just adding some new learning here that's maintenance related. With ebikes, maintenance and tuneups seem even more critical but I wonder if there's a happy medium like first 100 miles and then every 200 after that? Off to vote on your poll!
 

James

Well-Known Member
I think it really depends in the quality of the bike, the users skill set (and willingness to do some basic work) and the type of riding being done. If it's 100% off road mountain bike style riding with a lot of dirt and mud, your going to want to stay on top of the basic maintenance, and bring it in to the LBS more often for tune ups. If your just cruising the seawall every weekend, but only in the sun, I bet you could go 1k miles without much work at all! Or if your like me and put on a high amount of miles in both the rain and sun then be prepared to clean and re-lube your chain often!! Tire pressure monitoring is also a daily thing for someone like me. I have a lot of miles on my bike and will be bringing it in soon for a once over.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Great points James, I bet you and Eddie have to do a lot of cleaning and tuneups just to keep the bikes going after one muddy ride!
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Everyone should check tire pressure often. Check pad wear and sand disc every 6 months and adjust mech brakes at least every month. Clean and lube chain every month and tighten everything every 500 miles.

If someone can't do that then haul it in every 500 miles or yearly which ever ces first.
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
Thanks for the advice so far. At every 500 miles, I'll be looking at every month and a half to two months. Yikes. Still, one tune-up (without tip) equals one tank of gas, which equals one week of driving. So, still a savings.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Joe, how much can I pay you to teach me to tune up my bike?!

Not to be cliche... but your girlfriend taught me several useful things recently and I'm expecting another good deal here.

^ BTW this is a joke. Please laugh... your girlfriend certainly did when she saw, well, never mind :)
 

Aushiker

Active Member
Thanks for the advice so far. At every 500 miles, I'll be looking at every month and a half to two months. Yikes. Still, one tune-up (without tip) equals one tank of gas, which equals one week of driving. So, still a savings.
I do a bike maintenance service of my own bikes every 1,000 km in summer and autumn (fall) and every 500 km in winter and spring and find that is pretty much necessary as I use my bikes for commuting. Keeping the chain maintained etc has worked well for me. Not sure that I would be keen on paying for that level of service but so at least being able to clean and lube a chain, check bolts etc yourself could stretch out the maintenance interval.

Andrew
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
@Gnexus01, this is funny timing, as I just put my bike in the shop for its once-every-thousand-miles tune-up. I passed 2,000 miles this past week. I also priced out adding a larger gear to the front ($40) so that I don't have to pedal so fast to add oomph to my ride beyond what the bike does for me. He also quoted me $20/tire to put on those airless tires that were mentioned on this list a couple of months ago.

Regarding your profile picture, I think that the book by the same name (author: Rice Broocks) is better than the movie. :)
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
On the Cali coast a big part of the battle is keeping your nipples clean (hey Court started it), otherwise they bond to the spoke (first, then the rim) preventing one from truing the wheel or tightening the spokes. Mechanically inclined or not, clean your bike, dry thoroughly, keep water out of key areas by using a sponge or brush, VS blasting with a hose. I love a clean drivetrain, fresh chain - stealth mode.
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
I forgot to mention: the LBS suggested that every 1,000 miles might be a bit overkill. We decided to wait until I hit 4,000 to do my next tune-up.