Maintenance costs

Balinus

Member
Hello!

I'm researching approximate figures for maintenance cost for commuting with an ebike. So far I've only found anecdotal estimates. I would be interested to hear from people commuting with an ebike for multiple years.

My commute is 40 miles roundtrip, 3 days/week from April to October (minus August). So, let's say about 2400 to 3000 miles/year, depending on actual weather.

I plan to build an ebike, with the BBSHD, using a MTB bike (probably only front suspension). Donor bike would be an used MTB from 2005-2015 and aiming for a 300 to 600 USD budget on that.

I'm 6'2", 220lbs.

How much should I budget? Ballpark estimates!

Thanks a lot!
 

steve marino

Active Member
Unless something breaks, maintenance is not so much. Squeeze the tyres to see if they feel right (pack a small hand pump just in case), and keep the battery charged and the chain clean and oiled. I go over my bikes every now and then to make sure all the fasteners are still snug, that's about it.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
On my 2 different Haibikes with Bosch mid drives and 36v system, I replaced chains at 2,500 miles, brake pads at 3,500 miles on the Trekking and 3,000 miles on the mtb, repaired one flat, and that is it so far. You have to plug in your grade changes, how fast and hard you brake, and what speeds you ride. I ride for recreation. and it's very flat here in Central IL.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Tires, $25 knobbies last 2000 miles,$20 street tires 700. $6 Tubes, 0 for knobbies, 1 per 400 miles street tires.
Cables 1 per 4000 miles, $35 (housing comes in rolls, will do more than one).
Brake pads 1 set per 5000 miles, $15.
Chains, mid drive 1 per 1500 miles, $15 (I get 5000 miles for hubmotor 8 spd chain. Decrease life & increase cost for 11 speed chain). that is chain that is oiled biweekly with sus32 hyd fluid. Less for wax lubes or less frequent oiling.
Pedals 2 years. $40. Shorter for cheapos on bargain bikes.
Hand grips about a year, $25
Crank arms about 3000 miles on the cheap plastic ones, more for real cast aluminum parts.
Lights, 1 failure per year, $30
Battery & hub motor, no failures in 4000 miles & 2 3/4 years. Cost $920 in the beginning with mounts fuses wires brackets etc. Expected 10000 mi life on hubmotor & 500-1000 charges on battery.
spokes, none for Hi-Q, probably a half dozen of the cheapos on cheap MTB's. Triple cable costs for cheapos instead of Jaguars/clarks.
Seat, if urethane padded 2 year life, $50
Suspension replacement, probably 1 set per 2 years.
Nuts & bolts, a full assortment of stainless 18 or 316 about $40. The real ones from mcmaster/grainger/fastenal come in minimum buys of $6-8 per size.
Rims, if you hit potholes a lot 2-3 years. $100 /set for alloy.
Chain stretch indicator, chain breaker, chain stretcher, full set combo & allen wrenches, torx bits, snap ring pliers, sprocket cluster tool, crank arm puller, Biga** channllock pliers, 10" channllock plier, slip joint plier, 2 crescent wrenches, air pump, all amortized over 3 or more years, but cost is up front. Schwinn foot pedal air pumps last 18 months, Lezine hand pump longer. Bags for tools about 2 years. Lock about 18 months unless oiled biweekly.
 
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Balinus

Member
Tires, $25 knobbies last 2000 miles,$20 street tires 700. $6 Tubes, 0 for knobbies, 1 per 400 miles street tires.
Cables 1 per 4000 miles, $35 (housing comes in rolls, will do more than one).
Brake pads 1 set per 5000 miles, $15.
Chains, mid drive 1 per 1500 miles, $15 (I get 5000 miles for hubmotor 8 spd chain. Decrease life & increase cost for 11 speed chain). that is chain that is oiled biweekly with sus32 hyd fluid. Less for wax lubes or less frequent oiling.
Pedals 2 years. $40. Shorter for cheapos on bargain bikes.
Hand grips about a year, $25
Crank arms about 3000 miles on the cheap plastic ones, more for real cast aluminum parts.
Lights, 1 failure per year, $30
Battery & hub motor, no failures in 4000 miles & 2 3/4 years. Cost $920 in the beginning with mounts fuses wires brackets etc. Expected 10000 mi life on hubmotor & 500-1000 charges on battery.
spokes, none for Hi-Q, probably a half dozen of the cheapos on cheap MTB's. Triple cable costs for cheapos instead of Jaguars/clarks.
Seat, if urethane padded 2 year life, $50
Suspension replacement, probably 1 set per 2 years.
Nuts & bolts, a full assortment of stainless 18 or 316 about $40. The real ones from mcmaster/grainger/fastenal come in minimum buys of $6-8 per size.
Rims, if you hit potholes a lot 2-3 years. $100 /set for alloy.
Chain stretch indicator, chain breaker, chain stretcher, full set combo & allen wrenches, torx bits, snap ring pliers, sprocket cluster tool, crank arm puller, Biga** channllock pliers, 10" channllock plier, slip joint plier, 2 crescent wrenches, air pump, all amortized over 3 or more years, but cost is up front. Schwinn foot pedal air pumps last 18 months, Lezine hand pump longer. Bags for tools about 2 years. Lock about 18 months unless oiled biweekly.

Using your numbers and using a higher threshold of 3000 miles/year and converting to Canadian dollars and prices, I get an approximate annual cost of 1250$ CAD. Not bad! (I initially budgeted more along the lines of 700$/year though, but I wasn't including the motor and battery replacement...).

Thanks a lot!
 

Balinus

Member
Unless something breaks, maintenance is not so much. Squeeze the tyres to see if they feel right (pack a small hand pump just in case), and keep the battery charged and the chain clean and oiled. I go over my bikes every now and then to make sure all the fasteners are still snug, that's about it.

This reminds me of opening a new thread about which tools and parts do I need for commuting (taxi's won't be an option where I commute). I'll need to be self-sufficient as much as possible.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
This reminds me of opening a new thread about which tools and parts do I need for commuting (taxi's won't be an option where I commute). I'll need to be self-sufficient as much as possible.
I go 7 miles from cell phone coverage and 23 miles from the nearest store with tubes. 35 miles from the bicycle store. Bike will not fit in wife's car.
I carry 2 tubes (one can blow immediately), push together tube for motor wheel (never used it), air pump, 2 6" cresecent wrenches, 10" chanllock plier for takeup, slip joint pliers, wide & narrow flat blade , #2 & #1 phillips screwdrivers. Flat blades pry the tires off the rim. 8 mm 9 mm 10 mm 15 mm 17 mm 18 mm combo wrenches, 3/8" 7/16" 1/2" 9/16" 2 ea 3/4" double ended open end wrenches. 2 mm 2.5 mm 3 mm 4 mm 5 mm 6 mm allen wrenches. Covers every nut & bolt on the bike except handlebar to steering stem, that had seriously better not come loose. Spare 6/32 & 10/32 bolts & nuts for fender/chain guard/bracket/torque arm bolts that fall off. spare 6 mm bolts are in spare bosses in the bike frame. Spare rear light already mounted has batteries in it. Pill bottle of balls for shimano 7 speed rear axle if I have one. (varies) Carry the tools in a metal kids pencil box, with velcro fasteners replacing the useless OEM ones. PVC pencil boxes won't stay closed. 18 mm wrench & 10" pliers ride in a plastic bag, get wet a lot, keep them oily. 6 ea 4" & 4 ea 8" tie wraps for wires if hub motor has flat, in zip lock bag. Nitril gloves XL 9 mm. Master link, but no chain stretcher pin popper or chain tools on bike or @ summer camp. Motor will drag me home if chain is a problem.
If a tire blows I push the bike to destination, but have a spare out at the summer camp. Also have a spare unpowered bike out there if some chain, bearing, pedal or crank problem happens. Last blowout was a used tire, never again. change knobbies at 3/32" to prevent flats. Check/tighten spokes at tire change on serious bikes, the $221 hub motor had a couple of loose ones @ 4000 miles. Covers of hub motor came loose twice causing thumping, blue loktite only helps, doesn't prevent.
I have double nuts on the motor axle, was a P*** to find a matching nut, ended up making them with tap from victornet.com All other nuts are elastic stop from mcmaster.
When I had a display I mounted it so I could loosen 2 bolts and turn it down so i could turn the bike upside down on handlebars & seat. 30-40 minutes to change a tube. i don't mess with patch kits. Look at tire when changing tube, often there is a bit of wire or metal stuck in there.
My geared hub motor can be pedaled to destination if an electrical problem occurs, have done that 3 times. 2 bad batteries and once the throttle quit in a heavy rain. Luna battery has lasted 2 1/2 years no problem. BBS02 if electrical failure you had better call a tow truck or friend with SUV.
 
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