Words: Ben Morrison

Photos: Nick Waygood

Keeping your new eMTB running like clockwork shares a lot in common with a bike that doesn't have pedal assistance. However, with a battery, motor and sensors, and parts that are under a lot more load when riding, there are a few key things to consider when doing regular maintenance on your eMTB.

  1. Check and clean connectors

Each time you charge or wash your bike, its not a bad idea as with any electrical product to take a peek and make sure there is no buildup of dust or any other grit that could get into the connectors cause a shorting issue or damage the connector its self. A small paint brush or old toothbrush (use these dry) will do the trick. If you have an aircompressor, a quick squirt from an air gun is ideal. Also check any bolts holding eMTB components, and refer to user manuals for torque settings.

Keeping your charging port free of obstructions is a good idea.
  1. Check pad wear

Keeping on top of your brake pad wear is something you should be doing on all your bikes! These days it's pretty easy to keep an eye on them by looking into the top of your brake caliper each time you wash your bike. If it looks like the pistons are sitting out pretty far or the little metal spring that holds the pads apart is inline with the pads, pop your wheel out and take a look to make sure there is still enough left on them for some more riding. Also, its not a bad habit to check how thick your rotor is and see if its worn down. If it has then this might be the answer if you are finding some brake issues around pad contact.    

eBikes go through brake pads at warp speed.
  1. Check chain and drivetrain wear

Your eMTB is putting lots of strain on the chain, chain ring and cassette and will wear them out fast, a few brands are working to improve wear but it is still a good idea to keep on top of it. Keeping an eye on your chain by picking up a chain checker from the local shop can save you lots of money in the long run as you can often get multiple chains to a cassette. Keeping on top of this means avoiding the big upfront cost of replacing all of it at once! It's also worth using a good quality chain lube. Check out our mega chain group test for more information on this.  

Check your chain wear regularly.
  1. Battery/head unit diagnostics and firmware

Your Bosch head unit will be able to tell you some cool things such as how many hours and km you have ridden along with how long till your next service. The head unit will also let you know what software all parts of your system are currently running. 

Using the information you found in your head unit it will save you time explaining to your local bike shop what update you need them to do to the system when you take your bike in there for its service.

Bosch's Kiox display is a pretty nifty head unit.
  1. Waterless wash tips

A clean bike is a happy bike and a fast bike. One of life’s rules is power and water do not mix and while bike brands do everything possible to make washing your bike issue free there are a few things you can do to help with this.

Looking for a new eMTB? Check out our recently tested eMTBs below.

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TESTED: Moustache Game 6

TESTED: Orbea Wild FS M10

TESTED: Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Race 625

Using a wax-based polish when your bike is clean will help a fair amount of the dust and dirt come off with a very light spray of water, but if you don’t have access or are worried about getting connections wet you can use a spray bottle with a weak bike wash water mix and use it with a cloth to wipe down your bike. There are also some cleaning products on the market now designed to be a waterless cleaning product which are also great for this type of application.

A waterless wash could be the way to go for your eMTB.
  1. Cable management

Having an eMTB means you're going to have a few extra cables that you would not normally have on your analogue bike. Most bike brands will have this covered and integrated into the way they have designed their bike. But it’s a good idea to keep an eye on where the cables enter the frame from the control unit on the bars and how it exits the frame near the rear brake. These 2 locations are reasonably important as they tend to be the places that are most prone to damage from transport, hanging things off bars (kids if you use a Shotgun seat), rock/stick impacts, or interference with the rotor or rear wheel if there is lots of loose cable.

You'll need to do some tidying on an eMTB cockpit.

Little things like a small cable tie to keep things from flapping around can go a long way to keeping wires or cables safe. Likewise if you are looking at putting larger rotors on the rear of you bike check to see how close they come to your sensor cable and see if you need to do a little MacGyver work to keep things safe.

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