The Lifespan of an E-bike

The Lifespan of an E-bike

If you are in the market to purchase an electric bike, you are likely asking yourself…”How long will this bike last and what can I do to maximize the lifespan of an e-bike?” 

E-bikes share many of the same components as regular bikes, such as gears, brakes and drive chain, which makes learning how to operate and maintain these e-bikes very easy and familiar. 

However, with the addition of some key electrical components, such as a Lithium-Ion battery,  a mid-drive or rear hub motor, and an electronic controller and display, there are some additional things to keep in mind to maximize the lifespan of your new ride. 

The major components of an e-bike are:

  • The Battery
  • Motor
  • Brakes
  • Chains & Sprockets
  • Tires
  • Controller and Display

 

What’s the lifespan of an e-bike battery?

The battery is arguably the most critical (and expensive part) of an e-bike and it is important that you take steps to protect and maximize the lifespan of your battery. 

Today’s e-bikes use high-quality Lithium-Ion batteries, which are lightweight, compact and safe to use in any weather conditions, including snow and rain. 

Usually, there’s some proportionality in the wear and tear of other components of the e-bike depending on the frequency of usage. However, it’s a little different when it comes to the batteries as they tend to lose capacity with time, even if the bike is not in use. 

For example, if you buy a new battery today and have it stored for a year, it will have less capacity compared to when it was new. 

The batteries account for about a third of the cost of the bike, and if taken care of properly, they can last between 3-5 years (about 1,000 charge cycles) before becoming less effective. Proper maintenance of your battery will extend its life.  

Some tips to extend the lifespan of your battery include: 

  • Storing the battery in a cool, dry place with a temperature range between 15 C and 20 C. If you intend to have it stored for a prolonged period, store it with a battery charge of between 40-60% and not fully charged. Every 2 – 4 months it should be topped up if not in use. (batteries lose about 5% of their charge each month, even when not in use)
  • Do not use “ultra-fast” chargers, which usually charge the batteries within an hour. The charger that is supplied with the bike is always the best choice to use. For example…if you have a 2 amp charger and your battery has 13 amp hours…you need 6 ½ hours for it to be fully charged
  • It is not good for you to fully deplete your battery…it is best to recharge when your battery has about 20% charge left.
  • It is also not good for your battery to be left on the charger for extended periods. 6-8 hours is all that it needs, and excessive and frequent over-charging will start to deplete the battery’s effectiveness. 
  • Do not use pressure washers when cleaning the battery or any other electrical components. Even though they are sealed and technically water resistant…the high-pressure water may be able to infiltrate the interior and cause unwanted damage.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

 

The Lifespan of an E-bike Motor

The rear hub motors of many electric bikes is a sealed and closed system and do not require any on-going maintenance. Some motors may last up to 10,000 miles and more. In many cases, you will find yourself replacing other parts such as the brake pads, tires, cassettes, chains, and the battery before the motor wears out. 

While problems are indeed very rare, if an issue were to surface on a rear hub motor, they are often replaced under warranty, as there are very few replaceable parts inside the system. 

  • Consider drying the motor after cycling in moist/wet conditions (best maintenance practice for Direct Drive Hub motor). 

 

The Lifespan of an E-bike Brakes

The lifespan of the brakes on an e-bike depends on many factors like the size of the rider, how aggressive / fast the e-bike if ridden, the quality of materials used in making the pads, weather conditions, the land terrain, and finally, the maintenance practices done to the e-bike. 

Unlike regular bikes, electric bikes move at a much higher speed and are heavier. This increases the wear rate on the brake pads. You’ll have to replace them if you start to hear a rubbing or grinding noise. Once the new pads are installed, your brakes will be effective again…just like new. 

The very best quality rim brakes can serve you for up to 3,000 miles, whereas the high-quality metal sintered disc brake pads can last for as long as 6,000 miles. 

  • one universal maintenance practices for brakes is continually checking the pads for wear and replacing them as needed. 

 

The Lifespan of E-bike’s Tires

The electric bike’s tires have an extensive range of life; however, this depends on the type of tire, which usually ranges from 1600-4800 km (1,000 – 3,000 miles), sometimes even 4,000 miles (6,500 km), especially in the case of tough touring tires. 

Here are some of the critical tips that can help you get the most out of your tires:

  • Consider puncture-resistant tires to reduce flats-Kevlar belted or double shielded, if you are looking to buy a tire. 
  • It’s best to use a tire liner between tire and tube
  • If any punctures occur, seal them using super glue or flat sealant 
  • Swap front and rear tires of your electric bike to balance the wear; this is because the rear tire usually wears faster than the front one. 

 

The Lifespan of an E-bike Chains & Sprockets

Chains and sprockets wear out faster in electric bikes; this is because of higher speeds and longer distances covered by these bikes. It’s encouraged that chains of e-bikes be replaced after every 2,000 – 3,000 miles. Regular replacement of your chain will prolong the lifespan of the sprocket and drivetrain. Always use the chain-checker to monitor the state of your bike’s chain. 

Sprockets are expected to last 2-3 times longer compared to the chain; this, however, happens only with the regular monitoring and replacement of the chain. 

Some of the best maintenance practice for your e-bike chain includes:

  • Oiling the chain using the right grease 
  • Using the chain checker to see the state and health of your chains 

 

Controller and Display

The controller is the “brain” of the e-bikes, as it’s where all the other electronic components of the bike are connected. It reads all the inputs from each element and determines the signal that is sent to them in return.

The controller has a circuit board that regulates voltage and amperage input and output hence controls all of the critical functionalities of your e-bike. Not only does this operate the e-bike at peak efficiency, but it also helps to protect your bike from over or under voltage to the bikes electronic components…preventing damage along the way.

It also has a temperature sensor and will shut down your bike if any of the components start to overheat. In a way…the controller itself is a major component in protecting your bike and ensuring that you are able to get years and years of enjoyment.

Controllers can last as long as it takes, provided they are well maintained. Avoid water spillage to this part of your e-bike as much as you can.

The display of your e-bike is like the information console. It shows the speed at which you are riding, how much battery life is left, trip odometer and displays how much power you are drawing off of the battery. It also displays at what level of peddle assist you are riding with.

Recently, several e-bike brands have moved to replace the display with a smartphone app that you can control through Bluetooth.

In order to maintain the life of the display, it is important to ensure that it is wiped clean and dried if it gets dirty and wet. Also try to avoid any physical shocks to the display, like hitting it or dropping it. 

 

Conclusion

Whether you are looking to purchase a new electric bike or you own one already, you should know that the lifespan of an electric bike solely depends on the maintenance practices that you observe. As we’ve seen in the article, different parts of e-bikes wear and tear at different times depending on other factors like climate and terrain. It will, therefore, be okay to say that your e-bike will last for as long as you make it last.

For your E-bike concerns, call Epic Cycles today!

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *