Warmer months often mean bike rides. If your ebike has been in storage all winter, you are probably eager to hop on and enjoy some fresh air. If you have not been riding your bike much over the winter, however, take a moment to do some basic maintenance before hitting the streets.
If your electric bike has been sitting in your garage gathering dust for the past few months, you want to make sure it is in optimal condition to ride for your own safety. Chains can get rusty, parts can get loose, and tires can lose air. A quick tune-up is usually in order once springtime arrives.
Below, we will provide some quick tips on preparing your electric bike for spring.
Check Your Tires
Tires lose air naturally over time. If your bike has been locked up since the fall, you will likely need to add some air to your tires. Press down and see if your tires feel spongy or soft. If so, it is time to grab a tire pump.
Ideally, you should use a bike pump with a PSI gauge when filling your tires. All tires have a specific pressure per square inch (PSI) range written somewhere on the side. If you have a bike pump with a PSI gauge built in, once you connect it with the tire valve you will be able to read the tire pressure. (Please keep in mind Story Bikes use a more modern and higher performance Presta tire valve versus the older Schrader valve. Bike pumps will often include both a Presta and Schrader attachment. If not, a Presta bike valve adapter can be purchased for an older Schrader bike pump.)
While you are filling the tires, you should also check them for any tears, punctures, or cracks. You may need to replace the tires if they are damaged.
Charge Your Battery
If your ebike has been in storage for months, you will need to charge the battery. Batteries vary from ebike to ebike. With Story Bikes, all bikes come with a charging unit and A/C adapter that plugs directly into the bike frame and works with any standard 120V/240V outlet.
If you have not charged your battery all year, it could be depleted. Our batteries take 3.5 hours to go from empty to full. Please note it is best to check your battery every 2-3 months and keep it charged between 50-75% for long term storage.
Pump The Brakes
Even well-made brakes can wear down with time. If it has been a while since you rode your ebike, it is always a good idea to pump the brakes to ensure they are still functioning. Hold and release your brake levers several times to make sure the calipers still grip the rim or disc to bring your bike to a stop. You can even roll your bike forward while pumping the brakes to double check their efficiency.
If you find your brakes are not working properly, we do not recommend attempting to fix them yourself. Faulty brakes can cause serious, potentially fatal accidents. Take your bike to an experienced mechanic to ensure it is safe to ride. Our Story Bikes use high performance hydraulic disc brakes vs older mechanical disc or V-brakes.
Wash Your Bike, But Be Gentle
Your bike likely got dusty sitting in a garage all winter long. It is always a good idea to give your bike a thorough cleaning before hopping back on for a spring ride. However, with ebikes, you need to be very careful when washing them. It is best to hand wash them vs spraying them with direct water.
To clean your ebike, wipe down the frame with mild soapy water. Use a sponge and wring it out first so it is only lightly damp. Make sure to keep water away from the battery and motor as you clean.
Clean & Lube Your Chain
If it has been a few months since you hopped on your bike, the chain almost certainly needs cleaning and chain lube.
To spot-clean the chain while it's still on your bike, you can do the following:
- Brush out the links with a firm brush.
- Relubricate the links from time to time with a chain lubricant.
- Wipe off excess lubricant with a clean, dry rag.
- For a more thorough cleaning, use a chain-cleaning tool. Attach it to your chain for a quick, deep cleaning. These can be found online or in your local bike shop!
Check The Gears
If your bike has been in storage for a while, there is always a chance the gears have gotten a little rusty or are not correctly aligned. Please wipe off any excessive dirt or build up on the rear cassette and along the rear derailleur.
Give your bike a quick test shifting from the lowest gear slowly up to the highest gear. If you notice the gears skip or delay you may need to have your derailleur realigned. This can be done at home or with the help of a local bike shop!
The Bottom Line
If your bike has been gathering dust over the winter months, always give it a quick tune-up before riding. Double checking the breaks, tires, and gears and wiping off any dust and grime should get your bike in excellent condition for long summer rides.
Ready to get riding? Our step-through bikes, road bikes, and commuter bikes combine classic design with modern technology to give you a smooth, safe ride every time. Plus, for every bike we sell, we send a bike to a student in Zimbabwe.
If you’re interested in investing in an ebike, browse our collection here and please feel free to reach out with any questions.