Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular, especially among commuters who want to save money while still enjoying the benefits of cycling. But electric bike batteries and other accessories require maintenance just like all other components, and lubrication is no exception.
Not sure on which greases, oils and lubricants to use on your eBike? Unsure on what parts of the bike need lubrication?
Firstly, there are 3 main lubricants to use on a push bike. These are:
- Chain Lubricants (available in Dry and Wet)
- All Purpose Lubricants
Below you will see example on the lubricants and when and where to use them-
Grease is a heavy/thick, waterproof lubricant which is used in parts of the bike you rarely take apart or see very much.
These are the two main functions-
- To stop water from reaching certain parts of the bike as well as keeping certain components from moving around.
- To help metal to static metal connections from seizing up and becoming tight.
In the first example of the function for grease, a fair amount needs to be used to create a thick and heavy cover to keep moving parts running properly and smoothly. Parts of the bike you will need to use grease on are, in the bearings of your wheels, bottom brackets, headset, in the moving parts of your brakes and the gear levers. You should not apply grease to any part of the bike that is open to air getting to it because grease is very sticky and you do not want to get dust or dirt stuck to it, as this could cause damage to the bike.
In the second example grease is used to prevent parts of the bike from seizing.
The main static areas that need grease on are the saddle posts and the bolt threads. These components sit against metal for long periods of time under lots of pressure. They can seize up which makes them very difficult to remove. We could suggest greasing any bolt before tightening on a bike, and every couple of months remove your saddle posts, clean it down and re-grease to stop is from seizing to the frame.
Dry and Wet are the two types of chain lubricants. Dry lubes are used in dry conditions and wet lubes are used in wet conditions.
These go on to the chain wet however they soon dry to have a waxy finish. Most lubes do take up to a few hours to completely dry. The great things about dry lubes is that it does not collect dust and dirt. The downside to dry lubes is that they wash off easily meaning you will need to apply it regularly.
Wet lubes are thicker the dry lubes and they stick to the chain even when wet (until you rub it off). Wet lube is perfect for wet conditions, as they are harder to wash off when wet. The downside to wet lube is that it collects dirt very easily. This means it will need cleaning often to prevent damage to parts of the bike.
Wet lubes should only be used when the weather calls for it. They are perfect for bikes in winter.
Can I Use Other Types Of Lubrication On My Chain?
What a lot of people make the mistake of is using WD40 as a lubricants. Whilst this will grease the chain for a short while, it really is not meant to be used outside as it will quickly get washed away. Another common mistake people make is using motor oil. This substance is way too thick to be used on bike chains. It will also extremely sticky which means it will get lots of dirt in it. It is also not the easiest to get off your bike.
Cleaning the chain:
Before you apply the lube, make sure the chain is as clean as you can get it. If you apply the lube without cleaning the chain, this could effect key components of the bike.
When cleaning your chain, make sure to use a clean sloth and was de-greaser.
Applying the lube:
When applying the lube to the chain, put a small drop of lube into every chain link, then run the bike through as many gears as you can. This will force the lube to reach parts of the chain links where the lube is needed the most.
After you’ve applied the lube to the chain, take a sloth and wipe the chain down gently to remove any unneeded excess lube. This will prevent too much dirt getting stuck the the outside of the chain. However if you have applied dry lube, leave it for a few hours till it has dried before you take it out for a ride.
How often show I lubricate?
When it comes to applying lubrication to your bike, it all depends on how far you’ve ridden it, what conditions etc, however we do say that it is best to lubricate your bike once a month. Once you get to know your bike quite well you will notice the signs to show how often you should add lube. You will notice if the chain feels smooth when you ride your bike.
All purpose lubricants:
Purpose lubricants are your day to day workhorses for keeping the bike moving and running smoothly. As with all lube, please be aware to clean off any excess. As this lube is quite thin, this can run down to your brake pads or other components of the bike that does not been lube.
How to choose the right lubricant for your Electric bike?
There are many types of lubricants available today. Some lubricants are designed specifically for use with bicycles while others are meant for general automotive purposes. There are some good reasons why you should consider choosing one type of lubricant over another. Here are just a few of them:
1) The environment – It’s always best to go green when it comes to our planet. Using environmentally friendly products is a great way to help keep our earth clean. If you’re going to ride your bicycle outside, then you’ll want to make sure that you use something that won’t harm the air quality around you. You don’t want to be breathing in anything harmful from your bicycle!
2) Safety – If you’re riding your bicycle down the road, then you definitely want to make sure that your safety is taken into account. This means that you want to make sure that the product you purchase is safe for your bicycle and doesn’t cause slip hazards if you were to fall off your bicycle.
3) Cost – Sometimes, there isn’t much difference between two different types of lubricants. However, sometimes, the price of one type of lubricant can be significantly higher than the cost of another. In these cases, it’s best to look at what features each type of lubricant has before deciding which one to buy. If you are not sure, it is always safe to go with lubes that are purpose built.
4) Ease of Use – When you’re trying to find a new type of lubricant, you want to make sure you know how easy it is to apply. For example, do you really want to spend 20 minutes applying this new lubricant every time you take your bicycle out for a ride? Or would you rather just spray it onto your chain and let it dry so that you can get back on your bicycle without having to worry about it?
5) Durability – One thing that you never want to forget is to make sure that your bicycle stays in top shape. So, you want to make certain that the lubricant you choose is durable enough to last longer than few seasons.
6) Viscosity – You want to make sure that whatever type of lubricant you decide to purchase does not run down and leave residues on wheels and road surfaces causing slip hazards.