Revive Your Ebike for Spring: 7 Tips for Waking Your Ebike from Hibernation
April 14, 2023
It’s pedal season! You know what that means? It’s time to wake your ebikes from their winter slumbers and start rolling in the sunshine! Here’s 7 Aventon recommendations to look into before you start riding:
- 1. Ebike Tire Pressure and Condition
- 2. Brake Check 101
- 3. Test Derailleur
- 4. Inspect Chain
- 5. Thoroughly Clean Ebike
- 6. Check Clamps and Bolts
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#1 EBIKE TIRE PRESSURE AND CONDITION
Tires are important when it comes to getting around on two wheels. Go figure. Here’s a few things look for on your ebike tires once you’ve taken your bike out of storage to get ready for the road ahead:
- Inspect the treads and make sure your tires aren’t bald.
- Look for bulges or cracks. If there are any, throw them out. It’s time for new tires.
- Check ebike tire pressure. Fill to the manufacturer recommended psi located on the sidewall of your tires.
Keeping your tires in prime condition can promote a safer and smoother ride. To learn more about bike tire pressure check out our article ‘Ebike Tire Pressure Best Practices - Keep Your Wheels in Tip-Top Shape’.
#2 BRAKE CHECK 101
There are two different types of ebike brakes: Hydraulic and Mechanical. Let’s take a look at how to ensure they’re in working order before you start riding for the season.
Ebike hydraulic brakes use hydraulic pressure created when you pull the brake lever to clamp the brake. Storing your ebike in a hanging position can sometimes force hydraulic fluid to the lever and create bubbles in the brake caliper. You’ll be able to feel this when you pull the lever. There’s a lack of fluid as you pull back on the lever making the grip feel weak.
This can often be resolved by pumping the brake lever a few times. You should feel the motion of the lever return to its normal, fluid state. If the feel of the lever doesn’t change and remains weak, then take your electric bike to your local ebike service shop and ask for a “routine hydraulic brake bleed”.
Mechanical brakes are operated by a cable. When you pull the brake lever it puts tension on a cable which clamps the brake. The cables in mechanical brakes can stretch over long periods of storage and the result of this is that a brake will feel weak. This usually only requires minor adjustments to the cable’s tension. If you’re not sure how to do it yourself, we recommend you take it to a local ebike service shop to have this issue resolved.
Got squeaky brakes? Check out our article ‘Why is My Ebike Squeaking? And Other Ebike Noise Questions Answered’.
#3 TEST THE REAR DERAILLEUR
The rear derailleur on your ebike functions in the same way that mechanical brakes do, and the cable that controls the derailleur can also slacken over prolonged periods of storage.
Test this by riding around the block and switching through gears. Changing from one gear to the next should be smooth. If the changes are a little rough and clanky then the tension on your rear derailleur needs to be adjusted. Take your ebike to your local ebike service shop for this adjustment.
#4 INSPECT THE CHAIN
The ebike chain is what makes pedaling possible. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when taking your bike out of storage.
- Check your chain for rust. If there’s any rust, replace it.
- Check chain wear (chain stretch). Pin to pin should measure half an inch.
- Your chain should run smoothly around the cassette and derailleur. If it doesn’t, you may have some stiff links.
- Apply oil if needed.
Enjoy the ride.
For more information for your pre-ride check, read our detailed article 'Ultimate Ebike Maintenance Schedule & Guide'.
#5 THOROUGHLY CLEAN YOUR EBIKE
If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, there’s a good chance it’s covered in dust or cobwebs. Use a clean, dry rag to wipe it down while checking your ebike for any rust. The chance of rust is unlikely, but if it’s present you should take it to your local ebike repair shop so they can give it an inspection to ensure the problem isn’t anything more than aesthetic.
While it might not be entirely necessary, there’s no harm in giving your ebike a good cleaning before you hit the bike path for the first time this season. If you need a little reminder on the best way to clean your ebike, refer to our comprehensive and easy to follow guide ‘How to Clean an Electric Bike’.
Finally, if you have lights on your ebike check that they’re still in working order. Ideally you’d have wanted to take the batteries out of your lights before you put your ebike in storage. If not, check for corrosion. We recommend putting in new batteries instead of continuing to use the old ones so you can ride with complete confidence, without feeling like you have to rush when it starts to get a little dark. Better to be prepared just in case.
#6 QUICK RELEASE CLAMPS AND BOLTS
Your ebike is equipped with numerous quick release clamps and bolts that hold everything together. Let’s take a look at how to ensure they can be easily adjusted, or are tightened properly.
Quick Release Clamps
Over time quick release clamps can loosen slightly. When you take your ebike out of storage, loosen the seat post’s quick release clamp and make sure that it closes firmly again. Sit on your seat while supporting yourself with a wall to test it doesn’t collapse with your body weight. If it's loose, tighten the bolts where needed.
The main bolt you want to inspect is your headset bolt. This is the one connecting your front fork to the frame. Check for any signs of rust and any play between the fork column and the frame. If you do find rust or any play between these components, take your ebike to your local ebike service shop for them to inspect and fix for you.
Another bolt to check is the stem bolt. This connects the handlebars to the fork and frame of your ebike. To test and make sure everything in the stem is tight, stand in front of your ebike with your front wheel held between your legs and turn the handlebars. If the handlebars turn independently of the wheel then your stem bolt needs tightening. If you have an Aventon ebike, simply use your hex key provided, and tighten as much as needed.
#7 HOW TO WAKE YOUR BATTERY
After any 48 volt battery for ebikes has been sitting idle for a prolonged period of time, it can sometimes seem like it doesn’t want to come back to life. But have no fear! This is a very normal way for batteries to behave. Here’s the process to properly waking ebike batteries:
- Put the battery on the bike
- Plug the charging tip into the battery
- Plug the charger into the wall
- Tap the power button on the battery once to turn it on
- Press and hold the POWER button on the controls to turn on the display
- Charge battery for recommended time (2 - 5 hours) or until fully charged
The next day you can remove the ebike battery charger and test your bike and battery to make sure everything is performing as it should. A 48v battery for ebikes can last a while if taken care of properly. To learn more about battery care, check out our blog ‘Taking Care of Your Ebike Battery: The Ultimate Guide’.
A FINAL WORD
This list may seem a bit extensive, but the tasks on here are easy to complete and will give you peace of mind during the sunny riding season just around the corner. While it’s important to take the time to do some ebike maintenance yourself, it’s equally as important to have bike professionals service your ebike from time to time. Don’t forget to keep up on your maintenance throughout the riding season and enjoy using your ebike wherever it takes you!