How difficult is Electric Bike maintenance?

Josiah12

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My parents have been looking at eBikes, what's the maintenance look like?
Some of them are 100% proprietary from the post to the chain & "derailleur." I'm trying to steer them toward either an established bike company (ie. Trek) or one using off the shelf components. The fancy looking Van Moof and Cowboy bikes look like a whole different beast...one even uses a belt instead of a chain.
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csailor

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First question is the use. How heavy are they, what are the intended uses, Hills? or mostly flat. How far on average do they need to go. In most cases it is just basic maintance. Bikes like Trek are very costly and may not be needed.
 
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Hoggdoc

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My parents have been looking at eBikes, what's the maintenance look like?
Some of them are 100% proprietary from the post to the chain & "derailleur." I'm trying to steer them toward either an established bike company (ie. Trek) or one using off the shelf components. The fancy looking Van Moof and Cowboy bikes look like a whole different beast...one even uses a belt instead of a chain.
Most of the e-bikes on the market today use off the shelf components. The issue is having someone local that will work on e-bikes they don't sell. Trek and other bike Mfgs are generally way overpriced for what they offer in reality. I would stay away from bikes using slick hidden batteries as they may not be available as easy a more standard mount on a tube type battery. Keep in mind the battery is the single most expensive part on a e-bike.
 
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Calsun

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Biggest problem is having a rear tire puncture with a rear hub motor. Being able to easily remove the battery pack from the bike for charging makes it a lot easier to keep the unit charged. Having a local dealer who will troubleshoot is more important than a bike where warranty support requires a long drive to another town.

I like the Giant e-bikes but the nearest dealer is 2 hours drive time away or 4 hours round trip and if I have to leave the bike at the shop and make a second trip then that is another 4 plus hours.

I would not assume that your parents' budget is the same as yours. A $5,000 e-bike or two may be affordable in their minds if it keeps them healthier and more fit in their later years. A lighter bike will be easier to lift up and put into a bike rack and that is no small deal and a lighter bike will get used more often.
 

pnwbiker

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You can by direct from a manufacturer and still find someone to work on it. I use Velofix (velofix.com), there are others. Velofix will come direct to your house, put the bike into their 'shop-on-wheels' and do whatever needs to be done. Price is similar to what you'd pay in a bike shop. Some folks feel better taking their bikes to a shop. I'd ask your parents what their comfort level is with either and if they have a vehicle that can carry the bike to a shop.

I lube the chain every 150 miles or if I start to hear it. So that depends on how many miles and what kind of weather your parents might ride in.
I had Velofix come out after 150 miles (I rec'd the bike Mar 15, 2021) and had them do a "Spring Tuneup" which was probably overkill based on how new the bike is but I wanted every nut and bolt torqued and the brakes and derailleur checked out. I will do this every spring or so, but I intend to put ~500 miles per year on this thing (I hope to do more but the weather here in the PNW is tricky and I don't ride in the rain which means I get to ride about 4 months out of the year LOL).

Belt drives are a newer thing on bikes, the only issue is getting a new one on while on the road - they require a bit more effort than a chain and require the back wheel to be removed (or at least removed from the frame posts).

Lots of options for flat tires, I use Tannus Armor liners. I doubt I'll be getting a flat unless I run over a long nail or something way out of the ordinary. If you spend up and get tubeless tires, most repairs can be done without taking the wheel off the bike (folks that I know tell me they rarely get flats with their tubeless tires).
 

neilh

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its very basic. 1st thing is to adjust the deraillor. the forward and reverse stops so that the chain will jump the gears smoothly w/o any noise when pedalling. second i had a problem with the chain being too loose . the chain would jump over one tooth of the high speed 13 tooth gear because they didnt get the length correct at the factory. it made for a jerk at the top of the pedal stroke. i took out like 3 links or so. made an immediate huge improvement. other than lubing the chain once and awhile not much else. lube all the spokes where the threads are coming in contact with the rim with white grease once a year
 

neilh

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best way to buy an e-bike is try to buy it thru alibaba if you can which is quite easy youll save a lot of money because almost all e-bikes are made in china. youll save maybe $400 for a $1300 e-bike bought on amazon.
 

csailor

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First question is the use. How heavy are they, what are the intended uses, Hills? or mostly flat. How far on average do they need to go. In most cases it is just basic maintance. Bikes like Trek are very costly and may not be needed.
So many questions. what are u using it for? That is the answer
 
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