Electric mountain bikes are fun to use until it is time to clean them. Your electric mountain bike is bound to get dirty any time of the year in the United States. However, you can take simple steps to clean it yourself to ensure its components’ longevity and save money.
Cleaning your electric bikes might be difficult, but fear not because we have covered all the proper techniques in this guide.
Setting up Your Electric Mountain Bike Before Washing It
There are a few things to set up and inspect before you get to the real business.
Remove the Battery
The electric mountain bikes are designed to ride in muddy and splashing waters, so using running water to wash them would not do any more harm.
However, removing the battery before cleaning your electric bike is better, even though manufacturers claim you can leave it in place.
It is always better to protect it from water as much as possible and prevent any short circuits and other complications.
Learn Your Electric Bike Against a Wall
Do not wash your electric bike upside down. Instead, use a stand or lean the bike against a fence or wall for ample space to work around the various components.
Take care that you are doing this task in an open area where you can make a mess, like your garden or front yard.
Inspect Your Bike Before Washing It
Turn off your electric bike and ensure the charger ports are secured with caps.
Check the tires, chain, gears, and brakes for wear and tear and whether any component needs replacement, like the pad and rotors.
Check in the user manual how much water your electric bike can handle, and then decide whether you can use a water hose or just soap and a bucket of water.
Cover Your Display With a Cling Film
It is a good thing if you can take down the display, but if it is fixed, it is wise to cover it with a cling film to ensure maximum protection.
You can also use towels or a piece of cloth to cover your display and the power switch.
Gather the Things You Will Need
Once settled, ensure you have the following items at your disposal.
1. A Water Hose or a Bucket Full of Water
Two buckets of water are better than one, as you can add soap to one bucket and keep clean water in the other for rinsing.
If you use a shower hose, set it on a medium or low-pressure shower setting.
2. Bike Cleaning Soap
You can always use dishwater and dilute it with water to wash your electric bike, or you can buy a specific bike-washing liquid that wouldn’t be too hard on the plastic components.
3. Bike Stand
A bike stand allows you to wash your bike comfortably by raising it to a desirable height.
It also lets you wash the various moving components and spin the wheels and peddles. This also makes cleaning the drivetrain much easier.
Stubborn and hard-to-remove mud or dirt can be cleaned with a brush. Use soft bristled brushes to scrub the tires and reach their grooves.
A brush is also handy to clean hard-to-clean places like brakes and peddles.
5. Bike Degreaser
Bike degreasers are great for cleaning your drivetrain and other sticky parts prior to washing your electric bike.
Be careful not to overspray the degreaser around your electric bike’s components.
6. Sponge or a Piece of Cloth
You will need a sponge or cloth to wipe down your bike’s frame and remove muddy patches and dirt from your electric bike.
You will also need a dry towel or a rag to wipe down your electric bike after washing it.
7. Poly Film
If you cannot remove your display or other electric components because they are fixed to your electric bike, you can cover them with a poly film to reduce water penetration.
8. Chain Oil
Chain lube or oil prevents rusting and corrosion after washing your electric bike.
Ensure you do not over-lubricate your chains, which can attract even more dirt.
9. Disk Brake Cleaner
Disk brake cleaner wipes your brakes properly to eliminate grease and dirt on the brake disks.
10. User Manual
Some electric bikes come with special instructions for washing, so having your user manual nearby will cause you much less trouble.
Cleaning Your Electric Mountain Bike
Cleaning your electric mountain bike depends upon your frequency of using it.
Mountain biking requires cleaning after each use, and regular riding on roads requires less frequent and deep cleaning.
- Wipe Down the Frame With a Wet Rag or Sponge
Thoroughly clean your electric bike using a wet rag or sponge. Wipe down the frame and get rid of excessive dirt.
Make sure to concentrate on the underside, where the dirt and mud most likely accumulate.
Avoid wiping the bottom bracket, front, and rear wheel hubs, and headset with a wet cloth, as they contain bearings that can be damaged by contact with water.
- Use a Brush to Clean the Dirtiest Parts
Use a soft bristle brush to clean the rims and tires of your electric bike, as these surfaces get the most exposure to mud and dirt.
Scrub around the wheel, spokes, and hub, and repeat the same procedure on the other side of the wheel.
You can occasionally wet your brush in soapy water to make the scrubbing easier. Avoid rubbing the brush on the hub bearing and brake pads.
3. Rinse Your Electric Bike
Use clean water to rinse the surface of your electric bike lightly. Use a low-pressure water hose or a bucket to pour water onto your bike.
It will rinse the mud and tough dirt on the surface and in the corners of the components.
Avoid using a pressure washer as it can force water inside seals and cable sheaths.
4. Apply a Degreaser
Use a bike degreaser and let it soak in for 5 minutes on the entire drivetrain, including derailleurs, chain, chainrings, and cassette.
These parts undergo a lot of stress in an electric bike, so keeping them clean is essential. Turn the cranks backward to get the degreaser on all the links, and then use water from a hose to wash away and rinse it.
Do not use a spray degreaser on brake pads and rotors.
5. Use Soap and Water
Take a bucket of soapy water, dip a sponge or brush in it, and start cleaning the handlebars, seat post, front fork, and brakes.
Scrub the chainrings, cranks, and cogs, and hold the chain with the sponge while you rotate the pedals to clean the excess grease.
Your electric bike is water resistant, so do not worry if water gets in the battery compartment, as it will drain out by itself.
Avoid using soap on rotors and brake pads, and use rubbing alcohol or bike-grade rotor cleaner instead.
6. Washing Specific Components of Your Electric Bike
Use a bike chain cleaning tool to make cleaning your bike’s chain much more effortless.
Since the electric bikes cannot be pedaled backward, check that you have aligned the cleaning brushes with the travel direction of the bike chain, and then turn the cranks so that no grease or dirt is visible.
Use a small bush or a toothbrush to clean the chainrings to ensure that you tend all the space around the rings, pulleys, and teeth.
Rinse and repeat if there still are any remains of filth and dirt.
Scrub the cassette with dish soap and rinse and repeat until it is clean.
A disk brake cleaner should gently wipe the brake disks to avoid contamination of the pads and rotor.
- Dry Your Bike Carefully
You will need dry towels to wipe down the bike and absorb large amounts of water.
An air dryer will make your work easier by drying the hard-to-reach areas and blasting away the moisture.
Bounce your electric bike on its tires a few times and dry it in the sun to remove excess water.
- Re-Lubricate Your Bike
Your electric bike’s drivetrain needs re-lubrication to maintain good condition of the chain, cogs, and chainrings.
A good chain oil should lubricate the chain by turning the cranks and slowly dropping the lube as the chain travels.
A spray lubricant is feasible for cogs as it coats each sprocket and its teeth.
The derailleur can also be lubricated using spray oil, and spraying it from different angles will ensure that the jockey wheels are entirely coated.
9. Post-Cleaning Steps
Pay special attention to your battery compartment. Ensure it is completely dry before reinstalling your battery if you have taken it out before washing.
Use a microfiber towel to absorb water from electrical components and bolts, and confirm that all connection ports are dry and clean.
Shift your electric bike from gear to gear to verify that the re-lubrication process was done correctly and the lubricant is evenly distributed.
You should also check your tire pressure before taking your electric bike out for a ride.
What Should You Consider Before You Deep Clean an Electric Bike?
Most professionals recommend wiping down the bike or degreasing it to be enough if you mostly ride your bike on roads on bike paths. However, if your electric mountain bike is clogged with mud after a 4-hour race, it requires some serious deep cleaning.
According to NY Times, people in the USA bike longer and more frequently on electric bikes than regular bikes due to ease of riding and covering more distance.
Owning an electric mountain bike comes with the responsibility for its regular maintenance, and cleaning it efficiently will keep your electric bike running smoothly and safely.
Here is what you should keep in mind before you start cleaning an electric mountain bike.
Pay Attention to the Products You Are Using to Wash Your Bike
Be careful when choosing soap or detergent to clean your bike.
Soaps and products with harsh chemicals can attack the plastic on your battery or control unit. Use a mild bike-washing soap that will clean off the dirt and grime.
Let the Bike Dry Before You Start Cleaning It
Even if you had a muddy trip, letting the dirty water and mud dry off themselves before cleaning your electric bike with clean water makes your job much easier.
It would be best if you do not clean your electric bike directly after using it.
Do Not Use a Jet Wash or Power Wash
A high-penetration power wash can get into the suspension and bearings.
Even though the display, battery, and other components are coated with a water-resistant material, the water can still penetrate, which is why high-pressure washing is avoided.
Refit the Caps Over Charger Sockets
Manufacturers of these bikes claim that the motors and frames of the electric bike are waterproof, but it is still wise to ensure that the caps are secured over the charger sockets.
This prevents any water from getting inside the battery.
Pay Attention to the Sensitive Parts
Do not use a hard brush on the electric bikes components like bearings, motors, hubs, and seals.
Always use a damp cloth or soft brush to clean most of the mess. After washing your electric bike, use a dry wipe cloth to absorb any moisture left behind.
Dry Your Bike Entirely Before Storing It Away
Use an air dryer or a microfiber towel to reach every electric component of the bike.
Pay attention to its battery and motor cover and ensure that it is completely dry before storing it inside. Leaving your bike in a sunny place for a few hours after washing is also recommended.
Cleaning your electric mountain bike takes patience and great care, but if you follow the proper steps to wash your electric bike, the process becomes easier and more enjoyable.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.