eBike Chain Maintenance

The chain is a vital component of your e-bike and should be looked after well. In wet conditions, dirt and debris can become lodged in the links and cause them to become stiff and deteriorate faster than normal. Some electric bike chains come under more strain than those on a normal bike due to them being part of the drive train and can be expensive to replace. Your chain should be cleaned and lubricated regularly to maximize its lifespan.

Knock on effects of a poorly kept chain: Chains deteriorate faster when they are not looked after properly. This can be in the form of corrosion (rust), reduced flexibility of the chain links which can lead to problems with gear shifting or additional wear on the derailleur and drivetrain cogs. Maintaining the chain occasionally will not only extend its lifespan by years, but it will also improve how well your bike runs significantly.

Cleaning the chain: Cleaning your chain and keeping it largely free of dirt will go a long way in preserving its condition. It is unnecessary to clean your chain after every ride like we recommend with the electrical components but once a week or so should do the trick to keep it in good shape (mountain bike chains will need to be cleaned more often though). By taking a firm brush to the chain you will be able to get into the links and remove any dirt that may be in there (an old toothbrush can work great here). There are also tools that you can pick up specifically for cleaning chains, these sit onto the chain and remove much of the manual scrubbing you’ll have to do with a simple brush. Cleaning your chain will also give you a chance to look out for any tight or stretched links.

Lubricating the chain: Once you have cleaned your chain, we suggest you lubricate it straight after because during the cleaning process, especially if you use detergent or de-greaser, some of the existing grease or lubricant will be stripped, exposing it to corrosion and wear. A well oiled chain will be smooth and silent. Applying lubricant to the chain should be done away from the brake to avoid contamination and loss of braking effectiveness. One way to do this is to apply the lubricant and rotate the pedals so the entire chain can be coated. Once the chain is sufficiently lubricated, wipe off any excess with a clean, dry rag as over lubricating can actually attract more dirt.

Read more on how to maintain your lithium ion battery, electric bike tires and eBike brakes