Whether you’re going to get your electric bike out again tomorrow, or you’re not going to ride it for a few months, you need to store it properly. Correct storage prevents issues with the battery and makes sure your bike is in the top condition possible. Get your storage routine right and your bike will be ready to go again just as soon as you are.
Electric cycles perform best when used regularly. If you are going to store it for a long time there are special considerations to keep a healthy battery and extend the lifespan of your e-bike. Read on to find out our top storage tips for a healthy electric bike and a happy cyclist!
1. Store the Battery Separately (Especially In Winter)
If you are going to store the bike for an extended period of time, then you need to remove the battery and store it separately. This allows you to closely monitor the temperature and make sure your battery isn’t degrading because of poor storage.
The battery should be stored between 0 and 20C (this means 32 to 68F). Extreme temperatures can make the battery degrade quickly. As a rule of thumb, any temperature that would make you feel very uncomfortable will have the same impact on a battery. Below -10C and above 50C are very bad for the battery.
Though your ebike has electrical components, which can be sensitive to freezing or overheating, the frame and motor are more difficult. They can cope with winter temperature drops better than the battery. You might store your e-bike in a garage where the temperature drops to freezing. Even if you do this, keep the battery indoors and reattach it when it is time to ride again.
2. Keep The Battery Partially Charged
Your battery uses charge cycles. A complete discharge from 100% to 0% is one cycle. If you keep charging your battery and then letting it drain then it will shorten its lifespan. The Lithium powder inside will keep warming and cooling as it charges, and this means that the electrical resistance in the battery drops.
Somewhere between 30% and 75% is ideal for long-term storage. Some people keep their batteries on charge, but this runs the risk of an electrical fire. If you want to keep the battery level stable, you can use a wall-plug timer. It will automatically shut off the power to the battery, topping up the level and not letting it completely drain.
3. Take Advantage of Space-Saving Solutions
When you’re storing your bike, you don’t need to dedicate a whole room in your house to keep it securely stowed away. There are some inventive solutions for storage.
A wall rack can hold your e-bike flush against the wall. This minimizes the space the bike takes up and ensures you’re not losing any floor space. It’s a great way of displaying the bike and avoiding a cluttered look. Even if you have a small apartment, this can allow you to store it easily. Make sure you buy a rack that will fit, whether you have a men’s or ladies’ electric bike. Padded hooks also help to prevent scratches and damage.
If you haven’t bought your e-bike yet, you may choose an option that lends itself to space-saving solutions. There are many folding models including convenient step-through electric bikes. This makes it easier to take your bike on public transport, to store while you’re at work, and to keep safely stored in your home. Folding bikes can also make it much easier to find somewhere to stow it away.
If you have space available in a garage (preferably a fairly warm garage) this can be a suitable storage space. Just ensure that you are following the battery tips so that you aren’t risking your battery life as a result of poor storage.
4. Space-Saving for Multiple Electric Bikes
If you’re lucky, you might not be the only electric cyclist in your house. If you have someone you can take on your bike rides with you, or your whole family like to ride, you’ll need to consider storage for multiple bikes.
A floor rack is the standard solution if you have a few cyclists in the home. These are made of strong metals and you can keep 2-4 bikes upright within. You can even use a bike lock to offer further security if you wish. This is fine for people who have space, but if you need to store your bikes within your home then it can take up a lot of valuable room.
A wall-mounted system using hooks is a better option to save space. These effectively “hang” the bikes in a vertical position up against a wall. You can save a lot of floor space this way and still have a secure and safe way to store your cycle.
5. Always Clean Your Bike Before Long-Term Storage
Cleaning your bike isn’t a fun job. It is a vital step, especially before you put it in storage for the long-term, such as over the winter. This isn’t just about looking great. Cleaning can prevent damage and extend its lifespan. Dirt can cause corrosion in important components, especially if it is left for a long time to settle.
Top tips for cleaning your bike:
- You will need cloth or rags, water, and some dishwashing soap. You will also need specific bicycle oil and lubricant.
- Focus on cleaning the frame, cassette, gears, and chain. The chain needs extra precautions like lubricant to avoid rust and to keep the bike in good condition when it is time to ride again.
- Don’t use a pressure washer. This can cause damage due to the harsh force, and it can even perforate into electrical components.
- Once you’ve cleaned and dried the chain and cassette, lubricate them, ensuring the bike’s mechanism runs smoothly.
Some people spare no expense buying the best electric bike and keeping up with maintenance. If you want to, you can go to a bike shop and get a professional clean. Some shops will even clean individual components. This isn’t a vital step, but it is good to be thorough and to keep your bike in the best possible condition.
6. Be Aware of Moisture
When you are choosing a storage solution, you need to remember that moisture is the enemy. High levels of moisture cause rust due to oxidation. This can make your bike look bad, but it has more profound effects than that. Rust on your chain or in components in the motor might mean that you need to replace parts. This can be very expensive.
Humidity levels above 55% are risky. The longer you keep your bike in these conditions, the more likely it is that moisture will seep in and start to cause rust. If you don’t properly lubricate the chain, this can be even more likely. A hygrometer can be used to check the moisture in the air and give you peace of mind.
7. Always Consult Your Manual
Each brand of electric bike is slightly different. The maintenance tips vary depending on each bike. Though the manual is not likely to give you specific guidance on storage, it can tell you more about the vital component; the battery.
You will learn the battery type, and whether there are specific charging instructions, within the manual. You might also have to stick to some protocol to keep yourself safe. Some battery models have a fire risk. Even if this is a very small risk, you should ensure the area has a smoke detector and fire extinguisher.
Your manual also tends to have key information about the warranty that comes with your electric bike. Many of the top models come with a one-year manufacturer warranty that can help you to ensure that the battery and other components are protected for 12 months. Other parts such as the frame might be protected for longer under the warranty. This doesn’t mean you can ignore safe storage, but it gives another layer of protection.
8. Take Precautions When Taking Your Bike Out of Storage
To conclude the best practice when storing your bike, you need to finish the process correctly. If your bike has been stored for weeks, or even months, you should take some precautions when getting the bike out and preparing to ride again.
The best advice after a winter of storage is to take your electric cycle to a local bike shop. They can give it a thorough tuning and ensure that everything is working as it should. You can do much of this yourself, but only if you are confident that you know what you are doing. Inexperienced bike and e-bike users are better at leaving it to the pros.
Things to check include:
- Brake lines. Are the lines taught and functioning correctly?
- Brake pads. Are they worn?
- Chain lube. Is the chain adequately lubricated?
- Tires. Are there any slashes or wear that could make the tires a risk?
- Battery. Is the battery healthy and holding plenty of charges?
Whether you tune it yourself or get the professionals to do it, you should go for a short test ride afterward. Check if the bike is working to your liking and feels right before embarking on a longer adventure.
Can I Ride My Electric Bike in Winter?
You don’t always have to store your bike throughout the winter. Many people keep riding all year round. Beware of the snow and freezing temperatures. Your electric bike will continue to work even in cold temperatures. However, as we’ve already covered, it is not good for the battery.
There are some extra precautions to take if you plan to ride your bike in a cold snap:
- Wear reflectors to make sure you are visible at all times
- Install headlights to see further ahead and spot any danger
- Get used to braking, and keep speeds lower. Braking on an electric bike can take longer as they are heavier, and this can increase the skid risk if you aren’t cautious.
- Don’t let parts freeze up. Storing your bike outside for a long period of time is not a good idea, even if you are just going to get coffee for 30 minutes, leaving your bike outside may cause damage.
Can I Store an Electric Bike Outdoors?
Storing your bike outside is not ideal, but it is possible. As long as the battery stays inside, and you take precautions, it shouldn’t do too much damage.
Your bike needs some protection from the elements. This means that you should make sure it is in a covered area or invest in a small bike shed. This can prevent rain or UV damage.
One of the biggest dangers associated with storing an electric bike outdoors is the increased risk of someone stealing it. Opportunists may be able to sneak into your yard and take the bike. A good bike lock is essential for trying to prevent this, and you can even install security cameras, but it may not put potential thieves off.
It’s definitely not the best scenario when it comes to keeping your bike in top condition, and safe from potential thieves. You can store your electric bike outside if you protect it, and take the battery inside.
Storing your electric cycle properly can give you years of extra use, and save you money on repairs. You can even use inventive methods such as vertical bike racks to save your floor space, and keep your bike safe indoors.
Lightweight bikes such as the X-Treme Malibu Elite can even be stored safely on wall hangers. This bike even has a lifetime warranty on the frame. Keeping your bike indoors gives you the chance to display your beautiful bike, but also keep it away from the elements, at a temperature that protects the battery and the frame. Your bike will be secure and ready to go whenever you need it next.
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