5 top tips on electric bike drivetrain and gear maintenance - ride easier, faster & longer

Just like an ordinary bike, your e-bike’s drivetrain is super important to keep working smoothly, so you get the best ride. Thankfully, it’s really easy to stay on top of drivetrain maintenance, helping you to stave off expensive trips to the bike shop for skipping gears, excess wear and replacement parts.

What is an e-bike drivetrain?

An e-bike drivetrain is the collection of parts that make it move when you pedal. Like an ordinary bike, it includes the front chainrings, the rear cogs/sprockets, the chain or belt drive, and the gear mechanism. On an e-bike, the drivetrain can also include the motor and battery system, but you can check out our separate tips for battery care here.

So, here are five top things you can do yourself to keep your e-bike’s drivetrain in top condition, so you can enjoy riding your e-bike for longer.

 

1. Keep the chain clean

One of the biggest contributors to drivetrain wear and poorly working gears is a dirty chain. E-bike chains are oiled so that they can work smoothy, but that oil also attracts dirt. Over time, this leads to a black chain that can clog up with dust and debris from everyday riding, reducing gear performance and increasing wear as that dirt is ground into your components.

So, we recommend that you periodically degrease your chain with a suitable chain degreaser, before drying and re-oiling it again. This will strip away most of the dirt and debris, and the application of new oil will ensure everything stays working smoothly.

 

2. Oil the chain

Hold on… we just covered this! But oiling your chain regularly is important to emphasise. Even if your chain is still relatively clean, it’s good to re-oil it from time to time to make sure it’s running smoothly.

The telltale sign that you need to re-oil your chain is a squeaky or dry rattling noise coming from the chain as you pedal. Just a small drop of oil on each chain link will quieten this noise, and protect your drivetrain for longer.

Top tip: If you have a belt drive (rather than a chain), you shouldn’t oil it or use degreasing products. Instead, give it a quick rinse with water periodically to remove any grit. It’s as simple as that!

Pure Flux One's belt drive (pictured), doesn't need oiling!

 

3. Look after your components

If your e-bike has a traditional gear shifting mechanism (known as a derailleur), this too may benefit from occasional lubrication to keep the shifting action quick and efficient, which in turn makes your ride easier and smoother, and your components last longer.

Here, a lubricant spray (that ideally can also repel water and drive out dirt) like WD40 applied to any springs in your derailleur will help to protect them and keep them functioning properly. If they’re especially dirty, you can use a degreaser first to clear out any unwanted gunk, then rinse it off and allow to dry before applying a lubricant spray.

 

4. Store your e-bike well

If you can keep your e-bike sheltered, this will go a long way to protecting your entire bike from excess wear. At home this could mean leaving it in a shed or garage, while at work you can make the most of any secure covered bike storage.

This shields your e-bike from extended exposure to rain and temperature extremes, which can add to drivetrain wear. Even stored a few degrees warmer away from showers can enable a wet e-bike and its drivetrain to dry a little quicker, so it’s worth keeping your e-bike stored under cover.

 

5. Check with an expert

Eventually, just like anything, your e-bike’s drivetrain will start to wear even if you take brilliant care of it. However, it’s really easy to keep an eye on how much wear you’re experiencing by dropping into your local Pure Electric store (or bike shop) for a free health check and advice.

Our professional mechanics will be able to perform some basic checks to let you know how much wear your e-bike drivetrain is experiencing, and tell you if any of your components need some specific maintenance. If your e-bike needs it, we’ll be able to book you in for a service.

Need a service or want expert advice? Find your nearest store now.

Want to read more? Find out how to take care of your e-bike’s battery to get better ranges and longer life, or check out why tyre pressures are so important.