Know your e-bike! While it’s essentially still a bike with the addition of a motor and battery, those two things add a lot to the knowledge base required to get the most out of the machine. Here are links to the FAQ sections from our manufacturers. This will get you started and will allow you to better navigate the information that follows below.
charging your battery
- All large lithium batteries are a potential fire risk, so always charge in a safe place and under the proper conditions. You’re not going to hear this from the manufacturers because they don’t want you to think their product is going to burst into flame. But facts are facts, so play it safe.
- Never charge a lithium battery unsupervised in a house or building. We’ve heard of safety-minded e-bike riders charging their batteries outside in an old BBQ grill or even inside a wood burning stove if they have one in the house. Some riders set up a dedicated area in a workshop or garage where they can place a smoke / fire detector above their charging station.
- Avoid temperature extremes, both in usage and when charging. Lithium ion batteries like to be cool, so avoid leaving your bike on the car rack in the sun or otherwise getting overheated. Conversely, if your battery is cold and you want to charge it, let it come to room temperature first.
- And yes – it is a bit contradictory to tell you to charge your battery outside in a BBQ grill when that grill may be sitting on a 20°F January backyard patio. In such a case, get the battery up to 32°F minimum, room temp is better, and charge it at an inside location you can monitor.
- One other temperature oddity: lithium ion batteries stored cool last longer and hold charge better. Ever wonder why some camera manufacturers recommend storing batteries in the fridge?
- Last safety harangue: don’t try to charge a battery you suspect is damaged. Like if you dropped it or somehow dinged it up. It may look fine on the outside, but if the internal cells got deformed or developed leaks, you’re on the fast track to Flamesville. Call your local fire authority. Seriously.
Charge Your Battery Regularly
- But you don’t need to charge after every ride. Lithium batteries need to be charged only when they need to be charged.
- Guess what? You don’t have to keep it charged at 100% all the time. Lithium ion batteries degrade over time, and the longer they stay charged to a higher voltage, the sooner that degradation occurs. Charge it up when it’s between 30% and 60%.
- Do not leave your battery on the charger once it is charged.
- Do not store your battery fully discharged. Also if you store your battery / bike for an extended period of time, charge the battery before storage and then charge once a month during the storage period.
- Lastly, you will no doubt start seeing ads and internet forum acolytes advocating for aftermarket chargers, satiators, advanced smart chargers and other items claiming to make your battery charging life easier / better / more glamorous. While we’re not going to badmouth any of these products, we are going to remind you that using these sorts of things will void your warranty. Fight the urge, and if something does ever go wrong with your battery, we have two full time warranty tech reps in the service department who will help.
That’s the nutshell stuff and will keep your battery working and charging well. Nevertheless, it would be wise to review the more in-depth information linked in the article below. This piece was written by Ravi Kempaiah, who clearly knows a thing or two about batteries. He is pursuing his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois and focusing on developing advanced battery materials for his thesis. He is also an e-bike enthusiast and the current Guinness World Record holder for the longest journey on an e-bike:
installing the battery
You’re going to need a 4mm hex key, and you can have the battery off in seconds to charge or replace with that extra battery you brought for the long ride day. It is SUPER IMPORTANT that the hex key is turned in the correct direction. Some models have an arrow, some do not. It needs to turn clockwise about ¼ turn to release the battery. If it is turned counter-clockwise then it can break the mount that holds the battery!
Trek offers one of the easiest ways to remove and charge the battery – RIB for Removeable Integrated Battery. Let Cam show you how:
Watch the video below:
KNOW YOUR WAY AROUND THE DISPLAY
The displays on each brand of ebike sold at WRC are different, reliant on the design attributes of the manufacturer. To a maker, they are all easily understandable and very user friendly. Nevertheless, be sure to familiarize yourself with your display (and app, if using) to ensure a safe and fun ride.
using the app
Of course there’s an app for that! Get the app loaded on your phone and expand the capabilities and enjoyment of your ebike and all its technology.
Keeping your firmware updated is essential to keeping your bike running properly. We can do it for you here at the shop or you can access it through the app. We will always perform a firmware update / check whenever your e-bike is in the shop for service or annual tune up.