Buying an electric bike, new or used, is often a considerable investment. Therefore, you’ll want to know if you’ll get your money’s worth over the bike’s lifetime.
Like regular bikes, electric bikes need regular maintenance, so one of the elements of how long they last are how well they’re looked after. Generally, an electric bike’s lifespan will exceed ten years. However, you’ll need to replace and repair various components during this time.
But, it’s worth remembering that the life of these components will also depend on their quality, how often you ride, and the type of riding you do. For example, if you exercise on your electric bike every day, it won’t last as long as if you just go on a relaxing weekend ride.
So in this article, we’ll answer the question of how long do electric bikes last? We’ll break down all the components and give you tips for prolonging the life of your electric bike.
Your electric bike’s frame isn’t something you need to worry about too much. Electric bike manufacturers make them more robust than regular bike frames. This is so it can withstand the extra weight and demands produced by the electrical system.
The main thing that will prolong the frame’s lifespan is regular cleaning. When you ride on the roads, your electric bike frame will pick up lots of dirt, traffic film and salt. Riding on mountain bike trails means that your electric bike gets caked in mud. If you don’t wash this off, your frame will eventually rust, especially if the paint is scratched and the salt gets on the bare metal.
Washing your electric bike regularly goes a long way to keeping it running smoothly and for a long time. Some people like to wash their electric bikes after every ride, while others do it weekly. But this depends on you and your type of riding.
Your Electric Bike’s Drivetrain
Your electric bike’s drivetrain is the collection of components that drive the bike along when you pedal with help from the motor. These include the crankset, chain and gearing system.
Depending on the type and quality of the gearing system you have, it can last as long as the bike does. However, some gearing systems break sooner than others.
Electric bikes usually have beefed up drivetrain components to handle the motor’s torque. But this doesn’t mean that you can just forget about it and continue riding without regular maintenance.
The dirt, mud, and grime y our chain picks up while you ride grinds away at your drivetrain. So cleaning and lubricating your electric bike chain will go a long way to prolonging its life.
Even though your electric bike will have a more robust chain, you should keep an eye on its health. Check that it’s not going rusty or has stretched. Anything that will stop your chain from running smoothly will wear away at your chainring, rear cassette, and derailleur.
Your electric bike chain should last between 1,000 and 3,000 miles before you need to replace it. Therefore, most riders will get one or two years out of their chain. Your gears should last about three to four years before they’re worn to the extent you need to replace them.
Changing a damaged chain is a lot cheaper than any of the other drivetrain components. So it’s worth checking your chain when you clean your bike.
How Long Do Electric Bike Tires Last?
Electric bike tires are more robust than regular bike tires. They need to be as the extra weight requires them to have stiffer sidewalls and more grip for stopping. In addition to this, they need to be more robust to cope with the torque produced by the motor.
Ebike tires wear out just like car tires and are vulnerable to anything you ride over. So you need to check them over regularly to see if you need to replace them.
If you fit your electric bike with quality tires, you can get around 4,000 miles out of them before you need to change them. Cheaper tires will last about 1,000 to 3,000 miles. But all this depends on how you ride and the surfaces you ride on.
When you inspect your tires, you need to look for the following:
Worn tread: This is easy to spot, as you’ll be able to see if the knobs or lines are drastically reduced in size. If they are very low, you’ll need to replace the tires.
A flat line down the center of the tread: If you ride an electric bike on the road, you will eventually notice that the tire will develop a flat line along the center of the tread. This will square off your side walls, making cornering unpredictable and affecting your ebike’s efficiency. Your tires will also be more vulnerable to punctures.
Cracks in the tires: Old tires start to perish, and a sign of this is cracks in the rubber. If you see cracks in your tires, it’s time to replace them before they get so bad you can’t ride home.
Regular punctures: If you keep getting electric bike tire punctures, it may be time to replace your tires, go tubeless, or buy some tires that are more robust for your type of riding.
The best way to ensure your tires last as long as possible is to keep them at the correct pressures. Find out the optimum tire pressure for your weight, bike and riding style, or keep within the manufacturer’s guidelines using a tire pressure gauge.
Electric Bike Brakes
How long your brakes last will depend on how you ride, their quality, the terrain, and how well you look after them.
An electric bike’s faster speed and higher weight will mean you need to replace your brake pads more regularly than on a regular bike. You can usually get about 3,000 miles from decent rim brakes, but high-quality metal sintered disc brake pads can last over 6,000 miles.
How Long Do Electric Bike Motors Last?
An electric bike motor is good for at least 10,000 miles, as long as you look after it. So from what we’ve discussed so far, the motor should outlast the other components. Therefore, you can ride for three to five years before you need to replace your bike’s motor.
The long lifespan of the motor may surprise you, but this is down to how it works. For example, the motor only turns while you pedal or use the throttle. Also, it’s not under lots of stress all the time, as it works in conjunction with your pedaling.
Direct drive hub-mounted motors last longer than geared hub motors. These motors use magnets inside the hub and stator windings on the wheel’s axle. This means that they have fewer moving parts than geared motors, enhancing their durability.
There are a couple of things that can shorten the lifespan of a direct drive hub-mounted motor. The first thing is that the motor can overheat, caused by too much power running through the direct drive hub, motor and associated components.
The excess of power can be the result of an uncalibrated controller. You can calibrate your controller yourself or get a specialist to do it for you.
The other thing that can reduce the lifespan of an electric bike motor is rust. Water can get into the motor when you ride in the rain or wash it with a high-pressure hose. Higher-quality electric motors have a higher IP (ingress protection) rating, which keeps water out. But you should do your best to prevent water from getting in or dry your bike as soon as you get back from a ride.
It’s a good idea to get your electric bike motor serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This can be done by dealers or bike shops that specialize in ebikes.
How Long Does An Electric Bike Battery Last?
The battery is one of the most critical components of an electric bike. People who ride electric bikes are concerned about how long a battery lasts, regarding its range and lifespan.
Check out our blog; how long does an electric bike battery last? for all the details. But in summary, most electric bike batteries give you 30 to 70 miles of range before you need to charge them. However, this all depends on how you ride, the profile of your journey, and your weight.
Also, you can charge electric bike batteries around 1,000 times, which gives most people about five years of use before they need to replace them.
How Long Do Electric Bikes Last? – Answered!
Electric bikes can last a long time; it’s just that you have to be prepared to change components from time to time. This is the same as owning a regular bike, so it shouldn’t put you off upgrading to an electric bike.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. So you can expect higher-quality electric bikes and their components to last much longer than less expensive ones.
But it is essential to treat your electric bike with care and maintain it regularly. This will allow you to enjoy riding it for well over ten years.
Check out our electric bike blog for more top advice regarding your electric bike.