In this article, we will answer the question of why does my electric bike keep cutting out? It’s a question we see quite often and not just with old or cheaper ebikes. New bikes can have cut out problems too. Here, we’ll go into a few common causes and how you can prevent and fix this frustrating problem.
Electric bikes have been around long enough for owners to realize their limits and experience problems. This is not exactly a bad thing as electric bikes are still, when compared to other transport innovations, in their infancy, and we are learning how to make them better and suit our needs more. Experienced electric bike owners have shared common problems and allowed us to diagnose and fix multiple problems, such as their power cutting out. So let’s get into it!
What Is an Electric Bike Cut Out
Before we start – let’s look at what an electric bike cut out actually is. It’s pretty simple. It’s where you’re using the bike but the power cuts out. That means no more assist from the motor so you’re totally on your own. It could mean:
- The throttle won’t work
- There’s no auto assist/pedal assist
- Battery turns off
- Heads up display cuts out
- No electrical power
In most cases it simply means that all electrical power supplied by the battery and electric bike componants go down – usually suddenly when you’re out on your bike. So, let’s look at why your electric bike could be cutting out.
Insufficient Battery Charge
It may sound obvious, but electric bikes need sufficient electricity stored within the battery cells to work properly. Therefore, if your electric bike cuts out, the first thing you should check is how much charge is left in the battery.
You should also ensure that your electric bike has enough charge to complete your journey before you set off. If you regularly run out of battery power during your rides. You may need to alter how you ride, or buy a higher-capacity battery for extra range. Alternatively, you can buy an extra battery to carry in a backpack. You can switch this spare battery for the flat one, allowing you to ride further.
It May Be Time To Replace Your Electric Bike Battery
Over time electric bike batteries degrade. This is because they are rated to have a specific number of charge cycles. As you approach the charge cycle limit, your battery life will get shorter and shorter.
A few other things affect the health of your electric bike battery, reducing its range. For example, if you store it in extremely hot or cold temperatures, the battery cells will be negatively affected, causing you to charge your battery more regularly.
If you need clarification on whether your battery needs replacing, it is worth taking it to a professional for them to assess its health. This way, you will know for sure if you need to buy a new electric bike battery.
Loose Or Dirty Connections
One of the most common reasons an electric bike will cut out is due to loose connections between the battery, motor, or controller. If you were to ride over a bumpy surface with loose connections, the power to your motor could be interrupted, causing intermittent cutouts.
If this happens to you, check all the connections in the electrical system to ensure they are secure. If they seem loose, carefully tighten them or take your bike to a shop specialising in electric bikes to solve the problem.
Sometimes the connections between the battery and the bike can get contaminated with dirt or water, especially on electric mountain bikes. Carefully inspect the connections for dirt, water or corrosion and clean them with a terminal cleaning solution to restore a good connection.
It is also important to check if your battery is mounted correctly. If it rattles around, the battery terminals won’t be connected to the bike properly, causing the power to cut out. We often see this happen when people change or move the battery, or after replacing the battery itself.
Loose Or Damaged Wiring
Similarly to the connections, vibrations, rough terrain, and poor maintenance can cause the wiring to become loose or damaged. This will undoubtedly cause your electric bike to cut out. To prevent this from happening. It would be best to inspect your electric bike’s wiring regularly. If you see any signs of wear or damaged insulation, you must repair or place the affected wiring.
Your Motor May Be Overheating
When you make an electric bike motor work hard over long periods, it can become stressed, causing the motor to overheat. Most electric bikes will automatically cut the power to the motor to protect it from high temperatures, preventing damage to the motor and the insulation around its windings.
Therefore, you should avoid prolonged periods of high-demand riding. By this, I mean don’t ride up incredibly steep hills on the highest assistance level for too long. If you need to do this, give the motor regular breaks so it has time to cool down. If this is a constant problem, consider upgrading your electric bike motor for one with better heat dissipation.
Faulty Motor Controller
One thing that is often overlooked when an electric bike keeps cutting out is the motor controller. If the motor controller is faulty, you may experience the power being cut off abruptly, but this can be fixed by replacing the controller. It is often best for a qualified electric bike mechanic to do this as it will protect your electric bike’s warranty. They may even be able to fit an upgraded version to enhance your riding experience.
Faulty Throttle or Pedal Sensor
If your throttle or pedal sensor is damaged or malfunctioning, it can send incorrect signals to the motor. These signals may cause the motor to cut out when you least expect it to.
If you experience unexpected cutouts, it’s a good idea to test the throttle or pedal sensor and replace it if you find any issues. When you replace it, you must do it correctly to ensure the new sensor sends accurate signals to the motor. Therefore if you are unsure of how to do this, it is best to seek professional help.
Software Glitches And System Errors
Sometimes electric bikes cut out when they experience software glitches or errors. This is frustrating, but you can prevent them by ensuring that your electric bike’s firmware or software is up-to-date. Most electric bike manufacturers release updates periodically to fix bugs and keep the electric bikes running smoothly.
However, if you have problems updating your electric bike, it is best to contact the manufacturer or talk to a professional electric bike technician.
Why Does My Electric Bike Keep Cutting Out? Answered!
When your electric bike cuts out unexpectedly, it can be incredibly frustrating. But now you are armed with the appropriate information to understand common causes and potential solutions. Those are the most common issues we see asked by our readership. Most of the time, these issues can be avoided with regular maintenance, inspections, and proper care.
However, if your electric bike keeps cutting out or you struggle to diagnose the problem, it is best to take it to a good bike shop with an electric bike specialist.
If you’ve found this useful, be sure to check out our blog where we share more interesting and useful information regarding electric bikes, and our reviews page where we review the latest electric bikes on the market.