6 Common Misconceptions About Electric Bikes

March 13, 2024


Electric bikes (e-bikes) are a sustainable and innovative form of transportation that offers the convenience of a bike with the added boost of electric power. 

Like any vehicle, they require proper maintenance to perform at their best. Unfortunately, e-bike owners may occasionally encounter issues ranging from minor glitches to more serious malfunctions. 

Understanding these problems and knowing how to troubleshoot them effectively can save time, money, and frustration. 

This guide aims to equip e-bike users with the knowledge to identify common issues and resolve them, ensuring a smooth and reliable ride.

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Common Electrical Issues and Fixes

Battery Problems

Common battery problems in electric bikes include diminished capacity over time, inability to hold a charge, and total failure to charge. 

These issues generally arise due to the natural degradation of lithium-ion cells, improper charging habits (like frequent overcharging or draining the battery completely), or exposure to extreme temperatures.

Symptoms: The e-bike battery is fully charged but not working, e-bike has intermittent loss of power

Fault checking:

1. Visual Inspection: Check the battery for any visible damage such as cracks or bulges.

2. Connection Check: Ensure all connections to and from the battery are secure and clean. Corrosion or loose connections can cause issues.

3. Voltage Test: Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. It should match the specifications provided by the manufacturer. If the voltage is significantly lower, the battery may fail.

4. Charge Cycle: Fully charge the battery and monitor how quickly it discharges. If it discharges too quickly, it might be reaching the end of its lifespan.

4. Battery Management System (BMS) Reset: Some e-bike batteries are equipped with a BMS that can be reset. Check the manufacturer's instructions for how to perform a reset.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, consider taking the battery to a professional for a detailed diagnosis, as the problem could be internal and more complex. Regular maintenance and careful charging can help mitigate these issues and extend battery life.

Electric Bike Hub Motor Problems

Electric bike hub motor problems often include issues like overheating, reduced power output, or complete motor failure. These problems can arise due to various reasons such as: Overuse and Strain, Poor Maintenance, Quality, and Design Flaws.

Identify issues:

1. Check Connections: Inspect all electrical connections between the motor, battery, and controller. Ensure everything is tightly secured and free of corrosion.

2. Inspect the Motor: Look for any visible signs of damage or overheating. Check for debris or obstructions that might be affecting motor function.

3. Test the Controller: The controller regulates power to the motor. Use a multimeter to ensure it is sending the correct signals and voltage to the motor.

4. Error Codes: Refer to your e-bike’s display for any error codes that can diagnose specific issues with the motor.

5. Consult the Manual: Many e-bike manuals include troubleshooting sections that can provide guidance specific to your model.

If these steps do not resolve the problem, it may be necessary to consult a professional.

Controller Malfunctions

Controller malfunctions in e-bikes can include issues like sudden loss of power, erratic behavior of the motor, or failure to respond to user inputs.

These malfunctions typically occur due to electrical issues, such as loose or corroded connections and damaged wires, firmware glitches that might need updates or resets to function properly, and overheating continuously caused by continuous high-load operation.

Check for faults:

1. Error Codes: Check the display for error codes, which can indicate specific problems with the controller.

2. Inspect Wiring: Ensure all connections to the controller are secure. Look for frayed wires or loose connectors.

Reset Controller: Some electric mountain bike allow for a controller reset, which can clear faults. Refer to your bike's manual for instructions on how to reset.

3. Voltage Checks: Use a multimeter to verify that the controller is receiving and distributing power correctly.

4. Firmware Update: Check if there are firmware updates available for the controller that might resolve software issues.

If the problem persists, it might require professional diagnosis, as controllers are complex and their issues may not be easily identifiable at home

By following these guidelines, you can often pinpoint and resolve the root cause of many common electrical issues, restoring your e-bike's performance and reliability.

Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues, while often less cryptic than electrical ones, can still hinder the performance of your e-bike. Here’s how to handle some common mechanical problems.

Electric bike pedal assist not working:Pedal assist, also known as Pedal Assist System (PAS), is a feature of e-bikes. If the pedal assist is not working, it could be due to several reasons: Incorrect Sensor Readings, Dislocated or Misaligned Magnets, and Connection Issues of several wires and connectors that link the sensors, the controller, the battery, and the motor.

Examine for Errors:

1. Check the Sensor: Verify the alignment and positioning of the sensor near the pedals. It must be close enough to detect pedal movement. Misalignment can prevent the pedal assist from activating.

2. Inspect the Connections: Look for any loose or disconnected wires leading to the sensor or controller. Secure all connections and ensure that the cables are in good condition.

3. Test the Battery and Controller: Ensure that the battery is properly charged and functioning. Sometimes issues with the battery or controller can affect the pedal assist function.

4. Consult the Display: If your e-bike has a display, check for any error codes that might indicate specific problems related to the pedal assist system.

5. Reset the System: Turn the bike’s power off, wait for a few minutes, and turn it back on. Sometimes a simple reset can resolve electronic glitches.

6. Manual and Professional Help: Refer to the bike's manual for specific troubleshooting steps related to the pedal assist system.

Braking System

Braking system problems in e-bikes can occur due to a variety of reasons: Misplaced Brake Cables, Worn-Out Brake Pads, Damaged Brake Levers, Jammed Brake Levers, Damaged or Dirty Brake Rotors, and Brake Fluid Leaks.

Common Problems: Unresponsive brakes, squeaking, or excessive wear.

How to Troubleshoot Braking System:

1. Inspect Brake Pads and Discs: Check for wear and tear. Replace the brake pads if they are worn down.

2. Check Brake Cables and Hoses: Look for any signs of fraying, kinking, or leakage in hydraulic systems.

3. Adjust Brake Levers and Calipers: Ensure that the levers are not too loose or tight and adjust the calipers for optimal performance.

4. Clean the Components: Dirt and debris can impair braking efficiency. Clean the discs and pads regularly.

5. Bleed Hydraulic Brakes: If your brakes feel spongy, it may be necessary to bleed the system to remove air bubbles from the hydraulic fluid.

Drivetrain and Gears

Drivetrain and gear problems in e-bikes can occur due to a variety of reasons: Misalignment of the Chain, Slipping of the Gears, Worn-Out Gears, and Damaged Derailleur.

Issues: Grinding, slipping, or noisy gears.

Fault checking:

1. Check Chain and Sprockets: Inspect for wear, rust, or damage. Replace the chain or sprockets if they show significant wear.

2. Clean and Lubricate: Regularly clean and lubricate the chain and gears to keep them functioning smoothly and prevent premature wear.

3. Adjust Derailleur: If shifting is poor or noisy, adjust the derailleur for better alignment and smoother gear changes.

4. Inspect the Shifters and Cables: Make sure the cables are not frayed and that they move freely. Replace any damaged cables and adjust the tension properly.

5. Tighten and Align: Ensure all components are tightened to the correct specifications and properly aligned.

Addressing these mechanical issues promptly can prevent more severe damage and maintain the smooth operation of your e-bike. If these steps do not resolve the issue, it may be best to consult a professional mechanic.

Sensor and Display Issues

Sensor and display issues on e-bikes can include malfunctioning speedometers, inaccurate battery level readings, or non-responsive touchscreens. These problems often occur due to dirt and moisture, poor connections, and software glitches.

Inspect for malfunctions:

Before that, check display connections first, ensure the display unit is correctly connected, and that the wires are intact and secure.

1. Inspect Sensors: verify that sensors like the speed sensor or torque sensor are properly aligned and not obstructed.

2. Reset and Calibration: Some issues can be resolved by resetting the display or recalibrating the sensors. Refer to your bike's manual for specific procedures.

3. Error Codes: Look for any error codes displayed that can guide you to specific issues needing attention.

4. Test with Multimeter: Use a multimeter to check for continuity and correct voltage in sensor and display circuits.

If problems persist after initial checks and adjustments, it may be necessary to seek help from a professional technician who can diagnose and fix complex issues.

How to Prevent Troubles?

Preventive maintenance is crucial for extending life and enhancing the performance of your electric bike. Here are essential maintenance practices.

1. Regular Cleaning: Keep your e-bike clean from dirt and grime, which can affect its components, especially after riding in poor weather.

2. Battery Care: Always store the battery in a cool, dry place and keep it charged, especially during long periods of non-use.

3. Lubrication: Regularly lubricates the chain, gears, and moving parts to reduce wear and tear.

4. Tire Pressure: Maintain correct tire pressure to improve efficiency and reduce tire wear.

5. Professional Checkups: Schedule annual checkups with a professional to ensure all parts are functioning correctly and safely.

Following these maintenance steps will help keep your e-bike running smoothly and reliably.

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Regular maintenance is key to enjoying a long-lasting and reliable electric bike experience. By understanding common issues, such as those related to the battery, motor, and brakes, and learning how to troubleshoot them, you can prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. 

Tackling issues early and performing regular maintenance can ensure your e-bike remains a convenient, eco-friendly, and enjoyable mode of transportation.

We hope this guide helps you keep your electric bike in top shape! Don't hesitate to reach out to our website for a qualified e-bike technician.

Related reading: Is bike riding a good way to lose weight?


1. Why did my e-bike suddenly stop working?

If your e-bike suddenly stopped working, it could be due to a few common reasons:

Battery Issues: The most common cause is battery-related problems—either it's depleted, not properly connected, or has aged and lost its ability to hold a charge.

Electrical Connections: Loose or corroded connections can disrupt power flow to the motor or controller.

Motor Problems: Failures within the motor or its associated components can cause an abrupt stop.

Controller Malfunctions: A faulty controller can lead to sudden power loss.

2. How do I reset my e-bike controller?

To reset your e-bike controller, you typically need to follow these steps.

1. Turn off the e-bike: Power down your bike completely.

2. Access the controller: Depending on your bike model, you might need to open a compartment or panel to access the controller.

3. Find the reset button: Look for a small button or pinhole labeled "reset" on the controller.

4. Use a tool: If it’s a pinhole button, use a small tool like a paper clip to press the button.

5. Hold the button: Press and hold the reset button for a few seconds as specified by the manufacturer.

6. Repower the bike: Turn on your bike and check if the issue is resolved.

Always refer to your specific e-bike’s user manual for detailed instructions tailored to your model, as the process can vary between different brands and types of e-bikes.

3. Why is the throttle not working on my electric bike?

If the throttle on your electric bike is not working, here are specific steps to troubleshoot and potentially fix the issue:

1. Check the Connections: Ensure all throttle connections to the controller are secure and undamaged. Loose or corroded connectors can impede throttle function.

2. Inspect the Throttle: Look for any physical damage or wear. If it appears damaged, replacement might be necessary.

3. Test the Throttle: Use a multimeter to check for continuity. If the throttle isn't transmitting electrical signals properly, it might need to be replaced.

4. Check the Battery and Controller: Low battery power or controller issues can affect throttle operation. Ensure the battery is fully charged and functioning, and consider resetting the controller.

5. Consult the Manual: Refer to your e-bike's manual for specific diagnostic steps for the throttle system.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, it might be wise to take your e-bike to a professional technician for further diagnosis.

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