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Low Maintenance is not NO Maintenance: A Guide to Keeping Your Ride DialedUpdated 2 days ago

You've embraced the joy of low-maintenance Vvolt ebikes, equipped with all the fancy features that make your ride smooth and hassle-free -- excellent! But here's the inside scoop: low-maintenance doesn't mean NO maintenance. Bikes vibrate. Components may loosen up over time. Things happen! You're rolling over earth, after all. Let's dive into the geeky details of keeping your ebike in top-notch condition because, let's face it, every bike deserves a little TLC.

1. Keep it clean! 

That's right -- one of the most critical maintenance tasks is also the most boring -- cleaning your bike! Grit and grime from the road will expedite consumable parts like brake pads and belts. Give your bike a rinse every once in a while, just be sure to power down and remove your battery first! Focus on the drivetrain and don't power wash as there's no need. A clean bike is a happy bike. That being said, we firmly believe in leaving a tiny bit of dirt from your last ride for good luck. 

2. Brakes

Your ebike's hydraulic disc brakes should be powerful, quiet and dependable. However, even the best brakes need a little attention.  

Brake Pads and Rotors

Every now and then, take a peek at those brake pads as a quick check can save your from future headaches! If your pad material measures less than 1.5mm in thick, it's time to swap them out for fresh ones. Don't fret, it's a small effort for a big payoff in braking performance. Worn out pads won't brake as well and can be noisy! All Vvolt ebikes use the same widely available brake pad shape available for purchase here or at your local bike shop.

Looking for a great resource for checking and replacing your brake pad on your own? Our friends at Park Tools created a wonderful article for you to absorb -- check it out! 

Your brake rotors should be round and quiet. If hear any excessive noise (excessive being like a howl or big scrape), that's a sign of contamination somewhere between the pads and rotor. Brake pad surfaces and rotors are very sensitive to any contamination -- think oil from your fingers! Always glove up and keep some isopropyl handy if you're attempting any work on your own brake system. 

Park Tools offers a great resource page on brake rotors. Vvolt uses the ISO 6-bolt brake rotor standard sized between 160-180mm in diameter. 

Brake Bleeding

All Vvolt ebikes use a mineral oil based system and should work dependably for a very long time. That being said, if your brake lever begins to feel a bit spongy and you know your pads are in good shape, there may be some air in your system. you may need to give these If your Vvolt ebike levers say either "Radius" or "Rush", the bleed procedure is similar to Tektro-style brakes. For other Vvolt ebikes with Tektro or Shimano brakes, follow the procedure outlined by the brake manufacturer to bleed the brake. 

If your RADIUS or RUSH branded brakes feel spongy or require "pumping up" before the pads engage, reach out to us at [email protected] 

3. Gates Carbon Drive Drivetrain

Ah, the Gates carbon drive belt – the stealthy means behind converting your pedal strokes to forward motion. While it's designed for durability, it's not invincible. Every couple of thousand miles, give it a thorough inspection. Look for any signs of wear, cracks, or misalignment. If it's dirty, give it a rinse with some water and a soft bristled brush. You can also inspect the teeth or your belt ring and cog for excessive wear. A little preventative care will keep you cruising smoothly and maintain that oh-so-satisfying silence. We've seen belts with 7000 miles look great when care has been taken to keep them clean. Wanna know more? Head to Gates and see what they have to say (pg. 10) themselves!

Proper belt alignment and tension are imperative towards a quiet, long life for your Vvolt drive train. If you hear any popping or clicking noises out of the blue, reach out to us at [email protected] 

4. Wheels: Intermittent checks of roundness, trueness, and even tension 

A well-built wheel is a super important component on any bicycle. While we check our wheels for even spoke tension, trueness and round, big bumps or heavy riding can send the wheel out of balance. Every once in a while, give your wheels a spin and check for any wobbling side to side or up to down. Tires aren't always perfectly situated upon a rim and can make a true wheel look kinda wobbly. Try holding something like a tire lever in a fixed position right beside the rim surface when spinning the wheel for a better view! If things seem off, a quick visit to your local bike shop can get them back in line, ensuring a trouble free ride experience. If you begin to make adjustments to the spokes without the correct tools, things can turn south real quick! 

5. Tires: Tread Wear Matters

Your tires are the only thing between you and the road, so it's crucial to keep an eye on their condition. If the tread wears down, it's time for a change. Don't wait until you're slipping and sliding – new tires mean better grip, safer rides, and an all-around happier cycling experience.

 6. Safety Inspections: Mileage-based check ups

Your Vvolt ebike should be mostly silent while rolling down the road. Besides the wind, you should only hear your tires rollin' along the road, path, or trail. If something feels loose, you hear a clicking, ticking, knocking, or clanking, or the bike is simply not performing as you'd expect, it's time to roll down to your (hopefully) friendly local bike shop and request a safety inspection, not a "tune-up". If you're a high mileage ride (over 5000 miles/yr), we recommend a biannual checkup. If you're not putting in that mileage, then a yearly inspection should suffice. That being said, if you experience a crash or the bike takes a big tumble, it's best practice to have it professionally inspected before you begin riding again. 

Remember, maintaining your low-maintenance ebike is all about riding smart and staying ahead of potential issues. A little love and attention go a long way, ensuring your ebike continues to be the envy of the road. Happy riding, fellow bike nerds! 🚴‍♂️✨

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