Handling full-suspension electric mountain bikes (eMTB) requires specialized knowledge, particularly in care and maintenance.
These beasts can give you unbridled, carefree fun, but the extent of this enjoyment equals the extent of care you put in your bike. So, if you want to get into the full-suspension eMTB gig, you're going to need to start specializing in keeping your bike in optimum riding condition.
Before you get to maintenance and care, you need to assess why you want to go for a full-suspension eMTB first.
Going for a Full-Suspension Electric Mountain Bike
Bike enthusiasts who ride hardtails are often skeptical about going for an electric mountain bike with full suspension. Inarguably, a hardtail bike works, so why switch it up if you're comfortable with the status quo? Here are some beneficial reasons for going full suspension and electric.
Look back to the familiar trail routes you ride. Most likely, some sections of these trails still challenge you. Tight corners, big rocks, and steep declines break your rise and fall flow, and shake you up roughly.
The rear wheel of a full-suspension e-mountain bike is flexible enough to keep the bike's frame steady. This allows you to go up and down the trails with little interruptions in your forward momentum. As a result, your undulation becomes smoother.
Double the Absorption Power
Being shaken up vigorously can wear you out. If you tackle huge bumps with a stiff rear, you take the impact coming from it indirectly, even if you're standing on your pedals. Apart from that, you always have that thought of potentially overturning your bike when you hit the track obstacles too hard in the back of your mind.
Bikes with rear suspension soften the impact on your bike's rear, doubling your bike's impact absorption capabilities. You'll feel less tired because the bumps that used to send vibrations to your body are diminished. Thus, you can endure longer trail rides.
Smaller Margin of Error
Hardtail bikes undoubtedly require skill to ride them well on challenging trails—the more difficult the course, the smaller the margin of error. You must keep your sights on the obstacles immediately in front of you and then react to them in a matter of seconds.
Getting a specialized full-suspension mountain bike that's motor-powered allows you to skip some of the obstacles you normally have to analyze. It gives you more room to build up speed and set your sights further down the path with peace of mind.
The added battery and motor components elevate your full-suspension bike performance. The motorized e-mountain bike serves as your assistant both on the trails and on the roads. Some pedal-assisted bikes (pedelecs) give you options to go full analog, with partial pedal assistance, or fully motorized.
Some riders may say that this is cheating, but it's more like giving yourself options to maximize your sessions. That's what a specialized ebike can do for you. For example, if you mean to go hard on your training session, you can go full-analog before starting your trail ride and get completely spent during the entire practice run. Afterwards, you can use the pedelec or fully-motorized option on the way home.
eMTBs give you a boost that enables you to ride longer. The range of the eMTB's battery allows the motor to provide you with a boost whenever you're riding. If you're doing a cross-country circuit or an endurance road ride, budgeting your stamina is a must to hit your target time or mileage.
eMTBs can help you ride longer. You're not always going to ride a flat surface. If you're gunning for a personal best on a flat course and a steep uphill suddenly creeps out of nowhere, you have an option to boost yourself with the motor assist, allowing you to allocate your stamina on the flats and ride longer strategically.
Full Suspension Electric Bike Care and Maintenance
Going full-suspension and electric can be rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Ideally, you want your bike to always run seamlessly and give you only good times. But if you don't look after your bike, over time, it will show symptoms of deterioration.
Everything that moves wears out fast, and a full-suspension eMTB has a lot of parts that move around. Knowing how to properly care for your full suspension bike will go a long way in maintaining its performance. Here's what you need to know about taking care of your bike so it can take care of your enjoyment for years to come.
Clean your bike on a regular basis.
When you take your bike out for a ride, you expose it to environmental elements. Most commonly, dirt. The parts that are closest to the ground are the ones that attract a lot of it. Do clean the following:
- Drivetrain system
- Rim hub and spoke
How to clean your bike
Most eMTB's have water-resistant motors and electrical wires. Even so, you still have to be careful with cleaning them. It's tempting to go full tilt on the hose and let the pressurized hose gun blast away all the dirt. Please don't do this. You may knock out a few electrical wires or cause damage to some of the other moving parts of the drivetrain. Like anything else in life, gentle and steady is always the best way to go about things.
The amount of cleaning you do all depends on how hard and how frequently you ride. If you're someone who gathers not only dust but mud on your bike, it’s best to clean once a week. But if you're a casual rider, once a month will do.
Make sure the moving parts stay moving.
Leaving your bike outside for a while will degrade the moving parts. Lubrication is essential to keep your bike moving like the wind. Check the following moving parts of your bike:
- Front and rear suspension
- Wheel hub and axel
- Gear cassette and crank gear
- Crank and pedal
- Bottom of the saddle
- Brake levers
- Disc rotors and brakes
Exposed to dirt and wind, these moving parts could lose their lubrication. When that happens, expect to hear frequent and annoying squeaks coming from your bike.
How to lubricate your bike
Inspect your bike by moving these parts and getting a feel for them. If the part seems sticky or rigid, lubricate and rust-proof it with WD-40 but be sure to clean off the dirt and dust first.
Check your parts once every two months for the casual rider, and check at least twice a month for a heavy rider. Lubricate as soon as you hear your bike (or its parts) squeak.
Full suspension post-ride care.
Pay close attention to your front and rear suspension. The suspensions tend to become rigid and wear out fast. Be sure to wipe these parts and clean off the dirt every after a moderate to heavy ride or whenever you're riding long distances.
Be sure to check the stanchions of your front suspension fork for any dents or scratches. These damages may fill up your suspension tube with dust and dirt. It's best to have your suspension serviced immediately if there are damages to avoid any hazards.
Battery care for longevity.
Batteries can lose their energy capacity because of improper charging and use. Be sure to check your manual for instructions on how long you can charge the battery and stick to that duration. Overcharging your battery can burn it and shorten its energy storage capabilities. Also, as a rule, batteries shouldn't be completely depleted because you'll consume the charge/discharge cycle fast. Finally, note that storing your battery at an even temperature and keeping it from impact will lengthen its life.
Specialized Mountain Bike Ready
Full suspension eMTBs are specially designed to upgrade your ride and performance. So it only fits to know how to care for them in a special way. Now that you are fully equipped and ready to be a custodian of a two-wheeled adrenaline machine, you can check out Specialized full-suspension electric mountain bike models. Their top-of-the-line Turbo Levo model can withstand the rough high mountain trails and require low maintenance—perfect if you're still developing as a full-suspension eMTB specialist.