You can’t always be sure a failure or a breakdown of your ebike happens in town, or near home, or at least somewhere where help can be accessed locally. If your ebike or equipment fails somewhere remote, then you just have to accept the fact that you have to fix the problem yourself, or admit defeat to yourself that you are stranded.
If you are alone, on a remote camping or fishing trip, miles from civilisation, then you have to deal with any problems that develop on your own. It’s true that you cannot fix everything that could go wrong, but it is advisable to be prepared to fix what you can to enable you to continue on your journey.
So, what kind of equipment should you have at hand in case of any emergency failures or complete breakdowns? And what can you fix, and what will be out of your skill set?
What Can You Fix in The Wild?
The main thing you have to consider, is to know your limitations. There are certain things you cannot fix either because they are beyond the expertise of anyone but a trained engineer, or because the equipment you would require to carry out such a repair is not something that would be seen outside of an engineer’s workshop.
Therefore, trying to repair a failed motor, or a battery pack, or any of the electronics, is, we can safely say, beyond the realms of a trackside repair.
The good news is, though, that the majority of failures, unfortunately likely to occur, are either common bicycle type failures, or easily resolved electric failures. After all, an ebike is basically a bicycle with the added components to power it electrically. Therefore, chain drives, brakes, and flats can be dealt with in the traditional way, and with a little luck an electrical fault, such as a loose or broken connection, can be fixed, or temporarily repaired, enough to get you underway again.
What Equipment Will You Need to Get You Underway Again?
Tire Levers – For removing tires to access the inner tube for repair.
Puncture Patch Kit – Don’t let a simple puncture halt your progress
Spare Inner Tube – In case the damage to the original inner tube is unrepairable.
Bicycle Pump – For inflating tires after a patch or repair.
Spare Spokes – if your wheels have them it is not a bad idea to carry some spares in case of damage to the wheel.
Spoke Adjuster – to assist with tightening loose spokes, or replacing broken spokes if necessary.
Hand and/or socket wrenches – Make sure you have a wrench sized for every nut and bolt on your ebike.
Allen Keys – Again, make sure you have an Allen key for every size you need.
Screwdriver – Consider a small reversible screwdriver, always handy to have.
Pliers and Insulating Tape – Handy to have in case you need to reconnect loose wiring in an emergency.
How Do I Repair My Ebike?
Carrying out any repairs on an ebike, even simple bicycling repairs such as fixing a flat, requires at least a rudimentary knowledge of the mechanics of the ebike. Some people are gifted in the way they can size up a problem and work out a solution with very little thought, some others are hapless when it comes to dealing with anything mechanical.
It is well worth the effort taking time to learn the workings and intricacies of your ebike, and build up a working knowledge of how everything works together and what to do if something fails. If you are the mechanically minded individual, this may be easy to do and take up very little of your time. If you are the one who doesn’t know a brake lever from a pedal, then you may have to devote some time to learning how to use such as the tools listed above, and work out a strategy on how to deal with the rare occasion that you may have to make use of such tools.
For even the truly hapless, this is not an insurmountable issue, there are many courses available, either online, or perhaps through a local ebike shop, or college, that can guide you through a course of ebike maintenance and repair, from the rudimentary to the more complex issues you may come across. YouTube is also a great leveller up for learning about most any subject, and there are plenty of videos available to view, with a quick search, on practically any fault that is likely to develop on your ebike.
If you purchased your ebike from a local shop, speak to the person who works in the back of the shop who deals with the repairs and maintenance of customers ebikes. They are the truly knowledgeable ones, and are usually only too happy to pass on some tips and tricks that will help you deal with most of the problems you may encounter with ebike ownership. They will also be able to advise you better on what brands of tools will serve you better from the list above, and probably, if they have the time, tutor you best on how to use such tools. Most ebike shops will see this as an investment in a potentially long term customer and not a chore. A happy customer is one that will come back time and again.
See Also: Ebike Cleaning and Maintenance
Getting to Know Your Ebike
Once you have armed yourself with some knowledge, and gotten to know your ebike a little better, that knowledge and understanding of how each part of the mechanics and the electrics works together becomes more understandable and relatable. The more you use your ebike, the more you will get to know it, and learn of the idiosyncrasies that may separate your model of ebike from other brands. You will soon learn what parts may fail more often, and learn to inspect these particular parts more deeply when preparing for an extended trip that may include remote areas.
Now you have the knowledge and tools, and you know your ebike inside out, you can plan those extended trips into the wilds knowing you can deal with whatever mechanical failures or breakages befall you. These events will be rare, and if you are lucky, may never happen, but the main thing is that you are prepared and able if they do.
Taking a trip into the wilderness should not entail getting stressed out about what could go wrong. It should be all about enjoying the journey and the scenery, and the happiness of just getting away from it all for a while. Armed with the tools and knowledge to deal with any problems that may occur means that you can concentrate on having a good time. That is, above all, what ebike ownership is all about.