E-Bike check: 10 tips from the Riese & Müller service workshop.
24.05.2022 | Tech & Tipps
At our site in Mühltal, we have our own area which is mainly used for our in-house assembly of bikes and for repairs and inspections. Daniel Neuroth, Unit Co-Head of the Service Workshop, provides some valuable tips on quick maintenance for the start of the season.
Pull the brake levers a few times and check the biting point. Can you pull the levers so that they are almost touching the handle? If so, the brake pads probably need to be replaced. You can shine a torch into the brake calliper from above. This allows you to visually check the thickness of the pads to the left and right of the brake discs.
Clean the front and rear lights with a cloth. Then, with the bike switched on, pull both brake levers once and see if the brake light reacts as expected. Also switch the main beam on and off once.
Check the overall condition and the air pressure of your tires regularly. The ideal inflation is indicated on the side wall of the tire in the side wall colour, for example, “27.5 x 62-584 2.0-4.0 BAR”.
Make sure that your E-Bike is switched off. Remove the batteries if you want to be absolutely sure. Then, with the bike stationary, grasp the spokes with both hands as if you were playing a harp and apply some pressure with your fingers. Can you notice clear differences in tension? Is a spoke loose perhaps? If so, please take your E-Bike to a workshop.
Clean the retracted lower legs with a clean cloth. You can also sit on your bike and let your weight slightly compress the suspension fork or shock absorber to check that everything feels normal.
Touring model (chain drive)
#6 Chain care
Regular maintenance pays for itself when it comes to the chain drive. Simple rule of thumb: the more regular you clean it, the less effort is required. Once the chain drive is very dirty, it takes some time to get everything clean again. If the bike has got wet – in the rain, snow or even after cleaning – you should dry off all parts of the drive. This prevents the formation of rust marks. You should oil the chain afterwards.
#7 Chainwheel and cassette
The front chainwheel and the cassette with the sprockets on the rear wheel should be as clean as possible. A clean cloth, a brush and some biodegradable household washing-up liquid in water will help. The washing-up liquid should then be thoroughly removed with clean water and the cassette dried with a clean cloth.
#8 Jockey wheels
The two jockey wheels below the rear axle should run cleanly and smoothly. If necessary, you will have to clean them from both sides. If you have previously oiled the chain, tough dirt will stick to the jockey wheels and may need to be scraped off carefully with a firm, ideally non-metallic object (such as an old plastic tire lever). You should do this before you clean the chain, so that any dirt you scrape off doesn’t dirty the chain you’ve just cleaned.
With a chain drive it is important that the chain is neither wet and/or completely dirty, nor too dry. You can clean and dry the chain with a cloth and then apply a little chain oil to the lower track while idling the crank. Too much oil attracts dirt, which can damage the chain. Therefore, you should wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth. Then shift through all gears once to evenly distribute the chain oil to all sprockets.
Vario model (belt drive)
#10 Belt care
The Gates belt is considered virtually maintenance-free. In fact, a belt is considerably less work to maintain than a chain drive. But it should not be completely neglected either. A new system in particular needs to be kept supple with a silicone spray at the beginning. Thorough cleaning also helps ensure that the belt drive will last a long time. While dirt is not quite as damaging as with a chain drive, it can sometimes cause a slight creaking – a clear sign that the belt is running too dry and needs some care.
Interview with Daniel Neuroth, Co-Unit Head Service Workshop, Riese & Müller
Hi Daniel! You have been Co-Head of the Service Workshop at Riese & Müller since October 2021. What are the tasks that fall to you?
One important task for the Service Workshop is to assemble ready-to-ride new and used bikes. This also includes employee bikes and work bikes for staff and orders from our Family & Friends section. Fundamentally, of course, we are responsible for repairs and inspections, for example on bikes that have come back from specialist dealers. This usually involves complaints. We also set up and maintain rental and fleet bikes, such as those found at some Alnatura supermarkets. Sometimes someone from our team does all this at the customer’s site – even travelling as far the North Frisian Islands. And finally, all the bikes for trade fairs and journalists also pass through our workshop.
What are the particular challenges you face in the Service Workshop?
The biggest challenge is actually to manage the workload because we aspire to carry out repairs as promptly as possible. At the same time, we also have to allow a certain buffer for work at short notice. It’s always about making the best use of the workshop’s capacity.
What are you working on for the future?
For the future, plans for the Service Workshop in the new building are on the agenda. In addition, our department provides technical support to the Riese & Müller MTB Racing Team. The team bikes are custom assembled and maintained in our workshop.
Thanks for the insight, Daniel.