Electric bikes are pretty amazing inventions, the only downfall of having all these electrical components is that if one has an issue, it can cause the whole bike to cut out, and there's nothing worse than being halfway up a hill only for your bike to stop working.
An electric bike can cut out mid-ride due to several different components not working in your bike, this could be the motor, battery, controller, PAS system or sensor. Most of these issues can luckily be identified and solved quickly to get you back on the road, but we need to know how to identify one first.
So with that being said, we have got a troubleshooting guide below which will help you determine why your electric bike keeps cutting out, along with how long your e-bikes motor should last and how to maintain these electrical components properly to minimise the chances of them cutting out again.
Having your electric bike cut out unexpectedly can be frustrating, not to mention dangerous if you are in the middle of the road. One of the first questions to ask is, how old is your bike? Sometimes electrical components on bikes will just cut out when they have reached their end of life, this can be the case especially with batteries and motors.
If your electric bike is still pretty new and in good condition, try reading through these common causes below and see if they could be the problem.
First of all, you should check the sensors on your bike. Knocked out sensors can easily be a reason for your bike to cut out, or they may just be faulty, bad brake sensors in particular can be known to cut off your bike when they think you are trying to slow down.
In terms of sensors, it would also be a good idea to double-check that your brake motor inhibitor wires are not connected, if so they could potentially be cutting off your motor as they will assume that the brakes on the bike are being activated.
To test if this is the issue you could unplug then sensors then see if your motor will start working again.
Having a bad battery is a very typical reason for your electric bike to cut out. The battery management system on most batteries will cut off the battery if any cells start to fail or overheat, this could be likely if your battery is old or part of a low-quality e-bike, as these packs tend to be recycled.
You may have also been charging your battery too much and not letting it drain each time before a new charging cycle, all these reasons can cause the management system to cut the battery off. Check the battery charger too and ensure it has a charging light.
One way to verify if your battery is to blame for your bike cutting out could be by trying it on a different bike, if your battery is the problem, you can simply replace it with a new one instead.
Battery prongs are also worth checking on your bike as these can become out of position if you knock them accidentally, to fix just simply re-align them.
Next up, it could be the controller on your electric bike which is to blame. Your controller is part of your bike which will determine the amount of power your bike assists you with from the motor and battery, as soon as this part of your bike is damaged, it can cause power issues, like your bike cutting out during use.
Check the controller for loose wires, make sure it is turned on and that there is no blown fuse. Any burnt components could happen from the system overheating.
Sometimes throttles can get stuck on bikes and can cause connection issues when it comes to power, a loose one will often miss on strokes and give a loss of power. The throttle on your e-bike can be replaced if it is damaged.
It is also possible for the PAS to be causing power cut-outs on your electric bike if it has been knocked out of position, or other mechanical adjustments have been made around it. You can always move the magnet sensors back into position if need be.
If your motor has not simply reached its end of life, then it could be causing you to have power issues if there is a loose connection.
On rear hub motors, in particular, wires can become frayed or even burn out over time, which can stop your motor from working properly. Copper coils could also overheat and cause your motor to short circuit.
To conclude, if you try all the troubleshooting causes above and still can't figure out what's wrong with your e-bike then your best to take it to a professional for it to get looked at. If a power cut out happens to you while on your road, just simply ride your bike manually till you get home, this may be more of a workout due to its weight but is still doable!
Since worn down electrical components on an e-bike can cause power issues, you might be wondering how long your e-bikes motor and battery should last before they need to be replaced.
For the motor of your electric bike, on average it should last you at least 10,000 miles, however, factors such as weight and throttle use can affect this as they will cause your motor to wear down quicker. Avoid buying too high-powered motors for your requirements as they are heavier and will often cost more.
The battery of your electric bike if lithium-ion should last for at least 1000 charging cycles before you start to get any age-related issues, which is around five years with correct care. You can increase the lifespan of your battery by storing it at incorrect temperatures and not letting it fast charge or go flat completely.
To avoid premature issues in your motor, battery and other electrical components of your e-bike, should make sure you are doing regular and correct maintenance so as things can stay running smoothly
We have listed out our essential maintenance tips below to keep your bikes electric parts in the best condition possible.
What is the 80/20 rule for an e-bike battery?
This is a rule for charging your battery, letting your e-bike's battery get below 20% or above 80% gives it great stress levels, so you should always disconnect it before 80 and stick it on charge before it drops below 20.
Should I drain my battery each time before charging?
No, letting your battery completely drain can damage it and reduce its lifespan.
Why is my e-bikes power making jerky and erratic movements?
Jerky movements can be caused on your bike by PAS settings being changed, a damaged motor or your brake sensors could potentially be playing up.
What causes the motor to wear down quickly on an electric bike?
Heavyweight, too much power and using the throttle also can contribute to wear down of your motor, but it should last for around 10,000 miles before you see any of these signs.
Overall, as worrying as it can be when your electric bike cuts out, most of these electrical components can be fixed pretty easily. If something goes wrong or there is a loose connection, just simply ride your bike home manually and troubleshoot your bike with the common causes above or take it to a professional if your unsure what is causing these power cuts when riding your e-bike.