Reasons Your E-Bike Isn’t Working and How to Fix It
June 23, 2023
When you’re coasting down trails or cruising on the road, nothing is worse than an e-bike malfunction. Nobody wants to be caught midway up a daunting hill when the pedal assist function abruptly stops. Whether you use your e-bike for weekend enjoyment or daily commuting, e-bike issues can happen to anyone. This is why we recommend durable e-bikes for all, including the best electric bike for long-distance touring–our Turris e-bike.
With an e-bike styled for touring, you’re guaranteed an e-bike built with longevity and durability in mind. However, issues may arise no matter how expertly designed your e-bike is. Luckily, there can be quick and easy fixes to get you and your bike back on the road.
Most Common E-Bike Functionality Issues (and Solutions!)
E-bikes are generally reliable ways to get around but require regular maintenance and repairs, just like any other mode of transportation. Below, we’ll explore some of the common issues that cause your e-bike to stop functioning as it should and how to troubleshoot the problem.
Problem: E-Bike Pedal Assist Isn’t Working
The pedal assist functionality is one of the main selling points of an e-bike, so it’s extremely inconvenient when it stops! Pedal assist sensors control the input to the motor when you pedal, and different bikes have different types of sensors. When your pedal assist isn’t working though, your bike is still operable. It essentially turns your bike into a traditional, manual bike unless you have a throttle handy.
Solution: Check For Power Cut-Offs
Malfunctions with your pedal assist are typically caused by cable issues or inconsistencies with connections. Here’s how to check your bike for cable issues and inconsistencies:
- Start by checking for any loose parts or any connections (especially if you have recently adjusted any component on your bikes, such as crank arms or chainrings). When you do this, look at the cadence sensor on the bike’s bottom bracket. Check that the magnetic sensor and cables are undamaged.
- Now that you’re looking at the cadence sensor, make sure it isn’t jostled out of place or that there’s dirt or debris disrupting its connection to the sensor.
- If these tricks don’t help to isolate your issue, take your bike to a bike shop for professional help or reach out to support. They will be able to accurately identify the issue, and guide you through replacing the faulty parts.
Problem: Battery Won’t Charge
Your battery is everything when it comes to your e-bike. It can be tricky to know where to find power when you’re e-bike touring, and when you finally find a spot to charge, you go into a panic when it doesn’t work. When the battery doesn’t work, the motor, pedal assist, and throttle won’t work, either.
Unlike with pedal assist malfunctions, when the battery dies, it can stop your bike from starting or cause it to continuously power off. There are many causes for this: a blown fuse, depleted battery from too-frequent charging, disrupted connection, or displaced battery pins.
Solution: Check Your Battery and Charging Materials
Because there are many factors contributing to why your battery isn’t charging, follow each of the steps closely:
- Start by checking your battery charger. Plug it into the wall and check which (if any) indicator lights turn on. If the indicator lights remain dark, then your charger may be defective. This is one way to test your e-bike battery.
- Another reason your battery may not be charging may have to do with the charger port, rather than the charger. Check this by confirming the charger LED indicator is green and inserting the charger tip into the battery port. If the indicator light does not turn from green to red, the port’s wiring or the internal fuse may need attention.
- If the issue hasn’t been resolved yet, look at the battery’s voltage. One way to see that the battery isn’t charged is if the LED lights and control panel do not light up. Use a voltmeter to check the voltage. Low voltage may indicate a divergent battery cell.
- Next, check the connection of your battery to the bike’s battery bracket. The battery nodes complete the electric circuit when they are connected to the bike and in turn sends power to the motor. When the nodes are misaligned, your circuit isn’t completed and power won’t flow. Reposition misaligned brackets with an allen key or screwdriver. Make sure the battery is not plugged into a power source when doing this.
The Ultimate Solution: Investing in the Best Touring-style E-Bike
We have listed a few of the most common reasons your e-bike may not work, but there are plenty of reasons your e-bike may not be functioning. At Ride1Up, we offer advice and support from expert mechanics and a one-year warranty when you purchase one of our e-bikes. We recommend the Turris, as it’s our favorite e-bike for long-distance touring-style adventures!