Storing when not in use
When you aren’t going to be riding for a few months
(as often happens in winter), store the battery off the
bike and out of extreme temperatures. Keep batteries
warm (not hot) and dry. Before storing, charge your
battery to full, then put it on the charger to top it off
once a month or so. If you live in an area that is hot,
don’t keep your bike in the hot garage. That heat can
kill your battery.
If you can’t take the entire bike inside, you should at
least take the battery inside with you. If you’re comfortable, your battery probably is too. If you live in an area
with high humidity, the same rules apply. Electronics
and humidity aren’t good friends. Use it while you are
riding, but keep your bike out of the heat and humidity
when you aren’t riding it.
Automobile battery tenders, made for lead-acid car
ignition batteries, charge the battery as quick as they
can, then drop voltage to a trickle to keep the battery
topped off. Bike chargers, especially for lithium-based
batteries, don’t do this. Once the charge light turns
green, it isn’t charging at all. Your charger won’t keep
the battery topped off; the only energy going through
the charger is lighting the green LED.
Do not connect your battery to your charger and
then put that on a wall timer. Unattended charging
can be dangerous. Modern e-bike batteries safely
monitor charging and ensure that none of the cells are
overcharged, but that doesn’t mean you should get
careless and risk losing your house to a fire! Instead,
manually plug it in at the beginning of every month until
it turns green.
Lithium batteries lose about 10 percent of their
charge per month. If you let them go too low, they may
stop working altogether. Best-case scenario here is
that you need to charge them overnight. If that doesn’t
help, take them to your bike shop. They usually have
more sophisticated chargers that will bring the cells
safely back to life or tell you if one or more of the cells
Take your battery to your bike shop if you’ve
dropped it or if it’s been over-discharged. Let them do
diagnostics on it to make sure all the cells are safe and
there are no short circuits or cell reversals.
When your battery’s life is over, don’t throw it away!
Take it back to your bike shop so they can recycle/
dispose of it properly. You’ll probably be going back
to get a new battery there, anyway. The bike shop
will know what to do with it, and they can get you a
Remember, in a nutshell, it doesn’t take much effort
to keep your battery healthy. Properly charged and
taken care of, your battery will power your bike and
give you years of powered enjoyment. ■
Some companies design their frames to hold
their battery system in other places. This offers
the chance to control the weight distribution and
affects the feel of the bike when riding.
There are various ways that a battery system can
be mounted on an electric bike. This one is simply
bolted to the downtube via the bottle-cage bosses.
Alternately, a battery like this can be mounted on
a rack above the rear wheel.