Caring for your electric bike – A Ribble Cycles guide

Our range of super-stealthy, pedal-assisted electric bikes is built to last and come equipped with the MAHLE ebikemotion X35+ smart system. The system’s battery not only functions as the brains of the whole operation but also the heart too. Similarly to a human heart, as long as it is adequately cared for and maintained it will continue functioning efficiently over the course of its lifetime. To this end, we outline the best ways of caring for your electric bike.

Caring for your electric bike

To truly maximise the potential of your e-bike it is essential to look after the battery’s health. Doing so will ensure that it continues to operate at peak efficiency for the entirety of its lifetime. Therefore here are some great tips in helping to extend battery life whilst also caring for your electric bike

The Battery

The beating heart of an e-bike is the battery, in this case, a Panasonic power cell. Photo Credit: MAHLE ebikemotion.

All of our models of e-bikes are equipped with the X35+ system which features at its core a Panasonic 36V/250Wh, 18650GA-10S/2P Lithium-Ion battery. The battery functions as the brains of the operation and can reach up to 500 charging cycles.

What constitutes a charge cycle?

One full charge cycle is when the battery is at 0% and is then charged to 100%. Obviously, in practice, you will likely wish to top up before or after a ride. Charging from 80 to 100% on five occasions or 25% to 100% three times also constitutes a full charge cycle.

Engine Mapping

The X35+ system provides three levels of smooth power assistance and upon the arrival of your bike, you should be aware that each level is preset to 100%. To maximise battery capacity we recommend adjusting the amount of output each level offers. To do so, simply download the ebikemotion companion app from Apple Store or Android Play. You can then adjust the level of assistance that each level offers based as a percentage of the total output of the system. Details of how to do this can be found here. If you need further assistance with this, please contact our team of Instore Expert’s who will be more than happy to guide you through this process.

Temperature

As with any Li-Ion battery, it is vital to charge, discharge and store it within a specified temperature range. This will ensure that it continues to work at peak efficiency. It is seldom something we think about but even leaving your e-bike in the back of a car on a hot summers day is to be avoided. Doing so will exceed the temperature ranges quoted below.

The battery cell manufacturer’s optimal temperature range for the battery is-

  • When charging: 10°C to 45°C.
  • Discharging (In use): -20°C to 60°C.
  • When the bike is stored: -20°C to 50°C.

The figures quoted are provided by the battery cell manufacturer. If the battery is subjected to temperatures outside of those quoted it may accelerate degradation. This in turn affects its ability to maintain a full charge over the course of its lifetime.

Storing the bike

If you are storing the bike for a few months (say over winter) it is again important to ensure that throughout this period the battery is maintained correctly. It’s recommended practice to check the battery at monthly intervals.

  • If possible, store the bike in a dry place where temperatures do not drop below 0°c. Anything below this is bad for the battery chemistry.
  • If the level drops to 20% or below, give it a booster charge to approximately 40% to 70%.
  • Charge the bike to near full capacity at least every 2 months.
  • Avoid letting the charge drop below 10% on a regular basis.

Avoid immersion in water

The electrical components of the X35+ smart system are IP54 rated. This means that they are protected from water spray from any direction. But not against full immersion or when subjected to pressurised water such as that from a hose or jet washer. Therefore, great care should be taken to avoid heavily flooded roads or fording streams. Essentially anywhere that the motor and/or charging port can become fully immersed.

Similarly, when transporting the bike on the outside of any vehicle, a waterproof cover should be utilised. Thus ensuring the adequate protection of the electrical components from water damage during transportation. As with any bike, electric or otherwise, it is best practice to thoroughly clean and dry the bike after any wet weather ride.

Charging the Battery

All of our electric models have a charge port situated just above the bottom bracket for convenient access.

The e-bike battery is very much like a mobile phone battery and should be cared for in much the same way.

  • Avoid leaving the bike plugged into the charger once it has reached full capacity. Leaving it on charge for more than 5 hours will accelerate the degradation of the battery and affect its ability to hold a full charge.
  • Only use the genuine ebikemotion charger supplied with the bike.
  • Always maintain a charge of between 20% and 80%.
  • Make sure the charging port cover is secured correctly to prevent water and dust ingress.

Top charging tips

If you have a big ride planned and need a full charge to complete it, by all means, charge it up to 100%. However, try and do this as close to the ride as possible to help reduce the stress of the battery being sat at full capacity for extended periods. If you want to charge it straight after a ride or the night before, charge it to 70-80%. Most batteries will reach this in 1 to 2 hours. Then top it up to max capacity before you set off on the ride.

Try to avoid charging the battery when it’s too hot or cold. If you have just finished a ride, leave it half an hour or so before plugging the charger in. This gives the battery time to cool down from the ride. If you have left it in a cold garage or shed, try and bring it up to room temperature before charging.

Summary

  • Charge the battery to 80-90% where possible to maximise battery life.
  • Time spent at really high or cold temperatures = BAD.
  • Don’t charge in really hot or cold temperatures.
  • Try and store the bike at room temperature where possible.
  • If you venture out when the weather is inclement, try to avoid heavily flooded roads and streams.

Most importantly of all, we hope you continue to enjoy your e-bike and that it allows you to enjoy many an adventure and make some incredible memories. Why not share images of your bike adventures on our social channels, just use #myribble.

The Hybrid AL e Step Through offers all the benefits of an e-bike with the bonus of a simple step on/off design.

Ribble have featured heavily in road.cc’s Bike of the Year awards. Find out which bikes were nominated and which came away with the top award here.


What exactly is an electric bike and what are the benefits? We reveal all here.

8 Comments
  1. Hi Mark, thanks for getting in touch,
    In the event that the battery needs replacing it can be removed through the bottom bracket shell. The bottom bracket is removed, the battery securing bolts removed from the downtube and then it slides out and the process can be reversed to affix the new battery. If you need any further advice or assistance, give our Live Experts a call, and our friendly team can answer any queries you may have.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  2. I wrote a few months ago regarding my cgr Ale bike . I had noticed that when going on the website it shows a fault it says Throttle Fault , code (07AF3405). You did say that this was not detrimental to the working of the bike and you are awaiting response from ebikemotion. Due to injury I’ve not used the bike recently but would like to know what can be done about this fault

  3. These tips would have been much more helpful at the point when I purchased my e-bike not 18 months after. Overall I am disappointed with the battery performance which gets nowhere near the claims made by Ribble.

  4. I agree with Peter Richardson’s comments above regarding care of the battery. Your article on here stresses numerous important ways of looking the battery none of which where flagged as important when I purchased my Ribble Endurance had I been advised how important these measures were at purchase I would have made sure they were adhered to but over 18 months later it’s too late

  5. Hi Alan. I am undertaking the Hebridean Way this August with another 66 year old on our new Ribble Electric bikes. It’s a 5 day ride over 10 islands several causeways and two ferries. Would you be interested in writing a piece for your ‘real bikes real people’ feature
    Regards
    Richard

  6. Hi Richard,
    Many thanks for getting in touch. I have had the privilege of riding some of the Hebridean Way, albeit before it was an official route. It was actually a tour starting at Mallaig, taking in Skye, Harris, Lewis and Mull before taking the sleeper back to Preston! Some great riding country up there and I am a tad jealous of your upcoming trip! I’m not actually directly involved in the ‘real bikes people’ features, but it does sound like something we would be interested in covering. I’ll pass your details on to the social/creative team who will contact you for more information and see where we go from there.
    We’ll be in touch shortly.
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

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