E-bikes have certainly been a revelation over the few years. It has not only encouraged people to use bikes instead of cars, but it also makes the environment greener, not to mention your health stays in balance when you drive it manually here and now.
But, just like your car, an e-bike also needs to be under regular maintenance. Or else you’ll see issues like the hub motor isn’t functioning correctly. One of the core reasons for the hub motor not spinning freely is because of a lack of maintenance.
I’ll be your guide today regarding this issue of yours. So, hang tight!
Why isn’t the E-bike hub motor not spinning freely?
Unless you are an absolute snob who is too lazy for maintenance for their equipment, you probably will put your bike under maintenance after every 4-6 months or at least after riding it for around 1000 miles. If you are unaware of the time frame, then the mileage should be your cue to check your bike because any kind of electronic device wears out if they are not checked properly.
You will not notice that your handlebars are not moving swiftly or the derailleurs are rusty, tire pressure is unbalanced, and of course, the hub motor is not spinning correctly. It could happen due to excessive off-road riding, lack of lubrication, or through dust and debris. If you don’t make a conscious effort to have your bike at a regular checkup, then chances you need to go through an overhaul of changes which includes a change of parts, high cost, and dismembering of your whole bike.
Troubleshooting methods: Why isn’t your E-bike hub motor spinning freely?
Let us go through the reasons and how we can solve those issues. I will go step by step. You require to take the wheel off where the motor exists. You will need to carefully take out the wirings, remove a few washers and nuts, and to do these. You will need a wrench, Allen keys, and a screwdriver.
Now, after you have taken out the wheels and placed them in such a manner where the primary wire is not vulnerable. You will need to remove the gear cassette and disc with your Allen keys. After that, you will be able to take out the gear and see the coiling, the magnets, and the motor.
Now, it is likely that the magnets inside the motor are not aligned at all. This is why your motors are not spinning freely.
The cue should be for you to now align the magnets of the motor perfectly so that there’s no resistance. And further, you will need to apply some glue to it so that the magnets stay fixed until your next maintenance at least. Be careful in choosing your super glue. I would recommend anything which is Cyanoacrylate or Urethane adhesives.
Also, you need to make sure that the glue is only given to the magnets, not the motors. Your motor is supposed to spin. If there’s glue in it, then it will struggle to spin.
Once you are done with aligning and gluing the magnets, you’ll need to further takeout the motor and check the insides. Carefully inspect the rollers that move around the tires. You may see that it is filled with dirt and debris and out of any form of grease.
The core reason behind this is driving the bike through rough, muddy terrain. The rollers probably got into dirt too much, and the grease and the debris have mixed into something disgusting, which you are seeing now.
So, the cue should be to wash the rollers entirely and adequately lubricate the rollers with the required grease. Something waterproof and multipurpose should be bought in case you are confused about what to buy.
3. Wrong Bolts
This is something I have based on my research, so there’s a chance you could have attached a couple of bolts or screws that are a bit long and is causing resistance to the stator.
I feel like you have if you use the original bolts of your bike’s manufacturers instead of pre-owned ones, then chances are your hub motor function as it was. The slight difference in size will not only cause resistance in the motor’s resistance, but it also might cause several damages.
4. Phase Motors: Knowing the right combination
First and foremost should test your controllers for this issue. You will require a tester to check the connections with the phases are working or not. If the tester shows that the phases are not working, then you probably need to replace your controller.
If the issue is not in the controllers, you probably got the combinations wrong after your check-up. If you have placed all three of the colors in the right place, then often, it may not work. To know the right combination, you probably need to attempt all of the combinations there are or, better yet, contact the product manufacturers. I have a buddy who made it work after putting blue to yellow, yellow to green, and green to yellow.
5. Brushless motors
It is likely that you have a brushless motor if there are three comparatively large wires among multiple thin wires, then it is likely a brushless motor. If not, then the techniques above are for you.
You need to inspect carefully the motor wires and wires connected to them. The brushless motor wires are pretty vulnerable to breaking or getting worn off because the wheel axle could likely break it apart since there might be slight chances of contact. You need to consciously check if the connection is correctly made or not and if the pins attached to it have broken or have gotten fragile.
Maintenance Tips: To keep your E-bike hub motor spinning freely
- You will need to open up your whole rear or your front tire (based on your motor) If you’re not someone who’s handsy with your bike, then it is better to do it with a professional.
- If you are doing it all by yourself, then make sure that you don’t pull apart the wire which is connected to the motor (you’ll know it once you see it). You’re supposed to work on it while it is there. I have attached a video for your convenience.
- After a few weeks of here and there, try to loosen and tighten the screws with an Allen key just to keep the attachment under check. Like the caliper mount bolts.
- Every month go through a deep clean so that the debris doesn’t get stuck.
- Do not attach any sort of bolts or screws that are not the manufacturer’s recommended or maybe similar in size and ratio to the original bolts but not the same.
Question and Answers
What is the lifespan of an E-bike Hub motor?
Depending on your usage and maintenance, after using it for around 5-15 thousand miles, considering the terrain and environment, you should think about changing. It should give you around 5-10 years of usage, hopefully.
Which is better Rear hub motor or the front hub motor?
There are perks and disadvantages on both sides, and they can’t be answered with Yes or No. If you want a motorcycle-like experience, with the torque and acceleration coming from behind, then you should install it at the rear vehicle. Also, rear hub motors leave better traction.
On the other hand, the front hub motor is fairly easy to attach and will get lesser flats than a rear hub motor. Also, when it comes to weight distribution, the front hub does a better job when it comes to weight distribution.
Should you go for a mid-drive motor instead of a hub motor?
In short, for more power and speed, you need to get a mid-drive motor instead of a hub motor. A hub motor will give you a generic experience that will let you go from A to B at moderate speed. A mid-drive motor e-bike is also lighter in weight and will give you a less noisy experience.
Thus, I hope I have covered everything there is to know regarding the issues about E-bike’s hub motor. Most of the issues of the hub motor are somehow related to the hub motor not spinning freely. If you go through the problems I have mentioned one at a time, and then you will be able to identify what’s wrong and then move on with the solution. Make sure you have the right tools with you, and also, it is better if you let the disassembly to a professional if you’re not used to devices.
Thanks for hearing out. I’ll see you in another quandary!