While many manufacturers, especially those incorporating crank drive systems into their models may have been able to create a product that is not dissimilar to a conventional bike (in-fact in 2018 you may have to do a double take to realise that the bike that just passed you was an eBike) they may still require a slightly different approach to setup and maintenance.
Firstly, let’s start with the perhaps the most obvious components that would demand more attention on an electrically assisted bike, the drivetrain.
The torque provided by the motor in combination with power placed through the pedals by the rider is in turn putting more strain through the drivetrain on a continuous basis. While more companies are beginning to release eBike specific components particularly for the drivetrain, the best cure for any potential issues is to simply take really good care of the chain, cassette and chainring. Make sure that all built up dirt and grease is removed after each ride. Then apply a lubricant which best suits the environment that you are riding in.
As well as the day to day maintenance, use a chain wear indicator to see when you are due for a replacement. Riding with a worn chain will prematurely wear out the cassette and chainrings, so you can save yourself by simply keeping a properly functioning chain on your eBike.
Another tip to keep the drivetrain healthy, avoid changing gear uphill. With the additional power of the motor this should rarely be necessary especially considered the ability to move up in to the next power mode on the computer, that is if you are not utilising maximum power already.
In a close second to the drive train receiving added wear and tear on an eBike is the tyres. Now most good eBikes come as standard with quality rubber more than capable of handling the extra weight. However when these tyres are worn don’t be deceived into thinking that an average bike tyre with standard side-walls or even a folding tyre would be appropriate if you want good performance without pinch flats and other puncture based problems. Make sure to buy reinforced side-walls and increase the pressure to accommodate the weight. Without as much of a concern for rolling resistance it is imperative to place the strength and durability of the tyre as your primary concern.
Thirdly, suspension. Now while we would never want to associate eBikes with motorcycles, it could be said that the for the same reasons that you could never set a motorbikes suspension as you would a conventional cycling bike mostly comes down to weight, power and potential speed. Therefore with all of those factors being increased on an eBike there definite need for some adjustment. With the extra mass to be considered a finer look at compression settings and sag percentage is absolutely necessary for riding performance.
Finally brakes. More than likely your eBike will come stock with large rotors, this being an incredibly cheap way of vastly increasing performance, manufactures will take advantage of this. So with this being the case, checking the pads regularly and making sure that the brakes are bled becomes the main concern.