With epic speeds and smooth riding, it’s no wonder that e-bikes continue to build a strong fan base. Anyone who is even mildly curious or fascinated with cycling has thought about investing in e-bikes. Because the idea of no manual exertion and a hassle-free riding time is just too good to pass up.
Electric bikes imply high speed with minimal effort. So while there are endless advantages with electric bicycles and their hub motor surely there are some concerns as well especially when it comes to e-bike motors. Today we will be addressing one of those concerns: the noise from the e-bike. What is it all about?
Generally speaking, most electric bikes make a quiet mechanical noise which is nothing bad however if your electric bike produces much noise then this can be an indication of something needing serious attention with the motor and if ignored it could impact the engine so you know your e-bike may stop unannounced and leave you hanging.
Let’s dive into why the e-bike can make the clicking noise and how you can sort the issue.
Electric Bike and the Noise
Sure it can spook up anybody when their mountain bike makes noise however what many don’t realize is that some level of noise is normal.
Do electric bikes make noise?
Because of the electric nature of the whole thing, expecting a little bit of noise from e-bikes is standard. You have got the motor whirring inside so that noise level is alright. But this is going to be more of a quieter one.
Things can get a tad concerning when the noise escalates. Therefore there are two different noises at play here.
E-bike Noise and Motor
We need to establish the possible reasons behind the constant and rather loud noise which should concern you. Whatever odd noise your electric bike makes, the motor is the culprit behind it and that’s why you need to study and understand your e-bike motor.
The e-bike proffers pedal assist, right? So that means when you peddle hard, the e-bike is bound to follow that power and give you the speed you seek. While that can be exhilarating, it births the issue of the clackety sound and that can be a nuisance.
Reasons for Motor Noise
Sometimes your e-bike motor can act loud because of either simple factors or it could be something serious. Let us explain further.
Why is my motor whiny?
It can happen generally due to dirty or unclean motor parts, your misaligned derailleur, or it could be the friction between the stator and the rotor.
But things aren’t so simply stated, let’s dig deep into these matters further because they are important. You never know, problems could even come in a combination.
The Misaligned Derailleurs
First up, let’s discuss a very important aspect. The electric bike motor and the derailleurs.
Sometimes, that annoying sound can be coming from outside of your e-bike motor. If your electric bike has geared hub motor then this is something you can face. If your derailleur’s alignment is messed up then the chain skip happens to produce the whiny and eerie sound every time you try to pedal with some force.
But fret not because it can be sorted. A very tight or maybe too lax chain could also bring out this outcome.
The point is that the whole situation is easily fixable and we will tell you that.
Realigning The Derailleur
You will be happy to know that it’s a relatively easier and simple process although it may sound daunting. In repairs, it’s a quick procedure. You first need to turn your electric bike off and ensure you have the battery completely discharged. Then remove it from your e-bike.
Shift your e-bike into the seventh gear for this will set your chain bringing it to the slightest cog. Now, lift the frame allowing the back wheel to spin freely. Then get to inspecting how the chain is jumping cogs which are resulting in the clamor.
Grab a screwdriver, preferably a Phillips head, and loosen up the barrel adjuster just slightly. You might need some assistance and another set of hands will not hurt for the next step. Turn the crank and then shift gears simultaneously and adjust the barrel till you see the chain is transferring smoothly.
While our minds instantly go to the worse if our vehicles or things mess up. Sometimes it can be the littlest things like not cleaning the parts or maintaining them well. Such is the case with the e-bike motor noise too, if there are any dirty parts then they are bound to impact the e-bike motor.
The rotor will be unable to move freely if your electric bike motor is all grimy and rusty inside. How can you even expect it to work with such stubborn entities like rust that can jam up even the strongest of things?
Therefore, the friction amps up among all the electric motor parts and ends up creating noise when you try and put some load on your electric bicycle.
The part which is likely to get maximum rusty is smack dab at the rotor’s opening. So that should explain a lot. Therefore, a proper and regular cleaning time is what you need.
Never ignore the possibility of grime and even loose debris getting into your motor for it can make all the difference. These pesky things can be very penetrating and challenging so always ensure you keep your motor’s cleanliness in check. Trust us, it is crucial.
Debris can get into the motor, especially if you have the older configurations of the geared hub motor. Every time you slow down, the eerie noise gets more intense because spinning wheels or wind cannot drown out the chaos happening inside. All that ruckus is indicating that you need to take action. Just because you have to clean doesn’t mean you don’t have to be extra careful and mindful of the components inside.
Give your hub motor a proper and thorough cleaning. When you get down there you even find some pebbles or tint metal bits that may have wormed a way into the motor. When you are utilizing water for the clean-up, don’t be too generous with it and introduce it in a modest amount.
Never use a hose as you see in a traditional bike because you will ruin your e-bike motor.
Turn the bike off fully, and take off its battery or any displays you have on there. Grab some cleaning cloth and dampen it, then wipe the motor from inside gently. Also, take precautions that you don’t de-grease chains, or your motor for this can ensue grinding.
Another aspect is the friction which may not sound like much but when there is sufficient friction between the parts of the hub motor, you can bet everything it will produce some of the most annoying motor noise.
Inside the hub motors, a stator and a rotor reside and they are like magnets with teeth. In any instance when these teeth end up grating on each other and snapping together then this cogging. This results in an obnoxious clicking noise particularly when you are riding your e-bike on a slower speed.
Although the newer electric motor models may not come across this issue as often due to the latest advances in technology, if you have a direct drive motor that is sensorless then you might face this problem
The electric bike could end up cogging if your start-up settings are all wrong. You need to set them appropriately especially, for underload.
Time to reapply the e bike’s settings and give more power directed towards electric motor during startup. This change in the settings can reduce cogging considerably. However, if the issue persists then you can upgrade the direct drive and get something with a sensor.
Rear Wheel Noise
While we do state that electric bicycle noises are almost always due to motor issues, there can be another reason for this problem if you find the noise coming from your e-bike’s back wheel. If this is the issue you have been looking for answers to then you are not alone. And you will be happy to know this has the easiest fix.
It happens due to something being wrong with the adjustment as the spokes or even the wheel bearings can be the cause of the noise. If you particularly hear some kind of chattering or even clicking noise coming from your rear wheel while pedaling then this could be the reason for it.
Again, never ignore or delay checking up on such noise because it can impact your e-bike in the long run.
All you have to do is check on the spokes and wheel bearings and tighten them up. Ensure their alignment and position is correct and make adjustments accordingly. It’s not an uncommon issue for these components to come loose and the ruckus they create can be rather grating on the nerves.
But no worries since the solution is easy. If you are not sure how to do it then you can always take your e-bike to the bike shop and let professionals handle it and make your bike go quiet.
Below are some helpful tips to help you keep your e-bike motors healthy and avoid the problems above. These are some good practices that will ensure maximum and optimal performance.
Depending on how much you use your electric bike, keep some money aside for its servicing for that is important. In the hands of professionals, your e-bike will thrive.
Clean Chain Often
An important aspect is cleaning the bike’s chain responsibly to eliminate chain noise. You just need to ensure never to get the motor wet.
Just a nice and thorough wipe with a cloth after every ride would be the best.
You might feel that lubing up the insides of the motor or the chain will help in keeping it smooth and friction free. You would be sadly mistaken.
What it will do is have the grime and rust sticking to the lube. Therefore lubrications are never a good idea in electric bike maintenance, just stick with good old cleaning.
As good as modern technology keeps getting with the inventions and innovations, maintenance remains at the core. We have detailed all that we could regarding e-bikes making noises the best we could. As you can discern, it is all about maintaining the bike and the electric motor to ensure your vehicle run smoothly and durably.