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Easy as ABC: Propel’s top three tips for maintaining your eBike

Lin Mai, service technician in Brooklyn, comes to Propel from Guangzhou in southern China on the Pearl River. Even though New York is big and historical by U.S. standards, Guangzhou (also known as Canton) is 2,000 years older and 2.5 times as large.

Preparing for a personal touring adventure on China’s longest road route (National Highway 318, from Chengdu in Sichuan, to Lhasa in Tibet!) sparked his interest in bike maintenance.

Now that he’s in New York, Lin rides an immaculate Brompton. His meticulous attention to detail and safety make him just the right person to ask about bike maintenance tips!

Nora: Lin, what do you think are the most important things for Propel customers to know about maintaining their bikes?

Lin: It will be helpful for our customers (and their bikes!) to remember the three most important tips using the letters “ABC”:

A is for Air pressure

Proper air pressure will make your riding experience more comfortable and also extend your tire life. How do you know the proper air pressure? Check the sidewall of the tire! It is marked to show the maximum and minimum air pressure. For comfortable riding on New York City streets, for example, we generally recommend keeping the pressure about 10psi less than the max pressure (0.6 BAR).

B is for Brakes

Before you ride, squeeze the brakes and see how they feel. Does it feel like you are squeezing it too far compared to normal? When you start to ride, do the brakes feel too “soft”? If either of these is the case, then it’s time to have your brakes and brake pads checked.

C is for Chain

A dry chain is a bad chain! Keeping your chain lubricated will make your bike run much more smoothly. After you lubricate, use a rag to clean the surface of the chain, or else your oily chain will attract mud and dust.

Nora: Super useful! Are there any special tips for winter bike maintenance?

Lin: My tip for winter riders is that the salt used to melt the snow on streets is very bad for steel, particularly the chain. If you are riding on salty streets, please clean and lubricate your chain often, and other parts of the bike, too. It can’t hurt.

So that’s it, simple as ABC, 123!

Sidenote: When your bike is in Lin’s stand, rest assured that in addition to good service, it’s getting to hear some of the coolest music you’ve ever heard of.

Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out


Updated on December 21, 2022

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