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, it must be cared for to continue functioning to peak efficiency over the course of its lifetime. To this end, we outline our top tips for 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. The purpose of this guide is to help you prolong the lifespan of your e-bike’s battery by outlining some good habits to get into when storing and charging your 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 e-bike models 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 whilst retaining up to 90% of its total capacity. IF it is appropriately maintained that is.

What constitutes a charge cycle?

One full charge cycle is when the battery is at 0% and is then charged fully to 100%. Charging from 80 to 100% on five occasions or 25% to 100% three times also constitutes a full charge cycle. Obviously, in practice, you may wish to top up the battery before or after a ride. However, it should be noted that you should only ever charge it to 100% if you intend to use it almost immediately. Li-Ion batteries do not like having to hold a full charge for any siginificant length of time.

Engine Mapping

The X35+ system provides three levels of smooth power assistance and upon arrival, 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 on 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’s vital to charge, discharge, and store the bike within a specified temperature range. This will help maintain the batterie’s ability to hold a full charge. It is seldom something we think about, but even leaving your e-bike in the back of a car on a hot summers day should be avoided at all costs. Doing so undoubtedly exceed the temperature ranges quoted below and consequently could affect performance.

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

  • When charging: 10°C to 40°C.
  • Discharging (In use): -15°C to 50°C.
  • When the bike is stored: 0°C to 40°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 will in turn affect the batteries capacity to retain a full charge over the course of its lifetime.

Storing the bike

If you are storing the bike for a few months (over winter, for instance) it is again important to ensure that the battery is maintained correctly throughout this period. It’s essential that you check the battery level 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 battery chemistry.
  • If the level drops to 20% or below, give it a booster charge of approximately 40% to 70%.
  • Charge the bike to near full capacity at least every 2 months. (Not full capcity as this will stress the battery).
  • 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 used. Thus ensuring the adequate protection of the electrical components from water damage during transportation. As with any bike, electric or otherwise, it’s 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, doing so helps to 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 just 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 to reach room temperature 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. We would love to see images of you and your bike out on your adventures. Share them through our social channels using #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.


29 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]

  7. I agree with peter you get nowhere the near mileages they say on a full charge . I really wish you did but far from it unless you put an old battery in my hybrid ribble ,

  8. Hi Jason,
    Thanks for getting in touch and we’re sorry if this is the case. If you feel you are not getting an acceptable range out of your e-bike, then I would ask you to please contact our customer service team who will assist you with your concerns. The best methods to contact us are by phone/live chat or direct messaging us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp. Best Regards [email protected]

  9. I absolutely agree about needing the battery care advice on purchasing the bike. I am disappointed to see that my range, fully charged, has now dropped to 61k after only a few months.

  10. Hi Mo,
    Thanks for your comment. A while back we added an FAQ regarding this so this information is on the main page (see below). You should not experience any significant deterioration of the battery within the first 500 charge cycles. If you feel you are not getting the range that you should, by all means, get in touch with our customer care team and they will investigate the matter further.
    What is the life expectancy of the battery?
    Like any battery, the capacity will start to degrade after approximately 500 charging cycles. Please take some time to read our battery care blog in which we outline the best practices to ensure that your e-bike battery continues to function at optimal efficiency throughout its lifespan.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  11. Quite interesting reading all these comments. My wife has just ordered a cgr Ale bike and is currently awaiting for it to be built. A question I have is regarding battery replacement. Where would we be able to purchase one when the time comes and how much roughly is a replacement battery?

    Regards
    Antony

  12. Hi Antony,
    Thanks for getting in touch,
    The main battery of the X35 system is literally the brains of the operation so it is not quite as simple as taking the old one out and replacing it with a new one. The new battery must first be registered to the bike to ensure that all of your ride data and settings are preserved when you fire up the bike again after exchanging the battery. We have yet to encounter a battery that has reached the end of its lifespan as of yet so we have not, to date, sold one to any of our customers. You can expect the pay in the region of £500-£600 for a replacement which is similar to the range extender.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  13. Hi,
    I’m slightly confused by the spec of the Panasonic batteries used by Ribble. I’m comparing them with batteries available in ebike conversion kits. The Panasonic is 36V/250Wh. Is this 250Wh/36V = 6.9 Ah?? This appears to be very low capacity.

  14. Do the bikes you sell which all apparently have non-removable batteries, need to be stored at room temperature or are they okay stored in a shed say, at anything from -20°C to 50°C? This is important for anyone considering buying one of your bikes who doesn’t have room to store it indoors.

  15. Hi Frances,
    Thanks for getting in touch, it is important to note that only some of the information in the blog comes from ebikemotion directly and other ‘recommendations’ are from other web sources. We have sought further clarity on this from ebikemotion and they state that the bike should not be stored in temperatures that drop below 0°. Li-Ion batteries do not like extremes of heat or cold, if you regularly subjected a mobile phone to such temperatures it would also be subject to the same battery degradation. If you would regularly be storing a bike in sub-zero temperatures then you do run the risk of premature battery degradation.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  16. Hi Alan,
    Thank for getting in touch, the ebikemotion system’s battery is indeed a 36V/250Wh, 6.9Ah. from riding the bikes ourselves and feedback from Ribble e-bike owners this is more than sufficient for their purposes. There is also a range extender available for the longest rides.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  17. As I can only store my ebike in a garage at night, in the winter there may be occasional temperatures below 0°c. Would wrapping a towel around the frame where the battery is situated help to keep the battery from cold?

  18. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for getting in touch, if you have no other option than to store the bike in a cold garage then every step should be explored to protect the battery from the cold. Wrapping a towel around the downtube cannot hurt, the bike should also be covered if possible and if you have any of those silica gel sachets deploy a few of those too to offset damp.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  19. I’m thinking of purchasing cgr e bike but I’m planning to cycle abroad, so my question is can you take the battery on a plane?

  20. Hi Lee,
    Thanks for your inquiry, the regulations surrounding e-bikes equipped with Li-Ion batteries are exceedingly stringent. Currently, e-bikes are strictly prohibited on all airlines so it is not possible to fly with your e-bike. Therefore, if you intend to holiday with e-biking in mind, we would definitely advise that you look at hiring options.
    We hope this information helps and if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  21. Hello
    What is the anticipated life of the battery before replacement. I appreciate this depends on how it is looked after and usage .
    But i would assume there have been tests and an average lifespan would have been determined.

    Thank you

    Regards

  22. Hi Alex,
    Thanks for getting in touch, within the blog we mention the figure of 500 charge cycles. This equates to charging from fully depleted to 100% once, 80-100% five tines and 25-100% three times. MAHLE states that the battery can reach up to 500 charging cycles and still retain up to 90% of its capacity IF the maintenance is adequate. This is why we thought that this blog would prove useful, after all, people have been known to store a bike for a number of months without ever checking the battery or topping it up to approximately 80%. Conversely, some people will top up the battery to 100% even when they don’t intend to ride the bike for a length of time. Knowing how to care for a battery will prevent any significant loss of capacity over its lifetime.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  23. Hi,
    My 78-year old father ordered an e-bike from you in May. He lives in Portugal. He is still awaiting delivery. The bike is built but you seem to be struggling with exporting e-bikes due to courier restrictions. Could you please advise the Ribble community what you are doing to solve this issue. I feel very sad for him as he has been looking forward so much to being able to ride his new bike and feels he has been let down by poor customer service…

  24. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for getting in touch and I am sorry to hear of the issues with regards to your father’s e-bike. You may or may not be aware of the stringent regulations around the shipping of Li-Ion batteries? Even before Brexit, these regulations posed a problem to any cycle retailer who regularly ships their e-bikes worldwide. Unfortunately, post-Brexit the situation only seems to be more complicated than ever before, with the shipping guidelines seemingly changing from week to week. I’m in no position to comment upon the specifics of your father’s case. However, I can state with absolute certainty that everyone here at Ribble who is involved will be doing everything within their power to get your fathers bike to him ASAP.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  25. Now I’m really confused after reading this. I thought I was doing everything to prolong the life of my battery but clearly not and I’m sure the instructions from Ebikemotion said you shouldn’t charge the battery if it was at 50% or more but your blog is saying you can ?
    my battery has really started to deplete, I’m unsure what the total capacity of it is now as the app no longer tells you the total watts when charged to 100% all I can go by is the estimated mileage that it gives you. When it was brand new it was 80+ miles ( can’t remember the exact number) I stated 2021 with 79miles and a year later I’m now at 67 miles, whilst I wouldn’t say the battery is completely at the end of its life, it’s not enough in it for me to do the amount of miles & climbing that I previously was able to do even with the range extender attached.

  26. Hi Collette,
    Thanks, for getting in touch. I’m not really experienced enough with such matters to comment on something of this nature. All I can say is that ebikemotion states that you should get approximately 500 charging cycles from your battery and it should still retain about 95% capacity. This can, of course, be affected by many various scenarios, particularly relating to battery maintenance. I shall forward your comment and details to our service support team so they can investigate the matter further.
    Best Regards
    [email protected]

  27. Thank you Alan

    Do you still have to recalibrate the battery every once in a while ?

    I take it all these recommendations will also apply to the range extender as well. When I read the online manual about 2 years ago, it recommended to store the range extender between 30% to 50% when not in use, is this still the case & will it still require charging to 100% once every month ?

    In terms of replacing the main battery, I’m guessing Ribble would be able to do this for me if I contact customer services ?

    Many thanks

    Collette

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