Caring for your electric bike – A Ribble Cycles guide

Monday, February 1, 2021

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.


5 Comments

Peter Wheatley says:

I rode my Ribble sle 2 days ago with no problems and the power button was turned off as normal. Today I was about to put it on charge but to my surprise the power button was showing white. The bike had not been used or moved by anyone. I am not able to turn the white light off or change to a different colour. From memory the light was showing amber when I arrived back from my ride. At present I am on holiday in South of France, can you help.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Alan Gray says:

Hi Peter,
Thanks for getting in touch,
Whilst inquiries of a technical nature are not something that I can help you with directly, I have forwarded your message to the customer service team so they can get in touch with you ASAP and help resolve the issue.
Best Regards
[email protected]

Monday, June 6, 2022


Graham Jarvis says:

Hi, Do you know if there is a 12v charger option to charge my Ribble whilst touring

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Alan Gray says:

Hi Graham,
Thanks for getting in touch, we have direct experience or knowledge of how to accomplish this we’re sorry to say. However, there are various articles/videos that suggest alternative ways of charging e-bike batteries off-grid. There are Youtube videos such as this or articles such as this. You could also try posting on the Ribble Owner’s Facebook group. There’s a huge community of owners who have most of the answers to most queries.
I hope this helps in some way
[email protected]

Wednesday, June 1, 2022


Chris says:

Hi can he battery be charged from a portable charger. If so what sort of size charger would be required?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Alan Gray says:

Hi Chris,
Thanks for getting in touch, the bike should only ever be charged using the supplied MAHLE charger. Check out this handy article about charging on the go.
I hope this helps
[email protected]

Thursday, May 26, 2022


Michael Jackson says:

My wife and I took delivery of our CGR-e bikes last October and they are a really great ride but like others here I wish I had been given the battery care advice at the time of purchase as I have been charging my bikes fully after each ride ready for when the mood takes me for my next ride, I hope this has not detrimentally affected the battery life significantly?
I use full assist more than my wife and we have both used our bikes a similar amount, the app shows her bike has significantly more mileage tham mine when fully charged which might sound obvious but it would explain that expected mileage is related to past use and not necessarily due to la oss of battery performance, does this sound feasible?

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Sandra says:

Hi, Is it possible to have a plug timer on the charger to allow you to limit the time the battery charges?

Friday, May 13, 2022

Alan Gray says:

Hi Sandra,
Thanks for getting in touch. I’m afraid such a question is beyond my limited technical expertise in relation to such matters. It is probably best answered by the boffins at MAHLE themselves. We will pose your question to them and see what they say. There is certainly technology in the electric car sector that automatically shuts off the charger when the battery reaches maximum capacity. However, this is not to our knowledge yet available in the cycle sector. When linked to a smartphone, you can monitor the battery capacity through the companion app if you are in close proximity to the bike. Alternatively, you could check the battery level before charging and plug the charger into any of the various Wi-Fi ‘smart’ plugs that are on the market today. These allow you to turn the plug on or off remotely and can be set up to simply switch off after a set period of time.
I hope this helps
[email protected]

Monday, May 16, 2022


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