E-BIKE TECH CORNER

LOOSEY GOOSEY

Q: Hello, e-friends! I’ve recently been informed through a riding buddy to keep an eye and ear on my cassette. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for them to come loose on e-bikes. Is there any insight you can give me on why this happens or how to prevent it? Thanks for any help!

Franklin Moon

A: That’s a good one, Frank! Your friend is spot-on with the cassette maintenance. More important, we’d advise that you keep an eye on all the fasteners on your bike, but, yes, cassettes can come loose, and you’ll need a cassette tool to tighten it. It’s good to take your back wheel off and give it a check even before it comes loose, because you can do more damage by riding it when it’s loose. It’s important to be aware of how much more force is being added to the whole drivetrain on an e-bike, which is generally about three to four times more power than your legs can put out. You can imagine the abuse your chain and gears, and even motor mount bolts, go through. 

NARROWER IS FASTER

Q: Hi, guys, my Haibike AllMtn 9.0 came stock with 2.8-inch tires. I consider myself a pretty aggressive rider, and am I thinking about trying a narrower tire; what are your thoughts? What is too narrow? 

Nile Gilmour

A: Nile, this is a hot topic, actually. We just did a test on the Kona Remote 160 DL that was spec’d with 2.5-inch Maxxis Assegai tires, and it was probably the most narrow stock tire we’ve seen on any high-performance e-mountain bike so far. Given our local trail conditions, we can’t imagine needing to go any narrower, but it allowed us to roll a little faster, and it felt quite a bit more flickable and maneuverable through tight, twisty sections. Over the last few years the bike brands seem to have embraced a “bigger everything” on e-bikes, and maybe it’s more desirable with certain parts. For a more advanced rider wanting to cruise at a little higher speed, narrower tires seem to be an advantage. ν

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If you have any tech-related questions about the e-bike you currently own or are thinking of buying one, feel free to send your query to [email protected]