A full suspension electric mountain bike has more parts than a hardtail electric mountain bike. Hence, caring for the bike may require more input.
We have come across many people asking whether it’s hard maintaining a softail electric mountain bike. Different people may have different opinions about this.
But since they have more moving parts, it’s easy to assume that maintenance is more demanding. In fact, maintaining any mountain e-bike is not very easy compared to other bikes, only that a softail is more demanding.
We will look at some features of a full suspension electric mountain bike and determine whether it’s hard. You should already have an idea by now.
Understanding A Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike
The first step to answering this question is understanding a full suspension ebike and perhaps why they are called so. All electric mountain bikes come with a suspension system known as shock absorbers.
Some ebikes have suspension only at the front. They are called hardtail ebike because they don’t have a full suspension system.
That would mean a full suspension ebike has shocks at the front and rear sides. The system is designed to improve comfort and handling.
The rear suspension helps the bike to hold the ground perfectly, even in the hardest conditions. It improves grip, traction, and comfort in rough riding conditions, creating a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience.
Features Of Softail Mountain Bikes That Affect Maintenance
What are some of the features of full suspension mountain ebike that could make them harder to maintain?
Consider the following:
The frame is one of the most important parts of an e mountain bike. A hardtail ebike will often have a simpler frame since it has few parts. Full suspension ebikes, on the other hand, require a more detailed frame equipped to handle the extra features. For instance, such a bike could come with a fully welded aluminum alloy frame.
A softail electric mountain bike frame is more designed for the mountain and roughest terrains than hardtail ones. Hence, you will discover it’s heavier and require more handling.
We have already mentioned that the bikes have both front fork suspension and rear suspension shocks. But there is more to this feature than meets the eye.
Generally, it comes with the same front shock as a hardtail electric mountain bike – between 80mm and 100mm. The rear shock is between 80mm and 120mm.
A good example is the Magicycle Deer, which features an 80mm front fork suspension travel and an 83mm rear suspension. This combination improves traction as both suspensions handle rocky and uneven terrain much better. They will absorb all the vibrations from affecting the frame and reaching the rider.
In other words, a full suspension electric mountain bike is used in more demanding conditions. It requires the shocks to be as sturdy as possible while ensuring excellent handling and more control.
Since the bikes may be required to handle high jumps and hard landings at high speeds, proper serving and maintenance of the shocks are crucial. In most cases, you will need to service your shocks after every 50 hours, depending on the type of shocks and how much you use.
The shocks require more frequent serving. Never leave for the mountains until you are sure the shocks are in the best conditions. Luckily, you can service them just the way you service a hardtail.
Some of softail ebike have thinner tires since it can be used even on the streets. But most of full suspension ebikes are equipped with fat tires.
The fat tires may make your bike look bigger and more demanding in terms of care. But that should not be an issue, considering tires are just for traction and better handling.
The way you maintain your tires will determine how long they last. Ensure the tires are properly inflated before hitting the road.
It’s better to have full inflation to make the tires as hard as possible for the hard landings. However, this might not be a good idea if you are riding on slippery terrain. Although it might affect the tire and the spokes, deflating it just enough to increase traction could be better.
Battery and motor
A softail e mountain bike is often much bigger and heavier than a hardtail. A bigger and stronger battery, and a better motor are required to support such weight.
That means a full suspension electric mountain bike will often have a bigger battery and perhaps more electrical components. That means more is required to ensure they deliver maximum performance.
Here are some recommended ways of taking care of the battery and the motor for more life:
- Waterproofing. The motor and the battery come sealed in waterproof materials. But that is not always enough, considering where you will be riding.
- Charging. It’s recommended that you always charge your battery fully after every ride. A bigger battery means more maintenance is required, although it depends on the specific type.
- Cadence. Riding with a cadence above 50 revolutions per minute improve battery efficiency. This could be harder when climbing the hills, which makes a full suspension ebike battery hard to maintain.
- Weight. If you want more from your battery, reduce the weight. Considering the overall weight of a hardtail, this could be trickier than you think.
Brakes, gears, and chain
Always check the brakes on your ebike before leaving the house. A softail EMTB bike requires more brake servicing than a hardtail, considering it’s heavier and most used on tough terrains.
Gears and the chain require more frequent lubrication and cleaning too. Even though it can be easily done, some features may require an expert.
So, are full suspension electric mountain bikes hard to maintain? No really. They may be more challenging because of the extra parts, weight, and use conditions, but they are not necessarily hard.
However, it’s true that you will need an expert to check your suspension system and other features after a certain period. You can never escape proper and regular maintenance.