Electric bikes are a great way to get around town or any city in the USA. They provide a healthy, environmentally conscious mode of transportation and can be used by people of all ages and fitness levels.
Why does my electric bike keep cutting out? Here are 12 reasons on the electric bike keeps cutting out:
- Battery is Not Seated Properly
- Aftermarket Tires on an Electric Bike Cause Power Loss
- Throttle Does Not Turn Wheel Enough
- There is an Issue with Your Battery
- The Throttle Cable is Loose
- A Poorly Wired Throttle
- The Wiring is Damaged
- Throttle is Faulty
- The Motor is Dying
- The Battery Needs Charging
- Cheap Knockoff Battery
- Unsafe Throttle
However, electric bikes require some maintenance to ensure running smoothly for years to come.
Electric Bike Keeps Cutting Out
This article will help you identify the most common causes of an electric bike cutting out so that when it happens, you know what steps to take next.
1. Battery is Not Seated Properly
This is a simple fix to a significant problem with most electric bikes. As soon as you get on your bike, make sure the seat post and frame are tightened firmly with a pipe wrench adjusting tool against the metal plates in which your battery rests.
If either of these components is loose, it can cause your motor to lose power during use or just cut out entirely while riding.
An easy way to test if this is an issue is to turn off everything by turning the throttle down, turning the key forward, and hitting “lock” in the settings.
Now put some weight on the rear tire and push down in small increments until you hear a beep from your controller at around 10%. If you hear one beep, your battery is seated correctly.
2. Aftermarket Tires on an Electric Bike Cause Power Loss
Electric bikes are designed with specific tires in mind, specifically ones made of rubber and filled with air.
Suppose you have added any aftermarket tires to your electric bike. In that case, power loss may begin to occur, resulting in either the throttle cutting out entirely or losing full force around 20 mph even if it was previously doing 60+ mph without issue.
Some electric bikes come equipped with regular bicycle-style tires, but these are not meant for riding on rough surfaces, so they will wear down quickly after hitting even a small bump. Your best bet is to get tires designed specifically for e-bikes; they will last longer and still provide excellent power transfer.
3. Throttle Does Not Turn Wheel Enough
If your throttle cuts out at certain speeds but not others, this is usually because it is not turning the rear wheel of your electric bike enough to maintain total power output.
If this generally happens around 20 mph, you need to adjust your throttle or internal wiring until it turns enough for full power to properly engage when riding up hills or in high wind speeds.
You may also want to readjust the positioning of the pedals if they are too close together because sometimes when pedaling in reverse with one pedal forward and one backward, it can cause an issue with the throttle not reaching its full power.
4. There is an Issue with Your Battery
Many electric bikes have multiple batteries to maximize their range. If this is the case with your electric bike, you will be able to tell if it isn’t cutting out entirely but losing power at faster speeds only when the second battery is applied.
This happens because of a process called “pulsing,” where both batteries are used intermittently to increase efficiency and prolong the life of each separate battery. You can try having more accessories plugged into your battery or removing them one at a time until the problem goes away.
Don’t forget to charge up both batteries fully before riding if they are new. Otherwise, you may lose all power on one side, making maneuvering extremely difficult for yourself and others nearby.
5. The Throttle Cable is Loose
Check to make sure the throttle cable is not loose. If it has become loose over time, this can lead to power loss or even cutting out entirely during use.
It will remain engaged in one position until you apply full pressure on the throttle grip, resulting in its internal wiring becoming disconnected altogether.
This issue usually occurs when the bike has been transported several times and gets looser and looser without regular tightening.
You can solve this problem by taking off the handlebars while keeping your brakes on and re-tightening anything that needs it while feeling around for any extra slack in the wire.
Then, after adjusting everything back into place, test out your bike again to see if everything works properly.
6. A Poorly Wired Throttle
This is usually caused by a loose throttle being re-wired incorrectly or improperly due to lack of experience, resulting in either power loss at higher speeds or complete cutting out altogether when trying to accelerate.
To fix this issue, you need to have access to your electric bike’s wiring system so that you can identify where there are any loose connections.
Also, make sure only to tighten wires with the appropriate screwdrivers because over-tightening will damage the wire completely and cause it to snap in half under pressure instead of tightening securely into place.
If you do not feel comfortable dealing with an electric bike’s wiring system, take it to a professional or contact the manufacturer for assistance.
7. The Wiring is Damaged
It is also possible that the original wiring of your bike has been damaged either on its way from the factory or while transporting it to new locations.
This can be confirmed by removing your battery and taking off the handlebars so that you can get full access to your bike’s wiring system without having to move parts of the bike around.
If wires are loose or disconnected entirely, use electrical tape to keep them in place even if they seem loose but still connected. You can also unplug any extra wires that you feel are unnecessary to your electric bike’s performance and re-plug them later if they are still intact.
8. Throttle is Faulty
This problem usually pops up when the throttle becomes loose over time due to heavy use or transport while not being tightened back into place properly.
It may even become so loose that it seems broken altogether because it has a mind of its own and keeps turning on and off by itself randomly.
It happens because the throttle cable is constantly moving whenever you shift gears or press down too hard on the pedal, causing a poor connection with the internal wiring of the throttle.
The only way to fix this issue is by tightening everything back into place securely, but don’t forget to check the throttle cable itself to make sure it isn’t too damaged.
9. The Motor is Dying
If your motor starts cutting out or seems to have lost all power, don’t panic because it usually signals that the motor is dying.
Sometimes this means you need a new motor, but most of the time, it just needs to be adequately lubricated before using again. Oil both gears with two-stroke oil and then wipe off any excess residue before attempting to ride your electric bike again.
If your electric bike cuts out after doing this, the chances are that your internal wiring system also needs some TLC and should be fine if appropriately lubricated.
Keep in mind that this problem could also mean something else entirely specific to each model of e-bike so take the time to carefully read the manual before attempting any repairs yourself.
10. The Battery Needs Charging
If your electric bike has trouble starting up or is losing power quickly when in use, it may be because the battery needs charging. It can be fixed by taking out your battery and placing it in an area where it will be fully charged.
You can tell that your battery no longer has full power if it does not seem to charge up like usual after constantly charging for a couple of days.
If you do this with your electric bike’s original charger, use caution while handling because some batteries get very hot even long after being fully charged, so keep away from flammable materials while charging.
Even though the battery is fully charged, it may still not be able to run your electric bike properly.
It could be because of a faulty charger or a loose connection between the wires and the batteries themselves, which can be fixed by taking your e-bike’s battery compartment apart and checking for any problems.
11. Cheap Knockoff Battery
This problem usually occurs because you purchased an inexpensive knockoff battery from third-party dealers who have no affiliation with either your e-bike manufacturer or the original accessory store it was purchased from.
To fix this, buy another battery with similar specs as what came originally with your e-bike because they are usually just generic copies of the original.
If your e-bike is relatively new, it may still be under warranty, so contact the manufacturer before making any purchases to see if you can get a replacement or refund.
12. Unsafe Throttle
If your throttle gets stuck in one position while riding your electric bike, which causes it to speed past its intended limit, don’t fear because it is most likely unfixable due to its cheap design.
However, it means that no matter how hard you try, you will always have to be careful not to exceed the maximum speed for your particular model of e-bike by adjusting the throttle manually before riding away.
Most models come with safety locks on their throttles, but this issue may appear after being broken in.
No matter how careful you are, this problem will only worsen if ignored. It means that no matter how much lubrication or adjusting you do, your throttle will always stick at full speed, even after several months of regular use.
This issue is usually unfixable without the correct replacement parts. Still, it may be worth looking into before purchasing an entirely new e-bike which could end up costing more than simply replacing the old one with a higher model.
Related electric bike articles:
- Can I Get an Electric Bike on the Cycle to Work Scheme?
- How Does an Electric Bike Motor Work?
- Can You Use a Turbo Trainer with an Electric Bike?
As you can see, there are very few problems that cannot be fixed by simply diagnosing the issue and making a simple repair. However, if your e-bike seems to have a faulty battery, motor controller, or throttle assembly which is unfixable by any other means, contact your e-bike manufacturer or a licensed service center for more information on how they may be able to help.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric bikes caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my e-bike. Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric bikes. Check out more.