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Four Things to Consider Before You Buy an E-bike

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

We know that you're careful consumers and want to ensure you're making a good investment and are well-prepared to maintain that investment after you get your e-bike. We're often asked about common maintenance on e-bikes. In our shop, we work on any e-bike, whether or not you bought it from us (more on that later). There are some things to consider.

First, before we talk about common maintenance items, we need to talk about maintenance prevention. We will cover best practices in a future post. While you are researching prior to purchasing an e-bike, it's a good idea to include a couple of topics on your list.

  1. Captain Obvious here - read product reviews. Scan for concerns about components breaking, bike rattling or making noise, battery not taking a charge.

  2. Research the manufacturer of the bike. Chances are that you're buying from a shop that didn't make the bike, which means you'll deal with the manufacturer directly on any warranty claims. Do some due diligence on the maker themselves. How long has the company been around? Do they sell replacement parts online? Contact them with a question - pretend you have a maintenance issue and need replacement parts. You might be surprised (not the good kind) to learn how many are unresponsive to customer inquiries.

  3. Speaking of warranty, how long of a warranty does the bike have, and what's the fine print? I've seen some one-year warranties that state after 30 days, the warranty claim is subject to manufacturer approval - meaning they get to decide if they give you a free replacement part or not. And what does the warranty process look like? Is there a local place you can go that will perform the work? Or are you troubleshooting the problem yourself, removing the part, sending it back, and then reinstalling once you get the replacement part? Are you dealing with a company that has a U.S. presence even if it's not local, or are you sending/receiving parts from overseas? Are you dealing directly with the bike manufacturer, or do they have you send the part directly to their third-party supplier that made it?

  4. Can you get someone to work on your e-bike? Unless you're a mechanic, you'll need some help with your bike. If you purchase from a bicycle shop or a quality sporting goods store, almost a 100% chance they'll work on your bike as long as you have it. If you purchase it online or from a general/department store type of business, you're going to need to find a local mechanic who will work on it. We have heard from frustrated consumers who have challenges finding someone who will work on their e-bike. Call around before you buy - or go straight to the source and support the local bicycle shop that you hope will support you by working on your bike.

There are obviously many things to consider before buying an e-bike, such as the style and color you like, as well as getting the right size. We also want to make sure you're covering "what if" scenarios as well. What other questions do you have while you're researching e-bikes?

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