Buying Ebikes On-the-Cheap

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I do 90% of my own maintenance and repairs. Over the past few years, I've bought several "major brand" ebikes at steep discounts from three different shops that are thousands of miles from me (I won't say where or this will likely be deleted). For the most part, I've had no significant problems, nor have folks that bought the bikes used from me (knock wood). When issues came up, however, shipping the bike back would have been at my expense (and hassle), so I tried different approaches instead.

On three occasions, I had warranty and/or shipping damage issues. Each time, getting support from the seller proved difficult-to-impossible with slow responses or outright refusal to even try to get the manufacturer to send me parts. I asked one dealer to get the part and I'd pay for shipping it to me, but the owner apparently told my sales rep that I was SOL because I got the bike so cheap. At least that was what was conveyed to me...

I lived with the damage in that case, fixed what I could myself in others, but one time it was a defective motor. That time I took it upon myself to call the mfr's tech support guy directly and persuaded him to help me out. He sent me a new motor along with a special tool that I sent back with the old one. That was 3 years ago, however, and I seriously doubt I could pull that off now with US ebike sales rising dramatically.

Bottom line: buying a new ebike online comes with risks (especially at "crazy" prices), and buyers should be prepared for potentially expensive warranty service, if needed. You may have to DIY, ship it back & forth on your dime, or pay labor charges to have an LBS fix it.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Bottom line: buying a new ebike online comes with risks (especially at "crazy" prices)
It's interesting to see how you use that word. ??

I have had crazy luck and great results. Some "crazy" person even supported my Guinness world record ride and put 8000 ebikes on the road.

Some people truly crazy and passive aggressive. Some are crazy but in a good way.


Over the past few years, I've bought several "major brand" ebikes at steep discounts from three different shops that are thousands of miles from me
It'll always be a wise decision to visit a local dealer or visit the far away dealer before making a purchase. Nothing ever beats a good test ride.
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
I think it's a good thing to make people aware that buying online can have pitfalls.. I don't begrudge anyone from doing so but for me personally, I wanted a dealer so that at least I could pretend I had someone to complain to that cared.
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
As someone who tends to buy bikes "direct", and handle most bike repair issues at home, my purchase experiences with entry level quality has been better than good. Additionally, newer up and coming quality innovative brands, as well as most national retailers, seem to go out of their way to help one achieve a top level of buyer satisfaction. These days, I can't imagine a LBS not having an online aspect to their business and still being be able to have a successful go of it.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
As long as cheap sells it will be supplied. But even cheaper models can work with before and after sale support.

DIY will always be a thing and establishing a relationship with a LBS works well. Another option if available in your area are the mobile bike shop franchises.

I see that some online retailers are using this platform where their bikes are shipped directly to the MBS, properly assembled, delivered to your door and include afersale support. Charges apply of course and MBS availability is spotty at this time but seems to be on the rise.
 

MickM

New Member
Originally I had planned on getting a Rad or a Juiced ebike but the wait and cost drove me to buy directly from China, knowing I would pretty much be responsible if something went wrong and have to take care of any repairs or problems myself. I did have a controller that went bad and was lucky that the vendor sent me a replacement for free and I got it in a week, but buying direct can be risky, I was lucky and found a good factory for bikes and batteries, (I am ordering a new one soon).
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
I would always prefer to buy from a local dealer but for many that just isn't possible. If no dealer is near, rad, juiced, FLX, M2S. seem like reasonably fair bets
 

TAZMANIMAN

Active Member
I couldn't go big money since I needed to get 2 bikes, one for my wife and one for myself. I ended up getting 48v Xtreme Sedona models. I found a Florida dealer that I was able to speak with (Eric at FARBIKE.COM) and get a few questions answered. He also helped with the purchase process to insure that I got the 2 colors we wanted. I have only had one issue which was a minor clicking noise. After talking about it we surmised that the cassette holder needed to be replaced and he got one shipped to me free of charge from the manufacturer. We put 986 miles on our bikes this year and I have been Xtremely Pleased! $1599 each!
 
I've had good luck buying my low end (but good) Ancheer e-bikes online. The first one came w/ no issues and ran fine the whole time I owned it. After a year and a half of constant riding the chain set and cassette were getting wore out and the battery was not as strong as it used to be so I sold it and bought another one, this time from a different online seller. This one did come w/ minor shipping damage. The rear derailleur was bent, but I replaced it for under $20. After a few months a bolt loosened on the rear brake rotor, jammed the hub, and I had to replace the hub motor, but that was my fault for not checking the bike over every week or two. Things loosen up more than on your non motored bike.

What I discovered is that it is more important to buy your bike online from a seller with excellent reviews. When I had trouble finding a replacement hub motor, the people who sold me my first bike came to the rescue and sold me w/ one. They are really, really great people to work with. It's better to buy from a local store, but not always possible.
 

TAZMANIMAN

Active Member
Xtreme has an extended lifetime warranty program for $150 per bicycle. It even includes tubes and tires! Batteries are covered 100 percent the first 12 months and then are prorated for the next 40 months or so. I have decided to go forward with this warranty as even a few tires will pay for it. They did warranty one of our freewheel cogs and it was very trouble free. We also bought 2nd batteries to carry and it will take away any stress about distance, we usually get 35-40 miles on a charge with mostly rail trails, now we could potentially double that if our butts can take it!