How long did you research e-bikes before buying your first one?

How long did you research e-bikes before buying your first one?

  • 1-3 months

    Votes: 16 30.2%
  • 3-6 months

    Votes: 11 20.8%
  • 6-12 months

    Votes: 3 5.7%
  • 1 year

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • 18 months

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • 2 years

    Votes: 5 9.4%
  • More than 2 years and I'm still searching

    Votes: 6 11.3%
  • Less than 1 month

    Votes: 10 18.9%

  • Total voters
    53

JayVee

Well-Known Member
I spent a lot of time researching e-bikes before buying my first one. I suspect it was something like 2 or 3 years. During that time I had access to e-bikes though. I finished off the lease on an friend's e-bike without actually owning. I guess you could call it a sort of a rental. The bike was a special version of the Eflow Nitro with a GoSwiss drive. After that I borrowed e-bikes that the city of Geneva loans for free during Summer months. I also rented a bikes here and there and subscribed to a corporate fleet through an acquaintance. Besides that I demoed a lot... perhaps more than is reasonable. I went to all the "e-bike festivals" and ended up demoing so many bikes that I can't even remember them all. At the end it was all getting a bit crazy.

Then I moved and needed a bike. The nearest bus stop is more than a kilometre away and I don't really like walking. There was a 45km/h Haibike Trekking on sale, so I bought it. I didn't hesitate much because I figured it was built by Haibike & powered by Yamaha, so how bad could it be? It actually turned out to be a great choice. 23,650 kilometers later and no regrets. It's practically the only means of transportation I use. Purchasing an e-bike put an end to my obsessive quest to find the "best bike". Before that I was in a sort of buyer's gridlock where I always thought I'd found the right bike, but then something prevented me from buying it. Either there was something missing in the specs, the company went out of business, or the super deal I had a keen eye on vanished right in front of my eyes.

What's your story? I'd like to hear it.
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
The lowest in that poll is 1-3 months.
I know someone who did the research for like 2 days.

She was looking for a new bike, went to the bike store, test rode an ebike, loved it, bought it next day.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
The lowest in that poll is 1-3 months.
I know someone who did the research for like 2 days.

She was looking for a new bike, went to the bike store, test rode an ebike, loved it, bought it next day.
I added that. Not sure how to reorder though. :)
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
It's funny, 2 years ago I went to my lbs and they wouldn't think of selling ebikes, though they are now. Then I branched out to a semi local store on long island and first tried a Felt and a Cannondale. I work in the city so I went to Propel and Greenpath in Brooklyn, NYCEwheels and Bike Habitat in the city. Tried numerous brands with all having their advantages and disadvantages. I have to admit, the more I test drove, the higher my budget became. And after a good 25-30 test rides, I came back and purchased the very first bike I tried. The Felt. The Felt because it looked like a regular bike not a motorcycle. Thinner tires, light frame and quality components were all my priorities. Two years and I still smile whenever I mount it. Truly, a new lease on life.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
I took 5.7 hours double my usual time to ride my usual 27 miles due to headwind. That was unacceptable, 3.5 hours exercise is enough. I used bing to look up bike motors, they showed me ****y DC brushed 12 v motors with a sprocket on them to engage chain. No mount, no one-way clutch, no pinch roller to hold chain in engagement. I knew from factory maintenance work I didn't want a brushed DC motor, the brushes lose contact every Monday AM. I knew I didn't want to drag the motor along when I was pedalling. And 12 vdc sounded obsolete in the era of the Tesla car.
I was riding around pedal powered, never saw an electric bike which are apparently big news on the coasts. Saw a short segment on bbc news on e-bikes.
3 months later found electric bike review by searching for forums. Started reading, bought a geared hub motor kit from ebikeling.com about 3 months later. The conversion was dodgy with the battery swinging around on the huffy savannah front fork, and the batteries I bought from amazon & ebay were garbage. In the 7 miles the battery lasted, I found I hated the PAS which wouldn't go slower than 11 mph.
A year later I bought a $700 battery from luna and a $189 DD hubmotor kit from amazon. Converted the bike left which had fixed mounts for the battery on the front in the frame. Worked great, but used up 80% of the 17 AH battery in 30 hilly miles. 4 months later managed to get the ebikeling geared hub motor to work with the generic controller. Success! 2000 miles this year, battery usage about 60% over 30 hilly miles.
Didn't want any of the complete cargo bikes, they are all mid drive which drags unpowered, most have 20" wheels which might ride rough. Except the radrover, which has a DD hub motor which also drags. I ride 2/3 the distance unpowered for exercise and don't use power at all on short trips under 20 miles.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Less than a week, after we first discovered ebikes at the local Performance (RIP) Bike franchise in 2015. I promised my wife she would have one We drove up to Crazy Lennys in Madison, about 200 miles. Did some test rides. Found one she liked. It was too far to go home and think about it, come back, etc, and it wasn't that much money. Put it in the station wagon, we'll take it home. A month later, the parts arrive for my ebike kit, and I had one too.

It turned out a year later that wasn't the right ebike for her. Too big, unwieldy, and powerful. Touched all the bases for a good value, but she needed something smaller and more mild mannered. On her 3rd ebike now, and happy.




.
 

dblhelix

Active Member
I spent a lot of time researching e-bikes before buying my first one. I suspect it was something like 2 or 3 years. During that time I had access to e-bikes though. I finished off the lease on an friend's e-bike without actually owning. I guess you could call it a sort of a rental. The bike was a special version of the Eflow Nitro with a GoSwiss drive. After that I borrowed e-bikes that the city of Geneva loans for free during Summer months. I also rented a bikes here and there and subscribed to a corporate fleet through an acquaintance. Besides that I demoed a lot... perhaps more than is reasonable. I went to all the "e-bike festivals" and ended up demoing so many bikes that I can't even remember them all. At the end it was all getting a bit crazy.

Then I moved and needed a bike. The nearest bus stop is more than a kilometre away and I don't really like walking. There was a 45km/h Haibike Trekking on sale, so I bought it. I didn't hesitate much because I figured it was built by Haibike & powered by Yamaha, so how bad could it be? It actually turned out to be a great choice. 23,650 kilometers later and no regrets. It's practically the only means of transportation I use. Purchasing an e-bike put an end to my obsessive quest to find the "best bike". Before that I was in a sort of buyer's gridlock where I always thought I'd found the right bike, but then something prevented me from buying it. Either there was something missing in the specs, the company went out of business, or the super deal I had a keen eye on vanished right in front of my eyes.

What's your story? I'd like to hear it.
I started looking in 2015, and it was between a Stromer ST2 or a Specialized Turbo X. Did not have access to either to check out. Met someone with an ST2 who also claimed he could get me a new one at a very good price. When I followed up, the deal vaporized.

The first “big” ebike shop opened in my local area 2016. When I visited, nobody was available to help. I did spot what I consider my first love: a Kalkhoff Integrale S11, right there on the floor.

Attended local 2016 ebike expo, largely bc Kalkhoff was an exhibitor. Test rode the Integrale, loved it. Got contact information for Pon (?) Group and Kalkhoff + a card knocking a few hundred off the price. Started reading German forums and the troubles with the Impulse Evo motor scared me off.

Early 2017, became more aware of issues/probs with various bike. Decided to drop a sensible $3500 on a Tern Vektron to use as a work commuter. Waited until Propel had one on the floor and rode it back out over the Manatten Bridge mid-2017. Since then, I’ve picked up a pair of R&Ms.

This is an evolving space, so I’m open to all options and am mulling a DIY project as well. It’s hard to put a number on time spent “researching” back in the day, because so little “hands-on” was available. In other words, that window would be much shorter now, I think.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
I spent a little over a month looking, surfing, reading, youtubing, and going to LBS around Vancouver.
On my radar were, Surface 604, Voltbike, Cube, and Trek.
Then a friend of mine suggested I look at Giant. Kind of surprised I hadn't had them on my list already.
Anyway, all that looking and learning helped me decide between hub or mid drive, and based upon a good test ride at a Giant LBS I ended up with my Fathom E+2.
 

Lord Polymath

New Member
I've been researching a couple weeks now, and just about ready to pull the trigger on a Camp Scrambler. Pretty much the only thing holding me back at this point is approval from the wife unit.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I spent a little over a month looking, surfing, reading, youtubing, and going to LBS around Vancouver.
On my radar were, Surface 604, Voltbike, Cube, and Trek.
Then a friend of mine suggested I look at Giant. Kind of surprised I hadn't had them on my list already.
Anyway, all that looking and learning helped me decide between hub or mid drive, and based upon a good test ride at a Giant LBS I ended up with my Fathom E+2.
yeah I was kind of like that too, lots of YouTube and Google research.

I was on budget so particularly looked into Chinese bikes like Juiced, Volt, Biktrix, Surface 604, etc.
Everything was new to me and didn't know anything about ebike brands. I did see the similarities in Chinese bikes, Bafang hub drive, Reention case with LG or Samsung cell, Tektro brakes, SR Suntour or rigid fork, etc.

The lady that I was talking about in my above post, she wasn't really looking for an ebike, but went to Trek Bicycle store, and found an ebike, tried it, she loved it and bought it the next day.

She had no knowledge of ebikes, nothing.

But she told me she knew Trek won't sell garbage and couldn't go wrong with Trek, so didn't even bother looking into ebike brands like Pedego, Juiced, Volt, etc.
She already had a confidence in Trek brand name I guess.
 
My answer was 2 more years and I'm still searching, which is true to a point. I have an e-bike that I'm enjoying, but I'm always on the look for something newer and better.

But the real answer is a *lot* more than 2 years. I started selling e-bikes in late 2005, but didn't finally order one for my personal use until late last year. So essentially a 13 year wait! I didn't find one that sufficiently inspired me to use one personally prior to that.

With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had got an Opus WKND (Shimano STePS 6000 motor) when it became available in 2017, rather than waiting the extra 1.5 years until I finally pulled the trigger on something (iZip E3 Moda w/Brose Drive TF motor).

I'm currently riding a Raleigh Tamland iE (Brose Drive TF motor).

I'm curious to find a gravel bike or performance hybrid with the new 5th generation Bosch Performance Speed motor, that might be the only thing at this point that would tempt me away from the Tamland iE.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't say I researched so much as simply waited for technology to improve. First ebike I rode was back in Fall of 2015. It had rear hub, downtube battery. I think maybe was a Specialized but could be wrong. Loved how it rode but absolutely could not lift this beast anymore than 2 inches off the ground. I knew I would eventually get one so I just waited until they got at bit lighter.
Somebody leased one? That would be fun, kinda like a car, then just get upgrade every two years.
And I think anyone on this forum is "researching".
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I built my first one, so from where I started I had a lot of ground to cover. There was a lot of "best guess" factored in for sure on that bike, both because of my size (6'2"/315) and because of the hilly area I spend a lot of time riding in. Extra time taken as I was sourcing everything for the first time. I purposely asked pre-purchase questions of every vendor I dealt with to see how they responded and to gain insight on my project.

Bike #1 did the job well enough the wife wanted something similar, so along came bike #2. That bike nailed it and is still in use.

Bike #1 was replaced because I decided a 29'er was too darn tall for this aging body. Bike #3, an '18 Rad City replaced #1 about 18months ago, and is currently on it's 3rd major revision. The battery, frame, brakes, and front wheel are about all the remains of the original Rad City.....
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
...The first “big” ebike shop opened in my local area 2016. When I visited, nobody was available to help. I did spot what I consider my first love: a Kalkhoff Integrale S11, right there on the floor.

Attended local 2016 ebike expo, largely bc Kalkhoff was an exhibitor. Test rode the Integrale, loved it. Got contact information for Pon (?) Group and Kalkhoff + a card knocking a few hundred off the price. Started reading German forums and the troubles with the Impulse Evo motor scared me off.

Early 2017, became more aware of issues/probs with various bike. Decided to drop a sensible $3500 on a Tern Vektron to use as a work commuter. Waited until Propel had one on the floor and rode it back out over the Manatten Bridge mid-2017. Since then, I’ve picked up a pair of R&Ms.
...
Lotsa similarities to this for me. Read off and on of e-bikes starting in 2014 time frame. Scared off by the weight. Got serious about buying in 2016 so I answered 3-6 months on the survey. Really nothing in my area to test ride. Flew to D.C. to an e-bike expo. The Integrale S11 was my top choice until, like @dblhelix, I started reading of the motor problems. I also had a local LBS who, because they sold Focus, could order it - but they were not good about returning messages. Their service (or lack thereof) also steered me away from Kalkhoff. That LBS has since closed its doors. I rode the S8 and S11. The S11 was making some motor noise but I liked the power. Sure glad I didn't go that route. Disaster narrowly averted.

Stromer was high on my list initially but it seemed there were far too many forum comments about glitchy electronics. And I had no dealers nearby. Seemed like a higher-risk purchase.

The Trek XM 700 was high on my list initially. Rode a 55cm at my LBS. Felt too large. Then rode the 50 cm at the expo. Felt too small. And I didn't like the front suspension. Didn't seem to have much adjustability.

R&M was just entering the country w Propel as the first dealer. I ordered the Charger. Flew to Brooklyn to test it out. A test ride is critical but even that isn't sufficient. To really test a bike, one needs to use it in his/her use-case (my case a 35+ mile start/stop commute). Hardly realistic for most folks and most situations. It was a solid bike. I liked the geometry and the build of the bike but really didn't like that Nuvinci after commuting for a while. Cruising at 23 mph was a struggle because of the Nuvinci.

Second bike was the Haibike XDuro 4.0. Its been a very solid commuter and a good purchase choice. Better since it fell out of warranty and I added the Bad Ass 4.0. Rode the bike today on my commute. So solid and yet agile. Intuvia (because of the Bad Ass) read 18.1 miles. My GPS logged 35.6 miles. 51% (Bad Ass does roughly cut speed and mileage by half).

I already had non-electric Terns when they introduced the Vektron and later the GSD. I also had a good relationship w someone who works for the brand. After talking them up at my LBS, whose rep had already seen them at Interbike, that LBS decided to sign on as a dealer (perhaps coincidentally). That led to Vektrons (trading in my non electrics for electrics) and the GSD. I converted my wife to electric with the first Vektron. Great bikes. No regrets on Tern purchases. Dealer and brand support has been great. GSD is the best bike ever (for me of course). So useful.

Sold the original R&M and purchased the Charger GX (dual battery). If the winds are not favorable, I commute on the GX dual-battery. If the winds are favorable (like today), I commute on the Haibike. Once in a while, I commute on a Tern (mostly on Fridays when time is not a constraint). Once in a while, I do a half commute on my non-electric (on Fridays if winds are favorable). That's my story. The Trek Allant is next. I'm trying to decide which bike to trade-in or sell (Haibike or R&M). I go back and forth. Haven't decided. Might wait until I've fully tested the Trek and made my mods.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
I wasn't sure how to answer this because I researched for about 3 months, made my decision, then bought something different that I hadn't even considered. Here's the story ...

My wife actually bought our first ebike (the Blix Aveny) for herself without my knowledge. We both had regular bikes, but she couldn't keep the pace or go the distance that I liked to ride, so often she would just find a bench part way through our ride to sit and wait for me to finish my activity … obviously not much fun for her. She knew if she talked to me about an ebike I would try to talk her out of it, so she just went to the LBS, picked one out and bought it before I had time to object. I was not too happy and thought she had wasted money and made a mistake, but after riding the remainder of the season with her that year (in 2017) I saw how much more fun she was having than me, and now I was the one who couldn't keep up or go the distance. So that winter I decided I had to have an ebike. I started researching about Christmas time and by March I thought I knew what I wanted (a Raleigh Detour IE which was a brand our LBS carried and was in my price range). I went in to do a test ride, and they had this 2017 Gazelle Arroyo at a sharp discount, only a couple hundred more than the 2018 Raleigh I had picked out. Once I saw the Gazelle, it just looked so much more elegant than anything else they had in stock. I test rode it and loved it and bought it without even taking a test ride on the Raleigh. It is probably not wise to make an impulsive decision like that, but I still love my Arroyo and am glad I have it instead of the Raleigh.
 

PDXzap

Active Member
I started reading and studying ebikes maybe sometime in 2001. Cobbled together a homemade friction drive a year or two later then found a good deal on a set of Currie folders around 2005.
Google reminded me that they still had a picture of the bikes from way back then.
40476
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I've been an avid bicyclist most of my life. I turned 70 in 2016 and began to notice I couldn't ride as far or fast as I could just a few years ago. I could no longer get to some of the remote trail locations I enjoy. That is when I started looking at ebikes. I live in rural Pennsylvania and there are no nearby dealers. Even though I've been working on bikes for many years and even worked part time as a bike mechanic, I was reluctant to deal online. I began taking trips, sometimes overnight, just to test ride various models.

Since I'm 6' 2", 260# and often ride with a lot of gear, my choice was somewhat limited. I considered adding ebike conversion kits to my Treks but decided against it due to stress loads and the bikes rim brakes. By the spring of 2018, I came to the conclusion that my "ideal" bike didn't exist. I concentrated on models that met my basic needs and could be modified to suit the rest.

On a trip to Southern New Jersey, I visited a Pedego dealer and test rode a Platinum Interceptor. I was so impressed, I bought two for my wife and I. After riding them a couple of hundred miles, I went back and bought a third as a spare and for friends & relatives to use. In addition to the bikes performance, the deciding factors were:
1 - The positive dealer experience.
2 - The extended 2 year warranty.
3 - The fact that Pedego was willing to send warranty repair parts directly to me rather than make me travel an extended distance to get to the dealer.
 

Rick53

Member
I ran into a couple loading up 2 Reiiegh E-bikes . So I stopped to pick their brains : I asked what Motor they had . The Guy replied there's no Motor these are pedal assist :) I just smiled and said oooh sorry my mistake .
 

ElevenAD

Member
i did nearly two months of hardcore research before my first purchase and i nailed it! if i would have purchased after two weeks of research i would not have picked the correct bike for me lol, i would be riding a City Scrambler lol,great bike
but not if your 6/3 and love to pedal!