Local dealer support - how big of deal?

Discussion in 'BULLS Forum' started by Aleks, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. Aleks

    Aleks New Member

    Want to get some opinions...

    I've been talking to CrazyLenny - originally looking for Haibike Fullseven RX - and have been researching Bulls - in particular full suspension Brose or Bosch models. Brose models attract me due to their discreet looks and quiet operation and battery life is a nice bonus.

    One concern I am still pondering on - is sparse dealer network. I spoke to Bulls support and they said that non-dealers won't be able to service their bikes - even if they sell other Brose models (e.g. Specialized).

    What is your take? How would you deal with any motor/controller issues if you don't have access to dealer?

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
    bob armani and Adam@BULLSeBIKES like this.

  2. Please support your local electric bike shop! These guys work hard offering test rides, sharing expertise and performing support.
    EBR strives to be impartial, we don't sell bikes ourselves and keep ads limited and relevant. Donations are greatly appreciated.

  3. Donny

    Donny Active Member

    You're either going to have to do one of three things - fix it yourself if able, find a local bike shop that will be willing to try and fix it (probably not likely), or you're going to have to box it up and send it back to the manufacturer. I think this is one of the things that many of the people buying cheaper electric bikes online aren't really thinking about. The vast majority of people out there are not technically able to repair these bikes and that's if you can get the parts. I've heard many local bike shops won't touch electric bikes unless they sell them. That's how I see it at any rate.
  4. James Kohls

    James Kohls Active Member

    The problem is interfacing with your bike's computer. A lot require special proprietary software only available to dealers. So even if another place could hook up to your bike, they probably wouldn't be able to talk to it. So really what it comes down to is diagnosing more complicated problems such as problems with the bike's electronics and electrical. Some electric problems may be something you can self-diagnose through process of elimination or peer-to-peer support. But electronics are probably going to require dealer diagnostic support.

    In the end tho, it's a lot about your tolerance for risk.

    I will say, personally, the bike I originally wanted did not have local dealer support. But I changed my mind and ended up getting a bike from my bike shop 1 1/2 blocks away. The peace of mind is great. Being able to talk and laugh with the guys who work there is a great feeling...knowing they're there. I've only owned my bike for a short while and haven't needed them yet.
  5. Robie

    Robie Active Member

    I'm pondering the same thing Aleks. I was so impressed with the one I Demoed at Houston's Ebike Expo, dealer or no dealer, I could be ordering one soon. I rode a Turbo - Levo couple wks. back which was nice. But until laws change , no Trails no Sales.
  6. stan

    stan New Member

    I have to say my local dealer gives no support, he over charges for parts, he has wrecked parts on my bike and he does not honor his warranty. I had to go to another bike shop for there good service and ended up ordering my own parts at a reasonable price. My bike is fixed, no thanks to my local dealer who says he loves what he does , some people just do not care and lie.
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Member

    I wasn't impressed with the knowledge of my local dealer, and wrote an email saying so to surface604. I'm buying from a dealer from Vancouver, and will hopefully have my local dealer be my conduit for parts and liaison with the manufacturer directly. But I'm semi intermediate with computer skills. they will likely be able to take me through any troubleshooting.

    I'm more worried about the bicycle parts (lol) Got a friend on standby for that.
  8. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Well-Known Member

    I gave up on my local dealer when I discovered through conversation that the mechanic learned how to fix bikes from watching youtube videos. Now I do my own work - all the regular maintenance is pretty straight forward, only thing I haven't really dealt with is pedal and bottom bracket areas, but with the right tools none of the work on a bike is particularly complex (at least, the bike part...maybe not the motor and battery!).

    Adam@BULLSeBIKES New Member

    Hey Aleks, At BULLS, we're growing steadily and feedback from you and others helps us know where to prioritize our efforts and look for new dealers. We do our best to choose dealers who will represent our products and provide excellent service. You have probably already checked our website for dealers in your area, but just in case you haven't http://www.bullsebikes.com/edealers/. When you let us know your area we can work with you to get you the ride you want and equip dealers near you with the necessary tools, not to mention inventory. And of course if you have questions, you can shoot us an email at ebikesales@bullsbikesusa.com.
  10. Goodair

    Goodair Member

    Your DEALERS are gouging us!!!!!!!

    This 2017, time to change your business model, lots of us and including you are buying things online,,,you have probably heard of a company like AMAZON, e-bikes and e-commerce are the future. Don't punish those that buy online, if the local shops are not doing their job, as the FACTORY, you should provide the support.

    Customer Service is critical for an emerging company, right now, as you can read by this thread, they are not sure about your dealer network if something goes wrong.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  11. RoadWrinkle

    RoadWrinkle Member

    Online deals are great, but a test ride is by far the best way to buy any bike. Many buyers have no local ebike dealer and are forced to buy without the benefit of a test ride. If you are close to a brick and mortar ebike store, do the test ride first, then give the shop a chance to match the online price. If they cannot, buy it online unless the local shops price difference is worth having access to the service.
    PCDoctorUSA likes this.
  12. Goodair

    Goodair Member

    RoadWrinkle, I agree, on our last 4 e-bike purchases, local dealers were given first dibs, we gave them an additional 10% margin, but they didn't even come close. Loyalty goes both ways, all this hoopla about supporting the local guy, I get it, but they need to support us as well, you know some just look at us as like walking $ signs.
  13. bob armani

    bob armani Active Member

    Goodair- Well said, it will always be 'ALL ABOUT THE MONEY' and then when you need them, they will say sorry, you did not buy from us, so I cannot help ya-(even though they are a dealer who carries the brand)! Bad move on their part and bad for business. They just don't get it!
  14. Mark Galloway

    Mark Galloway New Member

  15. EddieSudz

    EddieSudz New Member

    Local dealer support is everything to me. Spent hours asking questions and test driving bikes. It costs money for inventory, rent and employees. Don't mind supporting the the local shop. Mine was amazing.

    Electric Bike Center in Fullerton

    Sam bent over backwards to educate me on various motor and battery options along with differences in brands.

    Strictly speaking from my own experience and needs.....
  16. 86 and still kicking

    86 and still kicking Well-Known Member

    We advise never buying an eBike you have not test ridden as the first test any bicycle must pass is correct geometry for the rider. If the geometry of the bike does not work, all the features in the world will not make the customer ride the bike. No matter where you buy your bike you should:

    a. test ride, test ride, test ride
    b. establish a relationship with a local service provider to handle any and all issues for you.
    c. have your local dealer build and setup the bike properly. We receive 6 to 10 new ebikes a week for customers and they come almost assembled except for handlebars and sometimes front wheel. Our mechanics typically spend 90-120 minutes to build each bike as we have yet to see a bike come from the factory perfectly setup. We remove and check cranks for proper lubrication and torque, remove wheels to true and spoke tension, check derailleur alignment and then adjust, et. al. These are things the average consumer will never do.

    We have no brick and mortar an carry no inventory. We spend the margin we make on a sale in service back to the customer. We provide 24/7 phone or email support, 12 months of free roadside assistance, free warranty service pick up and delivery, and install all accessories for free. I spent last Sunday night on the phone with a customer who got a flat rear tire and walked him through how to remove the wheel and change the tire. It was not a warranty issue but we fully realize that the reason folks return to a company for continued purchase is service.

    We provide at home or office test rides for up to 2 eBikes and will be glad to leave one overnight in case someone wants to take an extended test ride or try commuting to work.

    My point is that a happy eBike rider and future purchaser does not end with the sale but begins with the sale. You may not find a local dealer with our model but having a long-term partner in your riding experience is both comforting and important.
  17. TntE3+

    TntE3+ New Member

    My local purchasing dealer is of no help and I wouldn’t walk back into there shop to piss on them if they where on fire. There knowledge of what they sell and there attitude after the sale is beyond unexeptable.
    Took me few weeks and Bulls customer support was very helpful. Had it not been for there tech line I would have sold the bike and moved to another brand as there no other dealers within 150 miles of me.
    I purchased local to support small business as I to am a small business owner.
    The quality of the bike at the price is best value inn market right now.
    Just be prepared to need good setup help as these bikes require good attention to setup to show there true potential.
  18. bob armani

    bob armani Active Member

    I am all for supporting my LBS as they are the go to guys in the time of need from expert bike mechanics who are priceless! However, my LBS is not a dealer of the ebikes that I have chosen, so I went ahead (after extensive research) bought 2 bikes online and have no regrets at all. The bikes fit both me and wife perfectly and they are very reliable. The online prices were soooo much lower than any LBS. I know I took a risk, but it was calculated and well researched and it worked out just fine. Perhaps a little lucky, but I would do it again. If I do need expert service, I'll just have to travel a bit farther to get it. Keeping my fingers crossed!
    PCDoctorUSA likes this.
  19. itsaulgoodman

    itsaulgoodman Member

    Yeah, it really is a tough choice sometimes. I feel test riding is very important before purchasing a bike, and having a local dealer to help with warranty support (especially with ebikes) is important as well. I've got a Bosch powered motor, and those things are so locked down for DIY I can't even add aftermarket lights without dealer support to activate them. That been said, when it comes to regular bike maintenance, I do all that myself. A lot of the LBS' around here employ kids and pay them cheap, and as a result you get the kind of results you'd expect. Any shops with good bike mechanics have very long wait times. There are some good independents around though (home business garage shops), which I would use for regular bike maintenance if I needed it.

    I'd say when picking an online store to buy a bike from, I'd be pretty conscientious of return policy / warranty policy, and after sales support. Biktrix seems good, on his FB group there was a customer of his that was having some problems assembling the bike and calibrating brakes. Roshan arranged for a bike mechanic in that persons area to go directly to their home and fix everything up. Another customer of theirs had a battery failure, they provided a shipping waybill to send back and have it fixed. I think that's a solid example of how to do it properly.

    There are some really cool ebikes out there these days though that aren't sold at any of the local dealers in my area, so when it comes time for my next bike - I'd be severely limiting my options if I didn't consider other stores online.

    So best answer in my opinion is, it really depends... on a number of factors.