Alibaba and Chinese Vendors

George S.

Well-Known Member
I noticed there was a new member of EBR last week, @HANGZHOU BTN EBIKE TECHNOLOGY . This company has had a website for a few years. They have an intro video, which is interesting:


Alibaba is a huge operation. Many ebike parts come out of China and Asia. It may take time, but they clearly want to be a force globally.

It would be great to know what BTN thinks of this site and the US ebike market, tiny though it is.
 

Donny

Active Member
I think the biggest problem, especially with the Chinese manufacturers, is that there are simply so many of them and they all generally look like they use the same bike, they just stick a different label on it. I play around with Alibaba and Aliexpress every now and then and the vast majority of the products are almost identical. The other thing the vast majority of them have in common is that they are cheaply made and that's why you can buy them for $1 a piece in 500 unit lot orders. That's fine for some people, but it's not for others who would rather spend the money for quality products (or products that have an implied quality at any rate).
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Almost every bike under $4000 in the US is made in China. There are not that many motors that people use, and you can get any frame you want. Every other part is not that special except the battery. International shipping of batteries is a giant pain.

I would like to see something other than the BBS motors. There are a couple of threads on Endless Sphere about the TSDZ2 middrive. I guess it is OK, but maybe there are some rough edges.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=67734&p=1178362#p1178362

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=79788

I'd like to see some ebikes built around the Max.

Look at Hobby King, which used to ship out of Asia. Now they have several US warehouses. Alibaba is huge, and Walmart just bought a piece of JD.com, a competitor of Ali. I'm sure Bafang is developing an Internet strategy.
 

Donny

Active Member
I agree that most things are made in China, but there are still varying degrees of quality even within that realm. You can source your parts to a cheap manufacturer or you can source to a better manufacturer, even in China. You then have to look at the support available for any given brand. Is it a brand that you can actually get help for when you need it or is it going to be some brand that doesn't exist six months after you buy it? I think e-bike pricing needs to come way down before they get really popular, but I still can't help going with the notion that you get what you pay for. I'd like to think that there is a difference between a $500 bike and a $4000 bike ;)
 
I agree that most things are made in China, but there are still varying degrees of quality even within that realm. You can source your parts to a cheap manufacturer or you can source to a better manufacturer, even in China. You then have to look at the support available for any given brand. Is it a brand that you can actually get help for when you need it or is it going to be some brand that doesn't exist six months after you buy it? I think e-bike pricing needs to come way down before they get really popular, but I still can't help going with the notion that you get what you pay for. I'd like to think that there is a difference between a $500 bike and a $4000 bike ;)
I agree : In China as elsewhere you can find very good and very bad.
And if you want to understand why bicycles are not made in USA, or Europe have a look to this video.
http://film.britishcouncil.org/how-a-bicycle-is-made
There, you understand that building a bike (electric or not) is a lot of work.
The difference is in the worker's price. Would you pay your bike $1000 more than the actual price to buy a totally US made ?:(
There is something else to consider :
There are bicycle completely made in China and there are a lot of bicycles (most of them in the world) made with Chinese frames only. These frames can be high or low quality and it makes a great difference regarding the final price of the bike.
 
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