Buying online

Elle

New Member
Region
USA
I have been shopping for a few weeks now and have test-driven Trek Verve, Electra Townie, Momentum LaFree, Liv Amiti, and my favorite: Aventon Pace 500. I love the Pace for its price, zip, display, weight, hydraulic brakes, and throttle... but I don't like its speed at take-off and the lurching. The others, are okay, a little more than I want to spend, and don't have throttles or nice displays. However, I've seen several well-reviewed bikes online that have the features I want, particularly the throttle and the lower price. I'm particularly interested in the Espin Flow. My question is: Should I buy the Espin (or something else, like a Blix) and hope that a local bike shop will be able to help me with assembly (if necessary) and future service, or should I stick with one of the "safer" choices from an LBS?
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I have been shopping for a few weeks now and have test-driven Trek Verve, Electra Townie, Momentum LaFree, Liv Amiti, and my favorite: Aventon Pace 500. I love the Pace for its price, zip, display, weight, hydraulic brakes, and throttle... but I don't like its speed at take-off and the lurching. The others, are okay, a little more than I want to spend, and don't have throttles or nice displays. However, I've seen several well-reviewed bikes online that have the features I want, particularly the throttle and the lower price. I'm particularly interested in the Espin Flow. My question is: Should I buy the Espin (or something else, like a Blix) and hope that a local bike shop will be able to help me with assembly (if necessary) and future service, or should I stick with one of the "safer" choices from an LBS?
You could call your LBS and ask them if they assemble/service bikes they don't sell. Many do, for a price.
 

Elle

New Member
Region
USA
Yes, I'll do that. In retrospect, I guess it's a dumb question. I was just wondering about the trade-off. Is it better to find a bike online that really checks my boxes and hope I can develop a relationship with a local repair shop (there are two close to my home), or stick with a respected brand easily available in town, even if the bikes aren't my ideal?

Ideally, I'd like to hear from a direct-to-consumer bike owner who did just that and has had a good or bad experience. I'm not mechanical and have never even fixed a flat.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Depends if you are interested in learning bicycle mechanic skills, or intend to totally rely on the shop. If you have no intention of learning skills, buy local. Often the local shop will perform check ups and simple adjustments for free as a thank you for purchasing from them. But none of us know your local shop. Go have a frank discussion with the owner.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm generally of the same school of thought Rich is above.

However, there's another option, other than bike shops, in many areas. It's a nationally franchised mobile bike service with a pretty good reputation. They assemble and maintain them. In fact they will allow a bike to be drop shipped directly to them, they assemble it, and deliver it to your door. Check out Velofix.com.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I have been shopping for a few weeks now and have test-driven Trek Verve, Electra Townie, Momentum LaFree, Liv Amiti, and my favorite: Aventon Pace 500. I love the Pace for its price, zip, display, weight, hydraulic brakes, and throttle... but I don't like its speed at take-off and the lurching. The others, are okay, a little more than I want to spend, and don't have throttles or nice displays. However, I've seen several well-reviewed bikes online that have the features I want, particularly the throttle and the lower price. I'm particularly interested in the Espin Flow. My question is: Should I buy the Espin (or something else, like a Blix) and hope that a local bike shop will be able to help me with assembly (if necessary) and future service, or should I stick with one of the "safer" choices from an LBS?
Well, I looked at the Aventon bikes and Espin bikes as well, but decided on the Ride1Up 700. Check out the Ride1Up bikes for a customized PAS that avoids the problem you described with the others. But, Ride1Up is raising the prices on March 10th by $100, so don't drag your feet if you decide to go that route so you can save $100, plus take the pledge to save another $40.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Yes, I'll do that. In retrospect, I guess it's a dumb question. I was just wondering about the trade-off. Is it better to find a bike online that really checks my boxes and hope I can develop a relationship with a local repair shop (there are two close to my home), or stick with a respected brand easily available in town, even if the bikes aren't my ideal?

Ideally, I'd like to hear from a direct-to-consumer bike owner who did just that and has had a good or bad experience. I'm not mechanical and have never even fixed a flat.
Why not call your local bike shop and ask them if they will work on your bike of choice? I know Trek will work on any bikes but that does not mean they will be able to source all the parts you may need. If your bike lurches that means it likely is a cadence sensor only with no torque sensor. In my opinion this is an inferior system as it is more dangerous in tight quarters at low speeds.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
My question is: Should I buy the Espin (or something else, like a Blix) and hope that a local bike shop will be able to help me with assembly (if necessary) and future service, or should I stick with one of the "safer" choices from an LBS?
Many LBS don’t want to encourage this as they often have no access to training to know what they’re doing, plus there are liability issues while having little or no financial incentive to get involved.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Why not call your local bike shop and ask them if they will work on your bike of choice? I know Trek will work on any bikes but that does not mean they will be able to source all the parts you may need. If your bike lurches that means it likely is a cadence sensor only with no torque sensor. In my opinion this is an inferior system as it is more dangerous in tight quarters at low speeds.
Maybe your Trek shop will but I know at least two other Trek shops who refuse. They’re already plenty busy with they’re own customers. That said, my local Trek guy is willing on a case by case basis but he’s going to charge plenty. His strategy is to hopefully wean these folks off their online bikes in time.😉
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The bottom line is, if you have a local shop you'd like to use to service your "internet bike", I'd have an understanding with them before you buy it. My experience has been WAY to many are going to tell you they don't service anything they didn't sell.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
During the past months I've been working on my relationship with the closest LBS. At first, they looked at me and my online bike with suspicion. Since then I've stopped by for advice, made a point to purchase accessories locally versus online, played with their dog, etc. They know me now and feel they've warmed up to the idea of helping me out. Hopefully this will pay off :)
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I have been shopping for a few weeks now and have test-driven Trek Verve, Electra Townie, Momentum LaFree, Liv Amiti, and my favorite: Aventon Pace 500. I love the Pace for its price, zip, display, weight, hydraulic brakes, and throttle... but I don't like its speed at take-off and the lurching. The others, are okay, a little more than I want to spend, and don't have throttles or nice displays. However, I've seen several well-reviewed bikes online that have the features I want, particularly the throttle and the lower price. I'm particularly interested in the Espin Flow. My question is: Should I buy the Espin (or something else, like a Blix) and hope that a local bike shop will be able to help me with assembly (if necessary) and future service, or should I stick with one of the "safer" choices from an LBS?
Assuming you are clueless with no mechanical skills, buy your Ebike from the LBS. If you can change a bike tire, you will have no problem with your Espin Flow as far as assembly etc. Also, if anything breaks or needs adjusting, there are Youtube videos that will coach you though the process-and you will feel satisfaction after fixing your own bike! Just the 2 cents of an insurance guy with very limited mechanical skills that owns 3 soon to be 4 Ebikes all purchased via the internet...
 

Elle

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks, everyone. I took your advice and talked to a shop near my home, and they were wonderful. They commonly service bikes sold from a variety of online sources. Interestingly, they cautioned me about buying a bike with a hub drive and throttle (I think they said they see more accidents caused by throttle mishaps than anything else) and encouraged me to look at mid-drives. And although they didn't push me toward it all, I did test-ride a Momentum LaFree while I was there and really liked it. Still love the fun and excitement of a Class 2, though!
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
Interestingly, they cautioned me about buying a bike with a hub drive and throttle (I think they said they see more accidents caused by throttle mishaps than anything else) and encouraged me to look at mid-drives.
I don't know of anyone having a "throttle mishap" accident with a hub drive bicycle. I've got one on mine, and it doesn't provide any more power than the PAS system. Maybe they sell mid-drive bikes - that could be their angle.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
I don't know of anyone having a "throttle mishap" accident with a hub drive bicycle. I've got one on mine, and it doesn't provide any more power than the PAS system. Maybe they sell mid-drive bikes - that could be their angle.
I'm guessing they're referring to just the throttle. Most mid drives sold in LBS have no throttle. Similarly, most hub drives from online sellers they are asked to service likely have throttle. They're probably just associating the two.
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
Interestingly, they cautioned me about buying a bike with a hub drive and throttle
Do stupid throttle things, win stupid prizes. There is no requirement to actually use the throttle your bike comes with (and some mid drives come with a throttle too). Ride the rear hub drive with pedal assist only. You'll get used to the cadence very quickly, and just like on an unpowered bike (or a mid-drive), you need to remember to gear down when you come to a stop.
 

BET

Active Member
We have four hub drive e bikes bought on line - 2 Espin, 1 Ride 1 up and 1 Lectric xp. All are fine. My favorite is my Espin Sport. We had mobile bike service check over and tune the first 2 bikes. They were very helpful - came to our house and did the work in their van. We have had no issues. I suggest you get what you like that fits your needs and your intended use. Our Lectric Step Thru was 95 % assembled - put on seat post and pedals. Our Espins and Ride1 up were 90% assembled and needed minimal tools. There are helpful videos for assembly. Or you can often have a bike shop or mobil bike service do it for you if you wish.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Once you have a throttle, you always have a throttle. Just about the handiest device there is for getting the bike moving from a stop - especially when pointed up hill or getting the bike moving after stopping in the wrong gear.

Telling you to avoid a throttle was bad advice.
 

Elle

New Member
Region
USA
We have four hub drive e bikes bought on line - 2 Espin, 1 Ride 1 up and 1 Lectric xp. All are fine. My favorite is my Espin Sport. We had mobile bike service check over and tune the first 2 bikes. They were very helpful - came to our house and did the work in their van. We have had no issues. I suggest you get what you like that fits your needs and your intended use. Our Lectric Step Thru was 95 % assembled - put on seat post and pedals. Our Espins and Ride1 up were 90% assembled and needed minimal tools. There are helpful videos for assembly. Or you can often have a bike shop or mobil bike service do it for you if you wish.
Good to know... thanks! Having cadence sensors then, do you ever miss the torque-y feel of a torque sensor? Do you feel enough resistance when you pedal to feel like you, not the motor, are actually propelling the bike?
 

fauconnier

Member
Region
Canada
IMHO, riding with throttle only is a lot more intuitive and precise than a cadence PAS. I use it all the time, PAS to 0, to get the exact resistance I want in relation to the terrain. I never tried a torque sensor.