COMFORT LEVEL BUYING AN E-BIKE ONLINE

wings02

Active Member
I am about to purchase an E-Bike but one of the concerns I have is that the make of bike (Ride 1 Up) are only sold online. In researching the company, I found them to have excellent reviews along with quality bikes. On a personal level, any email I sent to them was answered within minutes. I am very mechanically inclined so assembly and adjustments would be no problem. I'm hoping that other issues within the electronics of the bike will be able to be remedied online with their customer support. One of the LBS around who sell some better brand E-Bikes have a policy of not repairing an E-bike that they don't sell. I will do my homework and call other LBS to see their repair policies. I do feel more confident buying online knowing the company I am purchasing from will provide good support, but there is always some risk involved. Like most, I love getting good deals, but when it comes to a purchase like this, I would gladly pay a premium to buy locally but this particle bike does not give me that option. Any input would be appreciated.
 

Allroads

Member
I purchased mine online which they have a highly rated customer service and satisfaction record. Read the reviews what other say, the quality of parts and what is your budget. Oh sure the local bike shop will offer will service what they sell. It all comes down to price. It's a shame shops will only service what they sell. Most indie shops will service any brand as long as they have experience.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
There is no doubt a big "leap of faith" is required when ordering online like that, but with good mechanical abilities my bet is you'll have a grin that won't go away for a while even if you do run into a minor issue. I remember both clearly! Fact is, I'm still smiling years later!

The electronics do seem a little scary, but I think you'll quickly become more at ease with some familiarity. The story is that the controller is fed information from a series of sensors - which are fairly simple to test once you get involved. If the sensors check out, you need a controller. It's that easy, and controller replacement pretty unusual.

After that, it's just a bicycle.....

Nothing good to say about bike shops unwilling to work on anything they don't sell. I'm forced to assume there's only 2 reasons they may take that stance. The first is due to lack of competence, and unwilling to gain any. The second is a bad attitude. No excuse for either..... -Al
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
One thing to keep in mind is, even though they have excellent support you have to have the tools and turn the wrench. Unless you can find an LSB to do it.

I bought from BikTrix also know for excellent service, which is true. My bottom bracket lock ring was loose, I contacted them and they sent the special tool needed to tighten it up. But I had to wait 3-4 days to get it and do the work myself.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
One thing somebody buying a bike on line should know is that THEY are personally responsible for going over the bike they receive from front to rear, and top to bottom. The final inspection that needs to be done prior to riding is ON THEM! Makes no difference who you bought it from, other than a local shop, who have techs that will do that for you (one of the reasons their bikes are more expensive).
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
<<The first is due to lack of competence, and unwilling to gain any. The second is a bad attitude. No excuse for either..... -Al>>

Aren’t you being a little harsh on the LBS here? I’m with you on a Trek dealer that won’t work on a Trek bike they didn’t sell, but for a local shop to start operating on a mail order product that they likely have no particular expertise in puts them right into the implied liability stream forever after in an (USA, anyway) extremely litigation happy society.

There’s very little upside for them and a huge downside potential if anything happens with that bike down the line, for any reason, and the owner is looking for someone to blame. Bad enough on a regular bike, far more so on an ebike with the addition of electrics and the increased engineering that may or may not have actually been done in the first place depending on the company. I’m giving the bike shops a pass on this one.
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
Depends on the company, I was looking at a video of a company that takes them out of the box and fully builds them and tunes them like a LBS would, then they repack them for shipping.
Seemed like a good thing to do for the end user, rather than depend 100% that the factory in Asia did it right the first time.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Comfort with mechanical ability is one thing, electrical troubleshooting is another. There are an endless amount of "Why won't my bike run, the battery is full because the little lights say so" statements on eBike forums. As mentioned, you'll need special mechanical tools, a multimeter, and more patience with an internet purchase. The patience will come into play when you contact the supplier that your bike isn't working, then they ask for a video or pictures, then they review the video, and then hopefully have a part in stock to ship you. Then there is also the chance that the shipped part doesn't fix it, so the process repeats. Not saying you won't have to wait at a LBS, but I have nothing but respect for the little shops. Youtube will help you a lot, an endless number of people love to video every single phase of each repair they do. Bless them when I need to replace a cam belt on a 2012 Honda Civic. The biggest help you can get is if there is a private forum for owners. Sondors gets a lot of bashing, but 10,000 owners can access an owners Facebook page. That's one huge cross section of owners, and every single failure on a Sondors bike has been covered and there is a files section on that page to keep records on repairs and hacks.
 

sc00ter

Active Member
All valid points. I'm also looking at a "mail order" ebike next. I've been following the brand section of this site and various online sources as well, and nothing seems impossible to repair. My only fear is if the company in question would go under. But even then, it's still a bicycle with a little computer controlled by sensors so really, nothing is that exotic. Any ebike at under $2000 will get you out the door and on a bike. If you really fall in love with ebikes you could always upgrade later.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
All valid points. I'm also looking at a "mail order" ebike next. I've been following the brand section of this site and various online sources as well, and nothing seems impossible to repair. My only fear is if the company in question would go under. But even then, it's still a bicycle with a little computer controlled by sensors so really, nothing is that exotic. Any ebike at under $2000 will get you out the door and on a bike. If you really fall in love with ebikes you could always upgrade later.
Some of the "little sensors" are hall sensors soldered inside the motor. It takes more than a guy with a wrench to replace those on his own. There is also the issue of proprietary protocol language between a display and the controller. All components are not plug and play. There seems to be a widely accepted attitude that it's just a bicycle with some do dads on it. Who can't fix those? That even applies to people who think they can get a bunch of old laptop batteries and make their own battery pack. There are those people who do it well, of course, but on a site like reddit, you see some incredibly dangerous builds and repairs. A few might just qualify for the Darwin award. If repairing an eBike was so simple, there wouldn't be half the questions about why my bike don't go.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
Depends on the company, I was looking at a video of a company that takes them out of the box and fully builds them and tunes them like a LBS would, then they repack them for shipping.
Seemed like a good thing to do for the end user, rather than depend 100% that the factory in Asia did it right the first time.
I think most of the reputable on line sellers do this. I know first hand that CrazyLennys does.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I think most of the reputable on line sellers do this. I know first hand that CrazyLennys does.

Wishful thinking IMHO.
<<The first is due to lack of competence, and unwilling to gain any. The second is a bad attitude. No excuse for either..... -Al>>

Aren’t you being a little harsh on the LBS here? I’m with you on a Trek dealer that won’t work on a Trek bike they didn’t sell, but for a local shop to start operating on a mail order product that they likely have no particular expertise in puts them right into the implied liability stream forever after in an (USA, anyway) extremely litigation happy society.

There’s very little upside for them and a huge downside potential if anything happens with that bike down the line, for any reason, and the owner is looking for someone to blame. Bad enough on a regular bike, far more so on an ebike with the addition of electrics and the increased engineering that may or may not have actually been done in the first place depending on the company. I’m giving the bike shops a pass on this one.

Fine, substitute your word "expertise" for my word "competency". The fact remains that either of those words can be overcome with a little patience, an open mind, and a desire to learn - all very desirable traits for bike techs. My experience has been that the shop has no desire to deal with e-bikes, period, let alone ones they didn't make a killing on.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
... for a local shop to start operating on a mail order product that they likely have no particular expertise in puts them right into the implied liability stream forever after in an (USA, anyway) extremely litigation happy society.
It's hard to imagine somebody with acceptable level of expertise on one hub kit bike and yet insufficient expertise on something like Ride1Up. Their reluctance is most likely due to unwillingness to learn (very minor) differences btw such models.
Litigation would be possible even after they've successfully repaired a non-powered bike. I wouldn't want to keep a bike shop :)
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
I think most of the reputable on line sellers do this {unboxing, tune-up and packing again}.
Rarely bikes arrive to consumer's door fully assembled. Some are assembled almost fully - just attach the front wheel, some require a lot of assembling.
I doubt online sellers do much unboxing and checking in a post-customs US warehouse, and if they do, then any tune-up you will have to redo again after they've taken it apart and boxed again.

This is why some brands offer assembling and tune-up for extra $150-200 either in a shop that they have a relationship with, or at mobile service like Velofix.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Which reminds me of a story.

A friend was doing another friend a favor by working on his small dirt bike for him. A minor repair, and there was no money that changed hands. The friend of a friend went on a vacation and the free repair failed, supposedly ruining the vacation. He sued the guy that had done him a favor without charging a dime, and won 1000.

Point being, if you are concerned about lawsuits, you had better have INSURANCE, or don't work on anything that's not yours - for any reason!
 

Prone2wander

New Member
My Ride 1 Up 700XR received a week ago doesn't work. Today I received a new controller from them and am seeking their help with installing since wire colors have apparently changed since the old one was made. It has been an inconvenience for sure but to me it was worth saving the extra $500 to $1000 I would pay at LBS. Plus I am learning a lot about my bike.