EBR reviews barely mention reliability/repairability

dave.electron

New Member
Court,

I suppose your reviews offer clues for assessing reliability, but for those of us new to e-bikes and not deeply knowledgeable about bikes in general, its very difficult to judge probable reliability. I’m surprised at my inability to find an online “E-Bike Buyers Guide” that even mentions reliability.

Furthermore, even the most reliable equipment will eventually fail. How do I assess ease/cost of repair?

Is there something you can suggest or offer? Ideas:
  • Publish a "Guide to Assessing Potential Reliability”
  • Set up a way for forum members to easily submit reliability ratings on brands/models
  • Publish a list of the most common e-bike failures and the associated repair difficulties and costs.
  • Provide links to external resources.
Thanks,
Dave
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Court,

I suppose your reviews offer clues for assessing reliability, but for those of us new to e-bikes and not deeply knowledgeable about bikes in general, its very difficult to judge probable reliability. I’m surprised at my inability to find an online “E-Bike Buyers Guide” that even mentions reliability.

Furthermore, even the most reliable equipment will eventually fail. How do I assess ease/cost of repair?

Is there something you can suggest or offer? Ideas:
  • Publish a "Guide to Assessing Potential Reliability”
  • Set up a way for forum members to easily submit reliability ratings on brands/models
  • Publish a list of the most common e-bike failures and the associated repair difficulties and costs.
  • Provide links to external resources.
Thanks,
Dave
reliability would be tough since the biks are not ridden enough and one bike would not do it. and not sure too many manufacturers would like it. but yes it would be nice.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Court has done more than any other one person has for ebiking in North America. He always seems more than willing to do more. I think he's really the Energizer Bunny.

6 years ago when I started ebiking, there were probably a half dozen real ebike brands and a dozen or so resellers here. Now there are dozens of real brands and hundreds of branding resellers. I can't imagine how much work it would take to compile data for reliability, repairs and life expectancy. That would take a lot of manpower and man hours.

The best resource we have for such data are real owners on this forum. Anecdotal, yes! Real world and honest though.
 

mitchhackleman

Operations Manger
Staff member
Court,

I suppose your reviews offer clues for assessing reliability, but for those of us new to e-bikes and not deeply knowledgeable about bikes in general, its very difficult to judge probable reliability. I’m surprised at my inability to find an online “E-Bike Buyers Guide” that even mentions reliability.

Furthermore, even the most reliable equipment will eventually fail. How do I assess ease/cost of repair?

Is there something you can suggest or offer? Ideas:
  • Publish a "Guide to Assessing Potential Reliability”
  • Set up a way for forum members to easily submit reliability ratings on brands/models
  • Publish a list of the most common e-bike failures and the associated repair difficulties and costs.
  • Provide links to external resources.
Thanks,
Dave
Hey Dave,

Welcome to the forums!

One of the problems we face is that we don't get to spend too much time with each bike. There are so many bikes to cover and we tend to dive into the details and specifications. We strive to be objective and forecasting reliability based on our brief encounter with these bikes seems a bit unfair, given our lack of data.

@J.R. is right when he says the best resource is right here :) There are thousands of owners that are comparing notes, sharing DIY projects, and helping each other achieve the best ride possible!

As far as the repairs go, we always recommend purchasing from a local shop or having a local shop that will work on your particular brand. Many shops won't work on Ebike brands they don't carry, unfortunately. Finding that local support can change the Ebike experience dramatically. It may be hard to summarize estimate costs on repairs, as so many Ebikes use various different parts, varying in cost. The forums may be a good resource for finding out what the community is paying for certain fixes.

I do think there is plenty of room to implement a community rating system...that is actually a very interesting idea!

Thank you for being a part of the community :)
 

trainman

Active Member
If you watch enough of Courts reviews, which I did before I purchased an ebike, you will learn Courts likes and dislikes and how he describes the ebike he is testing. It's call, reading between the lines.
 

alloo

Member
Ebikes and bicycles in general are throw away commodities. Yamaha is the only ebike manufacturer that has a long time service and reliability plan. Yamaha has been building ebikes since 1989. Court does have dislikes and likes.

Court also points out component market segments as it relates to costs. Not sure that ebikes components directly correlate to regular bicycle components. Different power scales and not sure that I need a lighter weight component on an ebike.

I agree no chain reliability or Cassette longevity perspectives on mid driver bikes. No hub motor reliability, longevity...even though ebikes have been around for a long time. I guess the bicycle industry doesn't see the value in providing that kind of information even though ebikes are approaching powersports prices. I guess we need a JD Powers type of organization in the bicycle industry. Currently we have a consumer reports. Is the bicycle industry large enough for something like a JD Powers type of Survey or do they want change? Not sure.

Maybe ebikes need they're own grade of components. I'm sure component manufacturers does research into reliability and recommends which components should be applied to a bicycle for certain applications on bicycles. As far as brand is concerned when you buy a toyota from Yaris to Camry you get a reliable product regardless of price. I'm sure bicycle components are the same. I maybe wrong. Market segments may be different for the car/bicycle. International component makers have years of experience building bicycles and it would be interesting to see how other countries evaluate ebikes. I see other perspectives in powersports, but not really in ebikes or I don't know where to look.

Court does a great job promoting ebikes his service is invalueable to an industry in its infancy. Thank You Court.
 
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dave.electron

New Member
I appreciate all that EBR does for us, but I think they can do more. For example, more info and education on battery and motor reliability would help readers avoid repairs so costly that they'd want to just trash the entire bike.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member

Maybe if EBR continues to grow and that growth allows it to change its review model we'll start to see long term ownership reviews, as we do in the automotive industry press.
 

BEC111

Member
The first question I’d have for the forum members is how long they’ve had their current bikes, and if they’ve had ebikes for several years, what happened to their first bikes? Do they still have them? Do they still work? Can you still get parts after “x” years? I just bought a Specialized Vado 4 SL: will its custom battery be available in three or four years when the original battery will need to be replaced?

Testing a new bike won’t answer these questions.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Court reviews new bikes which he doesn't own or have long-term loaner agreements like some auto magazines, so it's difficult to mention anything about reliability. Since most ebikes are really an accumulation of components from various manufacturers, it would be better to look at the component reviews and costs related to replacing them. Frames usually don't fail and is probably one of the few things that bike manufacturers produce.