Help me buy my Chinese e-bike

ebikebob

Member
Hi, I am living in Chinese area but I can’t really read well enough to do ebike research. But what I can get are Chinese bikes or Asian bikes for local prices.

1. Could you please list some go-to Chinese brands and model names that are tried and proven over time?
2. I am looking for brand name quality without the brand name price. Does that exist for Chinese brands?
3. Desirables: long range like 75 km and up battery, top speed would be about 40kmh most seem to be limited to 25 kmh which is simply too slow to flow with even slow traffic. Good acceleration. Second seat. Thicker tires.
4. I have experience with a Giant ea-401 and I am not impressed. It’s 36 v 10 A and I feel very underpowered with no range either. Maybe I am expecting too much. But perhaps a 48 v and 20 a bike would be nicer? Should I consider building my own ebike yet I don’t have many skills in that department.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Hi, I am living in Chinese area but I can’t really read well enough to do ebike research. But what I can get are Chinese bikes or Asian bikes for local prices.

1. Could you please list some go-to Chinese brands and model names that are tried and proven over time?
2. I am looking for brand name quality without the brand name price. Does that exist for Chinese brands?
3. Desirables: long range like 75 km and up battery, top speed would be about 40kmh most seem to be limited to 25 kmh which is simply too slow to flow with even slow traffic. Good acceleration. Second seat. Thicker tires.
4. I have experience with a Giant ea-401 and I am not impressed. It’s 36 v 10 A and I feel very underpowered with no range either. Maybe I am expecting too much. But perhaps a 48 v and 20 a bike would be nicer? Should I consider building my own ebike yet I don’t have many skills in that department.

In China 48v and 25kmh are reported to be the legal limits for ebikes as opposed to scooters. TAIL-G Lithium powered moped models might work for carrying an adult passenger on flat land, but even the Lithium battery models are heavy eg this model weighs 39kg/85lb - the battery/controller puts out 900w peak power so you would be better off buying an electric scooter or motorcycle if you need more power/speed to keep up with traffic or climb hills.

The EU published a list of Chinese ebike exporting producers as Annex 1 of this document in their investigation of illegal dumping last year, this is a subset of the >700 Chinese ebike manufacturing companies, but you might like to look that up to research bicycle style ebikes and use Google translate, but it's not a complete list of brand names as typically manufacturers sell ebikes under a variety of brand names eg Tianjin Fuji-Ta make 'Battle' brand ebikes, and Tianjin Golden Wheel make 'Totem' brand ebikes, etc. Also look at Aliexpress.com, and ask your local bike shops what they carry and if you do identify a few models ask if they would be prepared to work on them. Accurate information such as domestic retail locations is relatively inaccessible outside China behind the internet Great Wall and the language barrier.
 
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ebikebob

Member
Thank you all. There are literally too many brands to keep track of, and many appear to be the exact same bike with very small superficial tweaks. I think also here people do not do as much extensive research or at least write about it as I'm used to. Numerous brands also do not seem to have websites, yet the sellers are able to provide professional looking details and pics. But when I google the model and brand there is no site to be found.

Thanks
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Some good advice here,
https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2019/04/26/what-you-need-know-buying-e-bike-beijing
Go to JD.com and search for:
Yadi (雅迪)
Aima (爱玛)
Xiaoniu (小牛电动)
Lvyuan (绿源)
Xinri (新日)


It seems Beijing has a local licensing rule with an even lower 15kmh speed limit for ebikes!
https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2019/05/12/update-how-register-your-e-bike-post-deadline
and
https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2018/10/25/how-apply-temporary-license-your-e-bike
and
https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2...uire-license-drive-limited-speeds-under-15kmh
 
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ebikebob

Member
And gentlemen, here we are:

My final choice pending your approval: This is the OEM bike for which brand in the US? I believe this may be the Ride1Up 500 or the Voltbike bravo

Two sellers have quoted me around $800 shipped. This is before any bargaining.

For that price, I'm getting:
500 W motor, 48 V
48 V * 13 A battery using LG cells
Shimano 21 gear 7 *3
Kenda tires
Having integrated front and tail lights is important to me; I don't want to add a clip no and keep having to recharge it every week. I can't tell if it's integrated from the pics, but the sales guy said they have lights.
No speed limit, again all I really want is 35 kmh at my disposal should I need it one day.

I realize the warranty will be basically nonexistent, but any bike that I buy with the exception of Giant would effectively have a nonexistent warranty anyway.

*thumb throttle * which I have never used before but I really want to change this, but it's not allowed.
Question 1: will I be capable of changing this myself, or can a local bike shop easily change this to a half-twist or full twist throttle? I'm pretty sure I won't like a thumb throttle.

Question 2: This bike can be made with a 350W , 48V motor as well at about a $150 cost savings. Should I save the money, making this thing around $650 shipped.

Question 3: Would you buy this bike if you were in my shoes? Again the main brand around here is Giant at a cost of $2500-$3000+ US dollars for a mid motor drive which is way out of my range. I can only spend around $800 given that I am not paid in dollars anymore.

Edit: Looks like a couple replies are coming in thanks. I live in Taiwan, so I can't buy a Radpower bike, for example. Otherwise, believe me, I would. I have every reason to believe that Alibaba is rolling the dice; but buying locally is also rolling the dice in my personal situation because everything is coming over unaltered from China, but with way higher prices. Might as well cut out the middle man.

Oh well might as well throw this model, my runner up, for your opinion: Himo C26 (It's from Xiaomi, whose other products I've found to be good quality). It's around $650 shipped.
 
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rcdanner

Member
Looks like a nice bike.
Standard Reention Dorado battery. Thumb Throttle is convenient. 48V 500W motor is best for all around riding. The front derailleur is not necessary. Most ebikes only have single chainwheel for simplistic less maintenance issues. I prefer addon lights for the longest ride time available. Plus the included lights are usually very subpar. Addon lights can be much more powerful giving you a safer ride. Let us know how the transaction goes.
Ride1Up 500 is very similar at $1100 delivered. Your price is definitely a plus. But R1U has customer service and warranty.
 

Katysax

Active Member
I have experienced buying direct from China. I can guarantee you that buying from a US company is worth the extra expense. You might get lucky but my experience is that stuff coming direct from China has no quality control. I’ve received items with the wrong parts. Items that were warped and unusable. Items with holes drilled in bizarre places. Items assembled in truly puzzling ways. When a US importer sells the bike they ensure that it isn’t damaged, that it has the right parts, that the frame and wheels aren’t warped. Just because it looks the same by no means is proof that it is the same. And the US seller will give you a warranty. I’ve been down this road. Never again.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
This looks better to me for a bit more cost.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
As a long time shopper of various "toys", one thing I learned is that when you go cheap and buy something that you think will satisfy your needs, you realize shortly after the purchase the various issues or shortcomings of the product. You then think about selling your used product at a fraction of your original purchase price, so that you can get a better product. Sometimes you go through couple of iteration of this ending up spending a lot more money than if you had just purchased the higher quality product in the first place.

I would seriously think about what your drop dead max budget is and look for the best ebike that meets that budget. Otherwise, you'll likely end up with buyer's remorse rather quickly.

Watt Wagons has a rather affordable new ebike in the works that should check all boxes with high quality components, low to no maintenance, with a powerful mid-drive motor. You can message the owner (@pushkar) directly as he's active daily and highly regarded on this forum

Yes, it's 3 times what you are considering, but you get exceptional customer support and a peace of mind that more than makes up for it. All low end components break or wear sooner rather than later with some part you may end up replacing immediately like seats, seatpost, racks, fenders, etc. which quickly add up. Most of us on EBR have experienced this.

Ultimately it's your choice and I can't speak to your personal needs. It's just some advice before you decide to go down a road that you may end up regretting.
 

davethedyer

New Member
Hi, I am living in Chinese area but I can’t really read well enough to do ebike research. But what I can get are Chinese bikes or Asian bikes for local prices.

1. Could you please list some go-to Chinese brands and model names that are tried and proven over time?
2. I am looking for brand name quality without the brand name price. Does that exist for Chinese brands?
3. Desirables: long range like 75 km and up battery, top speed would be about 40kmh most seem to be limited to 25 kmh which is simply too slow to flow with even slow traffic. Good acceleration. Second seat. Thicker tires.
4. I have experience with a Giant ea-401 and I am not impressed. It’s 36 v 10 A and I feel very underpowered with no range either. Maybe I am expecting too much. But perhaps a 48 v and 20 a bike would be nicer? Should I consider building my own ebike yet I don’t have many skills in that department.
Other than Frey try Kaiyi
They produce the M2S bikes. Their prices are lower and they have high end components.
 

ebikebob

Member
Thanks guys, well several of these bikes use thumb throttles. Is it trivial for a newbie to change to a half twist or full twist throttle? Like no soldering.
 

Fr0d0

Member
Thanks guys, well several of these bikes use thumb throttles. Is it trivial for a newbie to change to a half twist or full twist throttle? Like no soldering.
It's usually a plug connector and a couple of address on the handlebar, depending on the model that you get. Plenty instructional videos on YouTube.
 

Fr0d0

Member
What make is the motor on the Sataway bike? I prefer the integrated battery style but that can be an expensive problem if you need to replace it.