How good of a deal is a dealer closeout or used when manufacturer switches parts?

aml

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USA
Many manufacturers seem to build their lines with a particular set of motors in mind. Specialized picked Brose, Trek and Gazelle picked Bosch, etc. and in what looks like a symbiotic fashion bicycle makers produce certain styles (city commuting, touring, mountain) and motor manufacturers make motors tuned to those needs. Haibike seems to use have a variety of Bosch and Yamaha.

Other manufacturers seem to change motors year after year. Examples that I'm looking at are the Raleigh Redux iE and the Izip Vibe. One LBS has a deal on a 2018 Redux (that has a Brose motor) that is pretty within my price range, and another not-quite-L BS has a 2019 when they switched to Bosch. (but at a stretch of my budget) A used IZip Vibe+ I was looking at had a Tranzx/Currie Electordrive and their replacement the Vibe 2.0 has moved to Bosch as well.

Are moves like this something to be wary of? That a consistency in components will give a shop something to expect ("oh yeah, these have a tendency to ...") and in the engineering/design can use an iterative feedback in how the previous years performed. Is it going to be more difficult for a dealer to get components from the manufacturer when they don't need to stock them for later years. (and not just the motor itself, stupid things like odd shaped gaskets or whatever)

Or is it safe to say that there are enough Brose motors, compatible display, and whatever else is needed for the bike that a local shop should be able to provide service even if the bike doesn't look like anything currently in their shop?
 

Art Deco

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USA
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Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Many manufacturers seem to build their lines with a particular set of motors in mind. Specialized picked Brose, Trek and Gazelle picked Bosch, etc. and in what looks like a symbiotic fashion bicycle makers produce certain styles (city commuting, touring, mountain) and motor manufacturers make motors tuned to those needs. Haibike seems to use have a variety of Bosch and Yamaha.

Other manufacturers seem to change motors year after year. Examples that I'm looking at are the Raleigh Redux iE and the Izip Vibe. One LBS has a deal on a 2018 Redux (that has a Brose motor) that is pretty within my price range, and another not-quite-L BS has a 2019 when they switched to Bosch. (but at a stretch of my budget) A used IZip Vibe+ I was looking at had a Tranzx/Currie Electordrive and their replacement the Vibe 2.0 has moved to Bosch as well.

Are moves like this something to be wary of? That a consistency in components will give a shop something to expect ("oh yeah, these have a tendency to ...") and in the engineering/design can use an iterative feedback in how the previous years performed. Is it going to be more difficult for a dealer to get components from the manufacturer when they don't need to stock them for later years. (and not just the motor itself, stupid things like odd shaped gaskets or whatever)

Or is it safe to say that there are enough Brose motors, compatible display, and whatever else is needed for the bike that a local shop should be able to provide service even if the bike doesn't look like anything currently in their shop?
Wow. Good question. IDK, but the major motor manufacturers are probably well supported since they make many different motors ... not just for ebikes. Think appliances, car windows and windshield wipers, elevators, and industrial motors. Displays and batteries are more model specific and change faster like early PCs and phones, but they can be programmed and re wired much easier than a motor.
 
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Dewey

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This is a difficult question to answer as different manufacturers have different approaches to communicating changes with the supply chain. Four examples illustrating different migration strategies come to my mind:

1. Bosch first generation Classic line motors from 10 years ago, can still be obtained new on German ebay, and Bosch produced an adapter to permit newer chargers to be used with older batteries. This is how it should be done.

2. Specialized ebikes are designed in Switzerland and when they switched motor supplier from GoSwiss hub motor to Brose mid-drive in 2017 they committed to supporting the GoSwiss proprietary battery/controller/motor interface for five years after the switch was made in 2017. GoSwiss are out of production so presumably Specialized built up a large enough supply of parts to support anticipated out of warranty claims for 5 years.

3. Bionx stopped production in 2019, some of their OEM partners like Ohm had a period of about a year when they needed to keep selling Bionx hub motor ebikes while they switched motor supplier to Shimano Steps mid-drive, and they had bought up enough parts to support warranty claims. Grin Tech subsequently recorded a YouTube tutorial on how to replace the proprietary motor controller if necessary to run a Bionx motor using an external KT controller and Class 2 throttle though the process involves removing the pedal assist. This is what happens when, as with Bionx, an e-bike manufacturer goes out of business and all the production line machinery is auctioned off, parts become hard to find, and kludges using 3rd party parts may or may not be feasible.

4. Bafang switched the design of their BBS mid-drive controllers in 2016 without telling their global retailers. I own one and have since replaced the controller of my 2013 BBS01 twice thanks to the foresight of the shop I bought mine from keeping a stock of spares to support their customers. A couple of years ago I bought a 2nd gen 2016 BBS01 motor cheap as a backup - I don't trust Bafang, they have a communist tractor factory mentality towards customer service.

My observations of the past 5 years are you can trust some manufacturers like Yamaha, Bosch, Shimano, Brose, etc. and some brands like the big 3 (Giant, Trek, Specialized) to have a migration plan in place, otherwise before you buy you could use EBR and other ebike forums to try to identify e-bike suppliers/retailers with a good reputation for parts support.
 
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aml

New Member
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USA
4. Bafang switched the design of their BBS mid-drive controllers in 2016 without telling their global retailers. I own one and have since replaced the controller of my 2013 BBS01 twice thanks to the foresight of the shop I bought mine from keeping a stock of spares to support their customers. A couple of years ago I bought a 2nd gen 2016 BBS01 motor cheap as a backup - I don't trust Bafang, they have a communist tractor factory mentality towards customer service.
Your 2nd BB501 motor reminds me of by older brother's Opel automobile when we were teens. He had one that he'd drive and one non-working one in the yard that he'd pull parts from as they failed on the car he drove. He eventually sold them both when whatever part he needed in his driving car was the part that took the spare-parts car off the road.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Your 2nd BB501 motor reminds me of by older brother's Opel automobile when we were teens. He had one that he'd drive and one non-working one in the yard that he'd pull parts from as they failed on the car he drove. He eventually sold them both when whatever part he needed in his driving car was the part that took the spare-parts car off the road.
The design of the gasket sealing the controller is different on the 2nd gen BBS01 so the two aren’t interchangeable and you can’t use a 2nd gen controller on a 1st gen motor unit so I’ll swap out the entire motor/controller unit if/when the current one fails. I got the newer one cheap because it’s from an early batch that doesn’t have the light connectors, but I power my lights from the battery using an Anderson tap so it won’t be a problem.
 
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PedalUma

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USA
Planned obsolescence and dependency on proprietary parts, service and firmware updates are part of the business model. The big ones can tell you that your bike is no longer supported. Windows 95. But offer "loyalty savings" on a new bike with more proprietary stickiness. I like opensource and readily available parts.
 

aml

New Member
Region
USA
Planned obsolescence and dependency on proprietary parts, service and firmware updates are part of the business model. The big ones can tell you that your bike is no longer supported. Windows 95. But offer "loyalty savings" on a new bike with more proprietary stickiness. I like opensource and readily available parts.
Somewhat related, but that is one thing that interested me in the Currie Electrodrive stuff. The battery, controller, and display all communicated with each other via Canbus. It seemed like a interesting place to tinker. But it seems to be one of the platforms everyone has moved away from though.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I like opensource and readily available parts.
That’s something that drew me to my BBS01 initially as I could reprogram the controller using a laptop, usb cable, and software, and use any 36v battery.

The Hilleater Galiano Phaserunner is assembled using Grin Tech’s CA display, phaserunner controller, and GMAC motor, but is advertised as ‘open source’, programmable controller, with upgradeable components like the torque sensor, any battery 36-72v, etc. Currently only delivering to Canada though.

Of the big manufacturers I like Bosch for the availability of older generation parts and their partnering with Saris to provide frame integration support to custom builders like Paul Daniel and Ravi Kempaiah’s new Zen Electric Bikes brand.
 
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aml

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Region
USA
FWIW, if you're in California, they are required to provide replacement parts for 7 years from purchase.

That is helpful, but that is seven years from manufacture. A 2108 bike that a retailer hasn't been able to move for two years has lost a significant chunk of it's ability to get parts. Is there anything that says how much the price can be (or be raised) over that seven year period? I assume it has to be less than the original purchase price of the item. If a bike manufacturer ran out of (from the example above) replacement Bionx motors I'm sure there is some price that you could give someone to dig up the original engineering documents, start a new assembly line, etc. but that cost might not want be something that be quoted to a customer.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
That is helpful, but that is seven years from manufacture. A 2108 bike that a retailer hasn't been able to move for two years has lost a significant chunk of it's ability to get parts. Is there anything that says how much the price can be (or be raised) over that seven year period? I assume it has to be less than the original purchase price of the item. If a bike manufacturer ran out of (from the example above) replacement Bionx motors I'm sure there is some price that you could give someone to dig up the original engineering documents, start a new assembly line, etc. but that cost might not want be something that be quoted to a customer.
Find out for us.
 

AHicks

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Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
MANY bikes are built with commonly available over the counter parts, very easily sourced, with NO proprietary parts used anywhere on it. These bikes will be serviceable for a LONG time, and there should be no, or little, concern regarding model year changes from one year to the next.

It's the bikes using a high percentage of proprietary parts (available only from the manf.) that you might be concerned with.
 
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