How to purchase: LBS or Online?

Almost60

New Member
Currently shopping for our first ebikes, and this site has so much great information.
Thoughts: buy what's available locally or go online for wider selection? (online includes large players, as well as small bike shops that are not local to us)

There is one ebike shop in our area. They have a very good reputation, and carry BH eMotions (probably Evo Street or City) and iZips (probably Zuma) in our price range ($2-3000). Any other shops (and other brands) are at least 3-4 hours away.

About us, and what we are looking for: Both closing in on 60. He's 5"8', and in pretty good shape <3. I'm 5'2'" and about 30lbs overweight, have also had a hip replacement, then a broken leg and still have some issues there. We both want step-through bikes with upright seating (beach cruiser-ish?), and pedal asset AND a throttle. Lots of hills around here, and getting started up hill is too hard without the throttle. Good brakes (for every up hill there's a down...) and a comfortable ride. Plenty of bike trails in the area, also lots of suburban neighborhoods to explore. There will be for fun and exercise, no plans for riding in city traffic or using bikes for daily commuting.

Thanks!
 

Jolly

Member
I would start with the ebike shop first and test ride all the bikes they have. If they know what they are doing they can answer all your questions. Also, if you see something on line maybe they can order it for you. set it up and make sure everything is working fine. I have one particular ebike shop in my area that's willing to do that for me.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Local support is so important for a good ownership experience. If you simply can't find the right bike locally, be sure to consult with your local dealer for service and support and ask how they might assist with warranty issues.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Currently shopping for our first ebikes, and this site has so much great information.
Thoughts: buy what's available locally or go online for wider selection? (online includes large players, as well as small bike shops that are not local to us)

There is one ebike shop in our area. They have a very good reputation, and carry BH eMotions (probably Evo Street or City) and iZips (probably Zuma) in our price range ($2-3000). Any other shops (and other brands) are at least 3-4 hours away.

About us, and what we are looking for: Both closing in on 60. He's 5"8', and in pretty good shape <3. I'm 5'2'" and about 30lbs overweight, have also had a hip replacement, then a broken leg and still have some issues there. We both want step-through bikes with upright seating (beach cruiser-ish?), and pedal asset AND a throttle. Lots of hills around here, and getting started up hill is too hard without the throttle. Good brakes (for every up hill there's a down...) and a comfortable ride. Plenty of bike trails in the area, also lots of suburban neighborhoods to explore. There will be for fun and exercise, no plans for riding in city traffic or using bikes for daily commuting.

Thanks!

I suggest you buy locally. There are online shops that offer wider selection and better deals for folks who don't mind doing their own maintenance, but most buyers want to have a nice local shop to handle all that stuff (and any warranty service) for them.
 

Almost60

New Member
Thank you for your responses. Sounds like locally is the way to go.
In that case, Easy Motion and iZip are our available choices. Thoughts on the following bikes :
iZip:
Vibe+ (throttle can be added)
Zuma
(Path has no throttle, Metro Step too heavy)
Emotion:
EVO Street
EVO City Wave
EVO Eco Lite
EASYGO Street (no throttle)
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I have the 2016 Evo Street and really like it but it is a heavy bike, I think it weighs 58 pounds
It is my heaviest bike and hardest to get on the car rack

The street is a powerful bike and from my experience has good battery range

Just wanted to add that about the weight because you said the metro stop is too heavy, not sure how much that one weighs
 

Almost60

New Member
I have the 2016 Evo Street and really like it but it is a heavy bike, I think it weighs 58 pounds
It is my heaviest bike and hardest to get on the car rack

The street is a powerful bike and from my experience has good battery range

Just wanted to add that about the weight because you said the metro stop is too heavy, not sure how much that one weighs

Glad you questioned the weight. I've made one sheet comparing the EVOs and another comparing the iZips, but did not compare them to each other. The Metro weighs more than the Vibe and Zuma, but not much different than the EVOs.

Vibe, 53lbs $2100/sale $1800
Zuma, 53lbs $2499/sale$2099
Metro, 60lbs $2999/sale? (we didn't test drive this one, there may be a good sale price available)

EVO Street, 57lbs $3099
EVO City, 58lbs $3099
EVO Eco Lite, 58lbs $2,300 (the $ is lighter, but the bike is not!)
(Have also seen various specials at other locations, and would check w the LBS about that.)

We are planning to get the Hollywood rack for 2 ebikes. He can lift it with some effort. I'd need to try the one wheel at a time method if on my own. Mostly, we'd be together for loading/unloading.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
i load all mine one wheel at a time, they are all pretty heavy and bulky

it does help if you take the batteries off

i think the EM bikes are good bikes and the warranty is really good
dont know much about the izip stuff

the black 2016 street is much prettier in person than in the pics, but guessing you have seen it already
 

Almost60

New Member
Thank you for all the replies.
Follow up: We ended up finding demo models of the EM EVO City Wave and EVO Street online at really good prices (only benefit of being sick all week was plenty of research time). Our LBS guy wasn't thrilled, but the $$ savings was too great to ignore, and really made it possible to get the bikes we wanted.

Next step is choosing a bike rack for the RAV. I really like the 1upUSA (looks easy to load and unload, also most secure), but have concerns about it working with the bikes' fenders. Have sent them an email about that.

Then, we'll need the small accessories: bells, bags or panniers, locks, etc.

It's a whole new world!!!
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I have the street and use the one up with a fender cushion and also i slide the wheel saver for skinny tires up under the fender where the cushion will hit, also have a fat tire spacer on the back tire arm - it allows the arms to go on the sides of the rear rack stuff- front fender is not in the way
this has been doing ok
I also put a velcro strap on the tire

Honestly sometimes wonder if the yakima holdup, theule t2 etc would have been easier....
Not just because of the fender but because i have to get the wrench out and move those spacers up and down when i swap different size tires/bikes , wish those things had a quick release...


I mainly went with the 1up because of the rated weight capacity- also i found no bad reviews for them at all
They are great racks, just wonder if others might be easier...
 

Almost60

New Member
I have the street and use the one up with a fender cushion and also i slide the wheel saver for skinny tires up under the fender where the cushion will hit, also have a fat tire spacer on the back tire arm - it allows the arms to go on the sides of the rear rack stuff- front fender is not in the way
this has been doing ok
I also put a velcro strap on the tire

Honestly sometimes wonder if the yakima holdup, theule t2 etc would have been easier....
Not just because of the fender but because i have to get the wrench out and move those spacers up and down when i swap different size tires/bikes , wish those things had a quick release...


I mainly went with the 1up because of the rated weight capacity- also i found no bad reviews for them at all
They are great racks, just wonder if others might be easier...

We only plan on have the one set of bikes (famous last words?)!!
Would you mind sharing a photo of your wheel saver fender work-around?
Thanks.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
lol, well that mod did not work great today

the street rear tire went flat at some point hauling home this evening 4-5 hours, luckily i had a velcro strap on the tire too

but when the tire went flat the wheel saver that was under the fender fell out....
so ordering some extras and plan to also strap the wheel save onto the wheel in case it loses tightness somehow, that way i wont lose the wheel saver next time

will probably be hauling that bike tuesday and will try to get pics of how i have it set up
 

Almost60

New Member
Sent an email to 1upUSA with our bike models, and received this reply:
"Thanks for the inquire, but our bikes will not work well with these bikes based on the rear fender.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call us."

...so, will move ahead on research.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
yeah, i dont know

i use it with my 1 fendered bike and make do, it is kind of a hassle

and the mariners with the battery rack on the rear are also kind of a hassle

so maybe the yakima hold up or the new thule easy fold?

seems i saw one person with the easy fold was not happy and a couple of others said they were...
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
just going to throw this out there

i got into this a year or so ago and planned for one bike
now own 5....
and one is a fat tire
liking the new fat tire bike and if it was me i would make sure you have the ability to add 2 more bikes to the rack for 4 and are able to haul fat tires

even if you dont end up going crazy like i did might help with resale value down the line if it has those 2 options

you also never know when you may want to haul a friend with you

pretty sure the yakima, thule t-2, kuat and maybe the saris racks can all add 2 more bikes for a total of 4

not sure about the thule easy fold
 

Almost60

New Member
just going to throw this out there

i got into this a year or so ago and planned for one bike
now own 5....
and one is a fat tire
liking the new fat tire bike and if it was me i would make sure you have the ability to add 2 more bikes to the rack for 4 and are able to haul fat tires

even if you dont end up going crazy like i did might help with resale value down the line if it has those 2 options

you also never know when you may want to haul a friend with you

pretty sure the yakima, thule t-2, kuat and maybe the saris racks can all add 2 more bikes for a total of 4

not sure about the thule easy fold

The add-on option is a good idea. Still researching.
 

Jan

Member
Thank you for your responses. Sounds like locally is the way to go.
In that case, Easy Motion and iZip are our available choices. Thoughts on the following bikes :
iZip:
Vibe+ (throttle can be added)
Zuma
(Path has no throttle, Metro Step too heavy)
Emotion:
EVO Street
EVO City Wave
EVO Eco Lite
EASYGO Street (no throttle)
I've had my Izip for awhile (2500 miles). I love, love, love it!!
Here's my experience. I hope it helps:
If you've going to load the bike on a rack, get a mid drive izip. I load my Peak without the battery, no problem, as it is light or lighter than a regular bike.

All Emotions are great bikes. I know an online shop that sells them for about $1-2k off retail (about $1200 for Neo Jet, free shipping and no tax). These bikes are heavy, and frustrating to get on a rack. All old (2015) Izip Peaks have a throttle and you can get most models under $2k. Shocking Ride has good deals on the Izip/Diamondback overdrive exec models (but the frame may be too big). Jon from Shocking ride is a great guy and will answer all your questions. Lenny has all the EVO models for really cheap.

The biggest dilemma you have: do you want to pay $2000 more for piece of mind and service from a local dealer? You may wind up paying that much to the local dealer in repair costs, anyway. I'm going through the same decision, myself.

I have bought 3 bikes locally and 3 bikes online. My worst experience was with one of my local purchases. I bought a Motive Shadow that broke the next day. The local dealer wouldn't return my emails and I had to drive over 200 miles to the manufacturer to get it repaired. My other local purchases were Pedego, and Izip. Pedego is probably the best customer service you'll ever get in the industry. My Izip came from Performance Bikes, and they no longer sell electric bikes, but they do still cover everything on my bike and they gave me a new battery free after one year. I love this bike shop and was so sorry to see them turn their backs on E-bikes

All my online experiences were really great. I did have to do a little bit of assembly, and it was temporarily frustrating, but I estimate that I saved over $5000 buying online.

I am now thinking of buying either a Stromer or a Specialized Turbo online. I actually contacted the US Stromer headquarters to see if I could test ride the ST2s. The head sales rep would not allow me to come to the headquarters to do a test ride and told me, in no uncertain terms, that Stromer frowns on online purchases, even if customers might save as much as $3000. Needless to say, I'm leaning toward the Specialized.

All the local dealers in my area hate me: They over charge me for repairs and usually just avoid me when I go into the shop. . . . it's totally my own fault and it is something you have to consider when making your buying choice. Most times local dealers will do a price match that is listed on the online website; however, the best prices online are the ones you get when you call the shop. Since those are not in writing, they will not be matched. If you try to get a local shop to match a verbal online price quote, chances are, they won't. What will wind up happening is the local shop will report the online seller to the manufacturer and all the "good deals" will go away. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm merely speculating on the seemingly obvious conclusions. I hope that helps. . . good luck.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
I've had my Izip for awhile (2500 miles). I love, love, love it!!
Here's my experience. I hope it helps:
If you've going to load the bike on a rack, get a mid drive izip. I load my Peak without the battery, no problem, as it is light or lighter than a regular bike.

All Emotions are great bikes. I know an online shop that sells them for about $1-2k off retail (about $1200 for Neo Jet, free shipping and no tax). These bikes are heavy, and frustrating to get on a rack. All old (2015) Izip Peaks have a throttle and you can get most models under $2k. Shocking Ride has good deals on the Izip/Diamondback overdrive exec models (but the frame may be too big). Jon from Shocking ride is a great guy and will answer all your questions. Lenny has all the EVO models for really cheap.

The biggest dilemma you have: do you want to pay $2000 more for piece of mind and service from a local dealer? You may wind up paying that much to the local dealer in repair costs, anyway. I'm going through the same decision, myself.

I have bought 3 bikes locally and 3 bikes online. My worst experience was with one of my local purchases. I bought a Motive Shadow that broke the next day. The local dealer wouldn't return my emails and I had to drive over 200 miles to the manufacturer to get it repaired. My other local purchases were Pedego, and Izip. Pedego is probably the best customer service you'll ever get in the industry. My Izip came from Performance Bikes, and they no longer sell electric bikes, but they do still cover everything on my bike and they gave me a new battery free after one year. I love this bike shop and was so sorry to see them turn their backs on E-bikes

All my online experiences were really great. I did have to do a little bit of assembly, and it was temporarily frustrating, but I estimate that I saved over $5000 buying online.

I am now thinking of buying either a Stromer or a Specialized Turbo online. I actually contacted the US Stromer headquarters to see if I could test ride the ST2s. The head sales rep would not allow me to come to the headquarters to do a test ride and told me, in no uncertain terms, that Stromer frowns on online purchases, even if customers might save as much as $3000. Needless to say, I'm leaning toward the Specialized.

All the local dealers in my area hate me: They over charge me for repairs and usually just avoid me when I go into the shop. . . . it's totally my own fault and it is something you have to consider when making your buying choice. Most times local dealers will do a price match that is listed on the online website; however, the best prices online are the ones you get when you call the shop. Since those are not in writing, they will not be matched. If you try to get a local shop to match a verbal online price quote, chances are, they won't. What will wind up happening is the local shop will report the online seller to the manufacturer and all the "good deals" will go away. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm merely speculating on the seemingly obvious conclusions. I hope that helps. . . good luck.
Not sure this type of post helps anyone...seems like you are looking a gift horse in the mouth??
 

Leon Washington

New Member
I've had my Izip for awhile (2500 miles). I love, love, love it!!
Here's my experience. I hope it helps:
If you've going to load the bike on a rack, get a mid drive izip. I load my Peak without the battery, no problem, as it is light or lighter than a regular bike.

All Emotions are great bikes. I know an online shop that sells them for about $1-2k off retail (about $1200 for Neo Jet, free shipping and no tax). These bikes are heavy, and frustrating to get on a rack. All old (2015) Izip Peaks have a throttle and you can get most models under $2k. Shocking Ride has good deals on the Izip/Diamondback overdrive exec models (but the frame may be too big). Jon from Shocking ride is a great guy and will answer all your questions. Lenny has all the EVO models for really cheap.
Since there are no exclusive electric bike shops in my area, I will

The biggest dilemma you have: do you want to pay $2000 more for piece of mind and service from a local dealer? You may wind up paying that much to the local dealer in repair costs, anyway. I'm going through the same decision, myself.

I have bought 3 bikes locally and 3 bikes online. My worst experience was with one of my local purchases. I bought a Motive Shadow that broke the next day. The local dealer wouldn't return my emails and I had to drive over 200 miles to the manufacturer to get it repaired. My other local purchases were Pedego, and Izip. Pedego is probably the best customer service you'll ever get in the industry. My Izip came from Performance Bikes, and they no longer sell electric bikes, but they do still cover everything on my bike and they gave me a new battery free after one year. I love this bike shop and was so sorry to see them turn their backs on E-bikes

All my online experiences were really great. I did have to do a little bit of assembly, and it was temporarily frustrating, but I estimate that I saved over $5000 buying online.

I am now thinking of buying either a Stromer or a Specialized Turbo online. I actually contacted the US Stromer headquarters to see if I could test ride the ST2s. The head sales rep would not allow me to come to the headquarters to do a test ride and told me, in no uncertain terms, that Stromer frowns on online purchases, even if customers might save as much as $3000. Needless to say, I'm leaning toward the Specialized.

All the local dealers in my area hate me: They over charge me for repairs and usually just avoid me when I go into the shop. . . . it's totally my own fault and it is something you have to consider when making your buying choice. Most times local dealers will do a price match that is listed on the online website; however, the best prices online are the ones you get when you call the shop. Since those are not in writing, they will not be matched. If you try to get a local shop to match a verbal online price quote, chances are, they won't. What will wind up happening is the local shop will report the online seller to the manufacturer and all the "good deals" will go away. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm merely speculating on the seemingly obvious conclusions. I hope that helps. . . good luck.

I enjoyed this post.

I bought my "value" electric bike from a local shop. This store was not exclusively electric and they were not very knowledgeable. When the bike needed service, the local bike shop said they could not service the bike. They did not want to be responsible for any damage. Now I plan to make a bigger investment.

I was definitely skeptical and apprehensive about doing business online. However, after my experience with my local shop, I don't see how I have anything to lose. It appears there is enough competition in electric bike sales to make online buying safe or at least equal to local buying. My biggest problem is test riding before I buy.

Thank you
Doc. Wash
 
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Waterobert

New Member
I got my bike at local bike store. I believe in supporting small guys as long as they don't rip me off. We need them to help us fix bikes. You get better price on line but when bike break down you have to send it back. We hope that bikes are made to last but they don't . Just my personal opinion.