Looking at buying Kalkhoff? My experience

Ruby

New Member
Hi - I thought this information might be of interest to those looking to purchase an ebike.
I'm an early adopter of ebikes. I've been riding forever and commuting solely by bike for 25 years. In 2010 I had a bike built. It saved me a lot of time off my commute, but still allowed me to get daily exercise and challenge myself. The build wasn't so great, though, so in 2012 I bought a Kalhkoff for 2800. For me, the cost was pretty high, but I figured I should buy a quality bike, so I sprung for it.
Late last year I was riding home, when I felt an odd swaying sensation. I got off the bike and discovered that the weld on the seat post down tube was cracked all the way around. My understanding is that only happens when the original weld was faulty. After quite a bit of back and forth with the company (for the longest time they didn't respond at all, and my local dealer was instrumental in communicating with them), they agreed to replace the frame (apparently, the 2012 frames had a limited warranty). I spent 2 months on a loaner bike (kindly provided by my local dealer) while waiting for the new frame. I had to assume the costs of setting up the new bike, even so.
As this went on I see that the battery, which I have take care of meticulously, is now on its last legs. When I bought the bike, I was told the battery replacement would be 400$. The battery is now $900 - apparently the new one has double the range (and so double the price, I guess!) I don't need double the range - I'm commuting to work and back.
I've send them 4 messages about my experience, and have asked them to reimburse my cost for setting up the bike, and to express my dismay at the leap in the battery cost. They haven't responded.
So in all, paying for quality has not paid off for me. Thought I would share my experience for those of you considering the purchase of an ebike and thinking about a Kalkhoff.
 

Lost

Active Member
I've not been in the game long, but I know to buy bikes made out of more generic components. For instance the Rad Power bike that I settled on (it was going to be Rad or something from Lunacycle) has a battery that I recognized instantly as one all over the internet, a "dolphin" style. Replaceable by any number of vendors with prices ranging about 15%. Same with the motor (run of the mill Bafang) etc. When I see these pricey bikes with form fitting batteries (all batteries are going to fail sometime) I smh at the replacement cost, because they are all about the same on the inside (not withstanding the type of cells used).
Anyway, that was my reasoning for selecting Rad Power. There are a host of similar ones, but also a huge selection of custom bikes that I would not want any part of. Paying three to four times for a battery simply because of form factor is not my style.