mail order e bikes

carl

New Member
I would like from others their opinion on if it is a good idea to buy an electric bike from a source that would have to ship it to me ( the nearest electric bike shop is 150 miles away) and how complicated are they for the average person to put together and adjust out of the box? Thanks. Carl
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
I was skeptical about mail order but bought a Bixtrix from Roshan and so far it's been great. Easy to assemble and Roshan responds to emails quickly. Having a standup guy to deal with is important to me. I have a LBS that would help me with anything I can't handle but I doubt I will need to use them.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I would like from others their opinion on if it is a good idea to buy an electric bike from a source that would have to ship it to me ( the nearest electric bike shop is 150 miles away) and how complicated are they for the average person to put together and adjust out of the box? Thanks. Carl

Generally speaking, out of the box, you are only required to put on pedals, handlebars and front wheel. All other components are attached. If the bike has front/rear rotor discs, you may have to readjust the brake pads from rubbing on the rotors. I checked youtube for step by step instructions and it worked as posted. Good Luck!
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
So all of you are riding without the seat? :eek: Kidding. But most bikes are shipped with the saddle and seatpost assembled together, but not installed. :p

I have assembled thousands of bikes, and I teach others how to build bikes as well. My take is that while they can be made ridable with minimal assembly, they can always use some additional adjustments. Many parts lack grease (or lube, assembly paste, anti-sieze, thread-lock). Non-sealed bearings are almost universally delivered too tight; grinding bearings equals premature wear. If a company provides a pedal wrench, hopefully it is long enough to make tightening them easy. I cannot tell you how many times people have ruined their bike's crank because the pedals were not installed with enough torque and the pedals fell off. Crank arms should always be checked for proper torque as well. Wheel spoke tension is normally okay, and lateral true as well; sometimes radial true is poor. Regardless of true, wheels need stress relieving; without it, premature spoke breakage is more likely. Rear derailleurs are usually okay for the limit screws (although most the rear cable housing is too short), front derailleurs is more hit-or-miss. Discs brakes are usually delivered fine, but rim brake shoe alignment (especially linear-pull brakes) is often lousy. Both brakes and gears always need cable pre-stressing; otherwise they go out of adjustment quickly.
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
All well and good, but make sure the manufacturer of the bike you choose allows mail order bikes to be warranted. Some firms may not cover them. I've read that Felt and Raleigh mail orders, to name a couple, are not covered. Double check to be sure.

elliot
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Depends on manufacturer and owner's mechanical ability. 150 miles for a test ride on an assembled bike seems like an easy trip to me. I joined the Sondors Facebook page a few years ago. They are an internet only eBike business, and have thousands of people on the page. You see a broad cross section of customers. A few people post and ask very simple assembly questions, that are all covered in assembly videos. It's obvious they've never assembled a bike and are also may have issues with attention span. They show bikes that have the front forks facing the wrong direction, no idea pedals come in left and right, pedals that fall off, and no idea about seat position for ideal leg extension for joint health and effort. As Nova Haibike says, they have no idea about dry and tight bearings. So it's up to you Carl, to decide if it's a good idea for you.
 

Joe EE

Active Member
Hey Carl. I assembled my VoltBike Yukon and my Surface 604 Colt in less than a half an hour each, they were very easy to assemble. I think they were both reasonably priced and I rode them both all last summer and have not had any service issues at all.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
I think if you are somewhat handy, that ordering a bike on-line shouldn't be a problem. Its a pretty simple device.
 

Joe EE

Active Member
Most of these electrics have all of the complicated parts of the bike fully assembled. You need to attach a wheel and such.
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
So all of you are riding without the seat? :eek: Kidding. But most bikes are shipped with the saddle and seatpost assembled together, but not installed. :p

I have assembled thousands of bikes, and I teach others how to build bikes as well. My take is that while they can be made ridable with minimal assembly, they can always use some additional adjustments. Many parts lack grease (or lube, assembly paste, anti-sieze, thread-lock). Non-sealed bearings are almost universally delivered too tight; grinding bearings equals premature wear. If a company provides a pedal wrench, hopefully it is long enough to make tightening them easy. I cannot tell you how many times people have ruined their bike's crank because the pedals were not installed with enough torque and the pedals fell off. Crank arms should always be checked for proper torque as well. Wheel spoke tension is normally okay, and lateral true as well; sometimes radial true is poor. Regardless of true, wheels need stress relieving; without it, premature spoke breakage is more likely. Rear derailleurs are usually okay for the limit screws (although most the rear cable housing is too short), front derailleurs is more hit-or-miss. Discs brakes are usually delivered fine, but rim brake shoe alignment (especially linear-pull brakes) is often lousy. Both brakes and gears always need cable pre-stressing; otherwise they go out of adjustment quickly.
Thanks for the info Nova. Which bearings are unsealed where you are seeing them too tight? BB, headset, axles??? As I have a bike on order, I'd like to get it right on initial assembly. Thanks.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info Nova. Which bearings are unsealed where you are seeing them too tight? BB, headset, axles??? As I have a bike on order, I'd like to get it right on initial assembly. Thanks.

Nowadays, unless it is an inexpensive model, bikes will have a sealed bottom bracket (crank bearing). Wheel hubs and headsets typically do not sealed bearings. Obviously mid-drive and hub motors do not need adjustment. Park Tool's website and YouTube videos are probably the best resource for adjusting bearings. Sadly though, I do not know of a source that shows how to adjust hubs using the quick release to preload the bearings.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
My Crosscurrent S came with the seat already in place. I had to adjust it for proper fit of course.

I suspect Juiced ships their bikes with better pre-assembly than a typical boxed bike, since they use a direct-to-consumer sales model. But I am a bit cautious, so I always like to confirm that things are done to my standards. In the case of a preinstalled seat/seatpost, I would confirm that there is grease coating the inside of the seat tube to prevent the seatpost from getting stuck.
 

Pittsburghmike

New Member
My Biktrix bike had some minor cosmetic damage during shipment. The owner said he would credit me but didn't. The chain snapped on my very first ride. They were supposed to send me a replacement chain but haven't as of yet. So if you mail order be prepared to fix things yourself.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
My Biktrix bike had some minor cosmetic damage during shipment. The owner said he would credit me but didn't. The chain snapped on my very first ride. They were supposed to send me a replacement chain but haven't as of yet. So if you mail order be prepared to fix things yourself.

I've had nothing but good dealings with Roshan. For example, Bafang ships their Ultras with steel gears now. I have the nylon gear which hasn't failed but Roshan sent me a set of steel gears on his dime. Can't beat that !
 
wow this is a great thread. super informative. thank you all for sane informative posts based on real experience that will help immensely for future purchase. love this forum so much!
 

carl

New Member
thanks everyone for all the information. In a related matter can anyone say who has the best online prices for e-bikes? Thanks Carl.
 

Pittsburghmike

New Member
I've had nothing but good dealings with Roshan. For example, Bafang ships their Ultras with steel gears now. I have the nylon gear which hasn't failed but Roshan sent me a set of steel gears on his dime. Can't beat that !

I am not doubting what you are saying. I notified him as soon as I opened the box that my bike rack was damaged. He was very pleasant on the phone. He asked me to fix it with a sharpie and he would credit me $30. I accepted his offer but he has yet to credit me. My very first ride on the bike the chain snapped. He said he would pay for a LBS to repair it. I said I would repair it myself but wanted a replacement chain sent out. It snapped a second time. I fixed a second time. He has yet to send out a replacement chain. Now he just ignores my emails.