Reviews

akreider

New Member
I'm considering buying my first ebike and am doing a lot of research. Generally I like to go with a highly rated product on Amazon (whether I buy it from there or not) as their review system is, with the rare exceptions, extremely reliable. If a product has 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, with 50+ reviews, it is almost always great.

So I'm wondering if there is anything similar with ebikes? It looks like most bikes aren't sold on Amazon.com, and the one bike I looked at had reviews attributed to it that were from other products (one of the classic failures of the Amazon review system).

I want 1) an independent source (not the manufacturer's website), 2) a wide selection of bikes and 3) at least 20 reviews per bike.

I'll still spend hours reading threads on this forum, but it is a lot easier when the results are compiled!

(I'm leaning towards getting something like a Trek Verve+ 2, though I'd also consider a cheaper bike.)
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
I'm considering buying my first ebike and am doing a lot of research. Generally I like to go with a highly rated product on Amazon (whether I buy it from there or not) as their review system is, with the rare exceptions, extremely reliable. If a product has 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, with 50+ reviews, it is almost always great.

So I'm wondering if there is anything similar with ebikes? It looks like most bikes aren't sold on Amazon.com, and the one bike I looked at had reviews attributed to it that were from other products (one of the classic failures of the Amazon review system).

I want 1) an independent source (not the manufacturer's website), 2) a wide selection of bikes and 3) at least 20 reviews per bike.

I'll still spend hours reading threads on this forum, but it is a lot easier when the results are compiled!

(I'm leaning towards getting something like a Trek Verve+ 2, though I'd also consider a cheaper bike.)

Take a look at the EBR list of Best EBikes of 2020 for a good guide to the best models in every use category.


Best Electric Bikes of 2020
Looking for the best electric bikes of 2020? As of today, we have reviewed 1055 electric bicycles. EBR conducts the industry’s most complete and objective reviews.
Reviewing electric bikes is all we do. Since 2012, we have helped millions of people find and choose the best ebike for their needs and budget.
Table of Contents:

 

akreider

New Member
You've done some great work on reviews. As a statistician, I suspect quantitative crowd sourced reviews would do better. Or I'd like to see you using numbers. For instance create a category ($2000-$2500 city bikes) and give bikes a rating out of 100 for that category. You could even do a mixed system where you start off giving 10% of the points to user reviews and work your way up to 90%.

I'll ask advice in the forum.
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
The trouble is that not all crowdsourced reviews are done by equally competent/informed reviewers (on Amazon there are additional issues) and the more superficial reviewers just don't have the same value. I've always thought Court's reviews here are pretty thoughtful, thorough, and well informed.
 

akreider

New Member
It's the wisdom of the crowd and it almost always beats experts. Experts have their own bias, especially if it is just one person. I've only had one Amazon product with 4.5 stars or better that sucked, and it was a $15 digital PH meter with fake reviews. By contrast, I've bought over a hundred products where the reviews were accurate. Of course they're probably spending a couple billion dollars on perfecting their system...

Another quantitative measure that we could use: wholesale value of the bike's components.
 

Chancelucky2

Active Member
We probably just differ about this, but I find that "crowd" reviews work for many things, but not for more sophisticated products or maybe more specific tastes. For example, yelp had Pizza Hut as the third best pizza in my pretty populated area and PF Chang's as the best place for Pad Thai. High end audio equipment, bicycles, "high concept" movies, books, etc. I don't think mass reviews work well.

You may notice that Amazon's Amazon-branded products almost never seem to get less than 4.5 stars. There are reasons for that. There are also a variety of other ways the "crowd" can mess with ratings. Amazon's gotten better, but there were a lot of Chinese-made products that curiously had rave reviews from people whose English resembled the company's product descriptions almost immediately after the product would appear on the site. I trust those reviews about as much as I trust online polls.

With expert reviews, in Court's case he's posted 100's of bike reviews, you can read a few of that individual's reviews and get some idea of thet person's biases/tastes. Also, certain publications do have a curious habit of giving favorable reviews to companies that advertize a lot . Over time, you can figure out which reviewers are truly independent and which ones have the same priorities you do.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member

troehrkasse

EBR Webmaster
Staff member
Region
USA
City
Fort Collins
It's the wisdom of the crowd and it almost always beats experts. Experts have their own bias, especially if it is just one person. I've only had one Amazon product with 4.5 stars or better that sucked, and it was a $15 digital PH meter with fake reviews. By contrast, I've bought over a hundred products where the reviews were accurate.
I've had the same experience as you with Amazon; most of the time, I just find something that has at least 4 stars with a lot of reviews, and just buy it without spending time on research. Most of the time it works great, and even if once in awhile it doesn't... I still saved all that time for myself.

With more expensive stuff or things I'll be using heavily I tend to do more research and look for more nuance. Like buying a new computer, I'll spend hours researching and watching individual experience reviews (speaking as a software developer).

Anyway, the reason we don't do any kind of a scoring/rating system on EBR is that we believe that most bikes are a good fit for somebody out there. Every buyer has a budget, and specific needs for the bike to fill. If it fits those needs, most buyers don't care if they're getting the "best possible deal for their money"... it's just about finding a bike that does what they need, that they'll be happy with. Every person (and their needs and situation) are unique, so we try to be as in-depth and unbiased as possible, and really showcase exactly what each bike is has to offer, so that people can then make their own value judgement based on their needs.

Of course, some people would prefer "just tell me which one is good so I can get it", so we have our Best Electric Bikes pages, which is just our personal opinion(s) on what the best picks for each category are.