Spring 2020 Ebike Reliability Survey Results

Interesting, spokes failing aren't a big deal any LBS can help you out with those, motors and controllers failing is another story, and battery failure before 1000 cycles isn't good either.
However as somebody that know about batteries, all batteries should be lasting at least 2.5 years. After 1000 cycles consider that bonus time

Spokes can be a big deal. When two spokes broke on the rear wheel of my Magnum, the LBS that I purchased it from didn’t have any replacements. And Magnum didn’t either! The bike was out of commission for 6 weeks. That was quite frustrating as it was peak summer time and I used it to commute.

However, that’s a rare occurrence and the algorithm counts spoke failures as low severity.
 
How can that be??? Are the spokes that distinct?

It’s been a few years but IIRC, they were an odd length and no one had any in stock. I even checked online and with other bike shops. The LBS has since purchased a spoke threading machine, so they can cut and thread them to any length.
 

Paul Auclair

New Member
I think #4 should matter. Little thing that fail can be very frustrating, especially if there is a number of them.

For example, almost every time I power on my Pededgo battery, then press the power button on the display, it won't come on. I have to power off the battery and then power it back on and then power on the display.
Also, when I try zeroing out my tripmeter it doesn't work 9 out of 10 times.

These are little things, and don't disable the bike, but they are a pain in the butt and makes me wonder about Pedego electronics. I suspect that somewhere down the road the display will fail completely.

Hi Deacon, contact our Tech Dept (1-800-646-8604) and we will get that power cycle issue resolved. It is a sleep miscommunication bug that we have since fixed. As for the trip meter, a software update on the display will resolve that.

If you cycle through the display settings does it show a C and and L with numbers in the lower right hand corner? If so thats the software version number and we can help get you to the newest software version to resolve any of those issues. If you don't that means you have out dated hardware/software and we will upgrade you!
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
Here are the results of the first ever Ebike Test Lab Reliability Survey, which we plan to do every Spring and Fall moving forward.


The rankings are based solely on the survey responses. An algorithm was developed to take into account the total number of miles, number of failures, severity of failure, rating of reliability, and rating of the manufacturer. The end result is the EBTL Miles per Failure rating, so the higher the number the better. I only included brands with at least 10 surveys (except for one, which I marked with an asterisk). More data would have been better so I’m hoping to get more responses when we do this in the Fall! Here are the results, with more details below:

RankBrandEBTL Miles per Failure
1Riese & Müller6,342
2Pedego5,730
3WattWagons*4,400
4Haibike4,308
5Juiced3,285
6Giant2,847
7BH Easymotion2,603
8Trek2,409
9Rad Power2,029
10Aventon1,822
11Specialized1,261





#1 Riese & Müller – 6,342 miles/failure

Riese & Müller came in at the top, which as a premium brand shouldn’t be too surprising. There was one report of a battery connection issue inside the frame and a Rohloff E-14 failing from faulty connections. All of the other respondents reported high mileage with zero issues, moving R&M to the top of the list.

#2 Pedego – 5,730 miles/failure

Pedego surprised me with their reliability. Only two respondents had any failures of note (a motor with one and a controller with the other), but they all had fairly high mileage. The manufacturer received high marks across the board, which helped their score, even the respondent with the controller failure gave Pedego a top mark of 5 in both the reliability rating and manufacturer rating.

#3 Wattwagons – 4,400 miles/failure

Wattwagons only had 4 respondents but I included them here as, out of the four, the only failure was a brake light switch and all four had fairly high miles for such a new bike brand. None of the other brands with less than ten responses would have broken into the top 5. In addition, the ratings given by the survey respondents were all 4’s or 5’s for reliability and manufacturer. I expect them to climb up the rankings in the next survey this fall.

#4 Haibike – 4,308 miles/failure

Haibike did well with several high mileage ebikes without failures. One especially high mileage respondent, with 12,700 miles, did have a motor and battery failure but both were replaced for free by Bosch.

#5 Juiced – 3,285 miles/failure

Juiced had the most respondents in the survey and several had zero failures but the mileages weren’t as high as some of the other brands above. There were five respondents who had issues with the battery connection, which also brought down their ranking. However, none of the respondents indicated a major failure (motor, battery, controller) but several did state incorrect parts arrived on the bike when new (which is more of an initial quality issue vs. reliability).

#6 Giant – 2,847 miles/failure

Much like Juiced, none of the surveys respondents with Giant ebikes reported any major failures, however several had broken spokes and their was even a report of wheel bearings failing at 4,600 miles. Most of the respondents didn’t have a lot of mileage and nearly all had some sort of issue, which brought down their ranking.

#7 BH Easymotion – 2,603 miles/failure

Several of the respondents with BH Easymotion ebikes had zero failures, but also had low mileage. One had a major failure with the hub motor failing at 2,860 miles. One respondent had over 12,000 miles with only the spokes failing and a finicky battery mount causing concern. The manufacturer did receive high ratings.

#8 Trek – 2,409 miles/failure

Much like BH Easymotion, Trek’s ranking was mostly hurt by the low mileage of most of the respondents. In addition, several had minor failures but they did receive 4’s or 5’s for reliablity and for manufacturer.

#9 Rad Power – 2,029 miles/failure

Rad Power had the second most respondents in the survey and their ranking was severely hampered by low mileage and numerous failures including major failures (battery, motor). Several minor failures like a rear light falling apart also hampered the number of miles per failure. There were several respondents without issues and the manufacturer rating averaged 4.2 and several respondents indicated great customer service.

#10 Aventon – 1,822 miles/failure

Owners of Aventon ebikes reported several motor failures. In addition, several respondents had minor failures such as a display not working, broken spokes, and a kick stand breaking. As a value brand, their position in the ranking isn’t too surprising and several respondents stated they had zero issues.

#11 Specialized- 1,261 miles/failure

Specialized had the third most respondents and several had major failures, with numerous battery failures, battery mounts, controllers, etc. There were also several minor failures such as a rear rack cracking. In addition, most ranked Specialized low in the ratings, which also hurt their ranking. There were only two respondents without some sort of failure and they were both under 1,000 miles.

Edit: Usage data from survey:

Commuting: 50%
Recreational Riding (road/path) 41%
Trail Riding: 8%
Work (delivery, etc.): 1%

Item that failed along with percent of responses with that failure:

ItemPercent
Battery13.3%
Spoke12.2%
Motor8.9%
Motor Controller8.5%
Battery Mount7.4%
Display3.7%
Brake Switch2.6%
Kickstand2.2%
Crank Arm2.0%
Shifter1.8%
Wheel Bearings1.7%
Seat Post1.5%
Rear Light1.5%
Cadence Sensor1.1%
Rear Rack1.1%
Crank Arm0.9%
Throttle0.7%
Misc.1.7%

Edit: Additional info: There were 542 responses in total. Most brands on the list had 20 to 30 respondents.
First I want to thank you for taking the time to put this together. My suggestion is that maybe the ratings should be also sorted by motor manufacturers. Most of the reliability has less to do with the brand of the bike and more to do with the component manufacturers. A Bosch failure should go back to Bosch not the company that decided to use them. I think that most of us on this site are more concerned about the reliability of the motor, controller, battery and associated wiring. As far as I know cracked frames or failed forks are a real rarity today and most other bike components are easily fixed.
By sorting results by motor manufacturers you increase the N because there are only a few motor manufacturers.
 

pennybags

Active Member
First I want to thank you for taking the time to put this together. My suggestion is that maybe the ratings should be also sorted by motor manufacturers. Most of the reliability has less to do with the brand of the bike and more to do with the component manufacturers. A Bosch failure should go back to Bosch not the company that decided to use them. I think that most of us on this site are more concerned about the reliability of the motor, controller, battery and associated wiring. As far as I know cracked frames or failed forks are a real rarity today and most other bike components are easily fixed.
By sorting results by motor manufacturers you increase the N because there are only a few motor manufacturers.

I prefer the way EBTL is doing it. Sorting options are a great suggestions. However choice of components matters. You can have the best motor / controller /battery but say your brakes always slip, or your frame is poorly built, or your fenders rattle all the time, or your grips break open all the time - that matters a LOT.

I would disagree with the portion of your statement about attributing breaks to component manufacturers

1. You are buying the whole bike, not parts. Think of this as a laptop- everyone uses AMD or Intel - but some stuff just breaks sooner due to build quality.
2. "Cheap components will break sooner" is not a ranking methodology. e.g. carbon frame versus steel frame. Carbon is expensive but will break sooner than Steel frames (most of the time).
3. Motor manufacturers - example - Sony and Samsung use the exact same OLED or LED TV panel made by LG . However the are ranked differently. . Though not as nuanced, there is a significant difference once the particular brand of motor / config / accessories / frame geometry etc is put together to give you a bike.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Spokes can be a big deal. When two spokes broke on the rear wheel of my Magnum, the LBS that I purchased it from didn’t have any replacements. And Magnum didn’t either! The bike was out of commission for 6 weeks. That was quite frustrating as it was peak summer time and I used it to commute.

However, that’s a rare occurrence and the algorithm counts spoke failures as low severity.

I'm 260 and have broken spokes on just about every conventional bike I've ever owned. The bikes have never been disabled though so I agree, the severity is low.

When it came to buying an ebike, rather than chance more broken spokes, I chose a model with mag wheels. One less headache to worry about.
 

azgul

New Member
It is still open. Anyone can take it at anytime. I'll post it again in September or so and can pull all of the responses from now forward.
I would like to take it. I've had countless issues with my "old" 2018/2019 Turbo Vado 6.0. But I can't.

> Survey Closed
> This survey is now closed. Please check with the person or website that sent you here for more information.
 
I would like to take it. I've had countless issues with my "old" 2018/2019 Turbo Vado 6.0. But I can't.

> Survey Closed
> This survey is now closed. Please check with the person or website that sent you here for more information.

Azgul, Thank you for the interest. I'll reopen the survey again in the Fall and will post the new survey here. You can also submit your email through my website (www.ebiketestlab.com) and I will email you when the new survey launches.
Thank you,
Jason
 

teskow

Member
I expect that people who purchase high end expensive bikes are avid riders and have a tendency to put more miles on them. Eventually every bike out there will have problems if ridden far, long and hard enough.
I have seen e-bikes in retirement communities that never leave the compound and are ridden gently when they are ridden.

I must say that I enjoyed the survey and appreciate it. The info is very informative and will help people who are in the market for an e-bike.
 

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
It’s very important to show the number of respondents of each manufacturer who participated. If only one Riese and Muller participant took the survey and it showed no problems, then of course it would come out on top.
 
It’s very important to show the number of respondents of each manufacturer who participated. If only one Riese and Muller participant took the survey and it showed no problems, then of course it would come out on top.

Right! I forgot about adding that in. I totaled up the responses per brand but neglected to ever post that data. And I'm at work, while the data is at home. I'll get it updated this weekend.

The only brand with less than 10 responses in the list was WattsWagon as stated in the original post.

And, I need more responses for our latest survey, which focuses on customer service only:

https://ebiketestlab.survey.fm/ebike-customer-service-survey
 

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
I applaud you for your efforts and time to put that information out there. I’m sure that in time with more respondents participating, that the information will be extremely valuable to both the consumer and manufacturers.
This EBR is so valuable to all of us and I thank you for your huge input.
 
It’s very important to show the number of respondents of each manufacturer who participated. If only one Riese and Muller participant took the survey and it showed no problems, then of course it would come out on top.

I updated the original post with the number of respondents per brand, here's the same table as well:

Brand# of respondents
Riese & Müller22
Pedego20
WattWagon4
Haibike25
Juiced34
Giant21
BH Easymotion20
Trek32
Rad Power29
Aventon14
Specialized23
 

Bigal1463

Well-Known Member
Hello and thank you again. I hope that with your next survey, most EBR readers are aware of it so that we can all participate. Eventually it could be like the annual auto issue ofConsumer Reports. Kudos to you and all involved.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Extremely interesting . So giant, trek, specialized ...the only brands available to me locally ... are all in the bottom half as far as it goes. Sounds like I may need to stay on good terms with my lbs.
Frankly, I’d ignore this survey based on my experience with my Allant+7. It’s a great bike, no real issues, powerful motor, updated firmware, yada, yada. Hit 650 miles today with no issues other than a battery lock that needed adjustment that was done in an hour or so under warranty. I just bought a Lowstep version of the same bike today for my wife.
And yeah it’s always good to stay on good terms with LBS.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Frankly, I’d ignore this survey based on my experience with my Allant+7. It’s a great bike, no real issues, powerful motor, updated firmware, yada, yada. Hit 650 miles today with no issues other than a battery lock that needed adjustment that was done in an hour or so under warranty. I just bought a Lowstep version of the same bike today for my wife.
And yeah it’s always good to stay on good terms with LBS.
600 miles hardly shakes the bugs out or gets the wheels broken in.