What are the most important factors when buying an ebike?

Mary_Walker

New Member
Region
Europe
Hi friends, I am planning to buy an ebike which I will mainly use for commuting to work (20 km two ways slightly hilly route). I also am planning to make some long distance trips (at most 80 km per day -- I could charge it overnight for the next day). I have considered several options, and the main issue is if the ebike could be shipped to Finland/Europe. My budject is around <1700€. My candidate options are:
1. Radmission 1 : https://radpowerbikes.eu/products/radmission-electric-metro-bike (single speed)
2. Rad city 5: https://radpowerbikes.eu/collection...radcity-plus-step-thru-electric-commuter-bike (relatively heavy -- 29 kg)
3. This Chinese ebike: https://www.buybestgear.com/products/bezior-m2-electric-bike (Chinese)
4. From Amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/-/en/gp/product/B09ZP6ZLNF/ref=ewc_pr_img_1?smid=A2KK2KKFLB13DC&psc=1 (Chinese);
5. https://www.bike-discount.de/en/kalkhoff-image-1.b-move (above my budget but nice!)

I prefer upright position and my height is 160 cm.

I would be delighted to hear your opinions and experience!

-Mary
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The most important factor when buying an e-bike is your budget.
I cannot make any advice for 1700 Euros.
You will probably spend them to buy a piece of junk (but you will initially be very happy). After some time, the e-bike will start breaking. Yet later, you will start searching replacement parts...

Now: The most of e-bikes you have mentioned are not importable and they are illegal in Finland/Europe. I can only tell you: start researching reliable Finnish Local Bike Stores that carry e-bikes. You will need local support, service and warranty.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
If this helps, I have found a reasonable e-bike in Finland:

It is not a top e-bike for sure but the realistic price is EUR 2800 not 1700. That is the minimum price level you should expect.
 

Mary_Walker

New Member
Region
Europe
If this helps, I have found a reasonable e-bike in Finland:

It is not a top e-bike for sure but the realistic price is EUR 2800 not 1700. That is the minimum price level you should expect.
Thanks Stefan!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Mary,
Europe (in the sense of the European Union) rides ten times as many of e-bikes as the whole North America. The EU defends its market against cheap Chinese ware, which is also dangerous because of low quality batteries that can burn your house. It makes the Euro e-bikes expensive.

I was shocked to see how many very low quality e-bikes were ridden in the UK (that is not in the EU anymore). I would not wish my friend riding such e-bikes... I have been to Finland for many times (and I'm going there on business later this month). If I lived there, I would be intimidated with the local language. Also, Finland is somehow far away, and it is an expensive country. Therefore I cannot really give you a good advice related to the Finnish e-bike market.
 

Mary_Walker

New Member
Region
Europe
Mary,
Europe (in the sense of the European Union) rides ten times as many of e-bikes as the whole North America. The EU defends its market against cheap Chinese ware, which is also dangerous because of low quality batteries that can burn your house. It makes the Euro e-bikes expensive.

I was shocked to see how many very low quality e-bikes were ridden in the UK (that is not in the EU anymore). I would not wish my friend riding such e-bikes... I have been to Finland for many times (and I'm going there on business later this month). If I lived there, I would be intimidated with the local language. Also, Finland is somehow far away, and it is an expensive country. Therefore I cannot really give you a good advice related to the Finnish e-bike mark

Well, I actually prefer to order online, as the Finnish market is not very diverse and I could not find what I wanted from the local bike stores. I had ordered the German ebike Zundapp, but had problems with removing the battery, so had to return it. I thought Rad is a good option, as it is American and people have good reviews. I have only ridden normal bike and this is going to be my first ebike. So anything which could be shipped to Finland with decent specs should work for me.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Ya, you can certainly import something inside the EU. The problem will occur when your new e-bike won't work or stops to be working. How do you think the German would help you in Finland?
Rad Europe are the same stamped Chinese e-bikes you'd find in the U.S. only with less powerful motors and a speed limiter (25 km/h).
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Rad is a bargain basement brand that uses entirely Chinese parts. Its not a quality bike, but its good enough for a lot of people whose experience with bikes is entry level, which is in line with the very limited riding culture here. The brand's only recommending factor is budget. But if the choice is no ebike and walking, its a positive choice. The brand does have a vocal following, but generally speaking its not from cyclists who have breadth of experience in understanding the mechanics of quality parts. With that said, Chinese parts tend to be under-engineered but 'good enough' to take a mild beating. The motors on the other hand are, if anything, significantly under-rated in terms of their durability, which is considerable.

If you are not inclined to do your own repair and maintenance work, you should talk to your local shops to find out if they will work on whatever it is you are considering buying. If they will, then the need to buy an expensive dealer-network kind of bike is seriously diminished. Here in the States in the early days of ebikes, it was almost a given that you would be turned away if you walked into the store with an internet bike. That was 2015. In 2022 the shops who did that have largely closed their doors. The ones who took all comers are going strong. Whether that is true for you, you'll have to ask around locally to find out.
 

Mary_Walker

New Member
Region
Europe
Ya, you can certainly import something inside the EU. The problem will occur when your new e-bike won't work or stops to be working. How do you think the German would help you in Finland?
Rad Europe are the same stamped Chinese e-bikes you'd find in the U.S. only with less powerful motors and a speed limiter (25 k)
Do you mean Rad is same quality as Chinese/ or made in China? Speed limit (25 km/h) is compulsory in Finland indeed.
 

Bikeknit

Member
Region
USA
City
Kansas City
Another option is to look for a quality slightly used bike. It will take more research and effort but you might get lucky. Leave a little in your budget to get a tuneup once you get it. I'm not sure how likely you are to find something in Finland but worth a try.
 

MartsEbike

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
Do you think it would be better for me to buy a regular bike with this budget?
Why did you want an ebike to begin with? 1700 will buy you a pretty good traditional bike... But that depends on why you're buying it.

If you're a not much of a cyclist (I was into motorbikes more than bikes) - but the thought of electric assistance changed your mind about the whole thing - then buying a traditional bike won't help you much. In 6 months time you'll feel like you always did. But you'll be 1700 worse off.

But that cheap electric bike might convert you to the possibility of riding ebikes. It won't be a perfect bike. My first ebike was far from perfect, but it opened the door and showed what's possible. Since then I've covered thousands of miles. Miles/trips/adventures I'd have never done on a traditional bike.

Plus... I'd have to say... Don't expect this bike to last more than 3 maybe 4 years at most. It's not going to be a life-long relationship. Think of it as a starter bike, like you no doubt had a starter car.

Bikes from every brand break, not just the chinese ones, so it's not worth spending upteen thousands on your first bike chasing perfection, they'll always be a better bike coming out anytime soon.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
What I did here in Poland in late August 2019 was buying a locally made (actually: Czech) hybrid e-bike with a hub-drive motor (Chinese of course) and a pretty large battery (576 Wh). The name is Lovelec Diadem. I actually paid some 1700 EUR at that time (interesting). The quality was pretty high. A good thing was the manufacturer was only several hundred kilometres away, and they were very responsive.

Now guess what? A friend broke a derailleur and damaged the derailleur hanger on that e-bike. As I had to wait for a month to get a newly manufactured hanger from Lovelec, I bought a Specialized Vado meanwhile, especially as my appetite had grown. I got a brand new bike at highly discounted price (I was just lucky): the price was 3550 EUR. It gave me an excellent warranty and local professional support.

The inexpensive Lovelec Diadem is still in the mint shape. A friend of mine rides it.
My point is you might find a good and inexpensive e-bike in Finland if you really tried Mary.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Your budget is low for a quality bike. Check known problems and solutions thread of brand forums for some sense of quality of bikes. Good bikes are made in ***** like my yuba, garbage bikes are made in ***** of grey metal that requires constant adjustment of spokes, shifter cables, shifters, blah blah. Rad had 269 posts today, which may not be bad considering their huge market share. In 2017 RAD shipped a lot of **** spokes that required replacement one at a time with a ~$70 wheel adjustment charge each time if the owner didn't do her own replacement. A brand sold by W**-mart Ancheer didn't even make it through Court's review before the controller & motor failed.
I've ridden ~$200 discount store kiddie bikes until I bought Yuba in 2017. Diamondback & Pacific. Constant fiddling with spokes, cables, shifters, brakes, as the cheap parts stretched. Pushed them home a few times when shimano 7 speed axle came unscrewed & dropped balls or 6 speed shimano axle broke under my enormous 82 kg body. Cheap internet bikes are built out of these parts. Your trek, giant, cannondale, orbea, kona, gazelle, Reiss & Mueller, yuba are also made in **** but their QA inspection sorts out the ****. Yuba is a cargo bike, may not be what you want. I've had good luck over 8000 miles with 8 speed shimano rear axle with SRAM shifters on the yuba. There is a huge following of Specialized here which generally it top tier but they have had cracked frames reported, which is the kiss of death for me.
One important factor is whether the bike fits you. I had to buy a special frame for short people, yuba bodaboda shown in avatar. without ever sitting on it. No dealer stocks bikes for short people except the pink bike with rimbrakes and a holly hobby logo on the seat. At 160 cm I believe your legs may be as short as mine. I'm 68" but have a 28" pants inseam. "One size fits all" bikes do NOT fit me.
Hub motor bikes save a lot of money but the gears wear out ~7000 km. Replacement motors are $300 or less and if plug compatible and bought in a replacement wheel take less than a day to change out. DD hub motors don't wear the gears but are suitable for flat country, use too many watthours climbing hills. Mid drives wear out chains, half or less life than the 8 speed chain that lasted 8000 km on my yuba with geared hub motor. Mid drives bosch giant (yamaha) & shimano steps require patented batteries that will cost you >$1000 if one gets stolen. My battery is generic & was $630 for 48 v 17.5 AH.
You may get better Europe only advice by posting on a German Language ebike forum.
 
Last edited:

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Mary, first, I'd like to see you on an e-bike!

In that light, I'd just like to say some of this talk about "made in China" is complete rubbish, not relevant. MOST of the bikes being ridden around here stateside are "made in China" built using components that are "made in China" and they are holding up really well, contrary to what you've been told here so far. Stuff written by riders of much more expensive bikes. From the sounds of it, they are STILL trying to justify the fact they spent that much money on a bike....

Here's a vote for the RAD City. Why? It's relatively inexpensive, it's reasonably sturdy, and parts should be easy to come by (if you ever need them). The biggest reason though - by far- is that bike is going to teach you a TON. Absolute worst case, you ride it for a year and decide the bike isn't for you, the reason why is not important yet. NOW, being a much better educated rider/buyer with a year of experience under your belt, you know exactly what you want.

Bonus, because you went with a RAD, you will have one of the most popular bikes available for sale. This means it should sell for top dollar (unlike an unknown bike from Amazon), and there should be enough demand for it where it will be relatively easy to sell quickly. My thoughts, FWIW.

Oh, and last, unless you are just commuting around on a college campus or something, you WANT a bike that can be shifted for varying conditions - like hills and wind for instance....
 

Mary_Walker

New Member
Region
Europe
Mary, first, I'd like to see you on an e-bike!

In that light, I'd just like to say some of this talk about "made in China" is complete rubbish, not relevant. MOST of the bikes being ridden around here stateside are "made in China" built using components that are "made in China" and they are holding up really well, contrary to what you've been told here so far. Stuff written by riders of much more expensive bikes. From the sounds of it, they are STILL trying to justify the fact they spent that much money on a bike....

Here's a vote for the RAD City. Why? It's relatively inexpensive, it's reasonably sturdy, and parts should be easy to come by (if you ever need them). The biggest reason though - by far- is that bike is going to teach you a TON. Absolute worst case, you ride it for a year and decide the bike isn't for you, the reason why is not important yet. NOW, being a much better educated rider/buyer with a year of experience under your belt, you know exactly what you want.

Bonus, because you went with a RAD, you will have one of the most popular bikes available for sale. This means it should sell for top dollar (unlike an unknown bike from Amazon), and there should be enough demand for it where it will be relatively easy to sell quickly. My thoughts, FWIW.

Oh, and last, unless you are just commuting around on a college campus or something, you WANT a bike that can be shifted for varying conditions - like hills and wind for instance....
Thank you so much for your honest reply :) Do you think Rad City would be better than Radmission 1? I have read that gears are not that important on an ebike, is that really so? Rad city is more heavier on 29kg with gears, where Radmission is lighter on 21kg but is single speed.