We’ve all heard the adages, “If it’s too good to be true, it is.” Or, “You get what you pay for.” Sadly, this week we’ve had a plethora of phone calls from people who have bought electric bikes on-line from other companies and want to bring them to us to repair. Buyer Beware!
Real Life Stories from the Shop
A man bought an ebike on-line, took it to a local bike shop to have it assembled, and then after it still wasn’t working, brought it to us. When the customer purchased his bike on-line, no one told him that the extra money for the upgraded 1500 watt motor his bike 1) had to be registered with the state as a motorized vehicle and 2) it wasn’t allowed on any bike trails.
Obviously the customer was frustrated that his expensive ebike that he bought on-line wasn’t what he had hoped it would be.
Another example from this week:
An individual purchase an electric scooter on-line for $2500 with a lead-acid battery. They were disappointed when they learned we could have helped them with a lithium ion scooter for $1000 and with full support from our store if there is a problem.
In order to avoid mistakes like these two examples, we’ve compiled our top 5 Buyer Beware Do’s and Don’ts. Consider each of these before buying an ebike on-line.
5 Buyer Beware Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t buy online from companies that don’t support their product. Many of the people that called us to fix their ebikes said they tried to reach the company they purchased from but are unable to get the service they need, with many of the companies having gone out of business.
- Don’t be fooled by power. A bigger motor isn’t always better. It’s likely that it may be illegal in your state. You need to evaluate the entire ebike system and match it with your needs. We have years of experience helping hundreds of riders find their perfect ebike match. Find and use an ebike that will fit your needs.
- Don’t assume all ebikes are created equal. Everyone says their ebikes are made with the “highest quality” but the proof is in the details. High quality ebikes are much more than name-brand components.
- Don’t purchase a bike with a lead-acid battery. They are very heavy and have a short life. A lead-acid battery on an ebike is like buying one of those bulky rear-projection big-screen TV’s from the 1980’s; it may be 42” in size but the performance is pathetic compared to new TV technology.
- Don’t assume that on-line companies know the laws in your area. Avoid being in the situation of the customer in our first example: purchasing an “illegal” ebike that now has to be registered and can’t be ridden on bike paths.
- Seek out professional, trained mechanics to assemble your ebike. It takes us an average of 45-60 minutes to assemble each ebike that is shipped to us, and that’s with 60 years combined bicycle experience, the right tools, and specialized ebike training. A poorly assembled ebike can not only be expensive to fix, it can also be dangerous to ride.
- Make sure the company you are buying from has more than good reviews. Make sure they have a strong history and will stand behind their product. Reviews can be faked, 100 years of history and experience can’t.
- Purchase ebikes from bicycle companies, not an importer reselling the product from China. Bicycle companies have the experience, support, and knowledge to build a quality bicycle that will last.
- Know the laws! Don’t buy an “illegal” ebike, it may be considered a motorized vehicle!
- Ask for help. We are here to help you find the right ebike for you. If you are unsure about something you have found online don’t hesitate to call us and ask our opinion. We’ll be honest with you and do our best to help you get the perfect ebike for your needs.
Our customers know that we stand behind all ebikes purchased from us. We are happy to help them with whatever they need to enjoy their bike and keep it in top riding condition.
The sad truth is that more often than not, you get what you pay for. A cheap ebike gives you a cheap experience. Sometimes the cheapest ebike isn’t always the best value. Buyer Beware.