The obvious reason to buy an eBike online is the significant price savings to be had. For the same money that you would spend in an “offline” store, you will get more eBike for your buck buying online and much more of a huge range to choose from. On the other hand if you are into DIY you can save even more money building your own eBike or converting a regular bike to an eBike.
But before you spend any money you need to ask yourself 8 questions before choosing and buying an eBike online especially if you are a complete beginner to eBikes.
Buying an eBike online can be a relatively easy process for experienced eBikers. For newbies though, it can be potentially overwhelming because there are so many factors to consider.
1. What type of electric bike is best for me?
- Mountain bikes tend to have wide flat handlebars, knobbly tires and decent suspension. They are generally used for off-road riding and trail riding.
- Road bikes sometimes known as commuter bikes have either dropped handlebars like a racer bike or flat handlebars which are not as wide as a mountain bike. They tend to look fairly sporty, are well specced and have smooth tires built for the road.
- Cruiser bikes or “sit up and beg ” style bikes are built for comfort and leisurely riding rather than speed. The name “sit up and beg” comes from sitting upright on the bike with handlebars curving towards the body. Feet can be flat on the ground when seated.
- Folding bikes are designed to be very portable. They’re easy to take on the subway or put in the trunk of your car. Traditionally, they have very small wheels. Nowadays you can also get them with large wheels at a premium . The downside to folding bikes is that to keep costs down the bicycle components themselves can be of lower quality.
- Cargo bikes are specifically designed for carrying heavy loads, whether that’s young children, crates or lumber etc. They are much longer than other bikes. They come either as front loaders or rear loaders. Front loaders are a little hard to manoeuvre as they are very long in the front. Rear loaders are long at the back allowing for extra seats to carry children, some have floorboards on either side of the rear where you can load your cargo.
- Fat bikes can ride over any terrain. They almost look like squat mountain bikes with very big knobbly tires. They are particularly great on snow and sand as well as off-road trails. They tend to be quite heavy in weight.
2. How much should I spend on an eBike online?
What else do I need to consider?
So you’ve worked out your budget and decided on the type of eBike you want. If you’re into protecting your head you should also include the cost of a decent helmet designed specifically for eBikes in your budget.
Next you’ll want to consider what combination of motor and battery you want for the type of eBike you’re thinking about. You’ll also want to choose which system – pedal assist or throttle – to activate the motor.
3. Pedal assist or throttle?
4. What about the battery and motor power?
The higher the number of amp hours (Ah) the greater the range of the eBike ie how long or how far your eBike will travel before it runs out of juice.
5. What size eBike frame should I get?
The last physical thing to consider is what size eBike frame you need.
The basic measurements you need are your height, the length of your arm measured from your shoulder to your wristbone and your in-seam measured from the top of your inner thigh down to the floor.
The height of the frame will be a combination of your inseam measurements plus 2.5 – 5cm above the top cross bar.
The length of your arm will determine your reach to the handlebars fromthe saddle
One of the easiest ways of finding the right size eBike online is by using a size chart similar to that found on Amazon. This will give you a good guide as to the eBike frame size you’ll need for your height.
6. Is the eBike sent fully assembled?
Once your eBike finally arrives you will need to do some basic assembly before you can start riding it. This will include anything from putting the front wheel on, attaching the pedals and straightening the handlebars.
7. What are other people saying?
If you’ve seen an eBike online that you fancy, read as many reviews on the eBike and the company as you can on external sites such as Amazon, TrustPilot, SiteJabber, ShopperApproved. This is especially true if you are a complete beginner to eBikes.
Concentrate on those eBikes that have an average approval rating of at least 4 stars and above. Look for companies with good customer service and decent return policies. Speaking of which…
8. What are the return and warranty policies?
If you’re not happy with your eBike when it arrives most companies will allow you return it within 15 to 30 days. Unfortunately many of these companies state that the eBike must be returned unused before they refund your money. However, some companies such as SixThreeZero will allow you to test the eBike thoroughly for a generous 90 days of usage and offer a lifetime warranty for the duration of your ownership.
Most eBike online companies offer a 12 to 24 months warranty for the electric components eg the motor, controller, display, brake lever switches, throttle, battery. In addition the frame itself will also be covered. Tires and inner tubes are generally not covered. Canyon who only sell online offer a guarantee of 6 years for the bike frame and forks.
In most cases, the warranty coverage only applies to the original registered owner of the eBike and cannot be transferred if resold.
So there you have it. 8 questions you need the answers to before choosing and buying an eBike online.
In summary you need to know what type of eBike is best for you, how much power you want from it and what you can actually get for your budget. You’ll also need to know what your frame size is, what the company’s reputation and it’s policies are and what other people are saying before you make a final decision.
eBike Conversions for Beginners series
- Part 1 is an introduction to eBike conversions and covers reasons to convert a regular bicycle to an eBike, types of conversion kits with their pros and cons, safety and legal considerations, planning where to place components and much more
- Part 2 is a step by step guide on converting your bike with a front wheel hub motor kit
- Part 3 is a step by step guide on converting your bike with a rear wheel hub motor kit
- Part 4 is a step by step guide on converting your bike with a mid drive motor kit
- Part 5 covers the 7 best eBike hub conversion kits for heavy and overweight people
External source – electricbike.com