E-Bike purchase advice: What should I look for?

Used e-bike or new e-bike?

The first question that arises frequently when planning a purchase of an e-bike is about the condition of the bike. Used or new? In the past 3 years the interest in e-bikes has constantly increased and at the same time many manufacturers bring a raft of new models on the market. Thereby also the range of used e-bikes increases as many e-bike owners will exchange their old bike for a new model. The tendency is similar to that of cars. Whereas the normal cyclist often uses his bicycle for 10 years or even longer you may feel the desire for a new e-bike model after only 1-3 years already which is also due to the many technological innovations.

Therefore when buying an used e-bike you should pay attention to the condition of the battery because it is the major vulnerability of used bikes. How many times has the battery been charged (charge cycles) and has it always been fully charged? You get answers to these questions from your stationary specialist retailer who often has the opportunity to check the condition of the battery by using corresponding testing equipment. If a new e-bike is too expensive for you, keep in mind that the power of an used battery reduces after 2-3 years and only brings half the power. The range reduces accordingly. Depending on the power, a new battery costs between 300-500 EUR which should be taken into account in any case. Not every battery can easily be connected to the existing controller and motor. The BMS (Battery Management System) must not uncommonly be adjusted. You should always (!) consult a professional because otherwise it can not only be expensive but also dangerous. Conclusion: Used e-bikes just as used cars have to be examined carefully, preferably with the assistance of a professional. 

Many of our users start their search for the perfect e-bike by selecting a price range because almost everyone has an idea of a maximum budget. We consider this approach to be very critical. Let’s assume that the budget for the new e-bike is 2.000 EUR. The choice of new and used bikes is so wide that some users - due to the abundance of range – choose the first with the “most beautiful color”, because it “looks cool”, because it “has a great disc brake” or because it “is equipped with the most advanced suspension fork”. After that kind of purchase the initial euphoria has faded quickly after the first few trips, because you will notice that the pedelec has not been chosen as required. Indeed it has the latest suspension fork, but weighs too much to carry it easily down to the basement. It may have an advanced disc brake but you will never cycle faster than 25 km/h and thus you unnecessarily spent a lot of money. Therefore, we recommend a detailed determination of requirements with the help of our e-bike comparison. 

The important thing to keep in mind when determining you requirements is to be realistic! Yes, the e-mountain bike looks great, but how often will you really use it to cycle through the woods? Once a week or once a month? Is a high range really decisive or do you actually not cycle more than 20 kilometers per day? Does it actually have to be a S-pedelec just because you could cycle faster if you wanted to…but you would never actually do it? The following usage criteria should be considered:

  • City traffic, shopping: lighting, mudguard, lock, kickstand
  • Cycling on ascents: steep hills, long ascents on streets
  • Transportation of greater loads: pulling a bike trailer for children, a lot of shopping or beverage crates
  • Commuting and trips: distances from 10 km, leisure trips, commuting to work 
  • Off-road, across country: forest, forest roads, trails, cross-country
  • Mountains & Downhill: alpine cycling, rocks, trails, downhill
  • Light weight to lift up: Basement, apartment, railway stations, company, stairs
  • To get on and off the bike easily: to get on and off the bike easily without any hindering frame sections

    Once you have determined your individual demand, you consult a stationary specialist retailer in your area and explain how the e-bike will be used. On the basis of this information the expert can find more likely a suited e-bike for you. It might not have the newest hydraulic disc brakes yet everything what you really need. 
  • If you cycle a lot you know that there is no jack of all trades. The frequent travelers and avid cyclists often have a model for all needs (mountain bike, city bike, trekking bike, folding bike, cargo bicycle). But therefor they often do not have a car. 

    In our great e-bike comparison you can find all e-bikes of all brands at a glance und thereby you can quickly and easily choose which bike suits your requirements perfectly. With our innovative retailer finder we offer an overview of the suitable retailers in your area. Maybe one of the great e-bike offers of our premium retailers matches your requirements. 

    A concluding word: No matter how much money you can save: buy your e-bike at a stationary specialist retailer. They can give you professional consultation, maintenance and after-sales support and matching equipment. Would you buy a pre-assembled car on the internet and then completely assemble it yourself? Exactly.

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