Everything can be bought online these days. Yes, you can even buy electric bike online! But to ensure you don’t receive a dud e-bike, there are several things you should take note of:
1) Decide how you’re using the ebike: Are you going to use it to commute to work? As a cargo bike? For mountain biking? Every type of electric bike has its specific purpose and understanding this prevents disappointments once you receive the bike.
For example, road bikes are lightweight and ideal for regular streets, while fat bikes are better for various terrains like snow, sand, or soil.
2) Power and battery: Not all electric bikes are created equal. As a rule of thumb, go with the e-bike with as much power as you can afford. The higher watts of an ebike, the more expensive they become. If you plan to use your bike in a hilly area, battery life should also be a priority. How long your battery can stay powered directly affects the distance or range you can reach.
Always check if the batteries are removable or not. If they’re built-in (or integrated), you’d have to charge the entire thing. But if your bike has replaceable batteries, you can buy a second battery and just switch once the first one dies, even if you’re biking outdoors.
3) Style: If you want the e-bike with the most style, your best bet is to look at cruiser ebikes. The electric fat bikes are also as stylish, but these aren’t recommended for trails due to their heavier weight.
4) Features: Once you’ve decided on battery, motor, and style, you can now dig deeper and find the features that best suit your needs. Here are some examples:
- Saddle – Anyone riding long distances knows that once you’ve been biking for an hour or so, it becomes somewhat uncomfortable. One way to prevent this is to check how the saddle was built and if it was designed to provide comfort even on long rides.
- Grip – Many e-bikes “power up” the bike via the grip. If this is a big deal for you, double-check this feature before paying for the e-bike you found online.
- Cargo accessories – If the electric bike is going to be used to haul around food and other items, look out for luggage racks and other accessories that would make the e-bike a useful utilitarian bike.
- Lights – If you plan to ride at night, lights are definitely a must-have.
5) Price: If budget is no problem, then you can skip this part and go for what your heart desires. If you have a set budget, make sure you don’t skimp on the features. It’s better to wait a little and save more than to compromise on a bike that doesn’t have the features you want.
If this is your first e-bike, leave extra funds for your accessories like helmet, gloves, water bottle, and high-visibility shirt or shorts.
Lastly, to get the best deals when buying your electric bike online, stick with a trusted brand. Most branded e-bikes come with attractive warranties, refunds and other customer-friendly programs (like free shipping or returns). You wouldn’t want to be shouldering a $200-dollar return fee if you’re unlucky and received a damaged bike right out of the box.