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Purchasing a Dillenger Hunter Off-Road -- My Experience

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Purchasing a Dillenger Hunter Off-Road -- My Experience

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Old 05-02-16, 11:10 AM
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Superbrain3000
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Purchasing a Dillenger Hunter Off-Road -- My Experience

I've found very little information online about the Dillenger Hunter Off-Road electric bike and figured I should post what I'm learning so that other people know what's up with it. I just ordered one despite never seeing a video of it in action and seeing a total of 4 pictures of it, all on the Dillenger website. None of the pictures show the side of the bike with the battery mounted in the frame or up close of shots of the components beyond the hydraulic brake lever. I did find some complaints about their customer service online and one guy who threw a fit over having to pay return shipping on a broken part started a website to beat up on the company. I've looked at the warranty details from a bunch of electric bike companies and most if not all require the buyer to cover shipping. Seems standard. I also know that people tend to post when they have either something really negative or really positive to say. In short, I think Dillenger deserves a chance.

Here's a link to the bike:
http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/fe...dillenger.html

Why did I order this particular bike? $1899 with free shipping from their California warehouse (the company is located in Australia) for a rig with 750 8FUN mid-drive motor, roughly 420 Wh battery hidden in the frame, 180 mm hydraulic brakes and other decent components seems like a great deal. I have to admit I love the look of the 2016 Biktrix Juggernaut and for a few hundred dollars more you get the fat tires and a 1000 watt mid drive and 600+ Wh battery. In addition, I've had some great experiences interacting with the owner of Biktrix. I've never waited more than 10 minutes for a response to my questions about the Juggernaut. Serously. But, in the end, I decided against a fat tire bike. I'm already a big dude and I think the fat tires combined with my largeness (6'2" and 260 lbs) might not be the best combination for the kinds of miles I'll be putting in. The Hunter looks like it's built for speed and, according to Dillenger, can handle my size no problem. And, as an off road only bike, the speed limit isn't capped at 20 mph.

My experience so far has been mixed. I'll update as things unfold. I ordered the bike last week, so it's only been 6 days. In the first few days I had lots of questions that I probably should have asked before ordering. These guys are in Australia and so they're open from 6pm-9am my time in EST here in the States. I received prompt responses for the first few days, though usually some of my questions in a given email weren't answered. I was told the bike would require 4-5 days to arrive from the California warehouse. I was not told, and still haven't been told, how long the delay is before shipping. I know they aren't Amazon.com, but I do need an estimate so that I can schedule to take off of work to receive the package. And I guess I'm getting a bit nervous about spending $1900 on a bike I know almost nothing about and have never read a review for or seen a video of. So, I emailed yesterday and asked when they expected it to ship. I didn't heard back. I wrote again today to let them know they're making me nervous and I intend to cancel the order if they don't respond with an estimated ship date today.

It's worth mentioning that they do have a 60 day return policy for the bike, which seems nice. However, the fine print makes it clear that you can only return it if their technicians can't find a way to fix whatever problem you might be having. There are no returns because you change your mind or just don't like it. This is dicey given the lack of pictures and absence of video of this thing in action. Hopefully this won't be an issue and the machine is as pristine as those four pictures and the specs make it look.

My hope is the bike arrives and is outstanding. It should be based on the specs. I'll post pictures and video of it in action and give a thorough review after riding it. That way the next person whose interested in one won't be as much in the dark as I am. So far I have to give Dillenger a solid C for communication. I'm hoping that improves, as well. I'm sure these are busy folks but customer service is the key to keeping any business afloat and drives word of mouth sales. For instance, while I'm not buying a Biktrix, I can vouch for their fast response times and general politeness and would be comfortable ordering from them. In the end buying from them could turn out to be a great experience. Just too early to tell. I'll keep this thread updated. Cheers.

Last edited by Superbrain3000; 05-02-16 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Added correct link to product page
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Old 05-02-16, 12:02 PM
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I've had good luck with Dillenger; if they don't contact you today, let us know and I'll locate Sam Sewell's (owner) address and send it to you.
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Old 05-02-16, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I've had good luck with Dillenger; if they don't contact you today, let us know and I'll locate Sam Sewell's (owner) address and send it to you.
Thanks for the offer. Like I said, I have high hopes. Just a bit nervous. It's a lot of money to spend on something I haven't seen, read much about or touched. Just a description on a website and four pictures. I hope to hear from them tonight and will let you know. Cheers.
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Old 05-03-16, 08:53 AM
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Received an email response last night indicating the bike probably shipped and should probably arrive Thursday. I requested a tracking number but have not heard back. Here is the email one receives after the purchase:

"Once your package ships, we will send an email with tracking information for this order. If for some reason this email fails to reach you, please feel free to reply directly and ask for your tracking number."

No tracking number means I can't plan to be off work to receive the shipment, which means I'll have to go pick it up somewhere at a later date. I need to give my work more than two days notice so I'm out luck. I'm frustrated. I paid for the bike and they charged my CC the same day. Why can't they do what they say they would and keep me in the loop regarding shipping and provide a tracking number?

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Old 05-03-16, 09:04 AM
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I ordered a kit from them and had the same problem even though only about 50 miles from their warehouse. The big surprise was to find it on my patio one day with no signature required. Really happy nobody else decided to acquire it before I got home. You'll have a big package; hope you have a vehicle with a trunk, truck bed big enough or maybe you can arrange with the shipping company to bring it when you're home.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:21 AM
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Well, the main reason I ordered the bike is that I don't have a car. So I'll have to see if they can reschedule delivery for next week sometime, allowing me time to schedule leave from work. I'm sure they run into problems because the California warehouse and their office in Australia are on opposite day/night cycles making communication hard. Still, if they say they'll send tracking info they should do it. Period. No excuses. My big concern is that I'll have problems with the bike and have the same types of issues with communication. I'm still very optimistic about the Hunter. It should be phenomenal. But I cannot recommend purchasing from them at this point. Not yet anyway. More soon.
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Old 05-03-16, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Superbrain3000 View Post
Received an email response last night indicating the bike probably shipped and should probably arrive Thursday. I requested a tracking number but have not heard back. Here is the email one receives after the purchase:

"Once your package ships, we will send an email with tracking information for this order. If for some reason this email fails to reach you, please feel free to reply directly and ask for your tracking number."

No tracking number means I can't plan to be off work to receive the shipment, which means I'll have to go pick it up somewhere at a later date. I need to give my work more than two days notice so I'm out luck. I'm frustrated. I paid for the bike and they charged my CC the same day. Why can't they do what they say they would and keep me in the loop regarding shipping and provide a tracking number?
That email does not imply that the bike has shipped yet. Until it really does there is no tracking number to send you. I'm typing this on the 3rd. Maybe the status has changed by now.
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Old 05-03-16, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
That email does not imply that the bike has shipped yet. Until it really does there is no tracking number to send you. I'm typing this on the 3rd. Maybe the status has changed by now.
I suppose I wasn't clear enough. The email one receives right after purchasing the bike states that a tracking number will be provided once the bike ships. The email I received from Jacob at Dillenger Bikes last night indicated he believes my bike shipped several days ago and believes, based on typical shipping times, it should arrive Thursday-ish give or take a day or two. So, yes, the bike was apparently shipped several days ago. But, no, I never received the tracking number. My request last night for a tracking number was not answered. I hope to receive an update tonight and will update this log.
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Old 05-03-16, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Superbrain3000 View Post
I suppose I wasn't clear enough. The email one receives right after purchasing the bike states that a tracking number will be provided once the bike ships. The email I received from Jacob at Dillenger Bikes last night indicated he believes my bike shipped several days ago and believes, based on typical shipping times, it should arrive Thursday-ish give or take a day or two. So, yes, the bike was apparently shipped several days ago. But, no, I never received the tracking number. My request last night for a tracking number was not answered. I hope to receive an update tonight and will update this log.
OK.

Sounds odd the he does not know for sure.
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Old 05-03-16, 10:56 AM
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SB3K -

Thanks for posting this complete experience as it unfolds. The price seems reasonable for a BBS02 750W+ Speed Pedallic/Throttle eMTB with hydraulic disc. Two things stood out when I briefly looked at the link, weight and size. The bike appears to be about 10lbs. heavier than it should/could be. This is not really an issue with E-assist at the watts it has, but worth noting. Not sure where that extra weight is coming from?

I didn't see a frame size on the site. Do you know what the frame size is? At 6'2" on a 26"er that is your warranty "out" if you don't like it. Can't fix a bike that doesn't fit you.

Don't you just hate lax shipping communication? Something that is so easy to do, but so many sellers just don't get how frustrated customers can get from such antics.

Looking forward to hearing more about your experience.
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Old 05-03-16, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by NoPhart View Post
SB3K -

Thanks for posting this complete experience as it unfolds. The price seems reasonable for a BBS02 750W+ Speed Pedallic/Throttle eMTB with hydraulic disc. Two things stood out when I briefly looked at the link, weight and size. The bike appears to be about 10lbs. heavier than it should/could be. This is not really an issue with E-assist at the watts it has, but worth noting. Not sure where that extra weight is coming from?

I didn't see a frame size on the site. Do you know what the frame size is? At 6'2" on a 26"er that is your warranty "out" if you don't like it. Can't fix a bike that doesn't fit you.

Don't you just hate lax shipping communication? Something that is so easy to do, but so many sellers just don't get how frustrated customers can get from such antics.

Looking forward to hearing more about your experience.
Like so many bikes I've looked at it comes in a single frame size, considered medium. If I could afford a Haibike they do come in specific frame sizes. I'm optimistic the Hunter Off-Road will work for me based on max rider weight of 330 lbs (I'm 250-260lbs) and max seat post height of 40", which is what I need. The seat will add another few inches, too. Most of my confidence regarding fit comes from the fact that the first person I emailed with at Dillenger said that he, too, is 6'2" and rides one of these every day. I'll be too big to benefit from the spring-suspension post that comes with it so I ordered a new seat post with some offset in case I need a bit more knee room. Not sure why the weight is so high other than the bike is supposed to be bomb proof. Even has 12 gauge spokes which, based on my very limited knowledge, seems beefier than most other electric bikes. I'm assuming the long travel front fork also add weight but I don't know.

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Old 05-03-16, 01:11 PM
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NP, you're correct about the weight. My friend just purchased a Felt with Bosch and we weighed it --- 43 pounds. While the extra weight isn't noticeable climbing, it is when descending. Agree that it's a good deal at the price especially with the one year warranty (which could be a problem. Also surprised to see 12 gauge spokes, since IMO not needed for a mid-drive (except maybe for one this heavy which the spokes contribute to.
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Old 05-03-16, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Superbrain3000 View Post
Like so many bikes I've looked at it comes in a single frame size, considered medium. If I could afford a Haibike they do come in specific frame sizes. I'm optimistic the Hunter Off-Road will work for me based on max rider weight of 330 lbs (I'm 250-260lbs) and max seat post height of 40", which is what I need. The seat will add another few inches, too. Most of my confidence regarding fit comes from the fact that the first person I emailed with at Dillenger said that he, too, is 6'2" and rides one of these every day. I'll be too big to benefit from the spring-suspension post that comes with it so I ordered a new seat post with some offset in case I need a bit more knee room. Not sure why the weight is so high other than the bike is supposed to be bomb proof. Even has 12 gauge spokes which, based on my very limited knowledge, seems beefier than most other electric bikes. I'm assuming the long travel front fork also add weight but I don't know.
Read though this if you haven't already:

http://www.bikeforums.net/electric-b...-does-all.html

I relied on others stating they were over 6' and fit the first bike I bought. That didn't work out for me...

I'm 6'2" with a relatively short 34" inseam (long upper body) and I still don't fit anything but XL frames from all I've tried. Medium is likely two sizes too small for you by normal standards, but you never know, it might workout okay (?). My comment is intended to save you possible grief. At least they claim you can return it for a full 100% refund if it doesn't fit. An argument that it doesn't fit and you "can't" use it should be a valid reason for a return (if needed).

I wonder why they only say medium (one size only) and don't give any frame geometry statistics?

As for the extra weight on a Medium 26"er, much of it is likely in those heavy dual crown spring forks. My Extra Large 27.5"er is about 47ish pounds last time I weighted it with the battery.

For a simple price comparison, my BME 350W BaFang equiped XL 27.5"er with manual disc brakes was ~$1,700 and originally weighed <50lbs. This bike has the larger 750W BaFang and Hydraulic disc brakes for a couple hundred more, so it's certainly comparible. Both are aluminum frames.

If it fits, your going to love the power/torque of that 750W mid-drive!
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Old 05-03-16, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Superbrain3000 View Post
I hope to receive an update tonight and will update this log.
Rather than emailing across the time zones, did you happen to call Doug at California e-bike to see if they shipped it to you yet? or if they have any updates? That would be my first order of business if I was concerned ..
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Old 05-04-16, 08:11 AM
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NoPhart -- I had a hard time finding companies that sell ebikes in my price range that come in different sizes. I'm going to stay optimistic this one will work. I'll let you guys know within an hour of receiving it. If not, I'll send it back, assuming they respond to emails. Because bad advice about size would be THEIR error, shipping both ways should and will be on them.

BruceMetras -- Who is Doug at California e-bike? Why would I know who that is and how does his existence excuse Dillenger of their stated promise to provide a tracking number for the nearly $2k item they've already charged me for? Why hasn't Doug from California e-bike emailed or called to provide a tracking number?

So far my experience with Dillenger has sucked. They decided to simply ignore my email last night, so still no tracking number. The bike might arrive tomorrow or it might not. I won't be there that's for sure. So I'll have to find someone to borrow a big car or truck from to go pick it up. Of course, if they happen to leave it on my porch and someone takes it I'm sure I'll get stuck with the loss. I have a feeling returning it if need be is going to be a nightmare. If I could cancel the order I gladly would. I no longer want to give these guys my money. I should have listened to previous reviews about their lack of customer service. Not sure how they think they can survive in an increasingly crowded market with their approach.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:34 AM
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Price of the bike just went up $450 to $2349. No changes in specs. Interesting. I was thinking of just returning it unopened out of fear of having to deal with them to arrange a return/repair but now I am intrigued. Maybe it's really worth $2349 and I got a steal at $1899. Maybe not. I'll document everything from unpacking to setup and first ride. I've already documented the communication issues to the point of whining (sorry about that). Ultimately the proof is in the pudding. Hopefully the quality of the bike redeems them.

By the way, they still offer a 1000 Watt direct rear hub drive version of the exact same bike for $1599. I assume the price of it will go up, too. Otherwise the mid drive version will cost $750 more with the only difference being the 750 Watt mid drive versus the 1000 Watt direct drive.

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Old 05-04-16, 03:20 PM
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Hi there, could you please let me know your name and order number (here on in an PM) and I'll find where your bike is for you. Sometimes emailing tracking number doesn't work perfectly, which is annoying I know. I'll find out why it's not been located for you earlier in your other correspondence. And yes, you did get a steel.

Cheers

Sam
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Old 05-04-16, 03:58 PM
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Hi Aaron, here's the situation. Because of the size of the bike, the warehouse can't ship using UPS which is how most of our products are shipped. UPS, you get a tracking number. Because of the size of the bike carton, the shipment is going LTL, which is not a carrier that has electronic tracking (and therefore the bane of our existance). We have to get a quote before we ship each bike which delays shipping. It's costing almost $400 to ship the bike which is why we're probably not going to be shipping our bikes to the US warehouse in the future. The bike was shipped yesterday once the quote came in, it's got almost 3,000 miles to get to your side of the continent so it will be approx. another week.

If you want to cancel, you need to let me know today.

Kind regards

Sam
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Old 05-05-16, 07:41 AM
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Just looking at your price, SB3000, and it looks reasonable to me. A battery and BBSHD purchased separately would cost me $1250 before shipping and the battery would look like an ugly lump on my bike. Your Hunter looks pretty sleek. I've always been a sucker for form and function combined. If the frame works for you, looks like you got a bargain.
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Old 05-05-16, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Just looking at your price, SB3000, and it looks reasonable to me. A battery and BBSHD purchased separately would cost me $1250 before shipping and the battery would look like an ugly lump on my bike. Your Hunter looks pretty sleek. I've always been a sucker for form and function combined. If the frame works for you, looks like you got a bargain.
They gave me an option to cancel the order and I took it. Tracking numbers don't apply to bikes and it hadnt shipped last week afterall. Shipping would be via an unnamed LTL (less than truckload) service located who knows how far from my place. So I would definitely need to rent or borrow a truck to pick it up and returning it in the original box would have been next to impossible if I needed to do so. Great looking bike. I have no doubt it's a solid beast and quite a bargain at the price I paid. But if I had trouble with it I would have to deal with their customer service, which was not an inspiring experience, and potentially deal with the hassle of shipping it back. In the end I'm going with an electric bike shop in the next city. I wish Dillenger luck. Again, the products seem stellar. I'm just choosing to spend my money elsewhere. By the way I certainly did not set out to write a critical log about them. It's just how my experience unfolded. And so ends my log.
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Old 05-05-16, 08:19 AM
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Don't give up. There are quality BaFang conversions out there in your size and price range. Maybe this guy on eBay can build you one. This listing is for a 19" frame (M size?) is right there. Not sure what his resevre is.

Electric Bike 2015 Iron Horse Full Suspension 29er 48 Volt Bafang BBs 750 Watt | eBay

It's a full suspension 29er with BaFang 750W mid-drive...

Best of luck with your search.

ADDED: Also check out seller BMEBIKES on eBay. Several offerings at reasonable prices. He often has sales and Best Offer auctions (willing to work with you on price). Note 100% satisfaction rating!

eBay Feedback Profile for bmebikes

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Old 05-06-16, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NoPhart View Post
Don't give up. There are quality BaFang conversions out there in your size and price range. Maybe this guy on eBay can build you one. This listing is for a 19" frame (M size?) is right there. Not sure what his resevre is.

Electric Bike 2015 Iron Horse Full Suspension 29er 48 Volt Bafang BBs 750 Watt | eBay

It's a full suspension 29er with BaFang 750W mid-drive...

Best of luck with your search.

ADDED: Also check out seller BMEBIKES on eBay. Several offerings at reasonable prices. He often has sales and Best Offer auctions (willing to work with you on price). Note 100% satisfaction rating!

eBay Feedback Profile for bmebikes
NP,
Thanks so much for the advice. I will be buying a bike from BM Ebikes. I've corresponded with them and they seem like cool guys. The bikes look solid, come in XL and the prices are really outstanding. Specs look good and a full rig with 750 or 1000 watt mid drive motor can be had for around $2k. Not sure on the actual price yet. I can always swap out bike components over time. AND, get this, free shipping from California. Yes, free and, yes, from California. I'm not sure what they know that the folks at Dillenger don't, but $400 LTL shipping clearly isn't the only option. And the machine I'm getting will be an XL 29er not a M 26". It might have something to do with the size of the box Dillenger uses. Regardless, the BM Ebikes guys are friendly and professional. I feel good about spending my money on a bike from them. While this log was about my experience trying to buy a Dillenger bike, which quickly went south, I'll post one more time in a few weeks when I get the bike from BM Ebikes. I haven't placed the order yet but hope to later today.
Cheers,
SB

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Old 05-06-16, 02:14 PM
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Well I can say that I am very happy with my BME even though I have upgraded components over time. My thought on purchase was this BME allowed me to get into an eMTB at close to what it would cost me to buy the BaFang and KHS MTB without having to do an installation. The KHS Sixfifty base bike retailed for $550 and a BaFang kit with quality battery goes for $800-$1,000. I managed to get the complete bike for $1,599 free shipping. I know his costs are lower than my retail costs and I have no problem allowing him to make a living providing a wonderful product.

If I was buying today I'd go 29er with lockout air fork. I managed to get the Rock Shox TK 30 Gold Solo Air forks I upgraded to for $257 at my door, by watching for sales and discounts. That put my very competent ride at about $2,000+/- with a few other farkles.

IMHO <$2,000 is the price point decently air forked hardtail eMTB's will eventually have to be to become popular by the masses.

Currently one of my favorite eMTB's is the new 2016/17 Focus Jarifa i29 hartail, but I'm sure that beatiful ride isn't in "my" price range.

$400 shipping How can he offer 100% refunds if unhappy when he'd be losing $800 on each return and end up with a used eBike? Something just doesn't seem right there...
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Old 05-06-16, 06:41 PM
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Superbrain3000
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Originally Posted by NoPhart View Post
Well I can say that I am very happy with my BME even though I have upgraded components over time. My thought on purchase was this BME allowed me to get into an eMTB at close to what it would cost me to buy the BaFang and KHS MTB without having to do an installation. The KHS Sixfifty base bike retailed for $550 and a BaFang kit with quality battery goes for $800-$1,000. I managed to get the complete bike for $1,599 free shipping. I know his costs are lower than my retail costs and I have no problem allowing him to make a living providing a wonderful product.

If I was buying today I'd go 29er with lockout air fork. I managed to get the Rock Shox TK 30 Gold Solo Air forks I upgraded to for $257 at my door, by watching for sales and discounts. That put my very competent ride at about $2,000+/- with a few other farkles.

IMHO <$2,000 is the price point decently air forked hardtail eMTB's will eventually have to be to become popular by the masses.

Currently one of my favorite eMTB's is the new 2016/17 Focus Jarifa i29 hartail, but I'm sure that beatiful ride isn't in "my" price range.

$400 shipping How can he offer 100% refunds if unhappy when he'd be losing $800 on each return and end up with a used eBike? Something just doesn't seem right there...
I just ordered a masterpiece of a bike from BM Ebikes. I emailed about a possible build and Tim called me right away. I ordered a bike. I'll go into the specs in a separate post or a different thread. Needless to say, the price is a little bit more than I would have spend on the Hunter Off-Road but the components are on par or better, the bike is in my size and the motor + controller + battery is a more powerful set up. Still free shipping. These guys are cool. I feel good spending my money there. My advice is to check their eBay inventory and, if you find something you like, don't bicker about price. Their prices are stellar. Thanks, NP, you steered me in the right direction and I appreciate it. I'll update after I receive the rig.
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Old 05-08-16, 08:57 AM
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