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Experience with cheaper e-bikes

Old 04-03-21, 02:46 PM
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amokeu
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Experience with cheaper e-bikes

Does anybody have any? I'm looking to see if it's worth purchasing an E-Bike in the range of £800-1300, and I'm wondering if anybody has any recommendations, experiences, etc. I'm not going to be doing anything heavy, just would like something smooth to get around town quickly on, and I don't want something ugly like some of the E-Bikes you find around, essentially looking for a normal-ish bike.
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Old 04-03-21, 05:44 PM
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If you haven't already, look at pedelecs.co.uk. Also, some decent reviews at electricbike.com, just realize they are paid for them, so you need to read between the lines. There are some good candidates in your price range, but they might not be available in GB.
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Old 04-03-21, 06:36 PM
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https://ebiketips.road.cc/content/ad...es-on-a-budget
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Old 04-03-21, 08:07 PM
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I paid $700USD (500 quid?) for an Ecotric fat tire bike in 2019. I found it was very well made. Two years later, the battery is still good, the motor works, and nothing broke. It has all the same parts one sees on cheap bikes, 36V battery, Tektro Aries calipers, 3 level pedal assist, Shimano Tourney derailleur, cheap SIS shifter, steel wheels, but they're still good enough parts.

Now the concept of the bike is flawed. It's a heavy folding bike, but quite a lot of people my age like it, I'd never seen a fat tire bike with 20"x4" tires and thought it would be be smaller like my folding bikes with 20x2" tires. But it's a monster, OK sometimes.

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Old 04-04-21, 06:52 AM
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late, nice list and glad they're not available here or I might be tempted to purchase something not needed. Also like the Ecotric above, but will try to use my little semblance of power to resist.
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Old 04-04-21, 03:41 PM
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Having tons of them in the shop for repairs I would say do not buy, we have had quite a few get abandoned because people don't want to deal with them. Many of the companies that sell them also don't want to deal with them or you have to fight hard to get them to send parts if they even have them. I got told by one manufacturer recently that they don't carry spare batteries or chargers for their bikes.

Caveat Emptor
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Old 04-04-21, 06:47 PM
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Funny that everyone with an inexpensive e-bike or DIY kit that I can remember has extolled the experience on this forum, just as I have.

Last edited by 2old; 04-04-21 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 04-04-21, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Funny that everyone with an inexpensive e-bike or DIY kit that I can remember has extolled the experience on this forum, just as I have.
It's an e-bike it's fun. They have a crappy throttle that makes it into a motorcycle so you don't have to pedal it, what's not to like about that. It's down the line when things get bad.

You know what's really funny, being told by the manufacturer that their product is not having issues or on a bike less then 6 months old they really don't want to replace the motor again after 2 other replacements (one being incorrect the other coming with severed wires) or the one where the customer is literally a couple days outside the short for quality bikes but long for the cheap stuff 1 year warranty and they won't even help their customer out and want him to pay almost the cost of the thing to replace controllers and batteries and such (the bike hadn't seen much use) Or we can talk about one of the many Amazon specials that came broken and both I and the customer spent hours on the phone arguing with them to return the bike and the customer was dissatisfied or the one where the company sent 6 different controllers (non of which where the correct one for the bike which we sent clear pictures of) for the bike along with a new motor, and display and still had issues and the customer had to take them to court. Of course there is the one I eluded to previously where they recently purchased the bike and the company does not have batteries or chargers for their own bikes. I could go on and on about the lovely world of the cheaper e-bikes and how great they are but I hope the point has been made.

Yes some people might have some good luck, maybe those who are barely riding the things will have the best of luck but I see some bikes in frequently for similar problems that I really don't see with the big names and the support from Bosch and Brose and Shimano and Specialized (since they handle all their own Brose and Mahle issues) is second to none. I will say while their bikes are terrible, Radwagonpower does have some better support still short and the parts on the bike aren't ones I would put on a bike meant to carry children but a minor cut above. Still loads of problems though but at the very least they do sort of support their stuff at least for a short bit.
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Old 04-04-21, 09:57 PM
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Do you remember Ancheer (on Amazon). The first 10 bikes listed, all $500 - $1,000, were rated 4+ (of 5) average in customer satisfaction the last time I looked. Maybe you don't remember the bike with the new Shimano motor at my LBS where the individual has been waiting about four months for parts to get it repaired and they won't have anything until May. Look at MTBR where an individual has had his major OEM motor replaced three or four times. How about Focus and KTM, major manufacturers that just decided not to operate in the US after developing and selling products for our industry? I think you assume that, since individuals bring you bikes that need to be repaired, all similar models are faulty. It's just an elitist attitude that unless something isn't the highest priced product, it's unsuitable. I've built at least 10 bikes for myself and friends and all are still functioning well. But, from now on I'll just "ignore" you.

Last edited by 2old; 04-05-21 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 04-05-21, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Do you remember Ancheer (on Amazon). The first 10 bikes listed, all $500 - $1,000, were rated 4+ (of 5) average in customer satisfaction the last time I looked. Maybe you don't remember the bike with the new Shimano motor at my LBS where the individual has been waiting about four months for parts to get it repaired and they won't have anything until May. Look at MTBR where an individual has had his major OEM motor replaced three or four times. How about Focus and KTM, major manufacturers that just decided not to operate in the US after developing and selling products for our industry? I think you assume that, since individuals bring you bikes that need to be repaired, all similar models are faulty. It's just an elitist attitude that unless something isn't the highest priced product, it's unsuitable. I've built at least 10 bikes for myself and friends and all are still functioning well. But, from now on I'll just "ignore" you.
Ahhh yes the global crisis causing parts delays, that is certainly an issue purely for Shimano and there motor is at fault entirely. Focus did leave the U.S. but they still have very decent support for their product here and surprisingly very few of my Focus customers have had issues that Focus hasn't at least attempted to take care of. I cannot speak to KTM as I have really seen or deal with their products in the U.S. I can say when I have issues with the major motor brands I have good support behind them and yes sometimes especially recently there have been parts delays but that is not a fault of theirs it is just a fact of the world we live in right now and you would have to literally be living under a rock not to have noticed it.

Oh and Amazon reviews always a good place to see reviews like "product shipped on time" or "product was well packaged". Ancheer is crap and you know it and I know it and trying to defend them is silly. You cannot tell me you can put together a bike for $500 that is also an e-bike and of any sort of quality. They haven't found some magical formula where their parts are the same quality but way way way cheaper. For what they are they are the best quality but that is like saying a bottle of MD 20/20 is equivalent to Château Latour.

I don't assume that, I see the same models and brands coming to me and a bunch of others over years and years of being in the industry. I deal with their service departments or warranty people if they have them and we try to fix their bikes. I did NOT mention anything about the highest priced product being the best, I do say that quality motor brands will have good support behind them and therefore are going to be better but if you really think that is untrue then maybe you are missing something.

Please do ignore me it won't be any skin off my back.
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Old 04-05-21, 09:36 PM
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Sure, if you buy an inexpensive bike, there's a chance it has a failure and how do you fix it. In the case of Ecotric, there's a guy right now on the facebook forum that has been shipped a second battery and a second controller. He can't get it working. They'll probably send hm a motor, as they have done that with other customers. Some people just don't have the manual dexterity or understanding to fix their own bike, no matter if they had a box of parts.
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Old 04-05-21, 10:17 PM
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The nice thing about DIY and bikes that aren't fully integrated OEM with proprietary everything is they are more modular so it's possible to identify and repair problems. The bike shops are allowed to remove motors from discrepant OEM bikes (or maybe other parts as dictated by manufacturers), but can't fix anything. My friend has been waiting almost a year for a PAS switch for his Bulls; wonder if he'll ever receive it. DIY kits and lower end bikes have components that haven't changed much and if one has a modicum of intelligence he can repair problems when necessary. I was given a 36V battery by a friend but no charger. Since there are a finite number of connectors for charging batteries, it was easy to take another 36V charger and make a connector to mate it with the battery.
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Old 04-06-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Do you remember Ancheer (on Amazon). The first 10 bikes listed, all $500 - $1,000, were rated 4+ (of 5) average in customer satisfaction the last time I looked. Maybe you don't remember the bike with the new Shimano motor at my LBS where the individual has been waiting about four months for parts to get it repaired and they won't have anything until May. Look at MTBR where an individual has had his major OEM motor replaced three or four times. How about Focus and KTM, major manufacturers that just decided not to operate in the US after developing and selling products for our industry? I think you assume that, since individuals bring you bikes that need to be repaired, all similar models are faulty. It's just an elitist attitude that unless something isn't the highest priced product, it's unsuitable. I've built at least 10 bikes for myself and friends and all are still functioning well. But, from now on I'll just "ignore" you.
Ancheers are still at Amazon, and I seem to remember endorsements on this subforum as well.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:18 AM
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I think it's a matter of expectations. They're very inexpensive, but have serviceable (IMO) components. Individuals need to realize they may need service someday. However you might as well take them to a beauty parlor as some OEM shops since the individuals there are obtuse. They've been taught to do a few things by the manufacturers, read codes, remove parts and send them to a repair shop. Anything incisive (they don't know the meaning of the word). Funny thing is their "I'm better than you" attitude.
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Old 04-07-21, 07:38 AM
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Here in NYC, food, groceries & restaurant businesses have relied on delivery folks on ebikes well before the pandemic.
Most, if not all of these ebike delivery folks are on hub-motor, cheap Chinese ebikes that gets ridden with full throttle operation until the battery is dead.
They operate 24/7, nearly every single day in all kind of weather conditions.
I have visited two shops in Brooklyn that sell, support & service these cheap Chinese ebikes.
The most common mechanical issues are still flat tires, bent or broken spokes, bent rims.
Electrical issues are common when crashes occur & control unit on the handlebar gets ripped off or cables are cut.
I myself have purchased cheap, Chinese ebikes since 2017 and still operate it on a regular basis with zero problems.
Last year I purchased 3 cheap Chinese ebikes from Alibaba.com, each one under $800 with the exception of the cargo ebike that comes with two batteries.
I give out ebikes to my friends & employees to entice them to ditch their car or quit smoking.
I use my cargo ebike to carry large volume of food to homeless shelters. I commute among NYC traffic 3-4 days a week and log about 60-80 miles.
For my usage, I feel that cheap, Chinese ebikes perform just fine, well suited for my purpose for an ebike, the same will not apply to everyone else.
I don't expect these cheap Chinese ebikes to be lightweight, perform on black diamond trails or run all day at 25 mph.
Important thing is to have a specific parameter of what you expect to get out of these cheap ebikes.
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Old 04-12-21, 03:05 AM
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I think SHOCK ebike is good and cheap, is an American brand i have been using it
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Old 04-12-21, 03:47 AM
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I would buy a kit, and put it on an existing bike. Then if something failed, you could replace that part. If it seemed to not be good quality, you could replace it with an equivalent part from a different manufacturer.

It also depends on what is available in your country. In some places you can buy decent ebikes, at reasonable prices, which probably have spare parts available.

I would probably go for a rear wheel geared hub motor, so you can replace the wheel if it fails.

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Old 04-12-21, 08:27 PM
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Cheap e-bikes are nothing but trouble. Some get lucky and get one that actually works. Many do not.

My repairs are almost all cheap e-bikes. Getting parts for some of these are tricky and communicating with the Chinese is CRAZY! It will take 6-10 emails to finally get what you specifically requested in the first email, IF you get any reply.

Meanwhile the better brands I sell rarely need warranty work.

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Old 04-13-21, 06:09 AM
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I'm curious, how many repairs do you do in a week or month? and how many of those are cheap e-bikes?

What are the most common repairs that you perform on cheap e-bikes?

How many of cheap e-bike users that have zero problems come to you?

How many "better brand" e-bikes have you sold in the last 12 months?

How many "warranty" issues vs regular repairs have you had with "better brand" e-bikes in the last 12 months?
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Old 04-20-21, 12:22 AM
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You talking to me Cat?
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Old 04-20-21, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
You talking to me Cat?
Anyone in thread that have claimed to have performed multiple repairs on cheap e-bikes.
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Old 04-20-21, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I'm curious, how many repairs do you do in a week or month? and how many of those are cheap e-bikes?

What are the most common repairs that you perform on cheap e-bikes?

How many of cheap e-bike users that have zero problems come to you?

How many "better brand" e-bikes have you sold in the last 12 months?

How many "warranty" issues vs regular repairs have you had with "better brand" e-bikes in the last 12 months?
We typically have about 100 e-bikes in for service at any given time

Most common repairs are busted hub drives (spokes, burnt motors...) and controllers and such and of course flat fixes. In the past when we were selling and installing more kits we did have quite a few cracked BB shells and a lot of battery issues.

We have a lot of people who come to us.

We have sold at least 214 e-bikes from 4/20/20 to 4/20/21 and that is stuff that is verified rung out in our system and 13 Riese and Müller bikes, 14 Specialized and 8 assorted other bikes (Tern and Gazelle mostly) on order waiting to come in.

Warranty issues probably at least 100 (but probably 40 of that was actual ebikes and a lot of regular bikes and some various parts) and we have rung out at least 6871 work orders in the past year but we probably have quite a few others that need to be rung out or are waiting on parts due to all the shortages. Most of the warranty stuff has been minor stuff like some missing parts or damages during shipping a few motors in that (though most of it could be solved with a new belt, I don't think we replaced any Bosch motors but three batteries and one was just from sitting a long time and they replaced it no issue). When I do have issues with Bosch, they usually will get us solved pretty well, same with Specialized and Shimano it is super easy to deal with them and I rarely have issues they don't support even sometimes they go above and beyond past warranty period. I have had a few delays and a few issues caused by COVID but most companies have been super helpful when they get in touch.

I did have an issue last year with one of the online brands where they sent 2 incorrect wheels and 1 broken wheel for just one bike and another brand which is supposed to be a little better but ended up sending 5 incorrect parts and a couple broken parts and still couldn't solve the issue. I believe the customer is taking legal action against them. I am working on one now that the company is saying they don't even have spare parts for their bikes and then came back after I raised a fuss and said well I guess we have some stuff but it was kind of silly. One company refused to acknowledge that their smoking battery was a problem and sent the wrong fuse for the battery and when that of course didn't solve it as we told them it wasn't the issue they gave up. Amazon was fun to deal with when we had to return a brand new bike that had a ton of issues out of the box, the customer ended up on a Specialized and is super happy and hasn't had issues. However the brand didn't get involved just Amazon customer service (or lack thereof).
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Old 04-21-21, 08:00 AM
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Out of 214 e-bike you've sold in the last calendar year, warranty issues is at least 40 e-bikes?

"Smoking battery" is that one incident or multiple?
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Old 04-21-21, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Out of 214 e-bike you've sold in the last calendar year, warranty issues is at least 40 e-bikes?

"Smoking battery" is that one incident or multiple?
Many of those are previously sold. From 4/20/2018-2020 we did another 339 bikes and more before that plus some of those warranties were not on bikes we sold but from brands we do sell and from other Bosch and Shimano and Brose stuff as we are a large dealer and service center for all that stuff. So the 40 bikes wasn't just ones we had sold during that little bit of time.

That particular incident was a single but we have had a couple more (one just emailed today about a smoking battery and blown fuse)
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Old 04-22-21, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Many of those are previously sold. From 4/20/2018-2020 we did another 339 bikes and more before that plus some of those warranties were not on bikes we sold but from brands we do sell and from other Bosch and Shimano and Brose stuff as we are a large dealer and service center for all that stuff. So the 40 bikes wasn't just ones we had sold during that little bit of time.
Very confusing run-on sentence.
339 bikes or e-bikes?
40 bikes (or e-bikes) that you've performed warranty service, but they were not all sold from your shop?
By "little bit of time", is that time period between APR 2018 thru APR 2020?

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
That particular incident was a single but we have had a couple more (one just emailed today about a smoking battery and blown fuse)
So, total of three incidents of "smoking battery" out of how many services that you've provided on e-bikes? and one incident as email, not actual e-bike that is in your shop?
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