When you’re ready to buy your electric bike, there’s a couple of insider tricks to saving money, getting more for your money and avoiding headaches later on. In this guide, we'll also share with you the best places to find electric bikes for sale, all here in the UK.
Chapter 3 walks you through the process of choosing and trying electric bikes. This stage is really important so that you get the right kind of electric bike for you. If you haven’t already tried chosen the electric bike you’d love to get, then go back to Chapter 3 and choose an electric bike.
Electric Bikes Experts talk you through some best practices for when you buy and first ride your new electric bike.
Here's a list of trusted, recommended places to find electric bikes for sale.
The electric bike industry is growing quickly. There are plenty of new entrants, as well as old timer dealers where you can buy your electric bike from. You should scout around online to get a rough idea of prices before buying, but just remember there are several advantages to going to a dealer to buy.
A dealer can show you the ins and outs of your bike in person. That’s so much better than sorting out problems over the phone or via email. If you want to walk out working for sure, and aren’t the most technical bike expert, then a dealer may be you’re best bet. You also don’t have to wait for your new electric bike to arrive either.
That said, any good online dealer can send good pictures and diagrams, and there are lots of great video tutorials and guides online for help with the main bicycle parts. Some dealers even publish their own setup videos to help you get started.
Online dealers can have more friendly prices, but not always. Watch out for shipping, which can be the deciding factor - Some dealers do it free, others don’t. If you’ve found the same product you like online at a more competitive price than you’re local dealer, why not bargain with them and ask for a price match or a few freebies?
Even if you are buying online, buy from somewhere which clearly has a physical location anyway; a showroom and somewhere you can go to if needs be. That way you get the best of both worlds.
Don’t forget, you can also call up and order. Most dealers have phones manned throughout business hours, and will happily take your order and answer any questions. Its the next best thing to buying in person.
If you can get to a dealer, it’ll be a worthwhile trip. If you can’t, its not the end of the world, but take these recommendations to heart.
Guarantees and a manufacturers warranty on both the battery and the bike are important. Not only does this show confidence in the product, but also reassurance that in case something goes wrong, they’ll take responsibility for fixing it. There are enough dealers and manufacturers offering stellar, long guarentees that you can be picky with that you buy based on this alone.
Also, being able to service an electric bike quickly and affordably, having been trained by a manufacturer or something similar is also really useful.
Does Experience Matter?
Yes and no. Of course, going to a shop that has been selling electric bikes for years helps; having staff experienced with handling typical electric bike enquiries is always useful.
But, the industry is blossoming. Lots of new entrants are setting up shop, and if there’s a dealer near you, its probably best to go to your nearest shop than trek around the country. Use the notes in this guide to help you; a newer dealer might be perfect.
Having both electric bikes for sale, as well as spares (or easy access to spares) in stock is really important. Besides having a range of electric bikes to try out (you should definitely test more than one), nothing is more frustrating than having to wait weeks, even months for a box to arrive!
Smart shop owners will also be able to help you out with your electric bike away from the shop. Being able to answer a phone as well as show you how to use the bike properly (the controller, make adjustments etc.) is really, really handy.
Buying online, there are some larger specialist e-bike companies which have the specialist knowledge to recommend a electric bike which should suit your requirements. Although it is not all about the cheapest price ask questions about how any problems would be solved.
The government would love us all to be cycling to work and being totally carbon neutral. One project born out of this is the ‘cycle to work scheme’. You effectively buy a bike tax-free, but rent it from your employer through a salary-sacrifice scheme (often so small, you don’t really notice it.). There’s a few hoops to jump through, but you can end up saving up to 50% of the cost of the bike with the cycle to work scheme.
Used Electric Bikes
Buying used can be a smart way to get a more affordable electric bike, but you must try it out first. Ask about the battery condition. Always look into the costs of replacing the battery since you don’t know the battery’s history. Make sure you read the used electric bike guide.
Electric Bike Conversion Kits
Perhaps you’ve got a decent bike already, and would consider perhaps adding an electric bike conversion kit to it? It simply means adding the main electric bike components; a motor, a battery and a controller to turn your bicycle that may otherwise be sitting in the shed, into a daily commuting workhorse. Ask your deal about conversion kits.
Sell or trade-in your car or bike
If you’re replacing a bike or a car with an electric bike, you can sell or trade in your old vehicle to pay for your new electric bike. An easy way to get a better way of getting around without forking out more of your paycheck.
Take your new electric bike out as soon as the battery is fully charged, test all the systems and components and get used to the new ride. Let your dealer know how you’re getting on, and offer a testimonial if you thought their service was good. They’ll appreciate that!
Day to day help
Connecting with other electric bike users is important. The Pedelecs Forum is a community of electric bike owners, where they can share their problems, stories and questions. I really recommend registering - its a great community there.
Cyclists need to be aware of potential road hazards, like cars cutting across. With that in mind, please take a look at Bicycle Safe and the guide on their homepage.
Getting Used to Your New Electric Bike
If you’re using your new electric bike for commuting you could break yourself in slowly with a drive-in/cycle home, cycline-in/drive home alternating schedule. Experiment with different routes - and when you’re used to your electric bike, why not share your electric bike story here?
A couple of must-haves and a few other suggestions.
An Awesome Bike Lock
In case you’re going to leave your bike anywhere away from home or somewhere else secure, a good quality bike lock is a must.
Motorbike or bicycle sav nav systems can really help with navigation, especially if you’re touring places you’ve never been before, or you’re running a courier service or something similar.
Perhaps not so necessary on a daily commute, but if you’re planning an extended leisure ride and want something more comfortable and suitable for riding in, then cycling clothing is definitely worth getting.
Having a mini bike “first aid” kit will be handy in case of minor mishaps. Being able to repair things like punctures yourself rather than taking it into a bike shop will save a lot of hassle.