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eBike 101 - Buying online vs a Bike Shop


The last 5 years we [Bike industry] have seen a complete up-tick in the ebike manufacturing. This for the most part has been great, however, we'll discuss some of the pros and cons with buying online vs. visiting your local bike shop.

 - Direct to Consumer (DTC): These types of manufacturers ONLY sell to online customers. They DO NOT, in most cases affiliate themselves with any bike shop. Some do have "test" centers where you can go and pre-ride the bike, but they are solely owned and operated by the manufacturer. Examples of these types of bike are Rad Power and Lectric. Rad Power is the largest DTC manufacturer in the United States and are located in Washington State. Lectric, is a Phoenix based company. There are a plethora of others, but these two most people have heard of. Amazon has a variety of ebikes as well. You may find DTC dealers at flea markets, swap meets and trade shows. Make sure to ask them the hard questions.

  Pro's with DTC:

  Con's with DTC:


- Buying your eBike at a brick and motar bike shop. The folks are your commensurate professionals in the field. Employees of the bike shop see all the constant changes in the market along with 100's of different varieties of bikes to include ebikes. Most bike shops have had to deal with the constant changes in the market the last few years and have very knowledgeable with the current ebike swing. They are your guide to understanding all the in and outs of the ebike world

   Pro's with Bike Shops:

  Con's with Bike Shops:


   Only you the consumer can make the decision on what is best for you, DTC or bike shop. However, based on the information above you may find it very clear. While we are sure there are great brands and customer service to be found online you caution to shop at your own risk.

   If you buy online and need some type of service you will, without a doubt pay full labor charge for any bike shop to repair your bike. For example, if you have an electrical issue, be prepared to start off with a $100 charge. This is for diagnostics. You most likely will incur more charges every time the bike shop as to contact the manufacturer. This can be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-$50 per occurrence. Ever heard of "Lawyer fees"? That's exactly what this is. A mechanics time is worth money. Remember that nice price tag you saw while shopping online? Well now, you have probably surpassed that just by racking up labor charges to fix your bike. This would not happen when buying at a shop. If under warranty, you'd never pay from buying from a bike shop. However, when buying from a DTC, who's paying? Bike shops do not receive payments from DTC's so you'll have to negotiate reimbursement with the manufacturer.

  In closing, we hope this information is helpful in your search for your ebike. Please feel free to stop in and talk with us about our own experiences. We also understand that some bike shops are not as savory or experienced as others. So, taking the time to check a few bike shop is advised. You need to feel comfortable during your shopping experience and not pressured. We are here to help you make an informed decision on what is best for you. Thank you for reading.



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