In today’s installment of the 3 Minute Electric Bike Video Series where we are demystifying electric bikes we are talking about things you might want to ask a vendor before an electric bike purchase.
Ask about the battery.
Ask the vendor who the manufacturer is. You want to hear names like Panasonic, Samsung all the big names. If you don’t hear a name you recognize, just ask a little bit more, they actually might be related to a larger company. You also want to ask about the capacity of the battery. A very common rating is 36 volts and 10Aph. On this type of battery rating, you can get 20 to 40 miles per charge, depending on your riding style and how much you pedal. That’s a very good base line to start with.
Ask about the motor.
Ask the vendor about the wattage in the motor bolt, the continuous wattage rating and peak wattage rating. The number you typically see on your screen when you are doing internet research is the continuous wattage rating. For example; you might see 500W, that means that’s the wattage that the motor is able to put out on a continuous level for the duration of the charge. The peak wattage rating is what the motor is capable of on heavy load situations. Climbing a hill for example naturally draws more current from the battery. It is good to know both numbers, not just the continuous wattage number.
Ask about the bike components.
It came to my mind that electric bikes are bikes first and the electric part is secondary, so ask about the bike itself. You want to about what kind of componentry is involved especially the shifting system and the braking systems, You want to hear names like Shram or Shimano, but also inquire about the motor of the particular component that’s in place. Shimano has a broad spectrum of the rails that they put out, for example. Some are on bikes that cost $150, but sometimes, they have bikes derails by themselves that cost $150, so there is quite the spectrum there. Make sure you know specifically what you are getting into, don’t settle with just the manufacturer’s name.
Ask about their customer service.
There is an invincible part of the bike that’s really keen, it’s the customer service component. Ask about the warranty. Warranties that are 12, 18 or 24 months are pretty common. You also want to know what the response time is like with the customer service department. In a pre-sale situation, ask them a question by phone or email, and see how long that takes to get back to you. If you hear from them in 24hrs, that’s pretty good, if it takes a week for them to respond, you should see some red flags. If they are this way before the sale, what will it be like after the sale? If you need help, the customer service department is going to be your first point of contact.
There are a number of things you want to ask about, ask about the battery, ask about the motor, and ask about the components on the bike and do a little research on their customer service.
What other questions would you ask when shopping for an electric bike?