E-bikes offer many advantages over conventional bicycles. Not least because of this, e-bikes are on the shopping list of many people. With an e-bike, you get the benefits of a regular bicycle plus the added benefit of electric propulsion, making it easier and less sweaty to reach your destination.
The problem is that new e-bikes can be quite expensive, especially compared to the lowest tier of regular bikes. So the solution could be to buy a used e-bike. But is it worth it?
What is the difference between buying a used e-bike and buying a normal used bicycle?
E-bikes are assisted by an electric motor powered by a battery. With the help of this electric motor, the engine of an e-bike can help to supplement the power of the pedal rider. If your e-bike has a throttle, it is possible to ride the e-bike like a traditional electric motorcycle. All you have to do is hit the throttle and you’re on your way without having to pedal.
The amount of time you can accelerate or receive electrical assistance while pedaling depends on the capacity of the battery. This is the main difference between buying a used e-bike and buying a regular bike. Similar to buying a used electric vehicle, the most important thing to consider during the purchase inspection is the wear and tear of the battery.
This is especially important if the e-bike you are considering buying has an integrated battery that cannot be removed. If you are considering buying an e-bike with a removable battery, you can ultimately swap out the battery if needed. Regardless, you need to analyze whether it is cost-effective.
How much does it cost to replace an e-bike battery?
The cost of replacing your e-bike’s battery depends on the capacity of the battery itself. But sometimes the cost of replacing the battery can be very high. This is especially true if you’re buying a powerful e-bike with a large battery. For example, the Delfast Top 3.0i is an amazing e-bike with a super powerful electric motor and a large battery.
The Delfast Top 3.0i even has a Guinness World Record for range. If you want to replace the battery of this device, you can order a new 72V 48Ah battery from Delfast, which will net you a whopping $2,499. If you’re also considering replacing the electric motor, which may eventually fail, you’re looking at a combined price that may not make sense.
A new motor (including the wheel and tire combo) for Delfast’s Top 3.0i bike costs $1,119. That’s already a combined cost of $3,618, which is more than 50% of the cost of buying an entirely new model, on top of the money you’re already paying for the used bike itself. In this case, all you can do is pray that the battery and motor will last, because if they fail you may want to spend more on a used bike than buying it new outright.
This is a dilemma that any prospective buyer should consider, especially when purchasing a bike worth a significant amount of money.
What are the advantages of buying a used e-bike?
The main benefit of buying a used e-bike is getting a discount on the purchase price. Buying an e-bike can be a significant investment, especially if you are considering a model that is priced at the top end. Some e-bikes can cost upwards of $10,000, making purchasing one of these devices a major financial commitment.
So if you can save on the price by buying a used bike, this method may be worth it for some people. If you are thinking about buying a used e-bike, it is very important that you make sure that the device is in good condition. The integrity of the entire bike can tell a lot about how well it has been cared for. If the bike is in abysmal overall condition, and you can tell that maintenance wasn’t a priority for the previous owner, you can assume battery health is going in the same direction.
Much like taking care of an electric vehicle battery, taking care of your e-bike battery requires certain precautions. For example, the battery should not be exposed to continuously discharged states of charge, as this damages the battery at a chemical level. So if all the telltale signs of abuse are there, chances are the owner didn’t take proper care of the battery either.
What are the disadvantages of buying a used e-bike?
Buying a used e-bike may have more disadvantages than advantages. This is mainly due to the price of the battery and the motor. When you buy a used e-bike, the bike may not have been properly maintained, which may also be why the person is selling it in the first place. If you are concerned about this, you should have the device checked by an e-bike specialist.
If the e-bike has been severely abused, it is not only the battery and motor that are at risk of failure. Bicycle tires, gears, brakes, and suspension components are also subject to significant wear and tear. So if you don’t do thorough research when buying a used e-bike, you could end up paying for all those maintenance items.
Depending on the price of the bike it might not be worth it. With very expensive bikes, the components are also expensive, so the replacement starts to add up. Even with cheaper bikes, these components quickly add up and make the initial investment questionable. Sometimes buying a new bike might be the best route, especially if it comes with a battery and motor warranty.
Buying a used e-bike can become more expensive in the long run
The desire to save money is understandable, but with e-bikes it might be better to buy a new one. This allows you to enjoy the peace of mind of owning a piece of equipment that you know has not undergone significant wear and tear, and the addition of a warranty to protect an e-bike’s most important parts is not to be underestimated.
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