7 things you need to know when buying a refurbished e-bike (2024)

So, you want to join the e-bike craze. This makes sense: sophisticated, healthy, and environmentally green, many Dutchies are ditching their rusty old bikes for the one and only e-bike.

However, the e-bike isn’t exactly the cheapest pair of wheels out there, which leads many Dutch people to take the route of buying a refurbished bike as opposed to a brand new one — it’s a sustainable, smart, and wallet-friendly move.

There are many perks involved in owning these snazzy contraptions. However, to stay on the safe side, here are 7 things to look out for before buying a refurbished e-bike. 🚴🏻‍♀️

1. Check for damage and tears

What kind of shape is the bike in right now? This is an important question that shouldn’t be skipped.

When buying a refurbished electric bike, there are many telltale signs that will say a lot about how the electric bike was treated and cared for in the past — which will also give you an idea of what to expect later on.

7 things you need to know when buying a refurbished e-bike (1)

Take out your notepad and check your potential e-bike for the following red flags 🚩:

  • rough scratches,
  • rusty spots,
  • dents,
  • or flat tires

These elements are all signs of misuse and could mean additional repair costs will be needed down the line — niet fijn!

Make sure to also check the components that are prone to tears, such as

  • tires,
  • brakes,
  • chains,
  • gears,
  • and sprockets

2. Consider the battery status

Repeat after me: battery quality and remaining battery life are echt belangrijk (very important) factors in determining the value of any e-bike.

Much like how you don’t want to buy a MacBook with a heavily used battery, you don’t want to buy a refurbished e-bike with a battery that’s on its last legs.

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While e-bikes might make you look and feel like you’re living in the year 3000, its battery won’t live forever. We’re not going to get too specific about it, but the gist of it is this: as batteries get older, they won’t hold a charge as well as if they were brand new. This means that battery capacity drops and drains faster.

New batteries are anything but cheap, so be careful to check up on the bike’s battery health when buying a refurbished e-bike. You don’t want to end up coughing up the cash, and then paying half of the price of a new bike to replace the battery after one month.

Upway is a budget-friendly online marketplace for refurbished electric bicycles. They provide a 1-year warranty for all major components of your e-bike. In addition, the state of each battery is fully evaluated and replaced or reconditioned to get it close to the original level.

3. Understand mileage vs. age

Your bike’s overall state will affect every aspect of its performance, especially the mileage. Wear and tear after long-time use will not only affect your bike’s performance but will also require you to use more energy to pedal.

Hold on, what’s mileage? 🤷‍♀️ For those of you who don’t know e-bike terms just yet, the mileage of your e-bike’s battery refers to the distance it can travel on a full charge before it needs to be recharged.

This means that if you want to know how much the e-bike has been used by the original owner, the easiest way to do this is by checking the mileage.

Most e-bikes have a built-in speedometer, which gives you an idea of how many kilometres the e-bike has left to give. This is an important factor for the overall condition of the bike and should be reflected in the asking price — so make sure to check it.

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You should also consider the age of the bike. Age before beauty? Kind of — don’t be discouraged from buying an older e-bike. Instead, consider age and mileage together to evaluate how ‘used’ the bike is.

If you observe that your e-bike’s battery isn’t getting decent mileage anymore, that’s a sign that you will need a replacement in the near future, meaning you’ll have to cough up the cash.

4. Determine what kind of e-bike best suits your needs

Time for the fun part: choosing what kind of e-bike you want to ride every day! There are a ton of styles, ranges, and sizes to choose from, which can get overwhelming.

Here are a few questions to help you narrow down your search:

Do you need to travel far and get there fast?

We recommend the Hybrid/City E-bikes. Built for balance, this type of e-bike provides extra power with each pedal stroke, speeding up your daily commutes, even in the worst crowded city streets.

Do you need an upright seating position for comfort? Or support for older people?

We recommend the Comfort/Cruiser e-bikes. True to its name, this model allows users to cycle in an upright riding position, it has swept-back handlebars, and a comfy seat, making cycling a relaxed and laid-back experience for any age.

Do you frequently have to carry a lot of cargo?

Then you should opt for Cargo e-bikes. These are perfect for those needing to transport children to school or carry heavy groceries. This type of model makes it an easy ride by providing a large trunk in the front and a platform in the back.

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Do you want to be able to take your e-bike on the metro or train?

Then opt for folding e-bikes. Their convenient design that folds in half makes them practical to transport and can also fit in small spaces.

Do you need a lot of gear to make it easier to ride in the great outdoors?

We recommend mountain/off-road e-bikes. If you plan on cycling on dirt trails, uneven paths, or steep inclines, this bike features multiple gears, rugged tires, and a powerful motor to make your next outdoor adventure a good one.

By asking yourself these questions, you can determine which category of e-bikes is made for your needs.

Tip! Another thing to consider before you decide on your purchase is brand reputation. Does the e-bike brand have a solid track record with good reviews? Top!

5. Consider the availability of spare parts and services

Will you be able to get your hands on spare parts when needed? This is something important to consider.

Life happens, which means chances are that at one point or another, you’ll need to replace or repair a part of your e-bike, such as your brake rotors or battery pack. These repairs are difficult to pull off and are certainly not cheap.

This is why it’s key to purchase your e-bike from a trustworthy and well-known source. If an e-bike’s components were made by reputable manufacturers, there shouldn’t be a problem in getting new parts.

READ MORE | Meet Upway: the new online marketplace for refurbished e-bikes (that won’t make your wallet cry)

Your refurbished e-bike should be expertly checked and serviced regularly, this greatly reduces the chances of major damage.

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6. Take the e-bike out for a test ride

To see if a refurbished e-bike is your long-lasting partner, you should first try to take it out for a test spin. This way, you’ll be able to feel if it’s comfortable, supportive, and does what it needs to do.

Do you hear something click, rattle, or drag while you’re cycling? Are the brakes working properly? Is the saddle in proportion to your height? All these things can be answered by riding the e-bike yourself.

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​​If possible, go to your nearest park or car park and give it a go, while mentally taking note of your riding position. You should try switching the engine on and off a couple of times, ride the bike with different levels of assistance, and see if you’re comfortable with how the components interact.

Ask yourself a simple question: would you feel safe riding the e-bike if there were a lot of cars on the highway or if you were to cycle in the rain? Your e-bike is supposed to make you feel comfortable in any type of situation, so consider this before you fully commit. Ready? Set, go!

Upway offers a wide range of certified refurbished e-bikes consisting of over 120 brands. When making your choice, they’ll help you consider factors such as usage, price, engine position, battery capacity, weight, and frame type. Not satisfied? Geen probleem! Upway has a 14-day trial period.

7. Always get that warranty

So, you’re cruising with your e-bike when your chain suddenly wears out, or your brakes stop working, leaving you stranded.

That’s not an ideal situation, but when it comes to e-bikes, it’s important to factor in that, much like regular ol’ bikes, they have some parts that are prone to wear and tear.

For example, it can be very easy for rocks, mud, or sticks to get tangled and lock up your electric bike. With Dutch rainy weather, it’s safe to say this can happen quite often.

This is where your warranty comes in to save you from spending unnecessary big bucks and bring your e-bike back to life.

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When you buy a used e-bike from a private person, you’re not necessarily going to get a warranty alongside your purchase. However, trustworthy services that stand behind their products will offer them.

By having a warranty at arm’s reach, there is no need to panic next time something happens to your e-bike.

When done right, buying a refurbished e-bike is a great way to cut back on expenses and remains a sustainable option while living in the Netherlands. So arm yourself with these tips, and find yourself your dream wheels. 👀

What is your experience with buying a refurbished e-bike? Tell us in the comments below!

7 things you need to know when buying a refurbished e-bike (2024)

FAQs

7 things you need to know when buying a refurbished e-bike? ›

Two aspects to consider are: how upright the riding style is; and classic versus step-thru frames. The more traditional road bike or mountain bike has the rider leaning forward quite a bit. A lot of people will find an upright riding style more comfortable, as is found in cruiser bikes and a number of 'commuter' bikes.

What should you look for when buying an ebike? ›

Two aspects to consider are: how upright the riding style is; and classic versus step-thru frames. The more traditional road bike or mountain bike has the rider leaning forward quite a bit. A lot of people will find an upright riding style more comfortable, as is found in cruiser bikes and a number of 'commuter' bikes.

What is the life expectancy of an e-bike? ›

On average, ebikes last around 10 years. That number can be higher or lower depending on the type of bike and how you use it. If you are conscientious about caring for your ebike, it can last well over a decade. However, various parts like motors and chains will need to be periodically replaced even with proper care.

What questions should I ask when buying an ebike? ›

What Questions Should I Ask Before Buying an Electric Bike?
  • Ask about the battery. Ask the vendor who the manufacturer is. ...
  • Ask about the motor. Ask the vendor about the wattage in the motor bolt, the continuous wattage rating and peak wattage rating. ...
  • Ask about the bike components. ...
  • Ask about their customer service.
Sep 3, 2020

How much do you have to spend to get a good eBike? ›

For a good quality, serviceable electric bike, the starting price range can be $1,500-$2,500 with options that can go much higher. The average price of an e-bike is about $2,000. Entry-level electric bikes are about $1,000.

How do you inspect an electric bike? ›

5 things to check before riding your e-Bike
  1. Tyre checks. The simplest way to check your tyre pressure is by pressing down on them. ...
  2. Brake checks. It's crucial that you check your brakes are working properly so that you can ride your e-Bike safely. ...
  3. Battery checks. ...
  4. Magnet/Cable checks. ...
  5. Motor checks.
Dec 10, 2021

How long does ebike batteries last? ›

In perfect conditions, the battery in an electric bike can last up to 8 years. However, because lithium batteries slowly decline in capacity over time, a more realistic lifespan is between 3 to 5 years. For Blix batteries, you can expect a 25,000 mile (500-800 charging cycle) lifetime.

What is considered a Class 2 ebike? ›

Class 2: A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.

What is the common problem of ebike? ›

Hub motors power E-bikes; hub motor noise is a major problem with most electric bikes. Hub motor issues occur when the gears, bearings, or disk brake are already sapped. Occasionally, hub motor noise may arise from a loose bolt, and simply tightening the loose part or replacing the old parts can fix the problem.

What is good and bad about Ebikes? ›

They are fast, efficient, environmentally friendly, and fun to ride. Of course, there are some drawbacks as well. Ebikes can be expensive and heavy and the range can be poor.

What is important in an ebike? ›

The design tradeoff is performance versus riding range. A more powerful motor delivers more speed for keeping up with traffic and more torque for climbing hills and hauling cargo. A more powerful motor also burns up the battery faster, reducing your riding range.

How often do eBike batteries need to be replaced? ›

Generally speaking, a high-quality eBike battery can last anywhere from 2 – 5 years. Of course, that depends on a number of things including the type of battery itself and just how well you take care of it. The most common battery found in electric bikes nowadays is a lithium battery.

How many miles can an electric bike go without pedaling? ›

The distance an electric bike can go without pedaling depends on several factors, including the battery capacity, the power of the motor, and the terrain. On average, e-bikes with a fully charged battery can travel between 20 to 60 miles, depending on the level of assistance used.

Are electric bikes high maintenance? ›

Because e-bikes are heavier, and people tend to ride them faster and over longer distances, e-bikes will typically require more frequent maintenance; it's a good idea, for example, to monitor the wear on your tires, brake pads, chain and drivetrain regularly.

What are the 3 types of e-bikes? ›

There are three basic Class/Types of electric bikes:
  • TYPE 1 E-Bike: Pedal Assist, is an electric bicycle on which you must pedal in order to use the motor. ...
  • TYPE 2 E-Bike: Throttle Only, is an e-bike equipped with a motor controlled by a throttle. ...
  • TYPE 3 E-Bike: Pedal Assist 28mph.

What are two pros and two cons of e-bikes? ›

Conclusion
Pros of ebikesCons of ebikes
Easier to rideMore expensive
Keeps you fit and healthyHeavier
If the battery runs out, you can still rideHeavy without motor support
You can sell a used ebike and still make moneyMore sought after and therefore more likely to be stolen
5 more rows
Oct 8, 2020

Do electric bikes charge when you pedal? ›

Generally speaking, most electric bikes do not charge when you pedal. They need their batteries to be plugged into a power outlet to be powered. However, some models offer the possibility of charging while you pedal, although this is often very inefficient.

Is a 500w ebike enough? ›

Generally speaking, for the average person an efficiently designed e-bike provides more than enough power at 500w or less. In fact, increasing the watts on your e-bike comes with disadvantages.

Is a 1000 watt ebike good? ›

Overall, a 1000W E-bike is a great option for riders looking for a powerful and capable bike that can easily tackle steep inclines and challenging terrain.

How long does an ebike last per charge? ›

A single e-bike battery can be charged thousands of times before a rider needs to replace it, with each charge taking riders ~100 to 120 km on a standard electric bike. Here's a quick look at the different types of electric bike batteries, as well as some suggestions for extending your battery's life.

How often does an ebike need servicing? ›

Regular Tune-Up

As a generally easy to remember rule, you should at least service your bike every six months or about every 1,000 miles of riding. However, this is a very average estimate, and the best service routine will be based on how often and how intensely you ride.

Should I charge my ebike after every ride? ›

It is good practice to recharge as soon as is reasonably possible after the battery goes flat. We recommend charging after every ride, that way your electric bike is always ready for your next outing. Switch off the battery before charging. (If the battery has a switch on it).

Is it OK to leave battery in Ebike? ›

Furthermore, e-bike batteries that are charging should never be left unattended. If you're charging your e-bike in the garage, set a timer to remind yourself to unplug it when it's done, and if you're leaving the house, unplug it and finish charging it when you return.

Is it OK to leave ebike battery plugged in? ›

Yes, you can leave your electric bike battery charging overnight. There's no need to worry about overcharging or over-draining your e-bike battery.

What does Class 1 2 and 3 mean in electric bikes? ›

Class 1: Pedal-assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 2: Pedal-assist or throttle; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 3: Pedal assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 28 mph.

Do you need a helmet for a Class 2 eBike? ›

You must wear an approved helmet while operating or riding on an electric bicycle in California if you are 17 or under. If you are 18 or older, you do not need to wear a helmet on a standard bicycle, Class 1 eBike, or Class 2 eBike. You must, however, wear a helmet while riding a Class 3 eBike, moped, or motorcycle.

Do Class 2 Ebikes need pedals? ›

However, Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle that allows the rider to engage the motor without pedaling. This means that the bike can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour without the rider having to pedal, making them more suitable for commuting or leisurely riding than for fitness purposes.

Why are ebikes blowing up? ›

Almost every fire incident in an e-bike happens due to overheating. Heat is a bike's enemy and so you need to ensure the battery doesn't overheat at any point. The heat makes the battery expand, which leads to explosions and fires.

Why are people against ebikes? ›

Some cyclists hate e-bikes because they think that e-bikes are cheating, not real bikes, or can degrade trails on national lands. However, with some temperance, it's easy to see that everyone rides bikes for different and equally viable reasons.

Do ebike motors wear out? ›

Most electric bike motors last between 3 to 10 years. As you can see, the motors can vary in life span but they are regarded as one of the longest service life parts.

What is high mileage for an ebike? ›

An average e-bike chain should be good for 2-3k miles. Depending on the type of motor and the sort of riding you will be doing, the number of miles on this can swing either way a good 20-50%. Many commuter e-bikes will hit 3.5k miles or more before needing to change their chain.

How many gears should an electric bike have? ›

Ebikes don't need as many gears and only have one chainring and, typically, 6-9 gears on their cassette.

Are Ebikes more efficient than walking? ›

While an e-bike will burn about the same number of calories as brisk walking, its energy expenditure is less than consistent light jogging. Nevertheless, riding an e-bike is much easier on your body than walking. Both are excellent for your health, but the e-bike is more convenient and faster.

Do you have to pedal all eBikes? ›

The answer is yes—and no. There are some e-bikes that feature a throttle, which will allow you to ride without pedaling. However, that feature does come with some downsides. Other types e-bikes, including both of the Bluejay models, require riders to pedal in order to engage the battery and the motor.

What are the 3 essential components of an e-bike drive system? ›

In most electric bike drive systems there are 3 main components; the motor, the drive train and the battery.

What to look for in ebike motor? ›

If you're considering a hub-driven e-bike, find out whether the motor is geared or direct-drive. Each design has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, geared motors are better for low-speed, high-torque applications, and direct-drive motors are better for high-speed uses.

How many watts does an eBike need? ›

Typical eBike batteries range from about 300 watt-hours (abbreviated WH) to about 1,000 WH. The last would more often than not be expressed as 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh), kilo being the prefix indicating 1,000.

What are the three levels of eBikes? ›

Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted. Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.

Is the higher watts the better for eBike? ›

E-bike motors with a high watt output will deliver faster acceleration, more zip when riding up hills, and generally better performance for heavier riders.

How far does a 350 watt electric bike go? ›

The Vortex series features the 350 Watt Rear Hub Motor with a 36v Lithium Cell Removable Battery to provide riding distances of 30-55 kms (18-33 miles) on one charge. The bike features both pedal assist and throttle only mode.

What is the difference between a 250w and a 500w electric bike? ›

One of the main differences between a 250w e-bike and the 500w version is its hill-climbing power. A 500w can take up to 130 kilograms of weight, while the 250w motor is better for lightweight riders. And finally, 500w ebike top speed can reach up to 32 km/h, while the 250 watts model can go as fast as 24 km/h.

How far can a 500w eBike go? ›

Standard e-bikes with 400-500W batteries would ride up to 100-120 km on one charge. Simple city e-bikes would normally run 50-60 km on a single charge.

What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 ebikes? ›

Class 1: Pedal-assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 2: Pedal-assist or throttle; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 3: Pedal assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 28 mph.

What is a Level 2 e-bike? ›

Technical Overview. The Level.2 comes out of the box as a Class II ebike, with pedal assist and throttle going up to 20 MPH . It can be unlocked to a Class III ebike and can go up to 28 MPH on pedal assist.

What class is a 750 watt ebike? ›

Class 1 e-bikes have a maximum power output of 750 watts, making them powerful enough to tackle steep hills but not too powerful to be a safety hazard on the road.

How many watts is a powerful ebike? ›

750-watt motors: These are the most powerful e-bike motors available, and they can provide significant speed and acceleration. However, they are also the most energy-intensive and may not be legal in many areas.

How fast is 500W in mph? ›

If you're looking at a 500-watt motor, that's gonna be able to get you to a top speed of about 20 miles an hour.

Can a 500W e-bike climb a hill? ›

500W Electric Bike Uphill

Of course, hill climbing performance will vary from rider to rider and motor to motor, but it's safe to assume that a 500W will perform well on the average hill.

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