I have written a short list of things to consider when buying a second hand electric bike. Many customers looking for ebikes are tempted by ‘too good to be true’ deals on second hand ebikes. Well before you buy a used electric bicycle consult this list.
If you have to buy a second hand ebike make sure it is from a reputable ebike shop.
Buying a second hand ebike from a recently opened ebike business could spell trouble if things go wrong further down the line. As we have found over the years, many new ebike businesses fail within the first 3 years of opening due to a lack of experience in business or the bicycle trade in general. Look for a business that have been selling ebikes for many years, one that can offer genuine experience of ebikes across multiple brands and electric power systems. For example we have been selling ebikes since 1996! We also service ANY brand of electric bike if they use the Bosch, Yamaha or FLYON ebike systems. We have full Bosch, FLYON and Yamaha trained eBike Technicians and diagnostics software.
Check to see if the eBike Shop you are buying from offer any guarantee’s on the used electric bike. For example we give a 12 week FREE labour warranty in store on our second hand bikes. Have you got peace of mind if something goes wrong?
Check how many miles the bike has done, and if possible check it against any built in odometers or diagnostics reports. YES it is possible to clock an eBike. So BUYER BEWARE!
Also be careful if purchasing from ebay, or selling page like facebook or gumtree. The ads can sometimes be fake, and are designed to scam people. So don’t part with your hard earned cash unless you are certain the advert is legitimate. Also no one should be paying for an electric bike without having seen it in the flesh first.
Check the eBike’s history
Why is it being sold second hand? Often it will be because of a developed fault or loss of charge ability in the battery. Don’t forget to ask yourself: “If this ebike is so awesome, why is it being sold on?” If an electric battery powered bike is being sold due to lack of use, you may need to check that the battery is still in good working order and holding it’s charge. A battery that has been sitting unused for sometime can corrode and/or lose it’s range capabilities. We have battery capacity testing available in store for Bosch eBike Systems. You can get a printed report of your battery health to help you make the right buying decision.
We have full eBike Diagnostics for Bosch eBike systems, so if you are looking for a Bosch powered eBike like a used Raleigh Motus or second hand Haibike electric mountain bike you could get the current owner to get a full diagnostics report from their local Bosch trained centre. This will flag up any software updates needed, errors in the Drive unit, Battery or Head unit and can tell you if the bike has been misused (for example maximum and minimum battery temperatures and total charge cycles).
When was the bike last serviced? What was carried out? Where do they get the bike serviced?
Are replacement Parts & Batteries readily available if something goes wrong?
As ebikes get older the models can become obsolete and replacement parts can be a nightmare to source. You could also find that if an ebike system is not widely used it may be very expensive to source parts as a company may have a monopoly on the product’s service items.
One of the reasons we hold the Bosch systems in such high regard is that over 80 major bicycle brands use their electric bike power system, this instantly means that replacement parts are much easier to come buy and with that you have a competitiveness with price.
Inspect the bike closely
Never buy an ebike with a cracked or scratched battery case. You never know what lies beneath, and it is most likely to be a sign of misuse or an accident. Lithium batteries are especially volatile when damaged and if they alight cannot be extinguished easily. Remember a damaged battery is a major fire hazard, the fumes from a lithium battery fire are also potentially deadly. Another reason to stick with a major brand like Bosch, that have multiple safety features built into their hardware and software.
Here is a quick list of standard used electric bicycle things to look out for.
Don’t overlook the basics!
Check tyres for wear or degradation
Check wheels spin freely and are not buckled or damaged
Check rims for wear
Check hubs for play
Check pedals for play
Check Bottom bracket for play
Check Headset for play
Check frame weld joins for cracks
Check brake block wear
Check chain wear
Check cables for rust
Check the derailleur is not damaged and the derailleur hanger is not bent
Check cables move freely and gears and brakes engage correctly
Check accessories fitted to bike are safe and will not interfere with riding
Check electrical cables running into frame or components
Check the battery charger works and cables are not damaged.
Check the battery works and delivers power. Get a battery capacity test performed if at all possible.
Check the control buttons work and the display correctly functions
If you get a test ride, cycle over a few bumps and see if power stays steady.
Test all power modes.
Check handlebars are tight & safe
Check brake levers are not scratched or bent (which could be a sign the ebike has fallen over or been in a crash)
Check the gear changers and side of pedals for grazes (another sign bike has fallen over or been in a crash)
CHECK THAT THERE ARE NO FAULT LIGHTS SHOWING
Check that the diagnostics show no faults and everything is to be expected. Also request a print out if possible.
Okay so finally, this is just a guide, please ask a professional for their opinion before making a buying decision and don’t forget:
THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO WITH A SECOND HAND EBIKE IS GET IT SERVICED AT YOUR LOCAL E-BIKE SHOP! The things above should be checked by a professional at your local electric bike store.
If your ebike is powered by a Bosch, Yamaha or FLYON system, and you are local, please contact us.
38-42 Kingston Broadway
Shoreham By Sea
Tel 01273 596368
Bosch eBike Expert