Second-hand e-bikes?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Slowroad
Posts: 797
Joined: 28 Jun 2008, 9:58pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby Slowroad » 6 Jan 2020, 3:59pm

Hi there, wondered if any of you have advice about which brands to look for second-hand? A friend is looking for one - and I'm also interested in the longer term! It would be pulling a loaded trailer, don't know if that makes a difference?
Thanks!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

yakdiver
Posts: 1243
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 2:54pm
Location: North Baddesley Hampshire

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby yakdiver » 6 Jan 2020, 4:43pm

Find out the price of a new battery first before parting with any money
Alias Numbnuts

hemo
Posts: 840
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby hemo » 6 Jan 2020, 11:34pm

If a used bike is over two years old the in reality you have to look at the battery as zero value, as you will have no idea if it will last 6 months or six years. You cannot afford to take a sellers assurance at face value because a new one can be up to £600 or £700 for say a Bosch or Yam one or possibly can be re-celled for about £300.

Biospace
Posts: 25
Joined: 24 Jun 2019, 12:23pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby Biospace » 13 Jan 2020, 9:08pm

To try and sort out what works well for me without splurging thousands I've tried as many as possible and bought a couple of cheapies. I've used them for nipping 4-5 miles to the local shops, the return is a long uphill which takes a while when it's just me pushing against gravity.

The second, a 2012-ish Raleigh Velo Trail with seven thousand miles on the odo probably came closest to what I'd want with its reasonable frame, torque-sensing assistance (so much better than cadence sensors), decent quality cells and a willing hub motor pulling the bike. It was well enough put together to stand a good chance of a continuing reliably for another 7k and had a carefree feel - I enjoyed it. The batteries were original and easily pushed me along 25 miles and up 8-900 feet on medium assist.

The first was a UK-assembled generic ebike with a mid-mounted crank drive motor, similar mileage. It was less lively than the Raleigh's front hub drive, even though it was geared (and the batteries had been replaced/upgraded less than a thousand miles ago by the previous owner), but by far the worst bit for me was the frame, which was not good. The upside was that if anything had stopped working, the company had a superb reputation for supporting their products, and for a fraction of the price of a big brand with specific control systems.

Friends' really expensive ebikes have been used a few times, by far the biggest difference over cheaper ones is the quality of the non-electric/electronic components.

Conclusions? Motors which drive through the chain and sprockets create more problems than they solve imho, batteries create a degree of instability when mounted over the rear wheel (and the bike is carrying no other weighty luggage), front hub drive is just fine and top brand batteries are worth the extra cost over generics. Against popular belief I think I prefer motor drive on the front wheel rather than adding it to your own effort through the back, which on an otherwise superb Giant could upset it a bit away from the smoothest tarmac, when both you and motor were working hard.

In the shed's depths a 90s DB Ascent and a Bear Valley lurk, I reckon either would serve well with an electric motor kit added. For under £800 I'd have a brand new, decent size battery, the latest electronics and choice of motor on a quality bike.
Last edited by Biospace on 13 Jan 2020, 9:24pm, edited 1 time in total.

mattsccm
Posts: 3463
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby mattsccm » 13 Jan 2020, 9:19pm

As with anything battery driven, assume the batteries are knackered. The rest is so personal as to be up to you. Any design will have its fan's. Try to talk to people who do what you do and do nothing without riding first.
Did I mention batteries?

Slowroad
Posts: 797
Joined: 28 Jun 2008, 9:58pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby Slowroad » 14 Jan 2020, 4:55pm

Thanks all - really useful. I'll pass it on. :-)
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

nez
Posts: 1840
Joined: 19 Jun 2008, 12:11am

Re: Second-hand e-bikes?

Postby nez » 14 Jan 2020, 11:13pm

My wife has a Koga e-Runner, a sort of classic Dutch housewife's bike with an electric motor. It's absolutely beautifully made and I sometimes ride it myself. I love it. It's about 5 yrs old and I think much nicer than the British ones of the period, which look like they were made from scaffolding. However I have just bought a new battery for it - £600! Of course if you can pick up a nice Koga or something similar for a good price and factor in the £600 you might find a bargain... but I'd never expect to lay out less than £100 for something good.