Buying a used electric bike is an idea that many people think about it for several reasons, and in fact, having a used electric bike is not a bad idea at all.
I personally welcome it as an idea especially if you are on a tight budget or want to try electric bikes for the first time.
Although buying a used electric bike is a good idea, you should take into account many things that can be a bit confusing.
That is why in this post we will explain the process of picking a used electric bike, starting from the stage of choosing the right category and size for you, passing through the best places from which to pick a used electric bike, and then the most important tips and tests that you must do at the time of purchase.
Before we start with the plan of picking a used electric bike, we will first take a general idea of the advantages and disadvantages of having a used electric bike.
Advantages and disadvantages of buying a used electric bike.
Advantages of buying a used electric bike.
1- Low price.
The first advantage of buying a used electric bike is its low price compared to new electric bikes, and here I am not talking about a small difference in price, as it is possible to pick a used electric bike for a quarter of its original price!
However, the matter is, of course, subject to many factors, including the condition of the ebike and also the accessories added to the ebike.
But in general, the low price is one of the most important advantages.
The second best advantage of buying a used electric bike is that it is available and you will not have to wait for a long delivery time compared to ordering a new electric bike.
All you need is to go to the place where you will pick up the electric bike and if all goes well you will take it at the same time you pay.
3-A Lot of options are available.
In the last three years, the market for used electric bikes in the United States and Europe has become full of many choices due to people’s desire to buy electric bikes as it has many advantages
As a natural result of the desire to buy electric bikes, the market for used electric bikes is filled with many options that will certainly suit your needs.
4- A good option for beginners.
Among the advantages of buying a used electric bike is that it is one of the best choices for beginners in the world of electric bikes because if you got a used electric bike for the first time and it wasn’t interesting for you, you can sell it or keep it without using it and it will not be a huge loss because its price was low As you didn’t pay hundreds of dollars for it.
On the contrary, if you bought a new ebike and decided not to use it, in this case, the loss will be huge.
Disadvantages of owning a used electric bike.
After we took a quick look at the advantages, we will share with you the most important disadvantages of owning a used electric bike.
1- No or Limited warranty.
Depending on the place you purchased your used electric bike from, it will determine whether there is a warranty on the bike or not
For example, if you got a used electric bike from an electric bike shop, they may give you a warranty for a short period, such as a week or a month at most.
But if you got a used electric bike from ordinary people, there will be no warranty.
This is one of the most important disadvantages that you should take into account when deciding to buy a used electric bike.
2- It May be a stolen ebike.
The second disadvantage of buying a used electric bike is that it may be stolen, especially if you bought it from ordinary people and not from an electric bike shop.
We will dedicate a part of this article to explain the tips that you can follow in order to protect yourself from buying a stolen electric bike.
3- Color limitations.
One of the disadvantages that you can encounter when buying a used electric bike is that the colors may be limited for you.
For example, it is possible to find a used electric bike that is in very good condition and has a suitable price, but the color is not suitable for you.
Although you can overcome this point by placing stickers that are likable to you, there are some people who do not like this method, so this point is considered among the disadvantages.
And now that we have mentioned the most important disadvantages and advantages of buying a used electric bike.
Let’s start our journey with the steps for buying a used electric bike.
Step 1: Know what you need in your used ebike.
Before you start with the tips and tests for the used electric bike, you should first know what you need in the electric bike because when buying a used bike, it is not about money, but about your needs.
What I’m trying to say here is that knowing your actual needs in an electric bike will make it easier for you to compare different ebikes.
For example, if your most need is a bike with a motor of 500 watts, and you found two bikes at the same price, one of 500 watts and the other 750 watts, and the last one was not in good condition, in this case, selecting the 500-watt bike and leave the bike 750 watts, will be is the right decision
Here are some points that will help you determine your needs for an electric bike.
1- Know your ebike size.
Knowing the right electric bike size for you is one of the first things you should take into consideration.
As a general rule, you can determine the size of the electric bike by measuring your height and your inseam, then choosing the size of the electric bike that fits or is more than two inches from your size, bearing in mind that the length measurement must be while you are wearing shoes.
You can view this post that explains in detail how to determine the right bike size for you.
Which motor should you get?
As a general rule, the life span of a hub motor for an electric bike ranges between 10,000 to 15,000 miles when cared for, which is approximately 3 to 5 years.
As for the mid-drive motor, its life span ranges between 15,000 to 20,000 miles when cared for, which is equivalent to 5 to 7 years.
For more details: How Long Do Electric Bike Motors Last? Hub VS Mid-Drive
3- How much motor torque you will need?
Determining the torque that you will need in the electric bike is important because the presence of high torque increases the versatility of using the electric bike.
As a general rule, an electric bike should have a torque between 40 to 80 Newtons, taking into account the wind force, the total weight of the bike and the driver, as well as the degree of incline of the road, Pedaling & rolling resistance, as these factors, affect the amount of torque required.
you can check this post which explains in detail how to choose the right motor torque based on your needs.
4-know what size of tires you need?
One of the things to consider when determining the need for a used electric bike is the type of tire that will suit your daily use.
what is meant by the tire size of an electric bike is the rim size, not the outer diameter, which explains the large size of a 26-inch bicycle tire, but the outer diameter is larger than the 27.5-inch bike size, and the outer diameter is small.
For more info: How Do You Know What Size Tires Will Fit My Ebike?
Check also: Can You Ride A Fat Tire Ebike On Pavement?
Now that we have defined the most important points that will help you determine your needs in the used electric bike, let us move on to the second step, which is determining the places where we will look for the used electric bike.
Step 2: Places to buy A Used ebike.
In general, there are two ways to buy a used electric bike, either from an electric bike shop or by searching online.
Pros & Cons of buying a used ebike from ebike shop.
Although buying a used electric bike from an electric bike shop has many advantages, there are still some disadvantages, So in this part, I will share with you the most important of these disadvantages and advantages as well.
Pros of buying a used ebike from ebike shop.
1- All ebike components were tested
When an electric bike shop sells a used electric bike, before offering it, they subject the bike to a major inspection of almost every part of the bike, and that’s for two reasons.
First, in order for the shop to guarantee that it has a good reputation in the market.
The second reason is that it will often give you a warranty on the bike, which means that if there is a problem with the electric bike, they will fix it for free or even you can take your money back if you are not satisfied with the performance of the electric bike.
2- They know the history of the ebike
Most electric bike shops do not accept buying a used electric bike unless they are from people who are known to them, whether these individuals deal with them periodically for maintenance or even once or twice so that the shops avoid dealing with bikes from an unknown source.
Based on the foregoing, in most cases, the bike shop will know the history of the maintenance in terms of malfunctions and the spare parts that have been replaced.
That is why you can ask how the first owner of the electric bike used it and how he took care of it and also the history of the replaced parts.
3- You will have more care for your ebike.
One of the things that you will get when you pick a used electric bike from an electric bike shop is more attention to your ebike when servicing it inside the shop
Not only because you bought it from the same shop, but because you have formed a relationship with the workers inside the shop, which gives you an additional advantage.
Cons of buying a used ebike from ebike shop.
1- High Price:
With the advantages that you will get from buying a used electric bike from an electric bike shop, there are some drawbacks, the first of which is the high price, which is often very high price.
For example, you can buy a used electric bike from a bike shop at twice the price online.
2- They always offer more options.
Your main goal in owning an electric bike is to get a suitable bike for you at an affordable price, but what happens when you try to pick a used electric bike from an electric bike shop is that the people inside the shop will try to offer you different options in order to influence your decision.
their goal is to make you pay more money in a category that you may not need.
That’s why you should be very careful because they are very good at putting up irresistible offers!
Pros & Cons of picking a used ebike online.
picking a used electric bike online also has its advantages and disadvantages, so in this part, I will share the most important advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of picking a used ebike online.
1- Low prices.
In most cases, the prices of used electric bikes offered by ordinary people are lower than bike shop prices.
On the other hand, there is a lot of room to negotiate the price, unlike in the shops, but you should pay attention to the price offered by the owner of the electric bike.
If you notice that the price is too low, this is a red flag for you because there is a high probability that the bike was stolen, unless The owner has proof of ownership of the bike.
2- a lot of options.
What distinguishes online purchasing is the unlimited options in terms of models, colors, and designs, which is an important advantage
Because it gives you a degree of freedom to buy the electric bike of your dreams.
Cons of buying used ebike online.
1- You will have to check it yourself.
The first drawback to buying a used electric bike online is that you will have to check every part of the bike and make sure that it works properly, or you may hire a technician from the electric bike shops to evaluate the bike accurately, but you will pay expenses for this evaluation.
“In this post, we will explain how to test a used electric bike to help you evaluate any used electric bike”
2- No Warranty.
The second drawback of buying a used electric bike from people online is the lack of a guarantee after the purchase.
Once you pay for the bike, it becomes yours, and any defect that appears in it will be repaired at your expense.
3- No History for the ebike.
When you buy a used electric bike from people on the Internet, you will not get any history of the bike except through the seller, which in most cases will not tell the whole history, which will make you have to test the electric bike yourself!
In the next section, we will discuss how to test electric bike parts when picking a used electric bike.
Step 3: How to test a used eBike?
The step of testing a used electric bike is one of the most important steps in our plan to buy a used electric bike in good condition
That’s why in this part we will explain how to test each part of the used electric bike.
1- Take a ride with ebike.
The best test you can do for any used ebike is to ride it on the road.
There are some points that you should do while riding the ebike.
- listen carefully to the sound of the motor and make sure that there is no abnormal noise
- try to test the bike for going up steep hills.
- Make sure that the ebike responds to different speeds if it works with a PAS and check if the throttle working probably upon your push \twist
- If the bike has a suspension system, try to ride it off-road and make sure that the suspension system responds.
- Make sure that the brakes work by stopping the bike suddenly (you must test the brakes in an area where there are no cars to maintain your safety and the safety of those around you)
- Try to reach the maximum speed of the bike and listen again to the sound of the motor
2-Check ebike frame for the used ebike.
The electric bike frame is one of the most parts that may tell you a lot about the condition of the electric bike, so you should check the frame with your eyes and pass your hands on every cm in the frame and make sure that there is no breakage or welding.
Also, if there are stickers on the frame, you should make sure that it does not hide any welding or Break by passing your hands over it with pressure.
3- Check the suspension system.
If the electric bike you intend to buy has a suspension system, you should make sure that it works well by pressing it hard and then letting it go.
The goal of this test is to measure its reaction to the pressure
If it jumps up quickly, this indicates that it is working correctly, or will it take time to return to its place, and this of course indicates that it is not working properly.
4- Check the wheels.
Checking the wheels is one of the things that also gives an indication of the way the bike is used by the original owner.
For example, if the rim is found to have crookedness or many scratches, this indicates that the first owner of the bicycle was using it harshly, which may affect the general condition of the bicycle.
5- Check the battery.
If the electric bike you intend to buy has a smart system that works on the phone, you can check the general condition of the battery through it.
If this option is not available, you should look at the condition of the battery from the outside and make sure that there is no scratch or break
You can also ask the owner how long the battery lasts for a single charge.
You can see this post to know the actual numbers for how long ebike last per one charge or per life span
You can also go to an authorized battery maintenance shop to give an evaluation of the general condition of the battery.
6- Check the motor.
The first step when checking the efficiency of the motor is to look at the bike screen and see the number of miles traveled on the bike in order to determine the percentage of the remaining life of the motor.
The second step is to turn the crank in reverse to see if there is any resistance.
The third step is to ensure the condition of the outer cover of the motor from any breakage, scratches, or rust.
7- Check ebike cables’ condition.
Finally, look at the condition of the electric bike cables and whether they are organized and without any welds or not.
Also, follow the paths of the cables on the bike and see if they are in the correct path or not, because changing the path of the cables may indicate an adjustment made in the electric bike.
If you find a cable route modification without a convincing explanation from the first owner, this is a red flag and you should check everything carefully.
Tips for buying a used ebike
In this part of the post, I will share with you the most important tips and tricks that you should know when buying a used electric bike.
1- Check the age of the ebike.
One of the most important tips that you can take into account is to know the age of the used electric bike that you have decided to buy
There are many ways to know the age of an electric bike, the most important of which is Checking ebike SN to get the model & manufacturing year.
In order to check the age of the used electric bike using the serial number, you can go to the official website of the electric bike manufacturer
and search for the serial number, or you can check the serial number on the website called
Through these sites, you will be able to verify the age of the bike by searching for the serial number, as these sites register bikes with the
serial number to prove their ownership to their current owners.
2- Always pay in cash
The second piece of advice for you when completing the deal to pick a used electric bike is to pay in cash or by check or even a bank transfer. Do not use a credit card or PayPal.
The reason for this advice is that there are many scammers who use loopholes in order to get your personal account information.
That’s why always pay in cash as much as possible or by bank transfer.
3- Don’t go alone checking ebike.
If you are going to buy a used electric bike online, you should not go alone to check the electric bike, take one or two people with you, for your safety, as you do not know if the advertiser is someone who really wants to sell an electric bike or that there is a potential danger.
4- Ask the seller for more info.
One of the important tips is to ask the first owner of the ebike about everything that comes to your mind about the bike.
This will help you to make a prediction about how was the electric bike used previously, and it will also open the way for you to make a relationship with the first owner, which will help you negotiate more and reduce the price.
How to avoid owning a stolen electric bike?
Buying a stolen electric bike is one of the most challenging things that you may encounter while buying a used electric bike.
This is not because you will help the thief complete his mission, but because you can also harm yourself by riding a stolen ebike.
That’s why in this section I will share with you how you can avoid buying a used stolen electric bike.
1- Ask for proof of purchase.
The first step for you to make sure that the electric bike is actually owned by the person who wants to sell it is to make sure that person has proof of ownership of the bike.
The ownership of the bike is not only proven in the invoice but the presence of the original carton corresponding to the serial number is considered proof of ownership.
2- Ask for the battery keys & charger.
The electric bike always comes with one or two keys for the battery and also comes with the charger, so the presence of these accessories with the seller is proof that the bike is not stolen, but you must make sure that the accessories are original and belong to the same bike.
When picking a used electric bike online, you should check with the seller online as well.
The person’s profile must be checked and at least made sure that it is a real profile and from the date, the account was created.
If you find a newly created profile, this indicates that there is something mysterious and that the seller does not want to reveal his identity, and this may increase the possibility that the bike is stolen.
4- Is the seller looks like a cyclist
One of the things that may help you to know if the ebike is stolen or not is to check if the seller is a cyclist or not by asking about his cycling activities, the places where he rides his bike, and also whether he owns another bike or not and what kind of the second bike he has and what is its specification.
Also, what is the name of the shop from which he bought the ebike that he wants to sell, and what is the reason for selling?
All these questions will give you an impression of whether this person is reliable or not
If the seller’s answers to these questions are correct and come without hesitation, in most cases this bike is not stolen.