The decision to purchase your first electric bike can be a daunting one, especially to the uninitiated. Although not new technology,, the recent trend towards alternative means of transportation has rekindled an interest in electric bicycles. To introduce, further educate, and guide the consumer through the purchasing process, the staff here at Optibike is pleased to offer another installment in our blog series centered around founder Jim Turner’s eBook, “The Electric Bike Book”.
In previous posts, we broke down types of ebikes, some initial considerations to think about, and advances in motor drive and battery technology. With this new knowledge in hand, perhaps you’re ready to go “all in” and purchase the best electric bicycle for your needs. You’ve familiarized yourself with the technology, identified your intended use, and have narrowed down brands and models. Now you ask, where can I finally buy the ebike of my dreams? We have the answers for you, in addition to some other important purchasing considerations.
Today, throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world, electric bicycle sales are at an all-time high. As a result, the distribution chain has evolved to keep pace. For the sake of brevity, we like to categorize ebike availability into four primary outlets:
1. Independent bicycle dealers
2. Factory direct
3. Online retailers
4. Big box retailers
Due to sheer numbers, independent dealers are the lifeblood of the industry, and there are a growing number of traditional bicycle shops now offering electric bicycles as an alternative, though selection can be limited.
With the rise in popularity of ebikes, a new breed of stores is selling electric bikes exclusively. In fact, there are about 500 of these specialized dealers in the U.S. alone, and in our opinion. They are operated by experts in ebike technology, and can guide you further in making your decision. You can even take a test drive.
The ElectricBikeReport.com is a great resource and offers a dealer locator to help steer you in the right direction. The ultimate buying experience however takes you straight to the source – factory direct. At Optibike, for example, your ebike can be hand built to your specifications, or you can shop for a pre-built or refurbished ebike and take it home the same day. Contact us to learn more.
If you can’t get to a dealer or factory showroom, big box and online retailers are an option. Known more for simple conversion kits, imports and budget branded models, big box retailers such as Walmart are as close as next door, and can put you on an electric bike the same day. These bikes are low cost and low qulaity. But, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for in terms of selection, quality and service.
Want to learn even more? Jim Turner, President at Optibike, has authored an informative and entertaining look at the rapidly expanding world of electric bicycles. Get your free copy of the eBook today.