Is Buying a Used E-Bike Worth It?

E-bikes offer many advantages over traditional bikes. This is one of the main reasons that e-bikes are on many people’s shopping lists. With an e-bike, you get the pros of a regular bike, plus the added benefit of electric propulsion to help you get to your destination easier and less sweaty.

The problem is new e-bikes can be quite pricey, especially compared to the bottom tier of regular bikes. So the solution might be to purchase a used e-bike. But is it worth it?

What Makes Purchasing a Used E-Bike Different From Purchasing a Regular Used Bike?

E-bikes are aided by an electric motor that is powered by a battery. With the help of this electric motor, an e-bike’s motor can help supplement the effort provided by the pedaler. If your e-bike has a throttle, it’s possible to ride the e-bike like a traditional electric motorcycle. All you have to do is press the throttle, and you’re on your way without the need to pedal.

The amount of time you can spend on the throttle or receiving electric assistance while pedaling depends on the battery’s capacity. This is the major difference between buying a used e-bike versus a regular bike. Much like purchasing a used EV, the wear and tear experienced by the battery is the most significant thing to consider during the purchase inspection.

This is especially important if the e-bike you’re thinking of buying has an integrated battery that cannot be removed. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike with a removable battery, you can ultimately replace the battery if you need to. Regardless, you have to analyze if it’s cost-effective to do so.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an E-Bike Battery?

The cost of replacing your e-bike’s battery depends on the capacity of the battery itself. But sometimes, the cost of replacing the battery might be very steep. This is especially true if the e-bike you’re buying is high-performance with a large battery. For instance, the Delfast Top 3.0i is an amazing e-bike with a super powerful electric motor and large battery.

The Delfast Top 3.0i even has a Guinness World Record for range. If you were to replace the battery on this unit, you can order a new 72V 48Ah battery from Delfast, which will set you back a staggering $2,499. If you’re also considering replacing the electric motor, which might eventually fail, you’re looking at a combined price that might not make sense.

A new motor (including the wheel and tire combo) for the Top 3.0i bike from Delfast will run you $1,119. This is already a combined cost of $3,618, which is more than 50% of the cost of purchasing a totally new model, on top of the money you’re already paying for the used bike itself. In this case, you can only pray that the battery and motor last a long time because if they fail, you’re looking at potentially spending more for a used bike than just purchasing it new outright.

This is a dilemma that every potential shopper should consider, especially when purchasing a bike that’s worth a significant amount of money.

What Are the Pros of Buying a Used E-Bike?

The main benefit of buying a used e-bike revolves around getting a discount on the buying price. Buying an e-bike can be a substantial investment, especially if you’re considering a model that is among the top tier in terms of price. Some e-bikes can go for upwards of $10,000, so buying one of these units represents a big financial commitment.

As such, if you can chop away at the price by purchasing a used bike, then this method may be worth it for some individuals. If you’re thinking about buying a used e-bike, it’s super important to verify that the unit is in good condition. The integrity of the entire bike can tell you a lot about how well it’s been taken care of. If the bike is in overall abysmal condition, and you can tell that maintenance hasn’t been a priority for the previous owner, then you can expect the battery condition to be along those same lines.

Much like taking care of an EV’s battery, caring for the battery in your e-bike also requires certain precautions. For example, the battery shouldn’t undergo constant depleted states of charge because this damages the battery at a chemical level. So, if all the tell-tale signs of abuse are there, the owner likely didn’t care properly for the battery either.

What Are the Drawbacks of Buying a Used E-Bike?

Buying a used e-bike has potentially more drawbacks than benefits. This is mostly due to the price of the battery and the motor. If you’re buying a used e-bike, it’s possible that the bike wasn’t taken care of correctly, which might also be why the person is selling it in the first place. If you’re concerned about this, you should take an e-bike specialist to inspect the unit.

If the e-bike has been thoroughly abused, the battery and motor aren’t the only parts in danger of failing. Bikes tires, transmissions, brakes, and suspension components also experience significant wear and tear. So, when purchasing a used e-bike, if you don’t do your research thoroughly, you could end up paying for all of these maintenance items.

Depending on the bike’s price, this might not be worth it. With very expensive bikes, the components are also expensive, so replacing them will begin to add up. Even with cheaper bikes, these components add up in no time to make the initial investment questionable. Sometimes, buying a new bike might be the best way to go, especially if it comes with a warranty covering the battery and the motor.

Buying a Used E-Bike Might Be More Expensive in the Long Run

Wanting to save money is understandable, but with e-bikes, it might be a better idea to purchase a new one. This will allow you to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with owning a unit you know hasn’t been subjected to substantial wear and tear, and the addition of a warranty to protect the most important parts of an e-bike cannot be understated.

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