Buying used e-bikes

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
hyperknot   10 µW

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Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 04 2020 2:36pm

Hi,

I'm looking to buy our fist e-bike / pedelec, I'm looking for a model which my 60 year old mother could use to commute to work (2x6 km, 60 meter elevation).

I don't want to spend too much money on it I'm looking for something up to 900-1000 EUR. My question is whether I should look for second hand "lightly used" bikes with higher specs or base/budget model brand new ones.

For example I could buy a cca. 2015 Kalkhoff bike with Panasonic 26V mid motor system and Nexus 8 speed hub which only had under 1000 km / 8 charges in total.
Alternatively I could buy a new bike from a local brand (made in my country), with very basic specs, or something from Decathlon for the same money. Front hub MXUS XF06 engine, Shimano Tourney TZ50 rear derailleur, battery on the rack, so everything super basic. I don't like any of these specs, but since its a local brand there'll probably be replacements for a long time and probably loads of local knowledge in the coming years.

Basically for non-electric bikes, I always bought second hand as fixing bikes with new parts was always easy, but with e-bikes I'm worried as I have no idea what'll happen if something breaks in the electric system. On the other hand I heard that Panasonic systems are very reliable.

Which way would you recommend me?
Last edited by hyperknot on Oct 04 2020 2:48pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by Dauntless » Oct 04 2020 2:42pm

You really have to settle for whatever just happens to be available. If it's cheap and you don't like the specs you can retrofit. But trying to find just the right one used can turn into 'Analysis leads to paralysis.' I see a lot of the old unimpressive bikes for sale, what little newer is still pricey. I would expect the same for you.
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hyperknot   10 µW

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 04 2020 2:48pm

I wasn't clear, there are some good lightly used second hand bike available I can buy immediatly. My worry is about how risky is to buy a second hand e-bike, for example with a Panasonic mid motor system?

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by ZeroEm » Oct 04 2020 3:14pm

I wasn't clear, there are some good lightly used second hand bike available I can buy immediatly. My worry is about how risky is to buy a second hand e-bike, for example with a Panasonic mid motor system?
Anyone who buys used assumes some level of risk. Best thing about E-bikes most of the parts are easily replaced or fixed. Would not count on getting a good battery.
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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by goatman » Oct 04 2020 3:16pm

get on google and see if you can get parts for a panasonic bike and how much are they? proprietary parts $$$$$$ and could be loooong wait for them. didnt see what country youre in

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by markz » Oct 04 2020 3:29pm

Never buy a used battery, never!

This is what you do. You go to your local bicycle store, you buy their entry level bicycle for $500usd ($700cdn) then you buy a complete plug and play kit (motor, controller, throttle, battery, charger) from established stores like www.ebikes.ca in Vancouver Canada, www.em3ev.com in China, Luna Cycle in California and those kits would cost $1100usd. Total cost $1600usd converted to euro's is 1350euro.

Don't bother with a used ebike unless it is very cheap. You have no idea if the motor burnt up, then you will be out money. Any ebike for sale thats sold with a battery, consider that batteries cost zero and only tabulate the price of the frame and motor. I doubt the seller would want you opening up the motor to see if it has burnt windings. Be safe, build your own ebike its easy!

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 04 2020 3:34pm

I'm from Hungary. It seems most things for Kalkhoff/Panasonic could be bought from Germany, so it's not a big problem, as long as the parts can be found on eBay.

Ebay batteries can be found for 200-300 GBP, 50cycles has a high quality one for GBP 495. But if I have to replace the battery then the whole purchase is a loss, since it's comparable to the price of the bike.

The alternative would be some entry-level Decathlon or local brand with cadence sensor. How bad are they for daily commuting?

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by markz » Oct 04 2020 7:35pm

These wont be bad for commuting, its just that they would have proprietary parts, so the battery goes you will be shitoutofluck, and if your lucky you will find one for sale but for a high price. Thats why DIY is the better way to go, you get more for your buck/euro.
Those ebikes below look to be a cheap Bafang $250, Controller $40, Throttle $10, Battery $500. There is a sale on batteries at www.ebikes.ca I bought the 15Ah for $700cdn which is like $500usd.


https://www.decathlon.com/products/aven ... -bike-27-5

https://www.decathlon.com/products/aven ... -bike-27-5

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by 999zip999 » Oct 04 2020 10:18pm

No don't do it there's so many good new device on the road or the beach sell a glut of new ebikes make sure you get good batteries what makes a ebike work is not computer batteries but they batteries get some strong enough to propel you are a hell not it said on the table.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by markz » Oct 04 2020 11:21pm

999zip999 wrote:
Oct 04 2020 10:18pm
No don't do it there's so many good new device on the road or the beach sell a glut of new ebikes make sure you get good batteries what makes a ebike work is not computer batteries but they batteries get some strong enough to propel you are a hell not it said on the table.
Makes perfect sense, we all understand what you are saying!

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by leisesturm » Oct 04 2020 11:45pm

hyperknot wrote:
Oct 04 2020 2:48pm
I wasn't clear, there are some good lightly used second hand bike available I can buy immediatly. My worry is about how risky is to buy a second hand e-bike, for example with a Panasonic mid motor system?
It is very risky to buy a used e-bike. I wouldn't do it. There are no 'good, lightly used, second hand ebikes'. There is a reason someone sold that bike. Nor do you want to buy something new for a dirt cheap price. The advice to buy a bike and then an e-assist kit is very sound. Lower end hybrid bikes are very popular with female riders. A front hub system is very user friendly in the 250W+ power and price range.

You can buy the hybrid bike used if you must but, again, I wouldn't. But that's me. I don't own a car. My fleet of bikes don't add up to even a very cheap car and these are not junk bikes. If you can't spend $400+ for a Trek 7.? plus $1,000 plus a little for a decent motor and battery, then you really should wait until you can. Maybe just buy the bike without the motor and see how mom gets along with that.

E-bikes are kind of like computers ... like computers used to be. You can kill a battery real easy if you don't know how to take care of it. Most people just want to ride. They don't want to learn charge/discharge cycles and they certainly don't want to learn how to get the wheel off so they can change a flat. Be really sure mom is going to think this is the best gift ever. If not, seriously, get the un-assisted bike and call it good.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by MadRhino » Oct 05 2020 12:07am

Buy a used ebike only if it is so cheap that you wouldn’t consider it a loss in the event that it does not last a month. Here people are giving them to me because they can’t repair them and find nobody to do it at a reasonable cost.

Buy new with guarantee and service at a local shop. Or, build one yourself and learn enough in the process to service it yourself.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by Balmorhea » Oct 05 2020 12:17am

MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2020 12:07am
Buy new with guarantee and service at a local shop. Or, build one yourself and learn enough in the process to service it yourself.
This.

When you're a seasoned old hand at this, then it might make sense to rehabilitate other people's cast-off e-bikes.

But probably not.
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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by uuhoever » Oct 05 2020 12:25am

If you are on this site, everyone will tell you to DIY :D

I DIY my first ebike because I could not stand the proprietary batteries, like $700+ for 500Wh when you can buy packs on ebay for half that price but it won't look sleek and incorporated into the frame.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 05 2020 2:56pm

Thanks for the good points, I'm definitely not considering second hand pedelecs any more, since the ones I was looking at were the same price as new low-end ones, say 800 EUR.

I'm now leaning towards buying a low-end one and just swapping the too-cheap parts immediately, like V-breaks and probably rims in the first few months.

My question is which one of the following you'd buy (both cost around 800 EUR):
- Decathlon Elops 120E: 36V/313 Wh rear-hub unspecified motor/battery/controller, 2 years warranty, original battery: 300 GBP
- Neuzer (my local brand): MXUS XF06 front-hub motor, MXUS LED890, MXUS 36V, 11AH battery, 1 year warranty.

I think the bikes are quite similar, my question is about which will have better support later on? Is the MXUS system reliable and easy to find replacement parts later on or can it take generic batteries, etc?
Does anyone have experience with the low-end Decathlon bikes here?

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by markz » Oct 05 2020 5:17pm

I'd go with the MXUS ebike if I were to choose between the two. From that you say its your local brand, what does that mean? Is it a local bicycle shop with a real brick and mortar store.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by ZeroEm » Oct 05 2020 5:54pm

As more ride E-bikes they get cheaper. Most paid high prices for the older bikes and try to get some of there money back. Unless you get one cheap and plan to do some work to it, don't bother.
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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by 999zip999 » Oct 06 2020 2:40pm

Most use ebikes have been forgotten and not charge or some funky thing. Plus a lot of shity bikes like pedago over priced cheap parts and the old ones had battery recall.
when buying any bike look at the rear derailleur they're not going to put an expensive derailleur component package on a cheap bike.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by uuhoever » Oct 07 2020 6:03pm

You mention that you always fix bikes. I'd just get a used bike and get a kit. It's super simple to setup. You basically have the motor, controller, display, and likely a throttle, plus the battery. Then the parts are new so you know they will work and you learn how everything works. If you really want to go cheap buy an ebay battery, it might not last as long as a branded battery but it is enough to see if the ebike bug bites for not a lot of money.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 07 2020 6:58pm

> You mention that you always fix bikes. I'd just get a used bike and get a kit.

I'd love to do that, doing everything myself but asking a local bike shop for the wheel rebuild, but this project is mostly for my mom so she can avoid public transport every day as soon as possible. So I'm looking for something which we can buy in the next few days. Maybe I'll do this with my own bike.

> From that you say its your local brand, what does that mean? Is it a local bicycle shop with a real brick and mortar store.

Neuzer is a Hungarian bike brand, they produce 100k bikes each year (exporting about 50%). They are super well known here, literally every bike store is an authorized dealer and they know everything about these bikes. I think in a few years there'll be a lot of local experience with Neuzer e-bikes as they are very popular.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by markz » Oct 07 2020 7:06pm

Yeah bro, just go ahead and buy that MXUS ebike. Make sure the bicycle fits good and call it a day.

hyperknot wrote:
Oct 05 2020 2:56pm

My question is which one of the following you'd buy (both cost around 800 EUR):
- Decathlon Elops 120E: 36V/313 Wh rear-hub unspecified motor/battery/controller, 2 years warranty, original battery: 300 GBP
- Neuzer (my local brand): MXUS XF06 front-hub motor, MXUS LED890, MXUS 36V, 11AH battery, 1 year warranty.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by hyperknot » Oct 07 2020 7:08pm

An new model people recommended me from Neuzer has a frame battery and a Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed Hub.

As I read Sturmey-Archer 3-Speed Hubs are generally considered very reliable, even more than Nexus 8, so that's a good sign, but how concerned I should be about frame batteries? This is an other super-low price model (710 EUR), hopefully the electronic system is simple, but I have no idea. Specs say motor is: KKM100SX, does this mean anything at all? This is how it looks:

Or is the MXUS model with generic battery a much more future-proof buy?

Image
Image
Image

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by MadRhino » Oct 07 2020 8:54pm

I would prefer a hub motor.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by 99t4 » Oct 07 2020 9:29pm

hyperknot wrote:
Oct 07 2020 7:08pm
Or is the MXUS model with generic battery a much more future-proof buy?
As I am learning, with my proprietary BionX system Ohm bike, a system with a generic battery will be much less expensive over time. The battery does not last as long as the other parts, and is the most expensive single component of an e-bike. Find out how much a replacement frame battery costs and compare that to the cost of replacing (or repairing) the generic battery.

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Re: Buying used e-bikes

Post by uuhoever » Oct 07 2020 10:43pm

I agree with above about the battery. Proprietary batteries are 2x-3x more expensive than generic battery packs. Factor that in on your decision. I was just riding with some people who were talking about how their battery cost $700 and they thought it was "cheap" because I guess some go to $1,000! :shock:

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