Try an Electric Bike

The single biggest piece of advice any Electric Bikes Experts will give you is try an electric bike before you buy. By trying out a whole range of different models, you’ll realize what you like and what works for you. And your preferences are going to be very different to mine, or someone elses.

This also helps you work out if your electric bike measures up to the job in terms of real world performance. Got a big hill you’re unsure about, or aren’t convinced it’ll make getting around that much easier?

Try it and see. Besides, its so much fun!

The first step is finding a dealer. Local dealers are always better for trying places out, but make sure you find somewhere where you can test a whole range of electric bikes.

Finding a Dealer

Google is a great place to start, by searching for ‘electric bikes’ plus your hometown. But it’s also important to know how to assess a dealer.

Assess Your Electric Bike Dealer

If they’re not on our list, you might want to run a few checks on them first. Google them, their address and see what happens. There are some fly-by-night dealers out there hiding behind websites with little or no contact information. Please, please stick only to dealers with

  1. A landline telephone number. That means no numbers that begin with 07. Phone them up (its a good test of customer service for a start) and ask them when you can come and try some bikes.
  2. A clearly displayed street address. Plug their address straight into Google Earth and see if they’re trading from their house (i.e. stay away) or from a retail park (much more promising!). Also, look for somewhere near them which looks good for an extended electric bike test ride.
  3. They have a range of different electric bikes to try. Its not a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Find a dealer with a wide range of different electric bikes for you to try.

Arrange a Time to Go Test Riding.

Some dealerships won’t have the most room to try something out. Ask the owners if there’s anywhere nearby you (and them?) could cycle to and try out a few models. If you’re not ready to buy straight away, tell them.

What to Do on a Test Drive

Test it out without any power. If the ride’s still good (and you can pedal it still!) it’s a good buy. Take it out on the road, take it up a hill, somewhere windy, and anywhere else where cycling might seem a real challenge.

Trying more than one bike

Make sure you try at least one pedal-assist electric bike, and one throttle-assist electric bike. That way, you’ll know which kind you prefer, since the two are very different. The Panasonic-powered electric bikes are definitely worth a test ride too if your nearest quality dealer stocks them.

Take time to think about each bike before you decide. Don’t feel pressured into buying straight away; if necessary, ask if you can take a bike away for an extended test ride near your home.

When you're ready to buy, the next chapter will show you five ways to save money on your new electric bike and how to make sure you get the best bike you can.

 

Next: Chapter 4 of the Buyers Guide: Buy Your Electric Bike

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