Electric bikes are consumer goods, and I have to remind myself that under my little boy excitement at the prospect of owning one, I need to establish the base of years of experience. Fortunately, the forum Pedelecs is full of wise, sometimes cynical, comments about the hyped-up claims that some dealers and manufacturers can make. I’ve tonight come across a blog by someone which is dedicated to rubbishing one particular manufacturer/dealer who advertises on Pedelecs. Some of the comments on amazon regarding cheap bikes are worth looking at too, not only as to the quality of a machine but also regarding after-sales. A common refrain I have come across is ‘throw it in the canal’.
You can buy a ‘mountain bike’ from any big chain store for less than £100, and it will certainly look good in the catalogue. The same would be true of any cheap consumer goods such as cameras or televisions. Quality cannot, however, be judged by appearance. Product design is a key tool of marketing. Whatever the ‘content’ of an item, the appearance is a key factor in making sales. This is one reason why I think establishing a relationship of trust with a product’s retailers and/or manufacturers is so important. So far, I have been mightily impressed by the honesty and integrity of some sellers and manufacturers, and this, coupled with a record of genuine user testimonials I hope to detail when I’ve finished my own search for a bike. I will just say now that I am delighted to have come across businesses more than happy to redirect me elsewhere.
One has to consider factors not immediately apparent, such as electrical connectivity and the effects of water (rain and puddles!). I have found that the dealers I respect most do in fact provide pre-ordering advice on such an issue. One dealer who is a strong contender for my custom issues the value that they will strive to respect and support a customer with the same care and attention that customer gives to their bike.