7 things you need to know when buying a refurbished e-bike

Take note ✍🏻 🚲

Powered byUpway

So, you want to join the e-bike craze. This makes sense: sophisticated, healthy, and environmentally green, many Dutchies are ditching their rusty old bikes for the one and only e-bike

However, the e-bike isn’t exactly the cheapest pair of wheels out there, which leads many Dutch people to take the route of buying a refurbished bike as opposed to a brand new one — it’s a sustainable, smart, and wallet-friendly move. 

There are many perks involved in owning these snazzy contraptions. However, to stay on the safe side, here are 7 things to look out for before buying a refurbished e-bike. 🚴🏻‍♀️

1. Check for damage and tears

What kind of shape is the bike in right now? This is an important question that shouldn’t be skipped. 

When buying a refurbished electric bike, there are many telltale signs that will say a lot about how the electric bike was treated and cared for in the past — which will also give you an idea of what to expect later on.

Before you can enjoy the perks of your e-bike, it’s important to check if everything is still working properly! Image: Freepik

Take out your notepad and check your potential e-bike for the following red flags 🚩: 

  • rough scratches,
  • rusty spots,
  • dents,
  • or flat tires

These elements are all signs of misuse and could mean additional repair costs will be needed down the line — niet fijn

Make sure to also check the components that are prone to tears, such as:

  • tires,
  • brakes,
  • chains,
  • gears,
  • and sprockets

2. Consider the battery status

Repeat after me: battery quality and remaining battery life are echt belangrijk (very important) factors in determining the value of any e-bike. 

Much like how you don’t want to buy a MacBook with a heavily used battery, you don’t want to buy a refurbished e-bike with a battery that’s on its last legs. 

Checking the battery’s status is a key factor when purchasing a refurbished e-bike! Image: Unsplash

While e-bikes might make you look and feel like you’re living in the year 3000, its battery won’t live forever.

We’re not going to get too specific about it, but the gist of it is this: as batteries get older, they won’t hold a charge as well as if they were brand new. This means that battery capacity drops and drains faster.  

New batteries are anything but cheap, so be careful to check up on the bike’s battery health when buying a refurbished e-bike.

You don’t want to end up coughing up the cash, and then paying half of the price of a new bike to replace the battery after one month.  

Upway is a budget-friendly online marketplace for refurbished electric bicycles. They provide a 1-year warranty for all major components of your e-bike. In addition, the state of each battery is fully evaluated and replaced or reconditioned to get it close to the original level. 

3. Understand mileage vs. age

Your bike’s overall state will affect every aspect of its performance, especially the mileage. Wear and tear after long-time use will not only affect your bike’s performance but will also require you to use more energy to pedal. 

Hold on, what’s mileage? 🤷‍♀️ For those of you who don’t know e-bike terms just yet, the mileage of your e-bike’s battery refers to the distance it can travel on a full charge before it needs to be recharged. 

This means that if you want to know how much the e-bike has been used by the original owner, the easiest way to do this is by checking the mileage. 

Most e-bikes have a built-in speedometer, which gives you an idea of how many kilometres the e-bike has left to give.

This is an important factor for the overall condition of the bike and should be reflected in the asking price — so make sure to check it. 

Not sure how many kilometres you have left on your refurbished e-bike? Check out the speedometer display! Image: Freepik

You should also consider the age of the bike. Age before beauty? Kind of — don’t be discouraged from buying an older e-bike. Instead, consider age and mileage together to evaluate how ‘used’ the bike is. 

READ MORE | Meet Upway: the new online marketplace for refurbished e-bikes (that won’t make your wallet cry)

If you observe that your e-bike’s battery isn’t getting decent mileage anymore, that’s a sign that you will need a replacement in the near future, meaning you’ll have to cough up the cash. 

4. Determine what kind of e-bike best suits your needs

Time for the fun part: choosing what kind of e-bike you want to ride every day! There are a ton of styles, ranges, and sizes to choose from, which can get overwhelming. 

What sort of bike do you need most? Image: Dreamstime

Here are a few questions to help you narrow down your search: 

Do you need to travel far and get there fast?

We recommend the Hybrid/City E-bikes. Built for balance, this type of e-bike provides extra power with each pedal stroke, speeding up your daily commutes, even in the worst crowded city streets. 

Do you need an upright seating position for comfort? Or support for older people?

We recommend the Comfort/Cruiser e-bikes. True to its name, this model allows users to cycle in an upright riding position, it has swept-back handlebars, and a comfy seat, making cycling a relaxed and laid-back experience for any age.

Do you frequently have to carry a lot of cargo?

Then you should opt for Cargo e-bikes. These are perfect for those needing to transport children to school or carry heavy groceries. This type of model makes it an easy ride by providing a large trunk in the front and a platform in the back.

It’s important to find a refurbished e-bike that fits your needs! Image: Freepik

Do you want to be able to take your e-bike on the metro or train?

Then opt for folding e-bikes. Their convenient design that folds in half makes them practical to transport and can also fit in small spaces.

Do you need a lot of gear to make it easier to ride in the great outdoors? 

We recommend mountain/off-road e-bikes. If you plan on cycling on dirt trails, uneven paths, or steep inclines, this bike features multiple gears, rugged tires, and a powerful motor to make your next outdoor adventure a good one. 

By asking yourself these questions, you can determine which category of e-bikes is made for your needs. 

Tip! Another thing to consider before you decide on your purchase is brand reputation. Does the e-bike brand have a solid track record with good reviews? Top!

5. Consider the availability of spare parts and services

Will you be able to get your hands on spare parts when needed? This is something important to consider.

Life happens, which means chances are that at one point or another, you’ll need to replace or repair a part of your e-bike, such as your brake rotors or battery pack. These repairs are difficult to pull off and are certainly not cheap. 

If you regularly take your e-bike with you, make sure to get it expertly checked once in a while to make sure it’s still in good condition! Image: Freepik

This is why it’s key to purchase your e-bike from a trustworthy and well-known source. If an e-bike’s components were made by reputable manufacturers, there shouldn’t be a problem in getting new parts. 

READ MORE | How to use your bike like a real Dutchie: from trampling pedestrians to running red lights

Your refurbished e-bike should be expertly checked and serviced regularly, this greatly reduces the chances of major damage.

6. Take the e-bike out for a test ride

To see if a refurbished e-bike is your long-lasting partner, you should first try to take it out for a test spin.

This way, you’ll be able to feel if it’s comfortable, supportive, and does what it needs to do. 

Do you hear something click, rattle, or drag while you’re cycling? Are the brakes working properly? Is the saddle in proportion to your height? All these things can be answered by riding the e-bike yourself. 

Make sure to give your e-bike a test drive before you commit! Image: Unsplash

​​If possible, go to your nearest park or car park and give it a go, while mentally taking note of your riding position.

You should try switching the engine on and off a couple of times, ride the bike with different levels of assistance, and see if you’re comfortable with how the components interact. 

READ MORE | Cycling like a Dutchie? First, you have to pass their bike exam!

Ask yourself a simple question: would you feel safe riding the e-bike if there were a lot of cars on the highway or if you were to cycle in the rain?

Your e-bike is supposed to make you feel comfortable in any type of situation, so consider this before you fully commit. Ready? Set, go! 

Upway offers a wide range of certified refurbished e-bikes consisting of over 120 brands. When making your choice, they’ll help you consider factors such as usage, price, engine position, battery capacity, weight, and frame type. Not satisfied? Geen probleem! Upway has a 14-day trial period.

7. Always get that warranty 

So, you’re cruising with your e-bike when your chain suddenly wears out, or your brakes stop working, leaving you stranded. 

That’s not an ideal situation, but when it comes to e-bikes, it’s important to factor in that, much like regular ol’ bikes, they have some parts that are prone to wear and tear. 

For example, it can be very easy for rocks, mud, or sticks to get tangled and lock up your electric bike. With Dutch rainy weather, it’s safe to say this can happen quite often. 

If you’re buying an e-bike, make sure you get a warranty to go with it! Image: Depositphotos

This is where your warranty comes in to save you from spending unnecessary big bucks and bring your e-bike back to life. 

When you buy a used e-bike from a private person, you’re not necessarily going to get a warranty alongside your purchase. However, trustworthy services that stand behind their products will offer them. 

By having a warranty at arm’s reach, there is no need to panic next time something happens to your e-bike. 

When done right, buying a refurbished e-bike is a great way to cut back on expenses and remains a sustainable option while living in the Netherlands. So arm yourself with these tips, and find yourself your dream wheels. 👀

What is your experience with buying a refurbished e-bike? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Francesca Burbano
Francesca Burbanohttps://burbanofrancesca.journoportfolio.com
Francesca is an international at heart but moved to the Netherlands to get her degree in media and communication. While she's not a big fan of the cold weather and biking (for good reason — she's been hit by bikes three times already), she fell in love with the canals, bitterballen, and the 'gezelligheid' of Dutch culture. When she's not writing, you'll find her reading thriller books, hitting her personal records at the gym, and cuddling up with her Ragdoll cat.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.