What to know Before Buying Your First E-Bike

I hate traffic, commuting, long lines, getting late when there are no taxi's or jeepneys and getting elbowed when trying to get on a jeepney during the rush hour home. The experience of commuting is very stressful for me to the point that it triggers my anxiety. This made me decide to buy my first bike: a 3 wheel Electric Bike or E-Bike.

Because this is so new to me, I know I could have made a better decision from where to buy but I did not have that enough knowledge plus my eagerness and anxiety had over come my better decision making skills in making this valuable purchase.

I have decided to share with you what you need to consider before buying your first E-Bike and getting the expertise from tenured E-bikers and from a group I am proud to have just joined: eBikers Philippines. I feel a little proud when my E-bike becomes a conversation starter and I have a few random people approach me about my E-bike since they are becoming interested to purchase themselves.

So here's a list of what you need to think about first (some which I SHOULD have done):

1. Choose a model specifically to your needs and where you will drive the E-bike mostly. 
- E-bikes have different types of motors and it's good to ask the advice of the stores that you are considering to buy from but do not let them make the decision for you. Things to consider are your route and roads you will pass by like is it mainly flat roads or do you have roads to pass which incline or decline. Based on the E-bike stores I have spoken to there is dynamo motor type which is only good for flat roads, and there are brushless motor type which is like the one I purchased which has a better performance and less susceptible to mechanical wear. I also chose a 3-wheeler since I do not know how to ride a regular bike at all. 

2. Research on the Warranties that companies offer. 
- Unfortunately, I got stuck with a 6 month warranty on parts and that's because I failed to ask first. There are a lot of E-bike suppliers and a realistic warranty is something which will protect you especially when something happens to your E-bike. The coverage must include your motor, battery and the controller. It would also be a good deal if they throw in a service warranty to avoid labor costs for parts which are not covered by the warranty like a break cable. Also, check the terms on which a supplier will invalidate a warranty, like if you decided to customize your E-bike within the warranty period or have another technician work on your unit. 

3. Get a Driver's license if you do not have one yet 
- LTO shas not required registration yet for the E-Bikes and that is still in conversation according to the administrators of Ebikers Philippines. However, there are 2 main items that are being required and that is a drivers license and a helmet. Yes, you need a helmet - think about safety here. 

4. Look out for promo's and payment deals
- Suppliers sometimes have cash promos and other suppliers offer installment through Home Credit, AEON Credit and in-house. There are so many different promos, so take the time to research and choose the best deal to suit you. 

5. Do you  have a covered parking space? 
- E-Bikes should not be left out in the rain, since if the throttle (which you use to drive your E-bike) gets wet, this may cause it either to not work or go wild (move on it's own) and if the controller and motor get flooded this could be a reason for your E-bike to lose it's power. I tell you, a bike cover can do an okay job but nothing beats a covered parking space especially when you need to charge your E-bike. 

These are my basic tips to consider before purchasing an E-bike. I also asked an admin and members of Ebikers PH to share their advise for first time buyers:

According to Vin Salinas (Admin, Ebikers PH) all suppliers have parts which are compatible with other brands, is important to research on the suppliers after sales service and joining ebikers Philippines will help you learn as well as get support from other E-bike users. 

"Check the supplier for availability of parts and also the technicians" is the advise given by John, ebikers Philippines member 632 since 2015

"Much better if there are suppliers nearby your area or those that have several branches, in case you get trouble along the road." Is the suggestion of Thor, E-bike user since 2015 and eBikers Philippines member 753 since 2017. He shared that there was a time where his E-bike had broken down along Mendiola when he was still studying Acupuncture, right outside his school. Good thing his supplier had a branch nearby and he was able to get home. 

I highly suggest that you join eBikers Philippines while you are looking for your perfect E-bike, here's the links to the groups:

eBikers Philippines Main Page 
eBikers Philippines Lounge Page
eBikers Philippines Buy and Sell Page

I hope this will help you to start off your E-bike journey and I will share more info along the way. Let me know if you have questions in the comments below!

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