Should I Buy My New eBike Online or at a Bike Shop?
March 10, 2023
Pete Prebus

It is amazing how many things we buy online these days. From groceries, to phones, to computers, to cars, all the way up to houses! Electric bicycles have hit the mainstream of online shopping as well. But should you buy your new electric bike online? Here are Denago, we offer both options. You can buy online with shipping to your home, or you can also buy a Denago at a brick and mortar dealer.

There are a number of factors to consider when making an electric bike purchase. For some people buying an eBike online can be a good fit if they know what they want in an electric bike, have some DIY skills, and general bicycle knowledge.

Some people will get more value out of buying their new electric bike from a local shop who can help them with test ride options, building the bike, fitting the bike to them, accessorizing it, and providing service down the road.

In this article we will look at the nuances of buying an electric bike online or at a local bicycle dealer, and compare the pros and cons of shopping online vs. shopping locally.

What type of buyer should buy an eBike online?

Someone who is very confident in knowing which eBike they want is usually a good candidate for buying an electric bike online. They have done their homework on the specs needed for their riding style, and they probably have ridden a handful of eBikes to figure out what type suits them the best. Perhaps they've watched many written and video reviews to understand the features and capabilities of the model they're considering.

Because of this they generally don’t need to test ride the actual eBike they are buying online. In summary, these are good candidates to purchase online:

  • Know which bike is best for their riding style
  • Don't require a test ride
  • Able to complete the final assembly on their own
  • Comfortable unpacking, bending, and lifting

Technical ability is important

In addition they have a general knowledge of bicycles that helps them to feel comfortable buying an eBike that they may not ever see or test ride until it arrives at their home. They also tend to have good DIY (do it yourself) skills and they are comfortable with some minor mechanical assembly of the eBike when it arrives at their doorstep.

Some people who buy an electric bike online may not have a local bike dealer that carries the specific eBike they want. They’ve done their homework to determine the eBike they want and then they make their purchase online.

Hybrid buy online / pickup options

For those that want a hybrid option there are services that can make the online purchase a bit more local. Beeline Connect works with some eBike companies to have an online eBike purchase shipped to a local bike dealer for assembly. The customer then picks up their new electric bike at the local dealer and they may get some help with bike fitting and accessory installation. Denago’s partner, Bike.com, offers this when purchasing a Denago on their website.

Velofix is a mobile bike shop (in a van) that can come to your house to build an electric bike that you have ordered online for a fee. They may also be able to help with fitting the bike to you and install accessories. You can book the Velofix service online or by phone.

Do you need financing?

Another potential perk of buying online is that many companies are offering some form of financing where you make a few monthly payments to purchase the electric bike over time. While some local bike shops offer financing, it's less common and not as seamless as applying for financing during checkout, which is very convenient.

What type of buyer should buy an eBike from a local shop?

Are you having trouble making a decision between a couple of electric bike makes or models? Sure, the specifications of an eBike are important but some of the most important aspects are how the bike rides, how it performs, and how it fits you. Testing riding an electric bike can be an important part of the purchase process for certain riders.

In summary, this type of buyer might be best served by visiting a local Denago eBikes dealer to purchase:

  • May not be able to comfortably lift an eBike out of the packaging
  • Unsure which type of eBike is best for their riding style
  • Not comfortable with completing the final assembly steps
  • Needs help selecting and installing accessories

You may think that you really want a super powerful eBike, but when you test ride 2 different eBikes you may realize you actually prefer a more mellow ride with a lower power motor. Or maybe you confirm that you really do want that power! Similarly, you may think that you want a fat tire eBike but end up really liking the style and comfortable ride of a beach cruiser style eBike. Getting some expert guidance can help you better understand your own needs.

Get make/model and size guidance from an expert

Being able to ride and compare a few different eBikes at your local dealer can be a big help in making a solid decision on which eBike is best for you.

Additionally, the local bike shop sales person generally can help you narrow down the search and answer any questions you have about the eBikes. Their expert advice can quickly help you make informed decisions. Being able to have an in person dialog about eBike questions can be quicker and more fun than combing through various websites.

Buy a ready-to-ride, fully assembled eBike

Another benefit of buying from a local dealer is that they typically sell assembled, tuned, ready-to-ride bikes -  and that assembly is provided by a professional mechanic who builds bikes all the time and knows all the proper assembly procedures and adjustments to make to a new eBike.

Once your eBike is professionally assembled the local dealer can help fit the bike to you and your riding preferences. They will make the seat height adjustment and handlebar adjustments to make sure you are comfortable as well as in the best position for an efficient ride.

Choose accessories and have them installed if needed

With your new electric bike fit to you it is a good idea to consider which accessories will add some fun and utility to your eBike. A helmet is a good starting point and being able to try on and compare a few different types at the local dealer is a good way to make sure you get a good fit. If you want to add fenders, lights, a lock, racks, bags, baskets, a kid seat, etc. the local dealer can install those on your new electric bike.

Post-sale service

Once you have some miles on your electric bike and the components have settled in it can be a good idea to get a tune up to adjust the shifting, brakes, and tire pressure. Some bike dealers include a free tune up after a month or two and this can be a good opportunity to make any fit adjustments or add additional accessories.

Warranty support

Another benefit with a local dealer is their support with any warranty issues. While Denago offers the same warranty regardless of where you buy, support from a bike shop can help streamline repairs in the rare event of a warranty claim. The electric bike company will generally send the warranty part to the dealer and cover their labor costs which makes it an easy process for the customer.

Where should I ride?

A local dealer also has a lot of knowledge and recommendations for rides in the area. This can be a great way to get out on some well known fun rides.

Additionally, some dealers have group rides that they invite their customers to join. Buying an electric bike from a local shop will probably get you on the invite list.

Your Choice

There are some electric bike companies, like Denago, that offer both options of buying online AND at a local dealer. That makes life easier! You can do some of your electric bike research online and then head over to the dealer for some test rides and make the purchase of the eBike that is best for you. Or you can buy online and do it yourself.

If there isn’t a dealer near you for the eBike you want then the online purchase can be a good fit. And if you want the help of a local bike shop there may be the options of Beeline Connect or Velofix.

Have fun doing your eBike research and enjoy the rides!


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