8 Benefits of Buying an Electric Bike In-Store vs Online

June 28. 2022

Pedego Edmonton - Local Bike Shop in Edmonton Alberta

Across the Pedego family of stores we regularly hear heartbreaking stories from people who have purchased an electric bike online (or from stores that do not provide after sale service.) It’s difficult for us to regularly witness consumer misfortune knowing we aren’t the team to fix their problem. We welcome all bike enthusiasts into our stores but here are some hard facts about the limits of our famous customer support.

Michelle Childs is co-owner of Pedego Edmonton. She is a passionate businessperson who cares deeply about supporting people on their electric bike journey. It’s frustrating for her to see so many customers struggling with unnecessary bumps in the road.

Here are Michelle’s top reasons that buying a bike in store beats online almost every time:

  • Expertise

    Bike mechanics are skilled in the art and science of putting together and fixing bikes. Internet bike companies rely on the consumer to finish their bike build. Unfortunately, most people do not have the right tools and do not know the torque values required to ensure your bike is safe to ride. Oh, and hey, if you are wondering what a torque value is you should not be putting together your own bike.

    “We had a person come in to Pedego Edmonton and buy a bike. She had previously bought an online bike; it was sent to her in a box. The people that were at her house installing her new floors put the bike together for her. I mean… of course. Anyway, the bike was WAY too big for her and she had to take it apart herself, box it up and send it back to the online company. She said it was the last time she’ll ever buy a bike online.”

    The internet is filled with information about electric bikes so it may be easy to think you don’t need an expert. Until you do…

  • Quality

    Way too many of the big box store and internet bikes are VERY poor quality. The bikes all look shiny and lovely to start but those price tags are too good to be true! An electric bike is an investment. It’s important to make the right investment for you.

    “We’ve seen too many poorly built bikes. It’s disheartening. When we service the bikes we sell, we know the level of quality that goes into them. We have chosen to stock and sell Pedego electric bikes because we are confident in the quality and components on them. We can simply not say this for bikes purchased elsewhere..”

  • Customer Service

    At Pedego, we provide an exceptional level of service to the customers who support us. The customers who support us must come first because they are the reason, we can afford to do business and make a living in the community. When our customers buy from us, they are choosing a local company; they are choosing local service and they are supporting our ability to stay in business. We are starting a lasting relationship. When consumers buy a bike online or from a big box store, they have not invested in this connection.

  • Liability

    “As a local e-bike shop let me be brutally honest about why we won’t fix bikes bought off the internet or from a big-box store.”

    “There are times we have seen e-bikes come in and we do not feel they will EVER be road worthy. We do not want to be the last person to touch a bike in case something unfortunate happens. The relatively small amount of money we make to repair/maintain an internet/big box bike, is simply not worth the cost to us if something goes wrong because the bike is not built with quality components.”

    “We have these situations everyday. Some of them are downright frightening, some seem laughable, until you realize that the ridiculousness of the poor manufacturing means the bike will never be repaired and/or never safe to ride. Even though I know a customer is upset by their misfortune and they really want me to be the person who can fix their problem, I can’t.”

  • Parts

    Original Pedego parts and components are covered by warranty. We stock parts and offer repairs on our electric bikes. We are well prepared to support our Pedego customers with after-sales care.

    “We once had a bike from a major internet brand sit in our shop for three months waiting for parts. We cannot have a bike sit in our shop while we wait for parts from a company who may not even make them. We simply do not have space for that. Most of the time internet bike companies won’t ship parts directly to us because we are a competitor, even though we are trying to support the product they sold. Big box stores… they don’t even have the parts.”

  • Community Connectivity

    Pedego spends time investing in the local community and specifically, the bike community surrounding each local store. Big box and internet stores just aren’t as connected or interested.

    “We donate time and resources to building bikes for our local bike groups that work to get kids and the less fortunate mobile. We work with groups and often participate in local initiatives to promote safe riding.”

  • Cost to Operate

    Providing service to our customers costs money. We pay rent. We employ people from the local community. We donate to local charities. We organize and participate in local events. We buy bikes. We provide education. And, we are educated in bike repair. These are all expenses that internet companies don’t have because they exist in a different playing field.

  • Local Laws

    Many online retailers are selling e-bikes that do not meet the local laws for streets and pathways. If you are caught riding a bike that is powered beyond the legal limit, you could get a ticket and worse, your bike could be confiscated. As your local bike store, we stock bikes that are legal on the roads and trails in your area. We can advise you on the local laws relevant to electric bikes

    “For instance, in Canada your bike must not have more than 500 W of nominal output, must not be more than a Class 2 electric bike and you must wear a helmet. On some trails, you can not have more than a Class 1 electric bike. In that case we are ready to advise you on how to turn the bikes we sell to Class 1 along with what trails require it.”

  • Security

    In many communities, bike theft is a huge problem. As a local electric bike shop we register every bike we sell with Bike Index. This ensures that if one of our customers has a bike stolen, the local police will have the information about their bike. If the police recover the bike and can’t find the owner, they can contact us, and we’ll know who we sold it to. Those kinds of personal relationships can not be found online or at your big box super store.

  • Environment

    You may be buying an electric bike because you are concerned about green house gas emissions. Then, it’s also likely important to you that you are getting a bike that is designed to last and has a good warranty. Ask your retailer if they participate in a bike and/or battery recycling program and why that is important too. Local bike shops have resources that your big box and internet retailers don’t.

Before you buy online or from a big box store, ask yourself:

  1. Is this bike going to be safe to ride?
  2. Who will fix my bike and support me if I have problems?
  3. What is behind that low price tag?
  4. Are you comfortable with the quality, components and in your own ability to support a bike you buy online or from a big box store?
  5. Are you comfortable that the store you are buying from will be there to support you after the sale?