Mail order brands vs mainstream brands

Teleplayer

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First post - woohoo!

Long time recreational cyclist looking to buy my first e-bike, and maybe one for my wife too. The Aventon Aventurer initially caught my eye and I watched all the glowing YT "reviews" (where Aventon sends the reviewer a free bike). Then I came across a LOT of negative comments regarding Aventon's very poor customer service, so I started looking at other brands.

What concerns me is that I've never heard of most e-bike companies. There are odd-sounding brand names and their websites sometimes have marketing-speak written by someone whose primary language clearly isn't english. That in itself doesn't bother me and I'm not one of those "I only buy 'Mercan products" people. It's just that between some of the funky sounding brand names and some dodgy website content, I can't help but feel that I'm looking at spending a couple thousand dollars on a product being sold by a barely-existing shell of a company focused more on mail order sales than product quality and after sale support (are you listening Aventon?). It's almost like shopping on Amazon with the crazy sounding brand names of all the Chinese products.

I guess I'm suffering from analysis paralysis. Of course there are the mainstream brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc) that sell e-bikes, some of which approach the price of a used car. I have to imagine there are other reputable brands out there that I'm simply not familiar with, companies that have a long term viability and are known for excellent customer support after the sale. One thing is for certain - I do NOT want to spend 2k on a brand new bike that arrives with malfunctioning brakes, scratched frames, missing parts, and bent fenders that I have to "live with" and repair myself. I want stellar customer support, if not the added benefit of a dealer network (not finding many here in upstate/northern New York though).

Sorry for the rambling, but I guess I'm just looking for suggestions on which non-mainstream brands are the most reputable. I want to buy a bike from a company that will still exist in years to come.

Thanks!
 

Hoggdoc

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First post - woohoo!

Long time recreational cyclist looking to buy my first e-bike, and maybe one for my wife too. The Aventon Aventurer initially caught my eye and I watched all the glowing YT "reviews" (where Aventon sends the reviewer a free bike). Then I came across a LOT of negative comments regarding Aventon's very poor customer service, so I started looking at other brands.

What concerns me is that I've never heard of most e-bike companies. There are odd-sounding brand names and their websites sometimes have marketing-speak written by someone whose primary language clearly isn't english. That in itself doesn't bother me and I'm not one of those "I only buy 'Mercan products" people. It's just that between some of the funky sounding brand names and some dodgy website content, I can't help but feel that I'm looking at spending a couple thousand dollars on a product being sold by a barely-existing shell of a company focused more on mail order sales than product quality and after sale support (are you listening Aventon?). It's almost like shopping on Amazon with the crazy sounding brand names of all the Chinese products.

I guess I'm suffering from analysis paralysis. Of course there are the mainstream brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc) that sell e-bikes, some of which approach the price of a used car. I have to imagine there are other reputable brands out there that I'm simply not familiar with, companies that have a long term viability and are known for excellent customer support after the sale. One thing is for certain - I do NOT want to spend 2k on a brand new bike that arrives with malfunctioning brakes, scratched frames, missing parts, and bent fenders that I have to "live with" and repair myself. I want stellar customer support, if not the added benefit of a dealer network (not finding many here in upstate/northern New York though).

Sorry for the rambling, but I guess I'm just looking for suggestions on which non-mainstream brands are the most reputable. I want to buy a bike from a company that will still exist in years to come.

Thanks!
Welcome, first of all you should understand that 99% of the bikes on the market are sourced from China . Buying a so called brand name doesn't buy you anything different. Not even the dealer support can help if parts supply aren't available.

You haven't mentioned anything that relates to the type of bike that you're looking for nor the type of riding that you may be doing. I would start with figuring that out then maybe somebody could help you.

You might also look at a YouTube channel called CitizenCycle Bryan the creator has tested all sorts of bikes and does a real world test of those bikes. He's not a journalist he's just a regular guy but he does get the bikes for free from the manufactures for testing purposes. His reviews may help you choose the type of bike that you're looking for.
 

Teleplayer

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Thanks for the response! Yeah, as a long time biker I'm very well aware that practically 100% of bikes and components, including the most recognizable brands, are of Asian origin.

To answer your question I'm looking to do "adventure" riding, for lack of a better term. I presently own a cross-country MTB and a cyclocross(ish) bike. My riding consists of a mix of roads, gravel, bike paths, and dedicated mountain biking trails (mostly single track). I don't do any real technical backcountry bushwhacking stuff or big drops off boulders - getting too old!

Thanks for the tip on CitizenCycle. I did watch his video about the Aventure. It seems that the majority of YT reviews I've seen for that bike are from YT channel influencers. It also seems that if you're lucky enough to get an Aventon with no damage or out-of-box failures, then the reviews are generally good. As we know though, that experience isn't necessarily real world and then the ugly stories come out.

Spoke to a friend yesterday who has been commuting on a Rad Power for the past year or so. His experience has been good. When I brought up my concern about after sale support, all he could offer was that he had a great test ride on a Specialized - with a price tag approaching $5k.

I'm beginning to wonder if, for me at least, we're not quite there yet in terms of e-bike price/value/customer experience. It's like the old saying I saw on a contractor's truck one day: "We can do your project good, fast, or cheap - pick any two".
 

portjon

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I have a off brand from Amazon (wtva) folding step thru 20 inch fat tire.bought in July and have 200 miles on it and love the bike ($1299.00) it had a paint chip and I sent a pic to the seller.We agreed on a $100.00 refund. When I contact the seller at 6 PM Pacific time I always get a answer within 30 minutes.its been great customer service. Now my wife has a rad mini step thru 2 and rad has great customer service 7 days a week 7am to 9pm Pacific time. I would by the wtva again and have been to 32mph on electric only
 
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