A lot of readers have had good experiences and saved a lot of money.
In my post, “Why I think buying an e-bike online is a really bad idea,” I suggested that e-bikes should be bought from and maintained by people who know what they are doing. I have always believed that we should support our local retailers and not buy stuff online, a point I have made before about bike shops.
I have rarely had such pushback in comments, emails and Twitter, and have had to reconsider my position.
I was actually undercut right from the beginning, when bike journalist and author Carlton Reid noted that the major point is to get people out of cars and on to bikes, which is absolutely true. Commenters agreed: “We need to focus much more on getting people out of their cars and onto bikes. Whether those bikes are bought online or at a store should not be the biggest concern at the moment.” It went downhill for me from there.
Bike shops aren’t doing a good job of selling e-bikes.
A number of readers noted that selection of e-bikes was really limited. “There is so little choice at local bike shops and so much more online.” Or, “There are two bike shops in my town. If you’re not wearing $500 worth spandex they don’t want to talk to you.” Another: “Local bike shops: We have two. In each they give you snide looks if you mention e-bikes… They don’t get it, and they will be gone.”