independent e bike technician

stevieb

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2014
280
68
if you buy a car , motorbike etc and it breaks down then your local garage will probably be able to fix it even if you did not buy it from them or it is a make they don,t sell.
it,s shame this doesn,t appear to be the case with ebikes.
in fact even if you did buy the bike from a shop the chances are that if it is a complex problem then the manufacturer will have to be contacted for advice.
i understand that not all shops may be like this but the fact that we need a forum for help from experts kind of highlights this problem.
just imagine buying a car from your local dealer and having the same problems ebike owners have when you take it back with a problem!
it seems that there is a gap in the market for an independent technician who can repair your ebike, especially when it runs out of warranty.
unless i,m mistaken and this service is already available
 
  • Like
Reactions: cwah

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
14,451
11,534
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
most problems with e-bikes involving the electrics can be diagnosed in a few minutes with a multitester. That may explain why e-bike shops don't make much noises about it.
The problem as I see it is that ebikes are relatively expensive to repair compared to normal bikes.
 

Paul smith

Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2016
249
198
Was thinking about this the other day...I don,t drive so know zilch about motors, if I had a car with problems I could take it to a million an one garages to get it sorted....if you have problems with an ebike?? well seems to be a hell of a lot of aggravation to get it sorted, an considering the price of some of these bikes..i think some retailers take the **** somewhat...
 
  • Like
Reactions: mike killay

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
14,451
11,534
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
..if you have problems with an ebike?? well seems to be a hell of a lot of aggravation to get it sorted, an considering the price of some of these bikes..i think some retailers take the **** somewhat...
Hi Paul,

Many customers don't worry too much about paying more than £100 an hour for a technician to work on their cars. How much do you think it's fair to pay for an hour to an e-bike technician to sort out problems on your bike?
Taking into account that most electrical problems are caused by water ingress, a lot of them can be avoided if customers take good care of their bikes and keep them dry.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: flecc and Emo Rider
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
At the moment, most Chinese motored bikes are easy to fix, but for most others you need special software and diagnostic equipment to figure out what's wrong if the bike develops any electrical fault.
 

Paul smith

Pedelecer
Mar 26, 2016
249
198
Hi Paul,

Many customers don't worry too much about paying more than £100 an hour for a technician to work on their cars. How much do you think it's fair to pay for an hour to an e-bike technician to sort out problems on your bike?
Taking into account that most electrical problems are caused by water ingress, a lot of them can be avoided if customers take good care of their bikes and keep them dry.
Hey woosh...if said technician quoted me £100 ph...I would tell said technician to go **** himself..im talking about mtb here, if you paying 4-5 grand for a mtb then it,s not unreasonable to expect your bike to last 3-4-5 years, not conk out at the first sign of water..just to add if there was a whoosh outlet near me and I actually liked your bikes I would have absolutely no qualms in buying one..you got a good rep as far as I can tell....I think it,s to do with distance(in my case)..if my bike plonked out I,d have to try an sort things with martin 150 miles away...
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,494
4,486
57
West Sx RH
For most oem mid drive bikes it is protectionism, it keeps prices inflated as they class it a bespoke drive well above most hub dive options. On the other hand the hub drive is a relative simple system to repair and get back on the road and a lot cheaper to maintain.
Other issue you are comparing with is the motor industry, the two are chalk and cheese. The UK ebike market and its oem drives compared to the ICE market is so miniscule that specialised independent would not probably survive. In most mid drive cases the independent if trained as a service agent is still very limited to actually working on the systems and will rely on the manufacturers exchange system, his only tool of use would generally be updates to software and a diagnostic check with any repair more then often will be back in the manufacturers domain ( a closed market to keep the brand artificially high).
 
  • Like
Reactions: stevieb

craiggor

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 9, 2015
498
171
I have always looked at mid-drive bikes as a bottom part of a simple Chinese engine with an electric motor and freewheel instead of a crankshaft and clutch.What can be hard about fixing that.


Sent from my T1005 using Tapatalk
 

craiggor

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 9, 2015
498
171
The controller, head unit and software, all due to using brushless motors. Those areas are way beyond the knowledge of an average bicycle mechanic.
.
Is it the controller etc that is causing the clacking or bearing failures ? I read somewhere the Chinese think of controller failures/replacement like you think of replacing car wiper blades.

Sent from my T1005 using Tapatalk
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,105
22,802
Is it the controller etc that is causing the clacking or bearing failures ? I read somewhere the Chinese think of controller failures/replacement like you think of replacing car wiper blades.

Sent from my T1005 using Tapatalk
If you're referring to the Kalkhoff units, probably not, that seems to be failings in the design of the unit. Not relevant in respect of this thread though, these crank units from various makers don't have spares available, so a mechanic cannot repair them.
.
 

stevieb

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2014
280
68
Its only a matter of time before all decent bike shops are set up to deal with eBIkes. I'm not really sure what the problem is? Have you been turned away from somewhere?
i have not been turned away from anywhere as my bike is still under warranty thankfully.
hopefully you are correct and it is only a matter of time before all decent bike shops are set up to deal with e bikes.
BUT what this means is at the moment they are not.

it seems that with some bikes that dealers are not being trained as much as they would like by the manufacturers when it comes to more complex problems.

so in effect if you buy an e bike as your means of transport and it develops a problem that is beyond the ability of the shop you bought it from to repair then you have a lengthy wait while manufacturers or importers are contacted .
then the bike may even have to go back to them to be sorted.
all this time you are without transport.

what dave says about hub drives from china being easier to repair is a good point and one worth considering if you rely on your bike on a daily basis.

i understand that this is a new industry ,there are more cars on the go ,and we are the first to embrace it but i have heard of folks being put off buying into this at the moment as a result.
hopefully that sums up what the problem is .
thanks
 
Last edited:
i have not been turned away from anywhere as my bike is still under warranty thankfully.
hopefully you are correct and it is only a matter of time before all decent bike shops are set up to deal with e bikes.
BUT what this means is at the moment they are not.

it seems that with some bikes that dealers are not being trained as much as they would like by the manufacturers when it comes to more complex problems.

so in effect if you buy an e bike as your means of transport and it develops a problem that is beyond the ability of the shop you bought it from to repair then you have a lengthy wait while manufacturers or importers are contacted .
then the bike may even have to go back to them to be sorted.
all this time you are without transport.

what dave says about hub drives from china being easier to repair is a good point and one worth considering if you rely on your bike on a daily basis.

i understand that this is a new industry ,there are more cars on the go ,and we are the first to embrace it but i have heard of folks being put off buying into this at the moment as a result.
I honestly think you're worrying about nothing. You don't have a problem, and you won't have in the future.

Chinese bikes might be "easier" to repair, but you'll also find less people are prepared to touch them.

If you've invested in a quality brand of bicycles (ignore the motor bit) you're always going to get looked after by the brand, and their dealer network. If its outside of warranty, then you'll find mechanics in the industry step up. Currently they don't really need to because most things are covered by warranty.

It might end up like suspension on mountain bikes, where specialist centers set up around the UK that bike shops send things to to be sorted, when they aren't covered by warranty.

But as I've said, you don't have a problem and if you do, there will be a solution.
 

stevieb

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2014
280
68
how do you know that i didn,t have a problem?

the point i,m trying to make is the long time is may take to have a problem resolved.
this HAS happened to me recently.
it took a fair while to resolve even with a warranty.
so i wonder how long i would have to wait for people in the industry to step up to help when my warranty runs out.
 
Last edited:

stevieb

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2014
280
68
i did have a problem and now it has been fixed.

that,s a fair point about getting it fixed for free.

but the process would still have been the same.
that is back to shop , phone calls .......... etc
.
the bike would not switch on when the on button was pressed.
battery ok . contoller ok .
eventualy importer fitted a new motor.
that was all the info i got because nobody knew the exact problem just that something contained within the motor and associated wiring was faulty.
which highlights what someone said earlier about exchanging bits that don,t work.
 
you've kinda answered all your own questions on this.

eBikes is a pretty new market in the UK, so the majority of bikes are covered by warranty. In a year or two I suspect you'll see some centers pop up like TF tuned for suspension, but "....." for eBikes. Some shops will have the in house experts to deal with most things, others will rely on independent specialists.

Regarding the "needing a forum" comment, I find this a bit strange because the internet is full of forums for cars / motorbikes / bicycles / washing machines etc etc where people ask for advice on products that are out of warranty. eBikes are no different.
 

danielrlee

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 27, 2012
1,280
658
Westbury, Wiltshire
torquetech.co.uk
In my experience its easier to sort a problem when you're not getting it fixed for free.
It's hard to justify this argument, since a warranty is paid for up front as part of the purchase price, especially when it comes to the big name brands.

On the other hand, when you buy direct from China for a fraction of the cost, you accept a lack of backup from the retailer.