I do like Rossman and the arguments he makes but...
If Rossman took his head out of his own backside once in a while, and read beyond the text he highlights, he'd see Raleigh are (almost exclusively) using Bosch systems. Why? Because that's largely what Retailers want to sell, because that's mostly the system that punters (especially the uninformed newbie) asks for and seems to want to buy... or so my LBC tells me. People readily identify with Raleigh and Bosch as names they know and trust.
That text has been on Raleighs website for more than 5 years, and IIRC the argument for just buying a new bike when your battery dies was at one time qualified by the reasoning that the technology would have advanced so far within that time that you'd likely want to avail yourself of it. Whether that argument is still valid today is a different question.
I think his argument should really (again) be levelled at Bosch and why their batteries are A) so overpriced as to have to consider choosing to buy a new bike and B) booby-trapped to prevent the user at least having that choice to recell and reuse them.
When I look at my 2015 crank drive Haibike Yamaha electric mountain bike, there are three main components, the bike, the motor, and the battery.
Mine has a 400Wh battery. At the time and still now my bike shop were/are able to sell me a spare battery or replacement battery for £650. They could also sell me a replacement motor, again at £650.
My bike cost £1,750 in 2015. So the battery represented 37% of the cost of my bike, and if you bought both a battery and a motor that represented 74% of the cost of the bike. If you also bought a charger at £150, then we are up to 82% of the new price of the bike.
At those prices you might well consider buying a new bike!
I already owned a Chinese derived Oxygen rear hub electric bike that cost me £1,400.
To be honest I have had issues with both bikes, and been lucky to be able to fix the problems I have had with my Haibike myself.
But by a country mile the 2011 Oxygen is far easier and cheaper to fix with parts you can buy of ebay.
I have just bought a Yose battery for £165 which included a charger. I already have a Yose battery that is still working well after 4 years.
I also bought two motor wheels from Oxygen for £120.
The Haibike battery and charger together would cost around £800 from the bike shop where I bought my bike.
I was in essence a newbie to crank drive bikes when I bought my Haibike Yamaha and am now much more aware of the defeat technology built into it and the brick wall you will face for some simple battery problems that are easy to fix, in my case a broken charger socket.
However I have managed to keep my Haibike going, it is 7 years old, it continues to work well, and off road it is fantastic, with now 15,298 miles ridden.
I do know now that I could have a problem that I could not fix and in all likelihood not be able to find a dealer to fix.
These are big companies, Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, who could easily put in place systems to repair or replace their ebike systems at a fair price out of warranty.
I love my Haibike but probably will not now buy another crank drive bike of a similar type with defeat technology built in that you cannot either repair yourself or have repaired by the bike shop you bought it from for a reasonable service life after you have bought it.
I would have thought any expensive electric bike should be supported with spare parts and a dealer repair facility for 10 years after you have bought it.
it just ends up costing more than a new bosch batt esp with duty and import fees
when i got my bike i thought buy now i could cram about 1000w worth of capacity in the same size pack but the opposite has happened and just made them 2-3 times the size and put them in the down tube so also impossible to carry a spare.
my original 400w batt is now on life support as in turbo its flat in 5 miles i just cant do anything with it bar throw it in the bin and forced to buy a new one if i want to keep the bike going as no one in the uk will even try to do it now.
at least with the motors we now have peter to service them and replace the bearings he can also get the controllers for the yamaha motors so out of all the mid drives there the most fixable of the lot.
I've got a Shimano battery and motor on my Ebike. So far the motor has been fine but l've had a new battery under warranty. It seems that the Shimano E8000 motor is not repairable so if it fails outside of the warranty l will be faced with a bill of close to £1,000 for a replacement.
As the bike is worth over £5,000 l will have no choice other than to pony up the cash for a new motor.
I've bought a spare battery as it was on "offer" at £500. This Ebike business is more expensive than l expected
if you want my advice get rid of it asap because when warranty ends you cant even open up the motor and re grease the gears as the motors are non serviceable if you dare even look inside and why peter wont service them.
Use it regularly and keep riding through the Winter.
Make the most of the warranty period!
Take stock towards the end of the warranty period and if there is anything you are worried about especially in respect of the electric system raise it verbally and in writing with the supplying bike shop.
Wash it carefully keeping water away from where the pedal cranks attach to the motor and other bearings.
Charge your battery to full as much as possible before your ride so that the cells balance.
Store your battery inside your house somewhere in the 50 to 70% range.
Pedelec site by its nature attracts people who are having a problem with their bike seeking help to fix it.
It's important to understand the vast majority of ebikes in the world are hub based and that is simply because hub based ebikes are much cheaper and cheaper typically means accessible to more people. When I was looking around various sites it had something like over 95% of ebikes are hub based and in some poorer countries they actually buy a lot of ebike kits with brushed motors which are the entry level product.
I understand as you move to richer countries the ratio may change dramatically but the average price of a bicycle sold in the UK is about £380 including ebikes this clearly dictates a lot of lower end purchases. Then you have Halfords that take 25p in every £ in the UK with regard cycling which could equate to 40% of all bikes sold. Halfords sell more bikes than the whole independent bike shop sector altogether. Then factor in the huge amount of bikes sold at ebay, Amazon, Argos, online etc.
Mid-drives dominate completely high end e-mountain bikes for obvious performance reasons but that is still a very small niche of the market.
I feel there are great parallels between typical German luxury and executive cars, such cars have very poor reliability, very high repair costs and parts can wear quickly but they have a performance advantage. They typically don't last that long and are scrapped earlier because they become uneconomic to repair quickly due to their complexity. German cars typically are the most likely to have total engine and transmission failures.
I think you can make parallels with mid-drive ebikes, they are expensive, they are difficult and expensive to repair, they are complicated and have poor reliability and dominate forum postings for faults despite being a very low percentage of sales. The bikes are scrapped early, they have dedicated frames for the motors which aren't re-usable as normal bikes and spares availability is difficult as they get older. They are designed to prevent people making their own repairs, the batteries have special electronic handshaking to prevent third party batteries and some are filled with glue to ensure they cannot be repaired you have to buy their high end replacement products. Not only that mid-drive will wear down your drivetrain components much quicker. It's a great gravy train for local bike shops with frequent custom and more profit for them and they often have little or no competition in their area for such bikes. Such ebikes are phenomenally expensive often comparable or more expensive than motorbikes or even entry level cars. However no question as a e-mountain bike they have massive advantages in performance in how the power is scaled through the gears. They are hugely damaging to the environment though and very wasteful of resources and definitely more damaging to the UK economy causing a greater trade deficit.
I can't help seeing them as junk products but then I don't need a high performance e-mountain bike which they excel at.
Lastly they are often the type of bike most mis-sold because they are so expensive there is huge profit to be had. I've heard so much rubbish from the lips of sales people in such shops. The biggest lie of course is that mid-drive are the most popular ebikes which makes people think that is the sensible choice but of course its a complete lie.
Unless you want off road performance where crank drives excel.
It is a shame as my entry level hard tail Haibike Yamaha is a well built machine that has worked very well.
I did however have a charger plug/connector problem that stopped me being able to charge the battery and was quite shocked that the bike shop where I bought it could offer me no repair option, but only to buy a new charger and battery for the princely sum of £800.
My ex BT engineer friend and I fixed it with generic chock a block connectors bought of ebay for under a tenner. At that point my bike was out of warranty. To fix it effectively we had to overcome the defeat connectors and open up the battery to solder the wires of our new connectors inside the battery.
We also had no diagrams or schematics etc, just had to go in blind.
I bought my bike in March 2015 and the charging connectors broke around the 17th of April 2018 after I had ridden the bike 8,932 miles.
After being forced to fix it myself, as I say for under £10 of bits, I am still using the same original battery as my bike heads into its seventh year and has powered me a further 6,366 miles.
So it would not have been very green to throw away a perfectly good battery and charger, just because the connectors broke.
The performance of that battery is still remarkably good but must be on borrowed time now.
I have just bought a new silver fish Yose battery that fits both my rear hub bikes for £165 that includes a new charger. Slightly different to the £800 replacement cost of a new 400Wh Yamaha battery and charger.
So I would say for nearly any newbie wanting to buy their first electric bike and ride it predominantly on the road, they should buy a rear hub bike.
I was quite surprised how capable my rear hub bikes are on less difficult tracks off road.