Tips on how to choose an ebike?

Total noob here, I only know Bosch makes good engines. Happy to buy used, but I wonder if that’s a good idea for ebikes. Any tips?

I don’t know about used e-bikes, I am looking into buying a new one. Several cantons offer subsidies up to 15% of the price (Vaud:

For a used e-bike the battery may need to be replaced. Apart from that the power output of the engine will be important. In my case, living in a hilly area and planning to transport my kid on the bike, I would need at least a “Performance Line” engine from Bosch (65 Nm).

I would go to a shop and get some expert advice depending on your needs. Battery, engine, brand, they are determining factors for the purchase price.

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Don’t know about used e-bikes, but - motor (electricity), not engine (combustion). :grin:

Edit: OK I admit, it might have evolved to be synonymous today. :slight_smile:

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I don’t think such subsidies exist in ZH, unfortunately.

I can’t help much either, but I can tell you this: Some models have the motor built onto (into?) the wheel axis and some have the motor built into the pedal’s axis. All else being equal (which it isn’t, but I have no clue about other things) you should prefer the ones that apply the motor power to the wheel directly because then you have less load on the chain.

Some anecdata: I’ve had some bad experiences with Flyers (the brand, they apply power at the pedals) breaking the chain sadly often. And pushing an ebike is even less fun than with a regular bike. Guess how I know…


Aaah I see someone else saw the Publibike spike :slight_smile:

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I have a different opinion. I have bought, used or new, resold etc 3 ebike now.
The motor in the wheel cause an inertial load since is moving mass that is really not nice to have, particularly at higher speed.

There are 2 type of ebike: the one that do not require plate number (max speed 25 km/h) and the more powerful one (up to 45 km/h) that force you to buy plates and an yearly tax.

I have only ever had the 25 kmh to avoid the tax. With this bike you are immediately up to 25 kmh, where the motor slowly cut off. Having an in-wheel motor then becomes really annoying because you have more inertial load. I would only recommend the in wheel motors for 45 kmh.

With bikes up to 25 kmh i have never had a chain breaking, but i am quite meticulous with maintenance. You can’t n simply ride one year in all conditions and m never cleaning and greasing the system :wink:

Which kind of route would you drive more often?

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I also read it feels more natural to have the motor driving the chain, so in the center of the bike. This will also give more balance to the bike as the weight is centered.

Some e-bikes have something called “walk-assist”, which helps you “pushing the bike”. No experience with it myself, but its what I am looking for at the moment.

Depending on how the walk assist is implemented it may be useless. If you have the motor in the middle just push the bike - why do you think you need it? My bike has a 2018 bosch system and the walk assist is not so easy to use. You beed to keep a weirdly placed button pushed, and would often break up the assist. In 3 years i only really used it once when the kids chariot was attached and we had to walk uphill. But it didn’t really help much.

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I thought it would be helpful for pushing the bike uphill with a chariot attached

Yeah but most of the time you are going to actually pedal. It is so rare that you can’t pedal, abd the uphill would be so steep that a walk assist would help.
Maybe newer models are better implemented, and if you have a place where you know you would need it often than go for it.
But honestly I just pedal.

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The mid drive electric bikes (with the motor between the pedals) are superior. This gives better weight distribution, tidier cabling and avoids the need to shoehorn a motor somewhere. The wheel hub drive systems are generally to convert non-electric bikes to electric. Mid drive bikes are dedicated e-bikes and generally cost more.

The chain load isn’t a big deal either. Chains are expendable — they are cheap and easy to replace and should be considered part of the running cost. If the chain is breaking often it’s more likely some combination of not up to the job or needs maintenance. There are plenty of mid drive bikes out there so there certainly are chains that are up to the task.

I have driven 10’000 km with BoschCX motor 25 km/h but unbridled so it was constant 45 km/h drive, never had any issue. To learn how to replace transmission (chain, front and rear sprockets) can save you a lot of money…
After a fall that impacted the mmotor, had the motor replaced under garantee (no charge) but with the newer version (post 2019) and this one is not unbridlable so now I ride 25km/h. I’ve changed my mind concerning this and the speed is not worth the insurence risk.
If it’s in your budget, go for 45km/h bike. I can only recommend bosch motors but make sure you deal with a reliable seller (in Geneva
The e-bike market is blooming right now and they have more customers than ever… you can deal with them (ask for discouts, free services & stuff)

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Wanted to share that I bought an e-bike finally. Love it, can never go back, the hills melt away and I go everywhere with it (daughter included). I cut my commute time by more than half compared with public transport.


Great congrats!
What did you get in the end?

I ordered this one:

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It is from Diamant, Bosch performance line motor (25km/h), Intuvia display.

What do you think about this:

I’m not an expert, but this bike would not have been suitable for me because I had a list with specifications that I wanted. Motor at the drive chain, 65Nm support, etc.

It’s cheap. Depending on your use case it might be enough for you, but it has a weak-ish motor (it does not even say the brand…) at the back instead than at the centre and a smaller battery than the one I chose.

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