1. Choosing a brand
There are so many electric bike brands out there it can be very confusing for consumers. Some of these brands are reputable with good quality control and support, while others aren't. How do you tell the difference? Here are a couple of tips:
1. Look at the componentry - if it's a Bosch motor for example, you can be pretty assured it's a good bike because Bosch is very selective about who they sell their motor systems to, and provide good support and parts in New Zealand.
2. Google the brand name. If the same brand is sold to large and discerning European and US markets and has good reviews, there's some assurance of quality. If it's only a "brand" in New Zealand (and especially if they claim to have "designed" it in NZ - be very careful. In most cases (our worthy competitor Smartmotion excepted, these bikes have been ordered from an "Alibaba" type supplier and had a sticker put on with the importer's own "brand" name).
3. Beware the "Alibaba" bikes. Anyone can become an importer of e-bikes using a site like Alibaba, and many people see creating their own "brand" as a business opportunity without realising what they are getting into. We see the same story repeat itself. Someone imports a container of bikes as a side business, sells a bunch, then quits when the product starts coming back with problems, leaving their customers in the lurch when it comes to the inevitable need for parts and support.
4. Buy from brick and mortar retailers. At the very least you should expect to see a fully operational bike workshop in a store that specialises in bikes (or even better, specialises in e-bikes). Beware those operating out of pop-up stores, industrial units or on Trademe - they haven't made a commitment to being there long term to support you, and that's because they probably won't be.