Buying a Second Hand Electric Bicycle

Shopping second-hand e-bikes has never been simpler or more reliable, with marketplaces like Decathlon accepting old bikes to refurbish before selling on. But before making your purchase, be sure to make a series of checks first.

Ask about the bike’s mileage. This will give an accurate indication of its history, including any repairs that might need to be performed on it.


Second hand electric bicycles often represent an economical option for cycling enthusiasts. But it is essential to assess the condition of each second-hand ebike before making a purchase decision; some ebikes may require significant repair work that could prove expensive.

Asking for service records and invoices of repairs can give a clearer understanding of a bike’s history, helping you assess its reliability in terms of motor, battery and controller reliability. You should also inspect display lights to make sure everything works as it should; signs of exposed wiring might indicate prior electrical problems which might cost money to fix.

Electric bikes have become increasingly popular as an effective means for novice riders to tackle steep inclines or difficult terrain without using pedal power alone. Furthermore, these electric bikes reduce physical effort needed for long distance riding by providing assistance from their motor, assistance system and battery pack. The main components of an e-bike include its motor, assistance system and battery.

When purchasing a used electric bike, make sure the battery is in working condition. A battery left dormant for too long can corrode and lose capacity over time. A multimeter is useful in testing battery health; for Bosch systems there’s also an online tool which provides updates on performance checks for its batteries.


When purchasing a second-hand electric bicycle, be mindful to inspect any damages or defects that could impact its condition and value. Inspect for things such as dents, deep scratches and rusty spots as these could indicate improper care of the bike and lead to issues in the future. Also pay close attention to electrical components like motor, controller display lights as these should all function smoothly otherwise this can indicate costly repair expenses in the future.

Consideration must also be given to the battery condition when purchasing an ebike. Over time, batteries tend to lose performance, so it is essential that you monitor their condition and negotiate accordingly with regards to pricing. When searching for bikes with original brand batteries with keys that unlock them you reduce risk and ensure you purchase functional batteries.

As with any sale, another key aspect to keep in mind when selling an ebike is why its seller wants to sell. Sometimes people upgrade or simply don’t use theirs enough and so may be willing to offer it at a lower price. You should inquire as to whether there are service records or invoices you can inspect as this will give an idea of its past maintenance status and whether its asking price is fair.


Warranty policies provide assurance from manufacturers that should your e-bike break, they will repair or replace it at their cost. Before purchasing one it’s essential that you fully understand which parts and components fall under its coverage as this could impact future purchases.

Many e-bikes come with warranties covering the motor, battery, frame and controller; additional protection may also include accessories and replacement parts.

Bike accessories that tend to wear quickly include chains, derailleurs and brakes. As proof that these parts were replaced recently is important if you intend on keeping up with routine maintenance tasks on a used e-bike.

When purchasing a second-hand electric bicycle, it is particularly essential that both its motor and battery are in excellent condition. If possible, try cycling over some bumps to test its power delivery consistently and also speak to an e-bike store about professional diagnosis of both components.

Verify that the seller has all of the keys, battery charger, and diagnostic reports (for Bosch e-bikes). Also, avoid buying from shops who refuse to register their bikes with Project 529 or similar theft registries as this could indicate they don’t take their customers or their inventory seriously enough.


Shopping second-hand bikes is an effective way to keep them out of landfill, but it is essential that you know what to look out for when purchasing second-hand. In general, avoid any bike that appears incomplete – for instance if its seller lacks keys or battery charger, or won’t let you inspect it – while be mindful when purchasing stolen bikes – ask the seller for proof of purchase documentation and check to see if its frame number and details have been registered on Bike Index, Project 529 or other theft databases before committing purchase.

Finally, it is essential that you consider the availability of replacement parts for a given model. For instance, if a manufacturer uses a unique motor and battery system not widely adopted you might struggle to source parts later on; but Bosch boasts over 80 major bicycle brands using their electric power systems which keeps prices lower and service available.

One advantage of purchasing a new electric bike is that it comes with a warranty, giving you peace of mind and potentially saving money over time as the value of a brand-new bike tends to hold onto its worth over time. But remember, new bikes will cost more than secondhand ones.

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