Although bike sharing apps like MoBike and Ofo are currently trending, allowing people to pick up, ride and drop off a bicycle anywhere and anytime they want, regular bikes are not enough for people that need a more effortless and quick mode of transportation, like the electric bike. Here’s a guide for how to purchase an electric bike in Beijing.
It’s usually easy to spot an electric bike store from far away, as the sellers commonly line up their proudly owned stock on the front yard of their stores. Here’s a list of the electric bike shops in Beijing, summarized by the Chinese electric bike website easybuybike.com. The list is in Chinese only, but you can refer to the translations in the screenshots below to find out how to use the list.
You may search the shop’s location by copying and pasting the address from the list into your map app, or you can also try to call the shop, though chances are they won’t understand English.
When it comes to electric bicycles, there is more to consider compared to regular bikes. For example, you’ll need to decide if you want flexible speed control, and you’ll need to learn how to maintain battery life. Below are five major principles that will help you to make a choice that is right for you:
Research the brand
You should always go with the big and trustworthy brands that have passed the ISO9001-2000 quality test. Brands like Lvyuan, Aima, Giant and Xinri are all well-established and reliable.
Learn about service and repair
As different electric bike brands don’t share the same parts, you’ll need to make sure that there’s a local repair shop that specializes in the brand you choose. This is also one reason why you should go with the big name brands.
Know the types and styles of bikes
There are basically two types of electric bikes: one looks more like a motorcycle, with a powerful battery and an extremely comfortable seat, and the other is simpler and cheaper and usually has two pedals that you can use when your bike is out of battery power. You should also keep in mind that electric bikes are at a higher risk of getting stolen in China, so you may need to purchase an expensive lock for a high-end model.
Be careful of the parts
Electric bikes have a higher demand for parts than regular bikes, and that’s why you should check the parts even more carefully before payment. You should pay special attention to the tires, brakes, handlebar flexibility, chain (for electric bikes with pedals), and the battery. What’s more, you should also check if the auxiliary features, like the screen displaying battery life, speed and distance, work properly.
Ask yourself if you are really ready for an electric bike?
Last, but not least, ask the seller how long the battery lasts. Make sure that it can sustain your journey. If not, make sure that you can charge the battery somewhere. Some roadside shops and news stands provide electric bike battery charging services.