Refurbished E-Bikes Can Help Take The Pain Out Of Buying Used

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If you’re interested in buying an e-bike, but the prices of new models from top-tier e-bike companies are out of your price range, there are plenty of used e-bikes on the market to choose from. Whether you’re looking on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, or even just a flyer on a window, there’s a big chance that you’ll see a wide range of used pre-owned electric bikes for sale, but there is one huge caveat to be aware of — unless you’re experienced in assessing the condition of an e-bike, it can be kind of a crapshoot as to whether a particular model is worth the asking price, even after taking it for a test ride.

Is the battery in good condition, or is it marginal and a potential fire hazard because of the way it was treated by its previous owner? Is the motor good, or is it on its way out? Are the other mechanicals on the bike up to snuff, or are you going to have to pay a bike shop to get stuff sorted out in the near future? Considering that most of these types of used e-bike transactions are likely to be in cash, and come with no guarantees, it’s possible to fork over some of your hard-earned money for an absolute lemon, but not know it until it’s already a done deal.

One company that is working to provide a better option for prospective e-bike buyers is Upway, a French startup that refurbishes and certifies both pre-owned electric bikes as well as new overstock or returned e-bikes from name brand manufacturers, and then sells them at up to 60% off of retail prices. And while the Upway marketplace has been previously available in Europe, the company has recently opened a location in Brooklyn, which means that the US now has access to quality e-bikes at affordable prices.

Last year, Upway raised $25 million in a Series A funding round, led by Sequoia Capital and Exor Ventures along with the European Climate Fund Transition, and this month, the company announced a $30 million Series B investment led by Korelya Capital, which Upway says will enable continued growth in the US, with a focus on the west coast.

“E-Bikes rapid penetration represents a pivotal shift towards clean mobility, benefiting both urban and rural areas. We foresee that a streamlined, circular, and affordable ecosystem would propel this market’s growth and magnify its positive impact. In such a fast-growing market and with tens of thousands of refurbished e-bikes already sold, Upway stands out as the emerging global category leader. We are proud to back Upway and its visionary team leading the charge of this revolution.” — Paul Degueuse, Partner at Korelya Capital

With a mission of making electric mobility accessible for everyone, Upway could have a big impact in the clean transportation sector, because although there are some bargain e-bikes for sale that pretty much anyone can afford, you really do get what you pay for, and those incredibly cheap e-bikes are most likely going to be disappointing and/or dangerous due to the use of sub-par components. With Upway, however, buyers can rest assured that not only is their new e-bike going to perform like new, but all of Upway’s certified refurbished e-bikes come with a 14-day return period and a one-year warranty.

“Each electric bike undergoes a meticulous certification process led by our professional in-house master mechanics. Through a comprehensive 20-point inspection, we ensure each e-Bike is in top-notch condition before it reaches your doorstep.

We stand by the quality of our e-bikes with our 1-year warranty that covers for any mechanical or electrical failure, and offer extra-protection plans to cover your bike for up to 3 years and protect it against accidental damages and theft.”

Another neat feature of Upway’s business is that they also buy used e-bikes, both from individuals and from bike stores, which obviously helps keep the company in stock with more bikes, but it also means that you might be able to essentially trade in your old e-bike for cash and then get a newer one without having to haggle with a local buyer in person. The partner program looks like a great option for bike stores that could offer a trade-in program at their location, but don’t want to actually refurbish, stock, and sell used e-bikes themselves. Upway also offers the option of filtering the choices to find an e-bike that qualifies for Colorado’s e-bike rebate program, meaning Colorado residents can easily pick the right bike and not have to do the legwork themselves.

Check out the full selection of e-bikes available from Upway in the US here, see what’s available in France, Belgium, Germany, or the Netherlands, and if you’re looking for a specific model, you can set up an email alert to be notified when an e-bike meeting your criteria is in stock.

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