Why It’s the Best Time Ever to Buy An E-Bike
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Why It’s the Best Time Ever to Buy An E-Bike

Two riders enjoying electric bikes Qualisportas Dolphin and Dolphin+
  • Companies have massive overstock and are slashing prices to move it.
  • Many states are offering their own incentive programs to push e-bike adoption.
  • You can find great deals on e-bikes online or at your local bike shop.

Right now — this moment — is likely the best time in history to buy an e-bike. That’s not hyperbole. This may be the single best time to buy your first one or your next one — that aspirational bike. Because e-bike inventory is bursting at the seams of warehouses, and manufacturers are slashing e-bike prices.


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The reason is pretty simple. In 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic, people bought acoustic bikes as well as e-bikes in huge numbers, eventually depleting all the bikes in stock. But because of the pandemic, factories were shut down for long periods of time, which meant that there were no components being made, which caused a serious interruption in the supply chain. That then led to big backorders with crazy lead times.

Eventually, the supply chain caught up and manufacturers were barraged with inventory. With that inventory, there are bills to pay. A bike sitting in a warehouse costs money instead of generating it, and manufacturers are slashing prices to recoup some of the cost of an e-bike.

One case in point; I reviewed a Bulls Copperhead EVO AM4 750 mountain bike. Their naming convention grinds my gears. Just know that it’s a mountain bike, designed for all-mountain riding, hence the AM. The 4 in the title pertains to the fact that this is the top of their line of all-mountain e-bikes, meaning the best components in the line. It’s also their most expensive.


Yours truly, heading up a trail on the Bulls Copperhead EVO AM4 750. The e-bike currently costs almost half of what it originally did.

When I started riding the bike, they’d dropped the price from $6,500 (good full-suspension electric mountain bikes are expensive) to $5,999, a $500 difference. By the time I finished with that bike two weeks later, it had dropped two grand to $3,999! They’re being pressured by companies like Specialized that have massively discounted their e-bike prices.

Kona tried offering a buy-one-get-one-free with certain mountain and e-mountain bikes. Judging by the fact that parent brand Kent Outdoors is trying to sell the brand off may point to that being too little, too late.


Commuting e-bikes, like this AIMA Santa Monica, are discounted and fighting for your wallet’s attention at $1699.

On the e-bike commuting side, companies like Aventon, AIMA, and Velotric are in a price war with each other. All three of their main commuter bikes match in spec and offer a torque sensor, and were good values for the money at $1,999, but now they’re all $1,699 at the time of this writing. 


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To Make It Even Less Expensive…

There are several states that have electric bike incentives right now. The federal incentives from the EBIKE Act were sadly not passed by the U.S. Congress, but definitely check your state’s current incentives. For example, California is launching a program to offer rebates of up to $1,000 for regular e-bikes and $1,750 for cargo or adaptive e-bikes. There are additional regional rebates in places like Los Angeles County, Orange County, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and others.

Colorado has a tiered program based on income for anywhere from a $100-$1,100 rebate, with Denver and Boulder originally offering additional incentives on electric bike purchases, but those applications are currently closed.

Connecticut has a limited budget offering a $500 voucher ($1,000 for low-income residents), but so many took advantage of it that the program is out of funds for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Massachusetts is starting a program that should start this year to offer rebates between $500-750 based on income.

Many other states have their own rebates/incentives in place. Your local bike shop should know what is available to you and will help you take advantage of it. With these incentives, the already less-expensive e-bikes across the industry become vastly more affordable.


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The Bike Shop Perspective

Andrew Smith, owner of The Bike Center, with two locations in Santa Monica and Culver City, California, said that right now he’s making less on each bike than the sales tax he collects on it. He can’t raise prices on an e-bike because the manufacturers basically dictate those prices, and he’d be competing with their direct-to-consumer sales at those prices.

Smith suggests — and I agree with him — that even if you’re going to order direct, go talk to your local bike shop. They’ll be the ones to help you if you have problems, whether under warranty or not, and they’ll assemble it for you the right way so you can ride safely. But they may have the bike you want in stock anyway, so they can fit you for it and you can test-ride it before you buy.

At some point, inventory will settle and prices will normalize. If you’re looking for your first e-bike or you want to upgrade, there has never been a better time than right now. It is the best time to buy an e-bike.

Pull the trigger — let’s go ride!


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IMAGES: TONY DONALDSON

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AUTHOR: 

TONY DONALDSON

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