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If you’re considering buying an e-bike you should have a look at what’s covered by the warranty. You might be swapping a few car journeys to work for commutes on two wheels and if your motor vehicle manufacturer offers protection against manufacturing default then so should your new ride.
What is an E-Bike Warranty?
An e-bike warranty is a written guarantee of what you can expect from a bike brand following a failure of listed parts of the bike, including the frame. It shows the circumstances under which the warranty will respond, or not, to a problem which needs fixing. It provides significant peace of mind.
Most e-bikes are made with parts which come from different manufacturers. Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo are the world leaders in building components. They attach these to frames which in most cases are designed and manufactured by the brand whose name is stuck onto the down tube of the bike.
And of course, there are the electric parts. E-bikes usually either get all their power delivery and motors from one brand source such as Bosch or Yamaha; alternatively, some electric-only bike brands provide the power from units they manufacture themselves.
A warranty is in most cases for the original owner only. You must register your details as the new owner as soon as you buy the bike. In a bid to become more environmentally responsible and solidify the brand as sustainable, some manufacturers offer a second-owner warranty. Various aspects of a warranty will be offered on a replacement or repair basis.
A warranty is a legal contract. The wording is required to be balanced and straightforward. You should not have to be a lawyer to understand a warranty. Other rights such as guarantees or legislation protecting your rights as a consumer will not be affected by a warranty.
It’s important to look at warranties with your eyes open. They will tend to only cover very rare, or unexpected failures. Deliberate misuse and wear and tear are not covered. Most won’t cover any damage caused by being involved in races or any commercial activity. You may even need to service your bike to a set standard to be covered.
Before you buy an e-bike, it will pay to examine these warranties in detail. Start by looking at the bike brand’s website. Is the warranty offer prominently placed and easy-to-read? Does the length of the warranty – usually measured in years – seem fair and reasonable for your use and needs? We’ll have a closer look at frames and batteries specifically.
Does the process of claiming under the warranty seem straightforward, or murky? And what is excluded? Does the brand seem like it will support your claim, or put barriers in your way to knowingly put you off? Read forums and reviews for guidance and real world opinions.
Warranties are included in the original purchase price of the electric bike. You’ll need to retain your invoice or receipt and you should know and note your e-bike’s serial number.
Electric Bike Frame Warranty
An electric bike frame warranty must be a high priority for any buyer. It’s the body on which the components hang, including the battery, motor and wheels. It should include the forks too. The bicycle brand should also hang its reputation on the length of the warranty – that’s your guide to their confidence in their own product.
Bigger bike brands will usually include all of their own built frames under one umbrella. For example, Giant includes Liv and Momentum under their warranty. Remember that the frame will most-likely be the most expensive item to replace.
The frame should be the strongest and most reliable element of the e-bike. The forks are really the only moving part of it which reiterates that the better manufacturers put more faith in their work with a longer frame warranty.
Carbon fibre cracks and serious defects are most likely to be claimed under an e-bike frame warranty. There are exclusions like inaccurate self-assembly or the addition of parts that aren’t compatible with the bike sold. Strapping an after-market 1000Watt motor or throttle to boost the limited top speed of a pedelec from 25kph to 45kph will invalidate the warranty of the frame. It wasn’t built to support those speeds.
Paint and decals will not have the same length of warranty as the manufactured or machined parts of the frame.
Electric Bike Battery Warranty
The electric bike battery is likely to be the single most expensive component on the average e-bike. Its performance is vital for the performance of the electric bike and most should offer at least 800 full charges before it needs replacing.
The cheaper, heavier lead-acid batteries which come with the least expensive bikes usually have shorter-length warranties. The better Lithium-ion battery warranties will most likely be at least double the length of a lead-acid variant.
There will always be key exclusions in the warranty of an electrical product that might seem meaner than other parts of the bike. Storage, frequency of charging, the intensity of exposure to water and other elements, as well as use will all impact the warranty. A battery with only 100 full charges left which proves to be defective will attract a reduction in the value of the warranty compared to one which is only 100 charges old.
How Long is a Typical E-Bike Warranty?
A typical e-bike warranty will run between one and two years. Frames, motors, batteries, wheels and components have different warranty lengths. The most important are going to be the frame, forks, motors and batteries. Protect safety as much as a bank balance. Longer warranties mean higher quality.
VanMoof, Cowboy Bikes and Himiway offer a two-year warranty on frames and components. Cowboy Bikes will permit any remaining part to a new owner. Tenways offer a very clear breakdown of the length of warranty for different parts on a landing page, going up to five years for the frame.
E-Bike Brand Warranties
|Brand||Frame Warranty||Battery Warranty|
|TENWAYS||5 years||2 years|
|Himiway||2 years||2 years|
|VanMoof||2 years||2 years|
|Engwe||1 year||1 year|
|Cowboy Bikes||2 years||2 years|
|Rad Power Bikes||1 year||1 year|
|Urtopia||2 years||2 years|
|Trek||Lifetime (some exceptions)||2 years|
|Juiced Bikes||1 year||1 year|
|Evelo||4 years / 20,000 miles||4 years / 20,000 miles|
|Priority Bicycles||5 years||2 years|
|sixthreezero||1 year||1 year|
|Cyrusher||2 years||1 year|
Do E-Bike Warranties Cover the Battery?
Most e-bike warranties will cover the battery. As we’ve discussed above, the right to claim under an electrical warranty depends on different conditions than a mechanical warranty or frame warranty. Most coverage will be upon a total failure in performance, not simply a reduction in performance.
From our list above, the summary of coverage included the battery so we did not have to look far for peace of mind. However, it’s worth noting that the warranty length on most of these units is shorter than the charging lifespan of most of the batteries.
Crucially, the terms and conditions for a battery to be covered under warranty will be just as specific as you will see for claims under the frame warranty.
How Long Should an E-Bike Last?
An e-bike should last as long as any bike. A well-built electric bike, which is serviced and maintained carefully and frequently should last years and years. Individual parts are usually readily available and many are interchangeable. Cycling as a mode of transport is highly sustainable.
The battery will eventually need replacing and motor servicing will also be necessary. Electric bikes should be placed in the hands of the correctly trained personnel for this work unless you want to risk voiding your warranty.
The better battery manufacturers will look to avoid any planned obsolescence which plagues the sportier side of cycling. They should design their newer, lighter, more efficient batteries to fit into the docks of older e-bikes.
E-Bikes with 3+ Year Warranty
Double the average warranty length
48 months or 20,000 miles of coverage for the frame, display, controller, motor assembly, rear hubs and full replacement of battery for the first 24 months.
50% longer warranty than industry standard
Three year warranty including drive unit, frame and battery and can be transferred to the next purchaser.
Two-and-a-half times the norm
Subject to tune-ups and annual services from an authorised dealer – battery repair or replacement in the first three years. Lifetime warranty on the frame.
Electric Bike Extended Warranty: Where to Get One
We’ve established that the average e-bike frame and battery warranty is around two years. Some manufacturers offer a longer warranty within their pricing as a mark of trust and confidence in the product. We’ve also landed on around three years as a minimum battery life if used regularly without high stress.
You may wish for more peace of mind and comfort in extending your warranty further. There are other electrical elements to an e-bike such as the motor, or display. You can shop around online or at the counter of some local bike shops for an extended warranty.
You might be happy with the lifetime offer on your frame but want more for your battery, especially if you are a very light user of the charging device. You may be able to find one like E-Life Guard Protection which covers the battery and motor, plus the cost of parts and labour.
Extended warranties tend to come in two, three, or four year options. Getting an extended warranty is essentially the same as a new warranty, via registration. The warranty company may not be a specialist in the repair of your e-bike. It’s more than likely that they will have an approved repairer service. Therefore it’s important to check your local coverage before you sign up.