At some point, most electric bike owners want to know the true age of their electric bikes, especially when they’re trying to resell the bike or just estimate the bike’s current worth.
Important information people will want to know about their bike is when the bike was manufactured, how it was utilized and if any changes were made to the bike’s structure. These things create a meaningful difference, which is why it’s important to be aware of this information.
Sometimes we want to make sure that we’re buying a good-quality used bike, too! Electric bicycles can be quite expensive, and it makes sense that you’re giving used bikes a chance. If you need a little bit of help in terms of how to buy a used bike, we have already talked about this topic before.
That’s why today, instead of focusing on tips and tricks on buying used bikes, we’ll cover the topic of bike age. Don’t worry, we’ll cover it in detail and ensure that you can utilize your knowledge to protect yourself from any misinformation and sellers with malicious intentions.
Why Would I Want To Know A Bike’s Age?
If you’re here and looking for a way to find your bike’s age, we’re sure you already have a reason as to why you’d want to know this information. However, if you don’t know all of the possibilities you have when you know your bike’s age, we want you to become more familiar with those.
Selling an electric bike
This is probably the most common reason people look into their bike’s age. People decide to sell their bikes for one reason or another and then need a way to estimate the bike’s value. Not only do you want to make sure that you’re putting the right price tag on the bike, but you also want to look knowledgeable to those around you. So it makes sense to be aware of this information - imagine if you asked someone how old was the phone they’re trying to sell you, and they have no idea… That’s a red flag, indeed.
Sometimes, people sell an electric bike because they need the money. On the other hand, some people decide to sell their old bikes to buy new ones and upgrade. Either way, it’s a very practical move - you won’t be cluttering your home with things that you don’t need anymore.
Buying a used electric bike
When you look at the prices of some electric bikes, it’s easy to see that not all electric bikes are made equal. Some of them are more complicated than others, and some are simply way too expensive for some people’s budgets. If you’re a student or newly employed, you might find it hard to dedicate a big amount of money to a new electric bike, and we understand that.
Many people who are into electric bikes get upgrades after a certain amount of time, and we assure you that even then, people often get pre-loved bikes. The reason lies behind the specifications - most bike owners want an upgrade, and they wish for something stronger. In addition, they wish to have something that gives better support and assistance, and that’s why they often opt for a mountain bike. These can be pricey, too - no shame in getting a well-maintained used electric bike!
Determining a bike’s general value
Some people seem to “collect” and “swap” electric bikes. Yeah, it’s not that common, but those who have developed a dedicated hobby of collecting electric bikes, maintaining them, and upgrading them, often find it tough to determine the bike’s value. This value is something they want to know for personal reasons to estimate the worth of their whole collection.
However, many people have already changed and customized their bikes, which changes the worth immediately. Before taking these changes into account, they also need to know the age of their bikes before they begin to make any other calculations. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for electric bike enthusiasts to compare bike values.
Doing bike swaps
This is rather uncommon, but certain towns and districts where electric bike enthusiasts meet each other and they tend to do bike swaps. These bike swaps are rarely permanent, but they surely need to be done right. It’s like getting a book at the local library, only reading it and returning it when you’re done with it.
Bike swaps need to be very well planned out. If they’re not, you could easily get your bike damaged or even stolen! To make things safe for both sides and the whole “e-bike club,” it’s important to share lots of information at the very beginning of the process. Just a part of the before-mentioned information includes the bike’s age. You want to swap bikes of similar value, both physical and emotional!
6 Ways To Find Your Bike’s Age
Okay, let’s move to the main topic of today’s discussion. We figured out why your bike’s age is important, and you now know where this information comes in handy, but do you know how to determine your bike’s age? Let’s share our favorite methods.
1. Make Sure You Check The Bike’s Papers
Your first idea should be to check the papers and the receipts you got when you bought the bike. This is a pretty bulletproof method, as many bikes come with information from the manufacturer. These are very helpful, especially with vintage bikes, when most of the bike info wasn’t stored online but on paper.
You can also search for online literature based on your bike’s name. Sometimes, certain bike models get discontinued at some point, making it a lot easier to determine when the bike was created. Also, if you bought the bike in a store and not from a local seller, some of the warranty papers you might have gotten might give you the info you need.
2. Get Acquainted With The Serial Number
Each bike has a serial number that you might want to check out. This number is usually stamped on your bike when it was made, and it’s very useful to locate it if possible. This is usually a pretty bulletproof method as all non-vintage bikes have serial numbers (and some vintage ones, too). The problem lies in the fact that these serial numbers do not mean much to most people, as the standard changes throughout time, and you will end up searching for the meaning of the letter-and-number combination you’ve found on the bike.
Some bikes have pretty obviously formatted serial numbers, and you can easily distinguish the year, too. If you find the bike’s serial number, usually located on the bike’s frame, you can easily check some online resources, such as forums and blogs, to check what the numbers mean.
3. Ask The Seller or Manufacturer
Quite obviously, this is one of the easiest methods on the list. It helps you get the information you need without much hassle, and it’s pretty efficient too, but the problem might be finding the right people to reach out to. One of the easiest ways is to simply find the bike’s manufacturer and visit their website. There is usually some contact info on the website that you can save to your phone. Additional contact info might be on the warranty or the receipt you got with the bike.
It’s also important that you already know your bike model and all other relevant info. If you have bought your bike from a friend or someone local, you might want to ask them when the bike was manufactured. If the bike was a new release, it was likely manufactured just weeks or months before being bought. While some people might not remember the exact information, many will connect the buying process with memories. Did they ride the bike while in college? Did their sister just get married the year after?
4. Dive A Little Bit Deeper - Check The Parts
Many get discouraged when they can’t find any bike info on the bike’s frame, and it seems like people are rightfully concerned that they won’t be able to identify their bike’s origins. However, sometimes you need to dive a little bit deeper. For example, if the serial number of the bike isn’t engraved on the bike’s frame, it still might be somewhere on the tires, the handlebar, the motor, or the battery.
It might not be as accurate, as it could speak about the manufacturing date of the specific part rather than the bike itself, but it’s still a good guideline. Also, don’t forget to check whether your bike has been repainted, as serial numbers hide behind dark colors as well.
5. Rely On Your Online Friends and Forums
Sometimes we just need someone a little bit more knowledgeable than we are. It’s okay to love electric bikes but not know all of the relevant info. On the other hand, some people have been around for quite some time, and they spend most of this time getting acquainted with this hobby that they truly enjoy. If you’re keen on meeting people, you could even find someone local.
You can always check many e-bike forums to ask questions. It might not seem like a good idea, but it can give you insight as time goes by. Maybe someone asked such a question already? Besides bike forums, you could also find subreddits on reddit.com dedicated to electric bikes!
6. Visit A Local Bike Shop
Your last option, and the one that probably takes the most energy, is to visit a local bike shop. Bike shop owners often have a lot of insight into these topics, and they can help you get what you’re truly looking for - your bike’s specs. Not only have many of these enthusiasts seen a bunch of e-bikes before, but they also might know other people who can help.
So, if nothing does, you can always bring your bike or the pictures of your bike to a local shop. It’s always better to have the real deal by your side, though. Good luck!
Electric bikes are interesting vehicles, and for many different reasons, you might want to know the age of your electric bike. We have provided you with six different methods, and we truly hope that one of them helps you get the information that you need.