Opinion: Why you should buy e-bikes locally, not from Amazon

Staff Writer Chase J. Gilroy writes that his experience patronizing Berea’s Rock City E-Bikes highlights the benefits of supporting local business.


Austin Patterson, The Exponent

Toward the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, my father and I had the pleasure of going to Rock City E-Bikes on Front Street in the hopes of buying myself an affordable e-bike so that I might be able to get out around and exercise more, as well as navigate BW and the surrounding Berea area much easier. Not only was the e-bike a joy to ride around on, but the people at Rock City E-Bikes were, and continue to be, extremely helpful and understanding in all my biking needs.   

Rock City E-Bikes was established relatively recently in April of 2022 and is located at 101 Front St. in Berea where they sell a variety of different e-bikes and biking accessories.    

Before going to Rock City, my father and I had purchased an e-bike online from Amazon for around $1,200. When it arrived, one of the tires was already popped, and immediately we were forced to go on a goose chase to various bike stores to get it repaired. At the time, we were unaware that many bike shops refuse to repair e-bikes of makes and models that they themselves do not sell. When we managed to get the part we needed and repaired the bike ourselves, I was finally able to take it on its first ride. Unfortunately, the same tire popped in the exact same place, leading us to believe that there was an issue in the very framework of the bike itself, something only an experienced person who was trained with working on bikes would be able to fix.    

We had thought this was the worst of it, but it was only when we eventually went to Rock City to search for a replacement bike that my father and I figured out just how bad of a deal we received. At Rock City E-Bikes, we purchased a bike called the Defiant from the brand JupiterBike for only $300 more than my disappointing e-bike from Amazon. Not only did this e-bike actually work upon purchase, but it was sturdier, faster, safer and admittedly looked a lot cooler to ride around on, for only a slight bump in price. Not to mention, buying from Rock City E-Bikes meant that whenever I had bike problems, I had a convenient place within walking distance for bike repairs, and for a reasonable price at that.   

Based on this experience, I suggest people purchase their e-bikes in person and from shops they trust as opposed to random manufacturers online. And if they do, I suggest that citizens of Berea and the surrounding Cleveland area buy their e-bikes and accessories from Rock City E-Bikes.