Electric bikes are an fun and enjoyable way to get around town and leave your car at home, but they are expensive. I mean, we love the idea of cycling without effort, but is spending a couple thousand bucks on a new e-bike worth it? The electric bike conversion kits are a great alternative to spending a lot of money on a pre-built electric bike, especially if you already own a bicycle. With the right conversion kit and some tinkering you can turn your regular bike into an electric powered one, and save money you would spend on a brand new electric bike.
If you ride your bike on regular bases, if you use it to commute, you might be wondering about upgrading your bike with an electric motor. However, if you have tried looking for conversion kits online, you have probably come across an overwhelming number of different options, different manufactures and price ranges.
Which electric bike motor kit is the best?
Well, that question is much more complicated than it seems. There are more than few ways to convert your regular bike into an e-bike and many different variations of electric bike kits. It depends on the bike that you want to convert, and your riding habits. An older mountain bike or beach cruiser–style bike that needs just a little bit of an extra push, will do just fine with a simple front wheel kit. For more traction and better maneuverability you should choose a rear wheel kit, but just make sure it’s compatible with your gearing and derailleurs. If you need an electric bike that can climb hills and haul a lot of weight, you should look for mid-drive motor kits.
Front Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit
The easiest way to turn your regular bike into an electric one is to swap the front wheel with one powered by an electric hub motor. To convert your bike with a this kit type, fork must be the standard 100mm to properly accept these electric bike kit wheel. If you have a fat bike, the fork is likely to have a larger spacing, so you would need to look for a specialized kit.
Besides the motorized wheel this type of conversion kit usually comes with all the parts needed to electrify your bike: a battery, speed controller, a pair of brake handles, an LCD display and a thumb or a twist throttle. The rest of your bike – pedals, gears to the rear wheel, using your brakes – all works exactly as it has before. The front-wheel conversion kits also may come with a cadence sensor, or a pedaling assistance sensor, that engages the motor when you start pedaling,
- Simple and quick installation, even for people with little bike experience
- Gives balance to a converted bike with a rack mounted battery
- This is the best option for converting a trike into an electric one, since balance is not a problem with a tricycle.
- This type of installation is not recommended for bicycles with front shocks due to the possibility of fork failure.
- You might have to modify the fork slightly to fit the motor.
- Having a motor on the wheel used to steer the bike can be tricky for the inexperienced rider, especially at full throttle.
Rear Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit
|Motor||48V 1000W brushless hub motor||48V 1000W brushless hub motor ||72V 3000W brushless gearless hub motor|| 36V 500W brushless hub motor|
48V 750W brushless geared motor
Combined with the right battery this kit is pretty fast. The 470rpm motor works under Hall effect and non-Hall effect. Brake handles may be unreliable, so installing a backup disk brakes might be a good idea. Tire is not the best quality.
|This kit is the great deal. It is one of the most affordable rear wheel kits with tire mounted, especially if you can get it on discount. The installation is very simple, but as far as gears, this only uses freewheels not a cassette since it screws on to the wheel directly.||Theebikemotor is specialized in the production of electric bike conversion kits and parts. This kit comes with a powerful motor and accessories like disc brakes and an LCD display shows battery power level, time, speed, mileage, gear. You can choose between a single speed gear and 6 speed gear configuration.||This brushless electric wheel motor kit comes complete with a magnetic pedellic drive system to assist your ride, a thumb throttle for easy acceleration,all connected by an compact, easy to use controller.||NBPowers is a renowned manufacturer of electric bikes and kits, especially for fatbikes. This kit is also for a fat bike. Its drop out is 175mm. This is a full kit that comes with everything you need to turn your bike into an electric one, including the battery.|
|Speed||30 mph||28 mph||50 mph||17 mph||15-35 mph|
|Wheel Size||26″x1.75″||26″x1.75″||26″ x 4.0 Fat Wheel|| 26″ wheel with tire||20″ x 4.0 Fat Wheel|
*no disc brakes
*requires a 48V battery
Most production electric bikes with a hub drive, come with a motor mounted on the rear, and for a good reason. The main advantages over the front hub motor are better grip and control.
This kit includes the motorized rear wheel that replaces the bike’s rear wheel and includes a throttle as well as new brakes that will cut power to the motor while braking. Hub motors come in both direct-drive, single speed configuration, and geared models. Direct drives are usually quieter, a bit faster, and more durable. Rear wheel motors can be combined with derailleur shifting, not with hub gears, since these are replace by the motor.
- Can handle more powerful motors
- It looks stealthier, it is hard to spot an electric bike with a motor mounted in the rear wheel.
- Wiring is simpler since the rear wheel axle is fixed and the controller and batteries are probably closer to it
- More complicated to mount than the front wheel.
- Installation takes a bit more time since shifting might need to be adjusted.
- With a heavier motor, and the battery mounted to the rear, your front wheel is prone to lifting off the ground when accelerating. Like an unplanned wheelie. Cool, but dangerous.
Mid-Drive Kits for Electric Bikes
|Motor||48v 500w mid crank Bafang motor|
36V 350W mid motor with torque sensor
| 48V 350W e-RAD motor|| 48V 1000W bafang/8fun BBS03 BBSHD|
This kit comes with everything you need for a mid-drive DIY e-bike, including the 500W Bafang motor and 48V Samsung battery. This combination of battery and motor should give you around 50-80kms per charge depending on riding conditions and the rider.
|CNEBIKES has been in the electric bike field since 2011, and this is one of their high-efficient kit. Despite the generous power output and a maximum torque of more than 80 Nm, the motor is very silent.||This entire kit is plug and play, with waterproof connections throughout.It offers five levels of pedal assist and throttle mode. Physical shift sensor is customized for derailleurs, internally geared hubs or CVT’s and reduces mashing which will extend the life of sprockets and your chain.||This one is one most powerful and reliable mid drive kits on the market. Unlike most other factory mid drives the BBSHD is designed to be mounted onto almost any bicycle currently manufactured, from 68mm to a much wider 100mm fat bike.|
|Compatibility||Works on bikes with a 68-73mm bottom bracket||Compatible with 68m 0r 100mm bottom bracket||Compatible with 100mm wide Fat Bike bottom brackets||Compatible with 68mm and 120mm (fat bike). Other BB sizes can be made to fit with the spacer kit included|
Mid-drive motor, also called crank drive, directly powers the crank drive, and usually works together with your gears. A mid-drive motor mounted near the crank leaves your rear derailleur free to shift gears. This type of setting is all about smooth and efficient performance, rather than just the simple force. The mid drive bike might not be the fastest, but it will be able to climb crazy steep hills, and the weight distribution is even.
Big brands in eBike industry like Bosch, Shimano, and Yamaha have their own top-of-the-line mid-drive units. However, these require special design of the bike frame to fit on, and they come with a hefty price. For the best performance/price ratio, that can be fitted on any bike frame look for brands such as Bafang or 8fun.
- Mid-drives uses the bike’s transmission as the motor’s gears, so the electric motor can run in the optimum RPM range.
- The main advantage of mid-drive motors over hubs is their hill climbing ability, so it is the best option for building a full-on electric mountain bike.
- The entire unit is sealed, so if one component fails you have to replace the whole thing.
- The mid drive conversion kit is usually more expensive, especially in the long run.
- The mid-drives are more noisy than hub motors.
Advantages of DIY electric bikes
The great thing about purpose built E-bikes though is that they usually come with everything you need for the most part and the wiring is professionally done for a clean look. However, high quality models are often very expensive, and the ones that fit into your limited budget look like DIY projects anyway. If you like the felling of building something with your own hands, and have some knowledge of how to maintain a bicycle, building your own e-bike has many advantages.
When you decide to convert your own standard bicycle into an electric one, you cut out all of that extra stuff and just pay for the ebike parts themselves. Combining a high performing kit with a good quality full suspension mountain bike you can make a powerful ride for a fraction of the price of a ready-make e-bike with similar performance.
When you choose your own parts, you have total control over the performance of your ebike. This applies more to choosing parts individually, but even buying a complete electric bicycle conversion kit is a great way to go. There are so many different kits out there that it is definitely possible to find something for everyone.
Where to buy cheap e-bike conversion kits with battery?
As you can see picking the right conversion kit for your bike is not an easy decision at all. You will need to take several factors into consideration, and the choice that you will make will depend on your riding style and preferences. Have in mind that the price shouldn’t be the first thing on your list of priorities. Having said that, there is no reason to go for the most expensive kit you can find. You can often find great deals on Amazon. And on Ride Two Wheels, we are always on the lookout for the hottest deals for you.