Although it may seem like an entirely new invention the e-bike concept dates back to the 1890s. Since then, technology has advanced significantly, so their popularity has soared.
You can either buy an electric bike or convert an existing bicycle into an e-bike by using an electric bike conversion kit.
But the question remains, how do these e-bike kits compare to one another, and are they worth the money they cost? Well, the cost of a conversion kit for an electric bike is typically worth the money.
The price of a kit is much lower than the cost of a new e-bike. By using it, you will be able to spend more money on a higher-quality, more powerful conversion kit. Most conversion kits only require a few tools to install, the same as new electric bikes usually require some assembly.
By this point, I am sure you are very excited about converting your existing bike into an electric bike. Therefore, I have created this article to assist you. Upon reading it, you will have a clear understanding of all the points before deciding whether an electric bike kit is right for you or not.
Moreover, you’ll learn about the process of converting a normal bike into an electric bicycle.
What are Electric Bikes
An e-bike is a bicycle mounted with a rechargeable battery that helps you pedal. It provides a little assistance while doing so that you can cycle for a longer period.
Cycling an e-bike is less strenuous, especially when going up hills or when riding against the wind. The motor is attached to either wheel, and the battery pack is rechargeable.
Many people have a misconception about e-bikes, which is that you don’t have to pedal them at all. However, they need to be pedaled to make them work. At least for the case of power-assist models, it’s a must.
Getting an electric power-assist bike will not transform your present vehicle into a motorcycle or any other type of vehicle that doesn’t rely on human strength to make it go anywhere. Because it would be counterproductive to own and ride a bicycle that way.
Instead, E-bikes enhance pedaling power by adding a little extra oomph. It would be great not to stand up out of your seat again to climb challenging inclines and hills or worry about shifting gears on your bike. An e-bike makes this part of biking much more fun!
What is an Electric bike Conversion Kit
Choosing the right components and installing them correctly will result in an e-bike with electric assistance, just like a ‘normal’ e-bike.
It should be noted, however, that they also offer some drawbacks, which can be regarded as a first-time problem, in addition to some positive aspects.
Different types of Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits
You will find the market is flooded with different types of E-bike conversion kits. Among the many types of E-bike conversion kits, I have discussed the three most common types below.
1. Friction Drive Conversion Kits
With this conversion kit, a roller is pushed against the tire, and the wheel turns with the roller. It is a very simple strategy to use and set up but not very efficient.
2. Electric Bike Wheel Conversion Kits
This kit swaps the front or rear wheel of a normal bike with the electrified wheel. After installing the new wheel, weight distribution feels quite natural. But when the front wheel is powered, it complexes maintaining a good balance on a bike.
Riders for whom a mid-drive conversion kit is a little overwhelming can easily cope with a wheel conversion kit. Before making any purchase get to know your city or town’s e-bike rules.
Then find out what range you need on your riding journey. This thing depends on the track you’ll be covering.
For example, if you are planning a sloppy surface or some mountain, then you’ll need a high range. Last, but not least, check out whether the system is completely compatible with your bike or not.
3. Mid-Drive Conversion Kits
E-bike conversion kits with mid-drives are not similar to conversion kits with friction drives and wheels. A motor must be placed in the middle of your bike as part of this kit.
In conjunction with the motor, the chain provides more power to the wheels. As a result, you won’t experience the “heavyweight” of your front and rear wheels that come with the front and rear wheel kit.
The only problem with this kit is its packaging and high price. And setting it up also is not a kid’s thing at all.
Types of Electric Motor on E-Bikes
1. Hub Motors
Front or rear hub motors are very famous for e-bikes. It’s very clear from the name itself that the motor is either integrated into the front wheel or the rear wheel.
Well, rear-wheel motors can be seen frequently when compared to front-wheel motors. However, some bikes have hub motors on both wheels to support maximum power.
Now because the motor is only on one wheel in almost all cases. So, bike riding balance can get disturbed very easily. However, with some practice, cyclists get habituated and maintain a good balance.
Still, cyclist loses their efficiency on hilly terrain. And the main culprit for this scenario is the motor not connected to the bike gear. However, if you are a daily commuter or ride mostly on a flat road, then a hub motor is a wise buying decision for you.
2. Mid Drive Motors
Mid-drive motors are quite well integrated with the gears and cranks of a cycle. And that’s the reason why they are considered high-quality motors and are seen on only premium e-bikes. This motor is known for offering several benefits, such as:
- Less Battery Usage
- Efficient Performance
- Good Climbing Power
- Better Handling
Note: Many bikers use this motor only because of one sole reason. And that is its placement straight beneath the cycle seat.
In simple words, at the center of the e-bike. This position gives the rider an efficient balance which ultimately makes the experience smooth.
How to convert A Bike to Electric Power Bike
Converting a regular bike into an e-bike is much easier than we think. It only takes an electric bike conversion kit and four simple steps to complete this. So, without delay, let’s dive into the steps.
1. Swap Tire & Tube
Start by removing your tire and tube from the front wheel of your bike. Then install both of them on the conversion kit wheel.
Now check out if the tire is directional or not. If it is directional, then mount it to keep the cable stuck on the left side i.e., the non-drive side.
This step should be correctly done. Otherwise, your installed wheel will power in the opposite direction to your travel direction.
After this, check for nuts on the wheel axle to keep it rigidly in the forks. Also, ensure that brakes are precisely fitted for your new wheel.
2. Attach Bracket with Handlebars
You’ll need to attach a strap to the handlebars to restrain brackets from rotating around. A few screws on the clamp are the only thing you need to keep your brackets tightly attached to the handlebars.
If your handlebars are skinnier, then you can use adaptors that are included in your e-bike conversion kit.
3. Attach Magnet Disc & Pedal Sensor
Magnet discs can be easily clipped inside the left or non-drive side crank. Then further, it can be placed accurately with the help of a retention ring.
Next, stick your sensor to the frame in the same line of magnets. Sensors can ease your work by notifying you whenever the cranks move.
4. Plug-In Cables
In this step, you are supposed to plugin two primary cables.
The thickest cable is the main power cable which you are supposed to plug in with a cable extending from the hub. Another cable will be of orange color, which needs plugging with a cadence sensor.
As far as the blue cable is concerned so, don’t worry about it much. This is for the optional brake sensor upgrade kit.
Try using some cable ties to organize the length of the cables slightly. Otherwise, there is a possibility of cable flapping which can be risky in case it gets captured in cranks or spokes.
5 Essential Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Bike Conversion Kit
Whenever we shop for something it’s always a good idea to consider the factors that can make our selection a right fit to go. The same applies while selecting the electric bike conversion kit.
And to ease your task a bit, here I have listed some of the most important factors that you must consider. So, let’s understand them one by one.
The battery is a very important aspect of your electric bike motor kit. Although all kits consist of some battery, sometimes it’s not available.
This means you’ll have to buy a compatible battery separately. So, you can decide, according to your case whether you’ll consider a kit that possesses a battery or not.
Now, if we are making our regular bike an e-bike so, definitely we expect good power from it.
A 250-watt motor supplies enough power to commute daily without getting sweaty. But if you are planning to ride on tough mountain trails, then you need more than 250 watts.
However, remember that e-bikes with 750-watt motors or above are considered motor vehicles in U.S. Federal regulations. And to use this 750-watt power, you’ll need a motorcycle license.
You must know your local area’s laws for e-bikes. Because in some cities and towns, e-bikes are not considered normal bicycles.
Even they are completely banned from bicycle paths. So, kindly get to know your local laws well before investing in an electric bike conversion kit.
E-bikes normally are divided into three classes:
- Class 1 E-bikes: They assist you when you pedal and help top out 20mph.
- Class 2 E-bikes: They have throttle and assist you no matter whether you pedal or not and help attain a speed of 20 mph.
- Class 3 E-bikes: They assist you only when you pedal and also help in topping out 28 mph.
Drive Type & Ease of Installation
While selecting the right electric bike conversion kit, always check the ease of installation.
Because the complexity of installation varies widely from kit to kit. And sometimes, it also depends on how comfortable you are with using tools for installation purposes.
So, get to know about the tools of conversion kits and their skill. This will help you a lot while making the right choice. Plus will ease your process to a great length.
The range is used to define the battery capacity and function of motor power. You can drastically improve it by using muscular power for pedaling instead of depending completely on the motor.
Always remember that the more range your bike will have the easier and smoother your riding will be. So, ensure a strong pairing of motor and battery.
Is it possible to Transform a Regular Bike into an Electric Bike
Most regular bikes can be easily converted to e-bikes. The only thing you need to make it possible is the right electric bike conversion kit.
Now for conversion kits in which electric bike motors are located on the wheel hub, there are some specifications you’ll need to consider i.e., width and axle benchmark of the hub, wheels diameter, and the type of brake it uses.
After knowing what kind of wheel you require, the conversion process becomes a cakewalk.
Crank-driven kits ease the process of determining compatibility. They only require two things, a 68-73mm bottom bracket and an alloy frame which, of course, is a standard for mountain and road bikes.
In comparison to hub-driven systems, crank systems are more proficient in replacing cranksets.
As far as the rear tire conversion kit is concerned, these kits come with universal compatibility. Unless your tires are heavily treaded they’ll work best.
Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Any Good?
Although electric bike conversion kits can’t match all features of a new e-bike to a great extent make all features a feasible option. Their biggest advantage is their pocket-friendly price.
And according to my point of view, they are just the best option for daily commuters. To quite an extent, they also support riding on uneven and rough terrains, which requires high power.
E-bike conversions are also good for people who love leisure cycling. But if you are looking for some very serious use and need all features to perform more than good then a new e-bike should be your go-to choice. However, remember they are an expensive option.
How Much Does an E-Bike Conversion Kit Cost To Upgrade Your Regular Bike
Prices vary greatly with the kind of conversion kit you are trying to use and the battery size. You can aspect to pay somewhere between £500 and £800 if you are considering a reputable brand. However, still, it can vary from location to location.
Pros and Cons of Converting a Bike to an Electric Bike
The easiest and most convenient option for many people is to simply purchase a new electric bike, but for others, adding a motor and battery to their existing bicycle seems more appealing. I am in favor of the second option.
You can get two major advantages from converting your existing bike to a new one: familiarity and cost. You can continue using the conventional bike you already know and love by converting it to electric, and conversion kits are generally cheaper than electric bikes.
Advantages of using Electric Bike Conversion Kits
E-bikes are attractive to both bicycle users and non-cyclists because of their wide range of advantages. E-bikes only have one disadvantage: their high price. This is why many people choose to convert their traditional bikes into Electric bikes using an electric bike conversion kit.
The following benefits can also be obtained by using a conversion kit.
Retain Your Original Bike
It might not be worth selling your existing bike if you just bought one or have amazing memories attached to it. Nevertheless, you are also drawn to the charm of an E-bike.
When such a situation arises, an E-bike conversion kit can prove useful. Using this kit, you can transform your traditional bike into the most delinquent electronic bike. It will be just like riding a new bike when you have your bike converted.
Since an e-bike conversion kit costs less than an electric bike, considering the difference between their prices and the low cost of converting a bike into an electric bike, it seems more reasonable to purchase a conversion kit rather than a new electric bike.
The kit allows you to customize your bike however you like. For example, it is possible to install a powerful motor on your bicycle as well as a battery with a higher capacity on your bicycle.
Additionally, you can customize the bike or the whole kit to meet your needs by modifying the components to your needs.
Identical Benefits As Regular Bikes
Many people are prejudiced against E-bikes, believing they are not as beneficial as a normal bicycle, and converting a standard bike into an E-bike is a bad idea.
The truth is that riding an E-bike can lower blood pressure, strengthen bones, lose fat, and reduce heart disease risks, contrary to what these people believe.
There is no complicated process involved in transforming a bike. It is not necessary for you to be an engineer or to have experience with installing a bike to perform this transformation.
A special feature of this kit is that it was designed in such a way that professional knowledge or help is not needed to install it.
Furthermore, the company always makes sure that you receive an instruction guide that will explain how to complete the installation process.
The kit can also be removed whenever you want, so your bike can be returned to its original condition.
Disadvantages of the Electric Bike Conversion Kit
Tire deflation problem
Due to the weight of the tires, they may deflate more frequently, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just keep checking them every two weeks.
Bike gets heavy
When the bike becomes heavier, it will be more difficult to carry up stairs or put inside a vehicle.
Upkeep and maintenance are more expensive
You can’t always control how things turn out. Electric bikes have numerous complicated electrical components, such as controllers, a battery management system, and throttles. When one of these parts malfunctions, it can be hard for someone who isn’t familiar with e-bikes to repair it, and these parts do not come with a warranty.
E-Bike Conversion Kit — Wrapping Up
The high cost of E-bikes prevents many people from purchasing them despite their advantages and stylish appearance.
For this reason, I recommend converting regular bikes into E-bikes using conversion kits. Conversion kits are very easy to use and affordable to buy.
Moreover, you will derive the same benefits as you would from a regular bike while enjoying all the advantages of an electric bike.
Still, if you have any suggestions or doubts or something that I have missed, feel free to drop a comment below. I will be more than happy to assist you with your query. Please follow our Facebook Page for more guides like this.
Electric Bike Conversion Kit – FAQs
How fast can A 3000W Electric Motor go?
Without putting much effort a 3000W electric motor can easily attain a speed of 50-65mph.
Are E-Bike Conversion Kits Legal?
Yes, electric bicycle conversion kits are completely legal. However, things go illegal when you are riding your newly powered electric bike in restricted areas or beyond the suggested maximum limit. So, enlighten yourself with your area’s local laws.
Is there A Bike that is best suited for Electric Conversion?
The best bike for conversion completely depends on the condition and components of your bike. Poor quality or worn-out drivetrain for instance will result in poor performance of the electric motor. This will ultimately cause chain skipping and snapping.
Another important factor in describing the best bike for conversion is the type of brakes used. The extra weight of the conversion kit stresses up brakes and keeps them from performing their best. Hence considering disc brake bikes for conversion is the intelligent choice.
How Fast E-Bikes Can Go?
The question is tough to answer because speed varies with the motor’s wattage. The higher the wattage the faster your e-bike can go. However, every country has its defined limit for e-bike speed beyond which they are considered motorcycles.
As per UK standards, an e-bike can go a maximum of 25kmph. The laws and speed limit vary with country and local laws. So, kindly please check out for speed limit in your areas.
Do Electric Bike Kits always come with A battery?
The simple answer to this question is no. But the battery is an important part of the kit so you need one. Therefore you can check out on your purchase whether the kit you are buying has a battery or not. In case not then consider buying it separately or going with a kit that has a battery option.