Have you got an old traditional bike but your hankering after some extra power?
I was in the same boat as you so I decided to educate myself on conversion kits. As a 'traditional cyclist', it initially felt like an odd concept but you know what?
I think electric bike conversion is genius. It's simple to do and relatively inexpensive.
So which ones are the best and are they compatible with your bike and riding style?
Let's find out!
This Junstar conversion kit contains components from the e-bike giant, Bafang...and that's a good thing, Bafang know what they're doing!
Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose the motor size you want; 350w or 500w. This motor can be fitted onto your bottom rack if you have one - I think it looks pretty smart there too!
In addition to giving you a choice of motors, you also get the choice of batteries. Depending on where you want to mount the battery, you can choose between the Hailong battery or rear rack.
Depending on which battery you go for, you can expect a range of between 40 - 60 km, which I have to say, I'm rather impressed with. It's enough for a long day worth of cycling.
Charge time is respectable to at 7 hours, so overnight basically. Which falls in line with the vast majority of e-bikes.
To determine the amount of power assistance you need, this e-bike conversion kit comes with an internal cadence sensor.
So it will read how quickly you're pedalling, then give you a boost based on the power level setting you've selected.
Overall this electric bike kit offers a lot, for a relatively inexpensive outlay. It's fun to ride and comes with enough settings that should be more than enough for whatever situation you find yourself in.
One caution I would throw is that this powerful motor does come with throttle mode, which is going to reduce the battery level sizeable if you use it a lot. Equally, be sure to check that it's legal in your country as it isn't in every country! For more information, read this.
If you're after the ultimate e-bike set-up, then I'd recommend picking up this electric bike kit and fit it to a bicycle with decent hydraulic brakes (I wasn't kidding when I said the motor was powerful!) and overall decent components and you will have an e-bike that is sure to make you smile!
- Samsung battery type
- LCD display included in the kit
- Wide range of settings with the pedal assistance system
- Large amount of motor power
- Thumb throttle
For those into mountain biking, this could be the mid-drive motor for you!
When you purchase the pedal-assist system, you get all the basic mounting tools you'll need, things like; LCD display (with built-in Bluetooth), a set of cranks, a thumb throttle and a speed sensor.
As this Bafang BBS02B mid-drive conversion kit motor is 750w, it gives you a lot of power and has a top speed of 24mph. After which, you're left on your own to pedal. 25.5mph is the legal limit in the UK so this fall nicely in line and if I'm honest, it's a sensible restriction!
One thing which I like about mid-drive motors is that it's fitted to the middle of the bicycle.
Why is that good?
Well, that means that it increases your balance and general stability. Especially when compared to a front-wheel conversion kit, or rear for that matter. No extra weight is added at either end of the bike and that's a good thing!
Similar to other Bafang mid-drive motor conversion kit, you get 9 different assistance setting, including a throttle-only mode (you do have the option to opt for a twist throttle when you're ordering but if you're in the UK, you shouldn't).
One thing that can be daunting with any e-bike conversion kit is the installation process but I'm happy to report that this mid-drive system only requires a few tools and a bit of time - the instructions included are easy to follow too!
Bafang are e-bike giants so it's no surprise that this mid-drive kit offered quality throughout and let's face it, you want an e-bike kit that's going to be reliable. This is it.
Thanks to the 750w motor a steep hill doesn't feel like much of a challenge, in fact, you could easily see yourself taking on inclines you never thought possible.
One of my reluctances about switching from a normal bike to a powered bike was that other cyclists would notice due to the noise output. That isn't the case with this electric bike motor, it's actually pleasantly quiet. Sure, it's not totally silent but I'm sure you weren't expecting that either, were you?
Overall this mid-drive unit offers plenty of options to get people out on their bikes and importantly, finding it enjoyable!
- No weight distribution issue
- LED display included
- 9 levels of pedal assist
- One of the best-known brand
- Potentially an expensive option
This rear wheel conversion kit comes with a 1000w brushless motor.
It sounds powerful...because it is! You will get a decent burst of speed when you want it from this wheel electric bicycle conversion kit. Something which I have to accept is a good thing.
Ever have to stop quickly and you end up stuck in the big ring? Yeah...me too. It's those times when that electric power could really come in useful.
Installation is straight forward enough and the instructions are clear. Depending on your skill level, it is likely to take you around 2 hours front start to finish just due to the wiring etc.
Of course, there is also the LCD display to install and that gives you details such as current speed, remaining battery life and distance travelled.
Another benefit of this display is that it will show you if there is an error with the rear wheel kit (obviously hope you won't need this!) and will display an error code. This means that you can get any issues resolved quickly.
Obviously given the wheel size, you are most likely looking at fitting this onto a mountain bike standard bike frame and the power output will be ideal for the trails...even the trickier ones!
Whilst a mid-drive system is good for many situations, I find that a rear-wheel conversion kit is pretty much spot on for mountain biking as it gives you the power where you need it most, especially when you're going up a steeper hill, which can so often be doing!
- Easy installation
- Electric brake lever included
- 12-month warranty
- Could be ideal for the daily commute
- A little heavy
This front-wheel conversion kit gives you a 48v 1000w gearless hub motor. It's maximum speed is 25mph.
One of the reasons the ReaseJoy makes the list is that it comes with a dual-mode controller.
Why is that good?
It means that should the components in the motor break down, it can still function so that is a big plus.
With a 26 inch wheel, there are plenty of bikes this type of conversion kit can fit. Though I would always recommend checking your wheel size.
This e-bike conversion kit isn't short of components, including electric brakes that will shut of the motor instantly if required, a thumb throttle, a simple 3 LED battery level indicator and others.
I should point out that this hub motor electric bike kit doesn't come with a battery pack, this must be purchase separately. Don't let that put you off though, it's still a great buy with many standout features, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Not having a battery pack included does mean that you get to choose what battery you wish to use, just make sure it's a viable option! 🙂
[Want some ideas for a battery? We've got you covered!]
This electric motor is an affordable option that gives you welcomed assistance over steep hills and despite it being the 'budget option', it is a quality product, with excellent performance (would I show you anything else!?).
Overall this kit has lots of positives, it's affordable, versatile and comes with a powerful motor. Though it does lack a few features, having said that, the moment you add those features, the price will rise.
- Good budget solution
- Dual-mode controller
- Powerful motor
- No pedal assist
With the Z Zelus conversion kit, you get the choice between a front or wheel motor.
Whichever one you choose, you'll be glad to know that it's a powerful motor at 1000w. To keep it legal, it is restricted to 25mph.
The wheel size is 26", which is common for a lot of bikes but it's always worth checking. Anyway, I think it should fit that majority of bikes so bonus points for Zelus there!
Safety is naturally a concern (or should be...!) for any manufacturer of these kits, it sure is with Zelus. They have added a fuse to the power cord and this ensures that the motor is protected should anything happen. Exactly how a fuse operates in your kettle!
I do like that the materials used are of high quality. The tyre is nylon so it's going to be durable and the spokes are stainless steel. Not the lightest option but the strongest and hey, when you aren't relying on yourself to provide all the power, does a few extra grams matter?
The installation has been cleverly thought through so that it isn't a complicated process for the end-user.
The kit comes with holes already pre-drilled for disc brakes (though they aren't included) so converting your bike should be a straightforward task.
Zelus claim that you need to do is transfer the original tyre onto the kit. In practice it's not far from the truth, it's relatively simple.
The package included is pretty comprehensive. You will get one rear/front wheel, the motor, brake levers, an electric controller and a twist throttle. You do not get a battery though.
Overall it's a good option, with a lot of power. I like the quality of the materials used as it feels like they're going to last a long time. They have thought about the safety of the user and it's actually not a bad looking unit!
- Powerful motor
- Disc brake holes are already there
- Good pedal assistance system
- Gearless motor
- Add 12kg to your bike
E-bike conversion kits are available in three options; front wheel kit, rear-wheel kit and
mid-drive motor conversion kit.
Quite often the front and rear wheel conversion kits are more affordable than the mid-drive kits and they are considered to be the ideal electric bike for commuting - they also work well on a road bike.
However, if a mountain bike is more your thing then it could be worth looking at a mid-drive system as they offer better performance on the more technical trails.
This type of kit will offer you a simple way to turn a normal bike into an e-bike.
In simple terms, you're changing the front wheel for an electric one and that is what will power the bike when required.
It's common to also get other components in the kit such as a display screen, thumb throttle and brakes. Depending on which kit you go for, you may or may not get a battery.
Ideally, you will want one that comes with a speed sensor.
Rear-wheel kits tend to be a popular choice as you usually get more control and general stability when compared to a front wheel.
They also do look a little more stylish...hey, cyclists can be vain too, y'know?
These kits will also come with a number of components too including, a rear hub motor, electric brakes, speed sensor, LED display, PAS and other items.
In some ways, it very much depends on what type of bike you are converting.
If you're looking at converting a mountain bike, then a mid-drive unit will serve you well as the motor fits the bottom bracket well and it gives you a good sense of weight balance.
Having said that, these types of units are more expensive when compared to either a rear or front wheel conversion kit.
Moreover, if you're going to invest in that type of technology then you should ensure that your bike is also of high specification.
Quite an obvious one I dare say. The motor essentially is what is going to determine how much power your electric bike conversion kit will deliver to your bike.
It's what will get you up those climbs and over the rough terrains.
So depending on the style of riding you do, you may want to ensure that your electric bike wheel conversion kit comes with a powerful motor.
[If you're looking for a longer range e-bike...here you go!]
Not every electric bike conversion kit will come with a battery so it's important to check that.
When looking at a battery, see what type of battery will be compatible with your motor and what the capacity is.
You will also want to know the battery power and how long a single charge will last. That's a crucial bit of information in my opinion - knowing how far you can travel before you're reliant solely on your pedal power!
If you're still unsure about watts and how many is the right amount, then read this.
Take a look to see what else you get in the electric bike conversion kit. Some kits will come with everything you need, whilst others you may need to purchase other items separately.
You should also ensure that you're buying quality materials, you want the conversion kit to be durable.
One thing I try to look for is metals that won't rust, especially if you're a commuter as you'll be out in all weathers.
Think about how you're going to be using your bike. Where you like to ride and what your riding style is.
Cyclists who want to do leisurely rides will need a different bike from those who want to take on rough terrains.
Start by working out what riding you want to do, this will help you to narrow down the type of bike conversion kit you'll need.
Take a look at what type of warranty comes with the kit. A lot of conversion kits comes with a one year warranty and that's good.
However, what's better is those that offer lifetime warranty options.
Whatever universal ebike conversion kit you opt for, it's going to increase the weight of your bike. There's no way round that.
One thing you can do is research and see what the total weight will be. A kit too heavy for your bike can influence the way it rides.
An e-bike conversion kit can be the answer to getting your electric bike fix in an affordable way. Why buy a new bike when your current bike can be easily upgraded?
For me, it's hard to go wrong with the Junstar BAFANG BBS02B.
I like the fact it's made by Bafang, which I trust to produce high-quality products time and time again.
There is a lot of flexibility as to where you can install the motor and there's also a lot of choice when it comes to motor and battery power!
What bike are you planning to convert?