Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Worth It? (The Truth)

Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Worth It

With only a few tools and a bit of time, you can easily transform your bicycle into an electric one. You do not need a science or engineering degree, like the bikes themselves there are several conversion kits to choose from.

Put some thought into what kind of electric bike you want and soon enough you can create your own. 

Once you have your eyes set on a new electric bike, it can be tempting to throw money at one. However, with your own electric bike conversion kit, you can create the one you want.

Do your research first as you will want to know whether you can legally ride your converted electric bike and whether it was worth the effort.

Most Powerful Electric Bike Conversion Kit

When you consider the power of an electric bike, there are three numbered categories to think about first. Both a Class 1 and Class 2 electric bike can hit 20 MPH (32 KPH) while a Class 3 electric bike can go even faster to 28 MPH (45 KPH). Each one of those categories comes with tailored motors to deliver those speeds.

A Class 1 and 2 electric bike will either use a 250W or 500W motor while a 750W motor will be sufficient for a Class 3 electric bike.    

But if you want to go even faster, there are more watts to consider and more power to propel you. This is also where you need to check the legal requirements to confirm that you will be able to ride your electric bike in certain states.

There are six states that allow electric bikes with a top power of 1000W which include Kansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, and Minnesota. Then there are the two states that do not even have maximum power limits for electric bikes, those are Florida and Mississippi. 

If you are worried about being caught by law enforcement because your electric bike is too powerful for the road then use a more conventional motor.

You should stick to a Class 1 and Class 2 electric bike which should still have enough power. That could even be a starting point as you can then change the motor if 20MPH is not enough. 

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For riders who simply need to hit the ground running then a 750W motor is a good way to go. One such kit is available from Bafang which includes all the essential mounting accessories.

There is also a simple installation to remove the center shaft and crankset while finding it straightforward to install the mid-drive motor. If you wanted the option of hydraulic sensors then that can be requested yet the LCD is well worth the investment. 

The kit is compatible with both 48 and 52V batteries. However, it is the power that is of the greatest concern, and, once fitted, the electric bike should exceed 25MPH while throttle and pedal-assist power are available. You can always go higher though.

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At 1000W, speeds of 35MPH (56KPH) are achievable though this can depend on the weight and terrain. Bafang also offers a 1000W electric bike conversion kit which may be exactly what you are looking for.

You can expect a bit more oomph though it still comes with everything you would expect. From the thumb throttle to the chainring wheel, crank, magnets, LCD, and speed sensor.

There are also three riding modes to choose from including Pedaling and Pedal-Assist Mode though the Pure Power is of the greatest interest.

The kit may be relatively expensive yet few motors are as well designed and you should achieve an excellent mileage. With more bang for your buck, this kit is well worth considering. 

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For those who want to go even faster, 1200W should suffice. EBIKELING provides a waterproof electric bike conversion kit that fits on either the rear or front wheel.

The installation also seems effortless as you only need to transfer the original tire to the double-walled rim and hub motor which are already attached. It should be noted that the battery and tire are not included though a controller, display, brake levers, torque arm, cable ties, pedal-assist system, and throttle all come in the kit.

There are several wheel sizes that the kit can work on. These include the 20-inch, 24-inch, and 26-inch wheels though 20-inch FAT, 26-inch FAT, and 26-inch MTB wheels will also be compatible. A 700C and 700C MTB wheel would also prove just fine.

If you plumped for the rear kit, you could easily benefit from the seven-speed freewheel. Though the power is the main selling point, the fact that the motor can work in all kinds of difficult weather conditions should not be underestimated, especially when you face a steep incline in the rain. 

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Another conversion kit from EBIKELING can also deliver even more power at 1500W which should be able to hit a maximum speed of 36MPH (58KPH). This conversion kit may be heavy yet once you engage the pedal-assist mode then you can feel the 1.45kW motor which offers a nominal and impressive 430 RPM.

Only 26-inch or 700C wheels can work with the kit yet once converted, you will feel the difference.

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One of the highest commercially available electric bike conversion kits comes from Calibike. For a maximum speed to rival that of more typical two and four-wheeled vehicles, the conversion kit uses either a 72V22T triangle battery or a 72V25R rectangle battery.

There is a truly staggering torque and you can see such power visualized on the LCD which will also show the time, speed, mileage, and battery power level. It would be advised to also shell out for hydraulic disc brakes as such speed demands the best available brakes. 

How Fast Will a 5000w Motor Go?

Only the effort you use can generate power on a traditional pedal bike and for some riders, the need for speed is real.

Power should be a top priority for your conversion kit and a 5000w motor will typically deliver just that. This may be a costly piece of kit yet when you realize it can hit speeds of 50 to 65 MPH (80 to 100 KPH), it could be vital for the riding you want to do.

Just make sure you can legally ride one wherever you decide to use the motor.


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One of the highest commercially available electric bike conversion kits comes from Calibike. For a maximum speed to rival that of more typical two and four-wheeled vehicles, the conversion kit uses either a 72V22T triangle battery or a 72V25R rectangle battery.

There is a truly staggering torque and you can see such power visualized on the LCD which will also show the time, speed, mileage, and battery power level. It would be advised to also shell out for hydraulic disc brakes as such speed demands the best available brakes. 

How Much Is An Electric Conversion Kit For A Bike?

The typical price range for an electric bike conversion kit is around $320 to $700. While your time and effort are valuable, that might be a price point you can agree with. Especially if you consider the price of a new electric bike can easily go into thousands of dollars. 

How To Convert A Bike To Electric?

There are numerous ways to convert and electrify your current bike for extra speed and extra power. You could opt for a powered rear or front wheel or hide a motor in the seatpost.

Then again, you could also attach the drive unit to the bottom bracket or fit the motor above the rear wheel. 

Once you have decided on the speed you wish to go at, you can choose your motor. It may be worth getting your bike assessed at a dedicated bike shop to ensure whether the frame and all the components can handle the anticipated speed and stress.

The conversion kit should come with all the necessary components so all you need to do is follow any available instructions and use a few tools. If you were in any doubt that you can convert your bike yourself then you can find a mechanic or perhaps use the expertise in your local bike shop. 

How Difficult Is It To Convert A Bike To Electric?

One of the most straightforward ways to convert your bike is to swap either the front or rear wheel. With an electrified version you can achieve a good balance too.

This is also one of the simplest conversion processes as you should be using your bike maintenance skills to change the wheel. Depending on how the battery is mounted, the weight distribution can also be easy to manage.

Front Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit With Battery

If you did choose the practical option for a bike conversion kit then you would replace one of your conventional wheels for one that includes a special hub with a motor. Then you can add a battery with the gearing needed to turn the wheel with that additional electrical power.

Though the installation is relatively straightforward, the drawback can be that the kit adds more rotating mass to the bike so it may feel as if it needs an extra push to rotate at first.

AW can provide a 1000W Front Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit to be used with a 48V battery. The battery is not included yet the 26-inch front wheel, battery connection cable, and controller all come with the kit.

You can also find two hand brakes, two handle grips, a thumb throttle, and two terminal boxes with a brushless, gearless hub motor which is ideal for noiseless running. The weight capacity is 220 pounds and it should hit a speed of 45 KPH so commuting should be quick and long journeys suddenly will not seem as long. 

Choose carefully though as some systems are controlled by a throttle and named ‘twist and go’. The issue there is that they are likely classified as electric motorcycles so you may find yourself having to pay for tax and insurance. Now that was never the case with your conventional bike. 

Are Front Wheel Electric Bikes Any Good?

A front wheel electric bike will have a front hub motor that is attached to the fork at the front of your bike. In this setup, the motor is located at the front of the bike with the battery at the rear for a competent weight balance and making it easy to ride.

Once you click the motor into gear you will feel the pull forward which should be used as a prompt to begin pedaling. 

These front-wheel motors tend to be relatively quiet and compared to a mid-drive motor it should be simple to continue cycling when the motor is off.

You should also be able to shift gears while the bike is stationary which can prove really useful. There is one drawback compared to a mid-drive motor though, the steering is usually a little heavier due to the motor being at the front of the bike. 

There is also little maintenance to consider as the motor is considered ‘direct drive’ and does not require gears to drive it. If there were, they would likely run out too quickly and need replacing. Without that requirement, you can benefit from a system that has convenience built-in too. 

How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Bike To Electric?

When you are comparing the cost to convert your pedal bike to become an electric one there can be a wide range of prices on offer.

They can begin from as low as $350 for a relatively low-wattage motor. Such a conversion kit may not include the battery and that extra cost should be factored in. Not to mention ensuring that you have the right tools and can spare an afternoon to get it all fitted on your existing bike.

The question of whether it is worth converting your existing bike to an electric one largely depends on your circumstances. If you have the know-how and the desire for that extra push when you require it then there is not much stopping you.

There may be long rides that you want to take where you fully appreciate that a motor will get you over a hill and help you see the sights. But once you have converted your bike, it should be noted that it can prove very difficult to remove the kit.

Once installed, the motor and battery will add weight to your bike making it harder to pedal until you use that extra power. If your bike is already cumbersome enough, the effort and time to convert it to an electric one are probably not going to be worth it.

Especially if you already need to pay to repair your bike into a condition that it can sustain the conversion with that increased torque and reliance on the brakes. For an old bike that you have been riding for years, it might be time to sell it and just the money to simply invest in a brand new electric bike. 

The higher up you go, the more sophisticated the kits should be. You should also expect high-quality material on all the components with an excellent LCD.

These more high-spec and integrated kits should come in with a $900 price tag. For such a price, you may want to ensure that the conversion kit can be fitted properly so you may want to consider paying a bit extra and asking a bike shop to fit it for you.

Of course, the shop will be able to set a price for their time and expertise but knowing that it has been done properly is great peace of mind.

Is It Worth Converting A Bike To An Electric Bike?

There are several advantages when you decide to convert your existing bike to an electric one. First and foremost, you benefit from recycling your bike and do not have to deal with having to sell it, get rid of it, or have it lying around taking up some much-needed space.

You may have grown attached to your bike and this is a great way to give it a new lease of life. With a new electric bike, the frame and tires are usually what drive the cost whereas by converting it you are already using those components and you are likely to already trust them.

The customization aspect of a bike conversion kit is also something to think about. This is ideal if you have been considering changing your bike anyway, maybe installing a new wheel or configuring new tires. Perhaps the brakes or tires needed changing anyway or you simply wanted to get a lot more use out of your existing bike. 

With such a decision, there are obvious drawbacks that have to be taken into account too. There is the required mechanical aptitude of yourself or a qualified mechanic and the added weight.

You also have to include wires that should be hidden on your existing bike that won’t have been built for them. The weight distribution of your bike will also have changed markedly making it less stable and even the kit itself may be considered unstable as batteries can catch fire.

When the bike conversion kit is all installed, you had better get riding to make the most of it. Try it on a tricky route that you have tried before and see how it feels now you have the option of a powerful boost.

Electric bikes can be really motivating as you have the confidence to know that even if you get tired, you can always rely on the motor and battery. That way you can ditch the car and public transport and save even more money. 

The electric bike conversion kits are typically worth the money when compared to buying a new electric bike. That is even if you have to buy the battery separately. Invest well and you can buy a kit that rivals that of the electric bike you one day coveted.

They are usually easy to install which is worth bearing in mind when you realize that most new electric bikes require assembling once you receive them too.

The most technical and expensive electric bike conversion kits can rival a brand new electric bike though it is always best to check the market first.

Some electric bikes may hit all the right marks and come in at a price that you can align with. Is it really worth all that effort having to buy the kit when you can simply head to a bike shop and ride away with a new electric bike?

Final Thoughts

An electric bike conversion kit is likely worth it if you want to keep your existing bike and have already decided you want to go a bit further with it.

That might be a daily commute or conquering a few hills on the weekend. Though a brand-new factory electric bike can come with better technology, including GPS functionality, you may already be comfortable riding without those added features.

Do remember that with an electric motor you can always go faster than the prescribed speed. That may be appealing and even technically possible yet unlocking the speed limit of your electric bike is illegal.

It is also dangerous as in some cases the brakes and other components on the electric bike are not designed for any speed higher than the one the motor was originally set at. Feel free to convert your bike to an electric one yet do exert some caution.

Tom Davids
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