What are the Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits?
- What are the Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits?
- Electric Conversion Kits – Reviews
Electric Bikes are currently on the wish list of many commuters, cycling enthusiasts and kids across the UK, thanks to their ability to lighten the load on your aching thighs, and get you to where you need to be quickly and efficiently.
However….Electric Bikes are expensive.
That’s where Electric Bike Conversion Kits come in, they allow you to convert your typical Hybrid, Road Bike or Mountain bike into a more efficient battery powered machine!
This article should guide you in terms of what you need to look for in the best electric bike conversion kit uk, and the best examples of conversion kits on the market today.
What are the Different Types of Electric Bike Conversion Kits?
Electric bike conversion kits are available in three options. These include a front-wheel conversion kit, back-wheel conversion kit, and mid-drive conversion kit.
Generally, front and rear wheel kits come at a cheaper price and are better suited for commuter e-bikes and non-technical terrains. On the other hand, mid-drive units tend to be the best fit for mountain bikes since they offer the best performance on tricky back-country trails.
What is a Front Wheel Conversion Kit?
A front wheel conversion kit offers an easy way of converting your regular bike into an electric bicycle. In this case, you’re simply replacing the front wheel with an electronic one.
Normally, the kit is delivered with other basic electric components such as the hub motor, LCD panel, throttle, brakes, and in some cases the battery. You should always ensure that a speed sensor is included in the package.
What are Rear Wheel Conversion Kits Good for?
Rear-wheel e-bike conversion kits tend to be a popular choice since they offer more control while riding and generally deliver a more appealing design.
Most of the time, these conversion kits come with a PAS system that performs better than the front wheel conversion kit that only features a throttle.
Furthermore, rear-wheel e-bike conversion kits should have a rear hub motor, electric brakes, speed sensor, LCD, pedal-assist system, etc.
How does a Mid drive conversion kit compare to Front-Rear Wheel Conversion Kit?
The mid-drive conversion kit is the best option if you are trying to convert your mountain bike into an eMTB. It features a motor joined to the bottom bracket, which places it in a central position to deliver optimal weight balance.
This placement further enables you to add in a torque sensor that can measure your peddling effort, as well as the motor assistance, accordingly, providing you with a smoother ride on long adventures.
On the flip side, mid-drive conversion units are usually higher priced than the front and back wheel conversion kits. They also need a specific mountain bike for mounting but generally provide a performance worthy of the investment. They are your best bet for a conversion kit if you own and want to inject some electric boost to your traditional mountain bike.
Electric Conversion Kits – Reviews
Bafang BBS02B mid drive conversion kit
If you already have a conventional mountain bike, this is the ideal kit to convert it into a powerful eMTB! The BBS02B Bafang comes with all the basic mounting accessories, including a 48V 750W motor, LCD with Bluetooth connectivity, brake levers that can be upgraded to hydraulic ones, thumb throttle, pair of cranks, speed sensor, just to mention a few.
The mid-drive kit will be a nice fit for bikes with a 68-73mm bracket and its positioning on the bike helps to bring an optimal balance to the overall weight of the bike.
The 750W included in the package delivers strong power output with a torque powerful enough to get you to a top speed of 24mph. Its central balance gives you more stability and better control while riding, and you get to choose between a thumb throttle or 9 pedal-assist levels to get the motor-assistance.
However, the kit does not include a battery, which means you should invest in one. You also want to invest in a compatible battery when searching for an option, such as a 48V rear rack or down tube battery, depending on your preference.
Installing the kit doesn’t take too much expertise; you can do it all by yourself if you have the basic knowledge of bikes. A few tools are all you need to remove the crankset and center shaft before mounting the motor. Furthermore, there are many YouTube videos to guide you through the process.
With the BBSO2B Bafang, you won’t have a problem scaling steep ascends that you once found challenging, and the motor runs relatively quietly for your riding pleasure.
The components are all solid and involve a relatively easy installation process if you have the basic tools necessary. Overall, this is one of the most reliable conversion kits you can get out there.
It boasts a nice rating online with positive reviews, and you won’t have a problem mounting it on your own. Aside from the lack of a battery, the only other grievance on this kit is the relatively higher cost. Fortunately, you’ll get your money’s worth once you start using the new battery-powered bike!
ReaseJoy front wheel E-Bicycle Motor Conversion Kit
If its stellar reviews on Amazon are anything to go by, the ReaseJoy front wheel kit is the best electric bike conversion kit you can buy in its price range!
The package features a 36V 500W brushless and gearless hub motor that can only manage a top speed of 20mph, meaning the power is great for those who appreciate a mildly fast ride. You also get a dual-mode controller, which allows the motor to continue running when the hall components inside break down.
The front wheel configuration means that ReaseJoy can suit a range of bicycles, and this makes it a very versatile option in the market. You can also find the kit with a back-wheel motor of up to 1000W if you need more power.
The main components included are a motor controller, 3 LED indicators, a drive system with no chains or gears, electric brakes to shut off the motor, and an aluminium rim. Regrettably, you won’t get a battery or LCD on this conversion kit. It also does not offer a PAS system, which is one of the compromises to achieve its low price.
Installing the kit is a smooth process that won’t need you to waste money on a technician. Nevertheless, it should be noted that you might have to switch things around depending on what type of bike you’re converting.
Once installed, the resulting electric bike runs relatively quietly and offers decent help in hills and steep ascends. The feel is high-quality and when combined with your peddling effort, it makes for a comfortable riding experience.
While you get major benefits in the form of quality, versatility, and price, there are a couple of issues to consider.
For instance, the lack of a PAS system, battery, and hydraulic brakes if necessary is a little bit underwhelming.
The power of the motor may also not be enough to tackle tough terrains and the front-wheel-drive doesn’t help with weight balance. Overall, the ReaseJoy front wheel conversion kit is a reliable product you can invest in, and still offer you a chance to go for a more powerful variation.
Oukaning Speed Rear Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Conversion Kit
This conversion kit will be a great fit for bikes with 26” wheels. It comes with a strong 48V 1000W motor, PAS, twist throttle, and a pair of electric brakes to shut off the motor automatically when you want to save energy.
The included motor is stronger than most you’ll find on conversion kits in this price range but the package does not feature a battery or LCD, so it might be underwhelming for some.
Additionally, the fact that it’s a back-wheel motor means that it may not be the best for off-road riding.
Overall, the kit is easy to install and comes with a manual to guide you through the simple steps. Once you connect the appropriate wires to the controller, it won’t be long until you’re ready to hit the road. One thing to note though is that when shopping for a battery, be sure to choose a compatible one by considering the power of the motor.
Riding the bike is also a breeze for the most part but the pedal assistance can be a little sloppy. Luckily, the throttle steps in spectacularly when you need it to.
You’ll have little trouble taking steep climbs, which makes it a great choice if you want an electric bike to go on mild off-road terrain challenges.
The only issue you’ll have with the Oukaning rear wheel conversion kit is the lack of an LCD, which is typically an essential accessory of most e-bikes. But since you have the provision to add one separately, it should not be a deal-breaker in any way.
Junstar Bafang BBS02B Mid Drive Electric Bike Conversion Kit
If you want a mid-drive motor that matches the performance of the Bafang above, this will be a great alternative. It comes equipped with the same components as on the Bafang, including an MM G340.750 motor that is available either at 500W or 350W.
You also get to choose between a Hailong battery or a rear-rack battery from Samsung.
The battery is strong enough to offer a 60-km range, although it will require up to 7 hours to fully recharge once it runs out of power.
Other components you get on the Junstar Bafang include a Bluetooth thumb throttle, optional LCD, speed sensor, brake levers that can be upgraded to hydraulic, as well as a pair of cranks.
Additionally, there is an installation manual in the package to make your work easy during setup. Another advantage of this conversion kit is that it is flexible enough to offer you different choices of specifications depending on your needs and budget. i.e., you can opt for a more expensive combo of a 500W motor and 17.5Ah battery or a cheaper 350W motor and 11.6Ah battery combination.
Thanks to the included manual, installing the conversion kit is easier than you’d expect. The components are of great quality and help to deliver a more than decent performance. Taking on steep climbs will be an easier task for you and the throttle comes in handy when you don’t feel like moving a muscle.
The top speed is also respectable and the motor feels strong enough to cope with mild off-road trails.
Overall, the Junstar Bafang electric bike conversion kit is a better option than many models in the market. Thanks to its versatility of specifications, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect fit for you!
Those who believe that investing in a new electric bike may deal a great dent in their bank accounts will find relief in the fact that you can still experience electric biking when you have a conventional bike.
All you need is to buy the appropriate e-bike conversion kit at a much cheaper price and you’ll be good to go! The best electric bike conversion kits discussed above will be a great point to begin your search for the ideal kit!
What Type of Battery Should I Choose for My E-bike Conversion Kit?
The choice of a battery is essential in an electric bike conversion kit since it determines the range you get from the bike. Firstly, you’ll need a battery with the right voltage capacity.
Most conversions are usually 48V or 36V and will accommodate 52V batteries but this may compromise the reliability of the bike. Also, some controllers will take a 48V or 36V but you want to cross-check this before deciding to buy.
The Ah spec provided offers you a way to get determine the right battery capacity. Essentially, it’s an indicator of the amount of energy that can be stored by the battery. For instance, a 36v 13ah battery will have a total of 468Wh energy capacity i.e. (36v x 13ah)- using a constant 20h/mile will deliver a range of around 23 miles.
However, in real-world conditions, the actual range would be more or less depending on the level of power used, rider weight, or even the nature of the terrain.
Why Should I Choose a 350W conversion Kit When I Can Go for a 1000W kit?
Apart from by-law limitations and the street-legal limit of 500W, there are various safety and engineering concerns that come into play when sizing a motor power on an electric bike; regardless of whether it is a factory produced bike or converted bike. For example,1000W, 1500W, 3000W, etc. are not only street illegal but also too powerful and too heavy for some bikes.
On the other hand, a 250W to 500W motor offers the optimal amount of power for an electric bike. It also delivers reasonable speed, weight, safety, durability, and range when riding your bicycle. When you consider that aerobic pedaling will typically deliver between 70W and 200W of power, it is easier to understand that 500W of power from an electric motor is equivalent to almost five pedaling power.
Should I Buy a New Electric Bike or a Conversion Kit?
In most cases, this will come down to convenience and preference. Convenience in the sense that if you already have a regular that can be converted, then there is no point in spending on a new electric bike and rendering it obsolete.
Furthermore, if your budget is generally limited and you want to limit your expenses, then going for a conversion kit will seem like the wiser option to take.
When it comes to preference, deciding to buy a new electric bike could mean that you want the complete electric bike experience with no limitations.
The thing about converted e-bikes is that they may not deliver the kind of performance you get from a factory-made e-bicycle. Additionally, if you have enough disposable income to get yourself a brand-new battery-powered bike, then why should you settle for less?
What is the Cost of an Electric Bike Conversion Kit?
Generally, most electric bike conversion kits will fall in the range of 300-800 pounds. This is the price you pay for a basic conversion kit that can offer you a reliable performance.
However, you can find cheaper options and even more expensive kits that will be way beyond your budget. All in all, if you are looking to get value for your money, the 200-800-pound range will be a great midpoint to consider.
Another thing to note is that the prices of conversion will vary from one model to another. However, other factors that may influence this price difference include the type of motor and quality of electric components.
For example, some kits come with the provision to adjust the control on a tricky trail, which comes in handy for riders who prefer rugged off-road terrains. Meanwhile, other conversion kits put their focus on speed, which be better suited for those who like to test the bike’s limits.