Best Electric Bike Conversion Kit in 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
by David Wright | Last updated
Electric bicycle conversion kits first appeared a long time ago. But they are now a very popular choice because of the increased awareness toward climatic change. All around the world people are adding bikes to their lifestyle to contribute to a green environment, save money from gasoline, and other practical reasons.
Many people already had a bike and don’t want to buy a new one. A cheap e-bike conversion kit came to solve this problem in a very efficient way. Recent models of e-bikes kits are easy to install, budget and are compatible with many traditional bikes.
Nowadays, it is possible to go almost everywhere with your bicycle (especially with mountain bikes). This is why it is very important to select an electric bike kit that allows you to keep the best features of your traditional bicycle while adding power and comfort.
Our best pick
After analyzing some of the top options, we found out that the AW Rear Wheel Kit is the best electric bike conversion kit we can recommend. It offers awesome traction as it is a rear wheel kit that also includes the full set of reinforced 32mm rim + 40mm tire.
You can reach up to 45 km/h and the pedal assistance allows you to keep cycling the electric bike. The 26-inch tire keeps you comfy as it adds extra cushion and its dual-mode controller with hall effect and non-hall effect extends the life of the bike. The LCD display provides all the information you need to drive safely. But if you are looking for something that better matches your lifestyle, below you’ll find a full list of 5 e-bike conversion kits that will help you make the right decision.
Top Electric Bike Conversion Kits
|Model||Electric motor power|
|AW Rear Wheel Kit E-Bike Conversion||1000W|
1. AW Rear Wheel – Best Overall
The AW Rear Wheel electric bike kit is a perfect choice for those who take the road and also like to get some action through the mountains as it offers a powerful motor of 48V/1000W. You can easily take long rides as it also provides great power and its LCD display gives you accurate readings of speed and battery level to make sure you can get back home.
The LCD features a promising display notifying time, mileage, speed, battery power, and gears. In addition, the installation of the kit is super easy. As far as the speed is concerned, it reaches up to 45 kilometers an hour.
Pros and Cons
It brings a full set of 26-inch rear wheel and tire
Includes electric controller with a 600D Oxford cloth carrying bag with a zippered main compartment
It might be hard to get the top speed of 45 KPH
The motor could be a little noisy
With this conversion kit 700c, you will be able to get more fender clearance. It includes a complete set with LED display, motor/wheel, throttle, brake levers, pedal assist, torque arm, front and rear all-purpose lights, and cable ties. You can choose among 8 styles of Front/Thumb/Led according to your budget.
Brake-Levers set, and the safety cutoff switches are included in the bike kit. You can choose between LED and LCD display. Technical support is available from the manufacturer. You can either select twist or thumb throttle, whatever pleases you.
Pros and Cons
Includes Pedal Assist Sensor (PAS) which allows riding without throttle response
The hub motor is 14mm diameter and 500W
It is water resistant
Installation hardware and cable ties are included
Brake levers don’t work on hydraulic systems
Installation can take longer than expected
Although it is not a cheap electric bike kit, its numerous features and advantages make it worthy to pay the price. It speeds up to 16MPH but it operates quietly, and the power lasts for a long time. It is perfect for long rides and distances.
GoPlus’ great innovation relies on its App that gives you feedback on cycling speed, driving mileage, electric power, and more. As it is an e-bike conversion kit with battery, wheel, and charger, you can install it as soon as you receive it.
The drive system ensures the provision of a smooth and friction-free motion. This kit includes the wheel, charger, battery, frame, and tire.
Pros and Cons
The motor is a hub brushless
Easy to convert
An integrated App provides crucial information such as electric power, cycling speed and mileage, among others
Cell phone bracket is included with the USB charging function
The motor is only 36V / 240W
Charge time of the battery is 2 hours
What makes this stand out is its intelligent motor controller. It allows you to determine the causes why your motor stops working properly by just using a single white switch. The Jaxpety has also a dual controller that guarantees that you can ride your motorized bike when the signal source is disabled.
Nylon has been used for the tires. The alloy double wall helps the rim to be more resistant. The brake levers are quite safe and reliable. Extra power is generated by the electric motor thanks to the metal-magnates. A user manual is available, so it becomes super-easy to get along without any complication.
Pros and Cons
The controller offers big current supply as it is made of aluminum alloy
The package contains 2 handle grips, 1 controller carrying bag, cable ties, and plastic coil
Wheel size is 26-inch x 1.57-inch
Maximum weight capacity is limited to 330 Lbs
Electric motor power of 48V / 1000 / 470rpm makes this the fastest bike kit. It also includes everything to install it (except the battery). You will be able to reach up to 48 KMH without worrying about annoying noises because of its gearless hub motor.
This motor also offers 80% efficiency with a 9.6-inch diameter. The kit includes a whole set of wheel and tire, and the installation takes up to an hour. Another good news is that with MegaBrand bike kit you’re also getting a small bonus, which is a controller bag.w
Pros and Cons
Front wheel size is 26-inch x 1.75-inch
The Thumb throttle includes 3 LED indicator lights
It doesn’t bring a tube liner to help protect the wheel
The manual of instructions is not written in proper English
BAFANG 8FUN mid-drive is one of the best electric bike conversion kits available on the market today. It is called mid-drive because once installed, the motor sits in the central part of your bicycle. This kit makes your biking experience exhilarating thanks to the excellent features it exhibits.
It is suitable for use especially if you don’t prefer the rear wheel kit. What makes this kit perfect is that it features waterproof components. This is great as it allows you to use in any type of weather condition. What’s more, it features a motor that operates on 1000W and 48V. It also uses a lithium battery which powers the motor to ensure comfortable cycling.
The motor has 120 rpm rating which ensures quality performance on any bicycle. Unlike most motors found in other kits, this one operates quietly and features a motor controller to keep you posted on internal actions. The controller monitors the motor to make sure you are having the best experience you can ever get from cycling. What’s more, it includes an online tracking system that enables you to know the whereabouts of your electric bike.
All the accessories that come with BAFANG 8FUN have a good design that is appealing to the eye. It comes in black to match most of the bikes you use it on.
Pros and Cons
Includes a battery
Operates quietly and efficiently
There is also this electric bike conversion kit by Voilamart with excellent features. The Voilamart is a rear wheel electric bike conversion kit only presenting 48V 1000W powerful brushless gearless motor. This motor offers a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour which is okay for most users.
It comes with a function that allows you to switch from 1000W to 750W. That interferes with the maximum speed up to 24 miles per hour. It features a pedal assistant system to enable you to have fun while riding your bike.
One of the attributes that’s worth mentioning is that it presents a maximum load capacity of 200KG.
Voilamart comes with an LCD monitor with speed throttle to help in a number of things. It displays the status of the battery as well as pedal assistant settings. You can also set the speedometer to display either miles per hour or kilometers per hour depending on your preference.
The twist throttle features a rubber construction to provide a decent grip. What’s more, the electric brake levers have a cut off power supply to ensure maximum safety to the rider. Installing this kit is quite simple with the clear instructions it comes with.
Voilamart 26″ kit includes everything you need to fully convert your bicycle except for the battery that is sold separately. In addition, it comes with a water-resistant carrying case to hold the items securely in place.
Pros and Cons
Low battery power consumption
Simple and fast installation
It is difficult to read on the LCD display in broad daylight
Tongsheng is a Chinese company known for manufacturing plug and play motor engines. The TSDZ2 conversion kit easily transforms any type of bicycle into an electric bike. It features torque sensors that are responsible for measuring the force applied on the pedals.
The force ranges from Eco(x2) to Turbo(x15). It presents a maximum speed of 40Kmh and is limited to 25kmh with torque sensor. If you are looking to have mild exercise sessions, then the torque sensors are a perfect fit. It also uses the same power applied when pushing the bike to let riders pass through tough terrains with ease.
You will also have a nice experience when riding on highways with the torque sensor.
The Tongsheng uses a 250W motor that operates quietly and smoothly. Also, the pedal assist system allows you to choose from the four-level settings (ECO, TOUR, SPEED, and TURBO) for easy maneuverability.
There is an XH 18 LCD display on the kit that shows the running speed, battery level, mileage, etc. That allows you to select the power mode and also does presetting on various parameters. The motor operates through a number of gears and uses a single front chainring (42T) to rotate the rear wheel.
Installation of this motor is easy for an experienced mechanic. It also comes with all the components you need to get you started.
Pros and Cons
Safe for long riding
Automatic current cutoff when pedaling stops
If you are looking to enjoy having an electric bike, then the AW front wheel is your ideal conversion kit. It features a 48V 1000W powerful brushless hub motor with 80%+ high motor efficiency that sets it apart from ordinary kits.
The kit presents a dual mode controller on the motor to work under Hall effect and non-hall effect. This is a great feature that extends the durability of your transformed electric bike. It features a strengthened 32mm rim for maximum durability and 40mm tire which make the bike perfect for all terrain riding. In addition, the kit comes with the whole wheel of 26″ x 1.75″ dimensions.
Like other kits on this entry, the AW front wheel kit also includes LCD display. On the monitor, it displays the battery level, speed, time, mileage and gears. You can clearly see the speeds you are working with or when you need to recharge the kit for perfect convenience.
There is also a pedal assistance system that allows an easy and enjoyable experience while riding on the electric bike. The best part about this kit is that it includes all the accessories you need to successfully use it without spending extra cash. What’s more, installation is also quite simple with a set of instructions in the user manual. Lastly, it includes a durable 600D Oxford fabric carrying bag that comes with a zipper closure on the controller compartment.
Pros and Cons
Quiet motor operation
No battery and charger in the package
Clean Republic electric conversion kit is the best and simple way to convert your conventional bicycle into an e-bike. It is a lightweight unit that weighs only 6 pounds and features a 250W brushless e-bike motor. The motor provides sufficient power for you to race with any rider with ease.
The motor is closed, rain- and mudproof to prevent possible damages on it. The kit provides a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour using the 26″ version. Also, it has two choices of batteries; one for 12 miles and the other for 20-mile lithium-ion battery. It is compatible with most bike wheels of 20, 24, 26, and 29 inches and is also disc-brake compatible.
The Clean Republic kit presents a resilient and weatherproof design that allows it to last long. And like all the trusted products on the market, this one comes with a one-year warranty. It includes a class 2 e-bike throttle kit to reduce your commute time.
You can easily use it to make hills flat for a smoother ride or pedal for extensive exercise experience. It is simple and fast to install the kit with all parts included.
Pros and Cons
Easy to install
Lightweight and compact
Fits plenty of wheel sizes
Doesn’t come with a battery holder that connects to the bike
The BAFANG BBS02B Mid-drive is another perfect solution to transform your bicycle into an electric bike. It uses advanced technology to provide high power performance on your bike. In addition, it is popular on the market right now for its massive power.
The high power of BBS02B makes it perfect for use with trail, road or cargo bike. You will need quite a bit of time to install this kit. In addition, a few tools will get the job done and with very little effort.
The motor on this BAFANG mid-drive will mount onto a bottom bracket frame of 68-73 mm wide. With a power output of 1000W, this is massive enough and also features a top speed of 28 mph. The kit comes with 9 pedal assist levels as well as throttle-only modes for your preference.
The color LCD display is a useful feature as it shows you all the important information. It displays the speed, battery status, an odometer, and you can select one of the pedal assist levels, etc.
With this kit, you will no longer need a chain, cranks, and chainrings. That’s because it comes with one chainring to reduce the trouble. In addition, the kit comes with everything to start you off (well, except a battery). Those features make installation a breeze.
Pros and Cons
Intuitive features that are extremely helpful
Can’t mount on a frame with more than 73 mm width
What to know before converting your cycle into e-bike
If you want to transform your normal bicycle into a functioning electric bike, then there are factors you should consider. That is because electric conversion kits come in different designs and types. It’s up to you to determine how you want your electric bike to function after converting it. And this will depend on what you choose.
Read through the following buying guide to understand the necessary factors to consider if you want to enjoy your rides.
Choosing the right model
An e-bike conversion kit is a great investment. And there are several ways to maximize it.
Firstly, it is important to find out the use you will give to it. Will it be only to commute? Will you ride in the hills?
What distance will you travel with it? All these questions are answered with the technical features of the electric conversion kits.
Types of Electric Bike Conversion KitsThere are simple ways to transform your bicycle into an e-bike for you to enjoy the thrilling rides on hills and other places. That means that not all bicycles will have the same transformation.
There are different types of electric conversion kits available on the market for your preference. You can choose from the wide range of options; the front and rear wheel e-bike, mid-drive, friction drive, concealed or folding conversion kits. Here are more details about each of those types.
1. Front wheel
E-bike wheels are the most popular ways to transform your bicycle into an electric bike. The front wheel conversion kit means that you replace the anterior wheel with another wheel that has a special gear or hub. The rest of the bicycle remains the same as it was before.
Here, the battery is mounted at a different spot in order to distribute weight evenly across the bike. If you place the battery in the same spot as the motor, you will struggle with all the weight sitting on the front wheel. Therefore, it is ideal to mount the battery centrally or at the rear position of the e-bike. The kit includes a front wheel featuring a hub motor, speed controller, battery, electric brakes, a throttle, and LCD display panel. Some models may also include a pedal assist sensor.
The front wheel motor has less traction because there is little weight on the front wheel. This means that it can be difficult having control over traction. A 36V hub motor on a 26-inch wheel size will provide decent traction.
What’s more, front wheel e-bike rarely gets flat tires. This is because they will kick off sharp objects on the way to prevent punctures. It is worth noting that this type of e-bike is the simplest to install.
2. Rear wheel
If you are planning on riding up the hills or off-roading, then a rear wheel e-bike is the most ideal solution. This is because of the excellent traction control the rear wheel e-bike provides when pushing on the throttle. It features a rear wheel including a hub motor which is hard to notice as it resembles a large conventional bike hub.
In addition, there is a battery, electric brakes, speed monitor, LCD display panel, throttle, and a pedal assist. Also, you have the option of mounting the battery to the frame. Built-in batteries on the wheel or those that mount on a rear rack exert a lot of weight onto the back wheel. This, in turn, causes sudden wheelies when you put on too much power.
However, the rear wheel kit limits the selection of pedaling gears. You only have to work with derailleur gears and not the integrated hub gears.
Since the rear wheel and spokes are exposed to massive stress, it becomes quite difficult for the rear wheel to last longer than that of a conventional bicycle hub. Therefore, you are required to spend extra on high-quality components in order to prevent such occurrences. That means that the rear wheel least suits those who are on a budget since it requires a lot of maintenance.
This is another popular type of electric bike conversion kit that looks similar to the original e-bike design. In the mid-drive kits, the battery and motor mount to the frame. The motor is usually attached to the bottom bracket.
In addition, the kit has its weight down on the low to ensure a stable and smooth ride. But the motor is often susceptible to damage since it is exposed and closer to the ground when off-roading.
With mid-drive, the rear wheel is used to drive which means it provides excellent traction control. This makes it perfect for touring with your electric bicycle.
The mid-drive differs from the rear wheel kit in that the spokes on the rear wheels don’t get much stress. This is due to the fact that the weight of the motor is evenly distributed throughout the bike and it doesn’t have an effect on the wheel build.
You can enjoy your rides up steep hills thanks to the geared motor. This means that you can easily lower the riding speed when going up sharp hills.
However, the mid-drive also has a few downsides. It is a very costly electric conversion kit and is quite complicated. There is so much weight applied on the drive chain meaning the chain, rear hub and gear require frequent maintenance and sometimes replacement.
4. Friction drive
Friction drive is an e-bike system that rotates the roller which is compelled by the bicycle tire. This was first invented in 1899 and is gradually gaining popularity among the best e-bike conversion units.
The motor and roller are located on the rear wheel and uses friction to propel the bike. Since the builds are attached to the seating area, it becomes quite easy to install and remove the seat and drive without using tools. Since it is also compact and lightweight, it is ideal for those who wish to leave their bicycles outside.
However, the power applied to a friction drive has its restrictions. That is because acceleration is determined by the contact between the roller and the tire. If you increase the drive’s peak power, then the roller might spin out leaving you frustrated.
You should know that the starting torque of the motor is responsible for swinging and taking hold of the tire. The rolling shell will pull in deeper into the tread the moment it is in contact with the motor.
If there is nothing powering the motor, then it doesn’t gain contact with the tire to eliminate drag when pedaling. This allows you to use your bicycle in its regular state.
5. Concealed kits
As the name suggests, concealed kits are units that hide inside your regular bicycle to transform it into an e-bike. This type is ideal for those people who want to retain the appearance of their conventional bicycles but still enjoy the thrills of an e-bike.
Here, a motor and battery are placed inside the tube of the seat and drives on the bottom bracket. This is the latest design of electric bike conversion that is also quite expensive.
The concealed kit lets your bike ride quite the distance without other road users knowing that it is actually an electric bike. They will just be amazed at the speeds of your bicycle, not unless you tell them that it contains the kit.
To fully conceal something means that it is compact enough to stay low key. For that reason, both the motor and battery of this kit have a compact and lightweight design. Don’t let the size of the motor and battery fool you because they are quite effective and that’s why the concealed kits are that costly.
6. Folding Conversion Kits
Folding conversion kits are a great way of converting your folding bicycle into an electric bike. The kits feature a powered hub located in the front wheel. Also, it includes a battery in a bag that is fixed at the front area of your bicycle.
The motor is usually lightweight and you also have a choice to either use a twist grip throttle or a thumb throttle. In addition, they provide high speeds to make your riding exciting. Like the front wheel kits, installation is quite simple and require very little tools.
Front or rear hub/wheel?
Initially, there is not a significant difference that both systems offer except for the highest traction that rear wheel may deliver. If you are planning to use your bike to climb hills or your commuting route includes many ups and downs, then perhaps a rear model would be better for you. Besides, you should check your bike in order to verify which option fits better to it.
A motor is what powers any electric bike and allows it to function the way it does. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the motor of the conversion kit you are buying. The kits come with different sizes of motors whereby performance is determined by the size.
Larger motors are more powerful compared to smaller motors in conversion kits. This means that they have great speeds and are efficient. When choosing what motor size, you should first know what you will be using the e-bike for. You require a more powerful motor if you are planning on taking long rides on roads in the countryside. This will also provide you with massive speeds when racing with friends.
However, if you will be using the e-bike in busy streets, then a less powerful motor is most ideal. The number of watts and volts on a motor determine how powerful the unit is. The higher the watt-rating, the more powerful it is.
Also, the rpm rating also determines how powerful the motor is. If it has a high rpm, then it powerful.
Although motor efficiency is showed in percentage, the best way to measure the efficiency is by checking the maximum speed you can reach. As you get the higher speed, you will have more efficiency. Recent models may reach up to 45-46 KMH, but those with 25 and above would be enough to take you anywhere you want.
Another way to verify the efficiency is the number of watts of the motor. When they reach between 500W and 1000W, they guarantee high power. Anything below 500W is only suitable for flat roads and short rides.
The battery in a conversion kit provides energy for the motor. Therefore, it is another key factor you should prioritize when looking for a kit. Just make sure you choose a battery that is able to handle the current of your motor controller.
If the battery has a low current rating and works on a high rating motor controller, then the circuit will automatically shut off at full throttle. That also causes stress to the battery hence reducing its lifespan. The vice versa is also true.
Go for a kit offering sufficient battery capacity to cover your trip successfully. This is determined by both the watt-hour capacity and energy needed per kilometer. For instance, if your bike consumes 10 W*h/km from the battery and you have 720 Watt-hour battery, then you will cover a distance of 72km. In other words, the more energy is exerted, the lesser the mileage.
Brake levers are also an important factor as they determine safety while riding on your e-bike. When braking, the motor goes off first. This happens because there is an integrated sensor in the lever that spots when you pull the brake cable.
It then sends a signal directly to the motor controller for it to switch off the motor. The brake levers are placed onto the handlebar of your bike for quick and easy access.
Pedal Assistance System
Pedal assistance system in an e-bike is useful in controlling its speed. It operates with a sensor attached on a pedal crank or bottom bracket and detects pedal torque or cadence. This then passes information to the controller in order to accelerate.
When the pedal crank turns, the sensor gets the rate at which you are pedaling. If the pedal cadence is fast, then the controller will ensure the motor spins as fast. Electric bikes come with a given number of pedal assist settings and the most common are these three; low, medium and high.
Low pedal assist provides more pedal power for intense workouts. Medium provides great balance on the pedal power and motor power. High pedal assist lets you get to your destination fast using minimal effort.
Torque sensor pedal assist is the latest system offering advanced features. With this, the amount of torque applied is directly proportional to the power needed when pedaling (acceleration, hill climbing, steady and more). This proves that it is the best compared to the traditional systems.
What’s more, a pedal assistance system also helps those people who are looking to exercise with an electric bike. It ensures that you never stop pedaling in order to keep moving with your bike.
The throttle is also another method used in an e-bike to control its speed. The throttles in an electric bike resemble those found in a conventional motorcycle as they are fixed on the handlebar. To operate them, you either use the twist or thumb action.
The price is one of the main reasons that attract buyers to get ebike conversion kits. Most of them are very competitive. An e-bike conversion kit with a battery may increase the price, but it will give you the benefit of installing the kit at the moment you receive it.
It also guarantees that you comply with the specifications of the manufacturer. It doesn’t make any sense to buy a cheap electric bike conversion kit if you have to buy all the missing parts for a higher price. So, be smart and verify the total cost.
Ebike conversion kits vs electric bikesElectric bikes are gaining popularity all around the world but their price makes them unaffordable to many. That is why the common method is getting an electric bike conversion kit to transform your regular bicycle into an e-bike. This works best for people who already have good bikes that they don’t want to get rid of.
Instead of spending a large sum of money to get an e-bike, you can use a conversion kit on a regular bicycle. Conversion kits are significantly cheaper than purchasing electric bikes. Also, you get to mould an electric bike to your specification depending on how you want to use it.
With an electric bike, that option is not available. You get what you get. What’s more, you can change the conversion kit or use it with other bikes.
On the other hand, converting a bicycle into an electric bike requires a certain mechanical knowledge. This adds a point to an electric bike option as it comes ready to use. You can also experience some problems with batteries, pedal sensors, controllers and other significant components of a conversion kit (however, sometimes it’s also true for ready ebikes).
Making an electric bike from old bicycle
Electric bike conversion kits are a great alternative to ready-made electric bicycles, especially when you already own a regular bike. These kits are very precious tools to commute, travel and have a lot of fun. The newest technology provides them with incredible features to make them comfy, affordable, and easy to install and ride.