If you're looking for a way to get around without spending much money on a new electric bike, an e-bike conversion kit is your best bet. It will turn your regular bicycle into an electric bike.
But why are these kits so expensive?
Let's find out!
1.How does the e-bike conversion kit work, and what are the benefits of using an e-bike conversion kit?
E-bike conversion kits help you convert your bicycle into an electric bike. The kits contain everything you need to mount the battery, motor, and controller onto your existing bike, including brackets and other hardware.
These batteries and motors are compact to fit into a regular bicycle's frame easily. The power of these motors ranges from 250 to 750 W and can accelerate the bike up to 15 to 20 mph of speed.
Besides, the batteries can last up to 12 to 40 miles, depending on the type of conversion kit and battery capacity.
Nevertheless, these conversion kits don't mean that your regular bike will turn into an electric motorbike that doesn't need paddling.
Just like actual electric bikes, these conversion kits act as an assisted pedaling system, reducing the need for paddling. Besides, it will help you climb hills, make headwinds more manageable, and allow you to travel extra miles without sweating or getting tired.
Here are some of the advantages of installing an electric bike conversion kit:
- The main advantage is that it allows you to ride longer distances on one charge, which is excellent for people who live in cities or work outside the home.
- The conversion kits cost much lower than a new electric bike.
- It provides a purpose to an old regular bike left to rust in the garage.
- Regular bikes are available in different types, including mountain, BMX, road, and folding bikes. In contrast, e-bikes have very limited variants. So, an electric bike conversion kit instantly helps you motorize your favorite bike type.
- If you are a mechanical hobbyist, these conversion kits are fun to install and swap between bikes.
- E-bike conversion kits are a greener option than an electric bike, as these kits help recycle the regular old bikes by converting them into e-bikes instead of manufacturing whole new ones.
- It can help you to save money on gas and maintenance costs, as you will use your electric bike instead of a motorbike or car for daily commuting.
- E-bike conversion kits are lightweight, so they won't add too much extra weight to your regular bike. Still, they will be much lighter than an electric bike.
2. Why are ebike conversion kits expensive?
When buying an e-bike conversion kit, one would quickly think these sellers charge too much extra for just a battery and motor. However, it is not that simple!
E-bike conversion kits are expensive due to following reasons:
- Batteries: They contribute the most to the e-bike conversion kit's cost. These batteries are made of costly lithium-ion cells packed safely to make up a battery pack. It is also ensured that the batteries are made according to global quality standards, as poor quality batteries are highly prone to explode.
- Quality and Features: Many cheap quality e-bike conversion kits are available in the market. However, They're less durable, crude, noisy, and often have no features except throttle. In contrast, high-quality kits are manufactured after months of research and high-quality parts, so they are significantly better to use. They are also smarter and feature variable power and pedal sensors to measure pressure and cadence.
- Motor: Cheap quality kits come with heavier low-quality motors that add extra weight to the bike. However, high-quality conversion kits have lightweight, long-lasting, and energy-efficient motors that perform way better and increase the battery life. And obviously, these high-quality motors will add extra cost to the kit.
- Components: Some e-bike conversion kits are more expensive than others due to their features. Some kits only offer a motor, batteries, and controller, while others provide additional components like headlights, LCDs, wheels, etc.
3. How to choose the suitable ebike conversion kit for your needs
To get the maximum performance from the e-bike conversion kits, it is essential to choose the right one.
There are many factors you need to consider, some of which are as follows:
Battery: Not all kits come with the battery; if they do, they may be of inferior quality. That can be dangerous! So, when buying the conversion kit, you must ensure you are buying it from a reliable source. Besides, it should come with a high-quality lithium-ion battery. Moreover, you should consider the battery capacity as per usage. Some batteries may last 12 miles, while others can go up to 40 miles.
Compatibility: Different conversion kits are available in the market, and not all of them work for every bike. So you must ensure that the conversion kit you are purchasing is compatible with your bike. Ensure that kit’s motor and brakes are compatible with your bike. It would be better to buy the most common type of e-bike conversion kit and not something that can only be used on a specific brand or model.
Motor Power: Choose the motor depending on how you use your bike. If you are to cycle on smooth, less inclined roads, a 250W motor is enough. However, if you are going to ride it in mountainous areas or off-roading, go for extra power (at least 500W).
Motor Type: Some kits come with front hub motors (compatible with front wheel), rear hub motor (compatible with rear wheel), and mid-drive motor (installed between the pedals). You can choose the motor type according to your usage, bike type, and budget. Each motor type has pros and cons. Front and rear hub motors are relatively cheaper and exert less load on the drive system of the bicycle. However, you will have limited rims, tires, and cassettes options. On the other hand, the mid-drive motor gives you the liberty to choose any heavy-duty rim, tires, and cassettes, but these motors are relatively expensive.
Controller: The controller is an essential part of an electric bike conversion kit. It is a brain that manages power distribution between the motor and battery. High-quality conversion kits offer programmable controllers that can be personalized according to your riding style.
Sensors: High-quality conversion kits are equipped with sensors to enhance paddle assistance. These sensors are of different types. For example, some kits come with a cadence sensor, while others have a torque sensor. The torque sensor, also known as the pressure sensor, acts as an energy saver. It is comparatively expensive. This torque sensor calculates the rotational force exerted and accordingly provides motor power. This helps in increasing the battery’s range.
On the other hand, the cadence sensor is installed to calculate the movement and speed of the pedals and provide motor power accordingly. However, the power distribution by the cadence sensor is uneven and jerky. Therefore, it is vital to consider the sensors that come with the kit and their features.
Additional Components: Usually, electric bike conversion kits come with essential components such as a battery, motor, controller, and other hardware. Whereas premium e-bike kits like eSoulBike offer additional components such as LCD, Headlight, disc brakes, and thumb throttle.
Law: Before purchasing an e-bike conversion kit for your bike, you should check with your state and local government officials to see if any laws or ordinances restrict or prohibit the use of e-bikes on bike paths. Some cities have also imposed maximum limits (up to 20 mph or 28 mph). So, you must buy the kit while keeping in mind the max. Speed and other laws.
4. What can you do to save money on your purchase of a ebike conversion kit?
If you are finding e-bike conversion kit expensive, there are tips you can follow to save money:
- Compare Products and Prices: Don't buy directly from the seller you see. Look for multiple options from different manufacturers, compare them in price and features, and try to get the best value for money.
- Check out the shipping cost: Some sellers charge a certain amount for shipping, while other offers free shipping. So, why not save you hard-earned money on free delivery?
- Check for Coupon Codes: Reliable e-bike conversion kit brands offer coupons and other promotional stuff to bless their customers with amazing discounts. So, keep an eye on them to save money!
- Check reviews: Not all products at a discounted price are worth buying. So, don’t try to waste money on kits with bad reviews. So, research, read reviews, and compare prices and features before buying!
- Buy a complete package: Some e-bike conversion kits come with essential components, while other offers additional parts, such as a headlamp, LED light, disc brakes, etc. It is always a good idea to buy a complete package, as they will cost you more when purchasing them individually.
- Buy the right one: Ensure that the kit is compatible with your bike before buying, else this kit will be useless.
- Directly buy from manufacturer/supplier: Why pay extra commissions or profit to mediators, traders, or 3rd party websites? If you can purchase these kits from direct suppliers and manufacturers. This will save a lot for you!
5. How to install an ebike conversion kit?
The e-bike conversion kit is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their standard bicycle with the added benefit of electric power.
You can install it in about 20 minutes. So, Let us walk you through the entire kit installation process.
Step # 1: Unmount the original bicycle wheel
First, place your bicycle upside down on a flat surface.
Next, You'll need to remove the wheel from your bicycle. The wheel should come off quickly.
You will be wondering which wheel I should remove; Front or rear wheel?
Actually, this depends on your conversion hit.
Check if it has a front-hub motor or rear-hub motor. If it's front, then remove the front wheel, else the rear one.
Then, separate the tire from the old rim, and place it on the new motorized rim along with disc brakes.
Step # 2: Mount the Motorized Wheel
Now, Place the new motorized wheel on the bicycle and tighten the bolts. Please ensure that the wheel spins freely and is well secured.
Step # 3: Install Display and Power Controller
Next, flip the bike back to its original position and install the display unit on its handlebar.
The display unit also has a controller attached to it. Screw it alongside the display on the handlebar at the position which is most comfortable for you to operate.
Step # 4: Install the throttle
Remove the grip from the handlebar and Install the throttle. You can choose between the left and right sides of the handlebar for throttle as per your convenience.
Note: You can also use the bike without the throttle if it isn't allowed in your country, like in EU countries.
Step # 5: Install the lights
High-quality e-bike conversion kits like eSoulBike come with a headlight and taillight. You can install them simply using screws and a screwdriver.
Step # 6: Install the brake sensor
Loosen the brake wire and unhook it from the brakes on the front wheel and the brake lever on the handlebar. Insert the brake wire into the tube of the brake sensor, and hook it back to its original position.
- Only use the original brake wire if it is in good condition. Else replace it with the new one.
- The brake sensor can be placed near the brake lever or the brake disc of the front wheel. However, the arrow on the sensor should face towards the handle.
Step # 7: Install the Pedal Sensor
Install the Pedal Sensor (PAS) by removing the left pedal crank and adding the sensor. Re-install the pedal crank, and screw it properly using the tool provided in the kit.
Step # 8: Install the battery
E-bike conversion kits come mainly with two types of battery mounting methods.
The first is to mount the battery on the downtube of the bike. The downtube already has holes for screws. You just need to install the battery base and screw it. Then slide the batteries on the base and lock it.
The second is to install the battery rack, for which you need to remove the existing one and install the one included in the Conversion Kit.
Step # 9: Connect the cables
Now, connect all the cable joints to link the motor, batteries, and light LCD panel and controller. Properly secure the cables with cable ties and cable wraps.
Once everything is done, please give it a test drive to ensure your hard work has paid off. In case of any issue, refer to the installation manual or contact the kit manufacturer.