There are tons of different bikes out there, and with so many varieties on the market, everyone is sure to find something that works for them. Indeed, bike riding has become so popular that it has expanded to countries and cities worldwide. Whether you’d like to ride a bike for fun, for exploring mountain back trails, for exercise, or for your daily commute, there’s definitely a bike for you.
Alongside the development of electric cars, the world of bicycles has seen several enhancements, as well. Electric bikes are special bicycles that have advantages over regular models. They come with an electric pedal assist that helps move the rear wheel by using a sensor to see how fast you need to go. The pedal assist sensor tells the motor (whether it’s a mid drive motor or a hub motor) to spin the wheels. This action helps the electric road bike go at the speed you need, but with much less exertion from the rider.
An electric bike conversion kit is a recent invention that expands the definition of what can become an electric road bike. Electric bikes are not cheap bikes, so any method to cut costs is welcome. With a bike conversion kit, you can attach a simple e-bike motor to your bicycle and give it pedal assist torque for its rear wheel. This machine allows you to continue to pedal regularly but with extra juice. The electric bike kit puts more of the load onto the machine, allowing you to pedal with ease for fun, work, exercise, and anything in between!
Bestselling Electric Bike Kit for 2021
- LCD Display: to show battery power, time, speed, mileage and gears
- Pedal Assistance System (PAS): let you enjoy cycling while driving electric bike
What is an Electric Bike Kit?
An electric bike kit is a special installation set that allows a regular bike to act as an e-bike. This kit usually includes an e-bike motor, a set of sensors, lots of wires (don’t mix them up!), and an owner’s manual.The owner’s manual is very important. If you’re installing this kit onto an existing bike, you don’t want to wreck the ride that’s faithfully served you for years! Instead, take things step by step and carefully read through the instructions. Ensure that all the electrical equipment works by testing its components separately. Have you ever strung up a strand of Christmas lights, only to plug them in and discover that they didn’t work? You don’t want something like that happening in your electric bike kit. Plug in the lights, so to speak, before going for a ride.
What are the different types of electric bike kits?
Because there are two primary types of e-bike motors, there are two types of electric bike kits: the hub motor and the mid drive.
Hub motors are cheaper and easier. They are simple devices with easy output and trouble-free installation. Comparatively speaking, hub motors are best for everyday biking when you’re going to and from work.
Mid drive motors, on the other hand, offer options that aren’t available for hub motors. A mid drive conversion kit is what you get when you need extra juice out of your battery pack. These motors are more complex, but with greater complexity comes greater output. Mid drive means power, the power to take your e-bike through tough terrain and steep slopes. Mountain bike riders everywhere prefer mid drive for their superior construction and quality craftsmanship.
A mid drive motor is also much more expensive than a regular hub motor. Due to its complexity, it is also harder to install.
Mid drives require a fair bit of experience and know-how to use and replace, whereas hub motors have carved a niche for tame roads and beginning bicyclists. To replace a hub motor, it’s as easy as popping out the old motor and inserting a new one. They’re the best type of motor for regular commutes because they won’t require too much time to change. Hub motors let you get back on the road as soon as you need to. They’re the best timely option by a landslide, not to mention their price.
Which one should you get? Well, that depends on what kind of output you need from your e-bike. Each e-bike kit has advantages and disadvantages. It takes careful weighing of both options to truly understand what you’ll need from your biking experience. You should probably not go into such a purchase blind, or at least without understanding the routes you’ll need to take with your e-bike. For example, where will you be going with it? If it’s in the mountains and down rocky trails that aren’t neat and pretty, a mid drive motor is your mountain e-bike’s best friend. On the other hand, your daily commute can’t be slowed down by a clunky installation process and time-consuming details. For casual biking, daily commuting, and basic leisurely activities, you can be sure a hub motor can get the job done for you.
Go through your daily route a few times with a regular bike first, if you can. Perhaps you live in a city with lots of winding hills, tight turns, and frequent potholes. Then maybe a mid drive might be appropriate, or you could take a safer route to work and stick with the cheaper hub motor. Whichever you decide, try to ride your route of choice a few times and see what the roads feel like. Imagine the difference an e-bike kit could make, and picture yourself managing an e-bike’s settings and speed while riding. Then, look at different categories in each type of product. There may be overpriced hub motors or cheap and unreliable mid drives
Get in contact with locals where possible. Ask for advice. Help from other cyclists can be immeasurable when it comes to breaking into a new field of cycling. They can show you the best brands and products, demonstrate what their bike can do, give you a test drive on their bicycle of choice, and even help you install and repair your own bike. Not only that, but you might find some new friends to go biking with. Bikers enjoy a tight bond of friendship as people who share a similar bond. The only thing that beats enjoying the great outdoors is taking a friend along for the journey. By asking around about whether a hub motor or mid drive motor is better for your route’s roads, you might find more than just a product recommendation. You could find a friend.
What type of battery do electric bike kits use?
This is an important question if you’re looking to install an e-bike kit on an existing bike. The point of buying an e-bike kit, of course, is to avoid having to purchase an entirely new ride from the store. It’s difficult to find an entire e-bike for sale that’s reliable and has all its parts, so installing e-bike kits on regular bikes is an excellent option.
Most e-bikes will use either a lead-acid or lithium-ion battery pack. This comparison will be quite similar to the differences between a hub motor and a mid drive. Basically, lead-acid batteries are considered of inferior quality and, therefore, much cheaper. Lead batteries are also much more clunky. They can weigh up to two or three times as much as a lithium-ion battery of similar power output!
On the other hand, a lithium-ion battery is lighter, more expensive, and lasts longer. Just as a lead-acid battery can weigh more than lithium, lithium batteries often cost two or three times as much, if not more. They last longer and can deliver a better lifetime power output than lead-acid, so keep that in mind when purchasing. Whether you’re looking for a battery to last for years or an easy battery to get some experience with e-bikes, one of these two battery types should do the job for you.
Of course, if you’re buying these batteries for an existing bike that’s already an e-bike, that changes things a little. You’ll have to buy a battery compatible with the e-bike conversion kit that was already installed onto that ride. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you could also tweak the installation and replace some of the parts with ones that match a different battery type. For example, if you’re graduating from lead-acid batteries, you can try installing a lithium battery by replacing the necessary components. Give your new motor a welcome home by optimizing your electric bike’s electric parts. It’s a bit more hassle to go through, but hey, at least your ride will keep pedaling as smoothly as you like. Keep in mind the benefits whenever you set out on a large task like this.
What else should I buy with my e-bike conversion kit?
If this is your first time buying this bike (i.e., you’re buying a new e-bike and an electric bicycle kit to go with it), you’ll want to ask whether you’d like to personalize it. Any extra parts you might need? Be sure to pick them up before leaving the store! Depending on your region’s local safety laws, you will probably need some rear-wheel reflectors and a flashlight to clip onto the handlebars. Buy the best safety equipment you can, including a helmet and pads for your elbows and knees. For the e-bike conversion kit itself, consider investing in a spare battery pack or a mobile charger to get electricity into your e-bike on the go. You wouldn’t want to run out of power on a dimly-lit backroad far from home, after all.If you buy your e-bike used, take it for a test drive to make sure everything works well. Test the brake lever, too, because the best time to install a new brake system is before you need it. Give the electric bike motor a few test charges, as some electric bike kits may charge differently than others. Ensure all the parts, especially electrical parts, work well together and won’t conflict with each other. Take steps to protect yourself and your investment. By looking over all the equipment you have before taking it out onto the open road, you’ll weed out any problems with your new electric bicycle conversion kit. Careful planning will allow you to return parts that aren’t working and provide an opportunity to replace those parts before you take your bicycle for a ride. If you’re ordering this bike for a ride with friends, you’ll be able to get what you need in time for your big trip. You will thank yourself a dozen times over for being so careful and cautious with your safety.
Is it a good idea to buy a used e-bike?
Used electric bikes for sale are fairly common and might be on the market for various reasons. Perhaps the motor or throttle are burnt out, or the owner purchased a set of cheap bikes and regretted doing so. It could also be a problem with the electric bike conversion process; if it was installed wrong, some might try to pass it off.
The best cheap electric bike is the kind that is gently used and had an owner who simply lost interest. When shopping online, cheap bikes are everywhere, but quality e-bikes are harder to come by. If you do find a model that seems to work, check the description carefully. Comb over each section of the listing to learn everything you can about the bike. How are the brakes? If it is an e-bike, how well was the bike conversion kit installed? Is installation separate? What’s the seller’s rating like on the website? Do you use the motor with a mid drive kit or a hub kit?
Remember that regional differences may change which electric systems are available. Electronics made in North America, for example, may require a certain adapter to work with those in Europe. This might change the motorized bicycle kit’s efficiency, especially if you use electronics for two different regions. The motorized bike kit might not properly charge if the region you’re buying from has a different outlet than the source region. Whenever you mix and match motor types, you have to be especially cautious. A mid drive unit won’t work well where a hub motor is supposed to be installed. Manufacturers have carefully tested out all of their equipment to ensure it’s efficient and works well on any open road. But drifting away from the manufacturers’ intentions for the electric bike motor kit is like a raft slowly leaving the shore. Pedal back to the mainland (figuratively speaking) and try to keep any electric bicycle kit you buy together. It’s a bit like buying car parts: don’t mix and match unless you trust the seller, can rely on the equipment, and know what you’re doing.
Please keep in mind that not all used electric bikes are created equal. Scammers are everywhere and are looking for ignorant people to take advantage of. They know how valuable their product appears to be, and that’s why they play up the hype of their good so much. But contrary to what their advertisement says, their electric bike motor kit may not be up to your standards.
If you see an ad that says something like “Electric motor for bicycle” or “e-bike for sale,” look at the seller’s profile. How recently has their page been up? How many posts do they have? Are there visible typos, grammar errors, or other mistakes in their writing? (For example, “eletric bike,” “torqe” instead of “torque,” or inconsistencies with how they abbreviate key terms, like putting a space in between “e bike kit” or “e bike conversion” in one place, then saying “ebike kit” and “ebike conversion elsewhere.) Do they use a flashy, glitzy name that sounds like two regular words put together? Does their post promise a product, then take you to a page that doesn’t list that product. These signs are some ways you can tell whether or not an online seller is as truthful as they seem. Do not buy anything without test riding it, meeting the owner, and asking detailed questions about the model, make, specifications, electrical equipment, etc.
And even if the seller is honest, make sure the bike conversion kit is compatible with your bike. Electric bike conversion is not rocket science, but you need the right materials. Without them, you’ll be forced to work with the wrong tools for the wrong job, like putting a square peg in a round hole. Check the specifications for the electric bicycle kit that’s for sale and whether it matches your own bike’s needs. A regular bike will need a few customizations to become a full-fledged e-bike, as will a mountain bike or cargo bike. Be aware of this fact, as any existing bike you use may need to have some changes put in place to install an e-bike motor properly