This post was last updated on: December 1, 2019
Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular day by day. Advancements in technology have made it easier to enjoy the electric feeling of riding a bike.
However, you do not have to buy an entirely new electric bike when there are electric bike kits all over the place. With these kits, all you need is your old, mechanical bike and a kit.
Now it is important to understand the kind of kit you need because there are several types. You can either choose a rear wheel kit, a front wheel kit or a kit with a battery. With this in mind, you avoid buying the wrong product for your bike.
What could go wrong if you purchased the wrong kit? The one obvious thing is that you will have wasted your money on something that never worked for you.
Secondly, the power delivery to your bike may feel uncomfortable, or your bike may not support it. Besides, if you buy a kit without a battery option, then you will need to get one, potentially doubling your costs!
Here is best electric bike kit review that will help you better understand the world of bike kits, to make the right purchasing decision.
ALL of the kits in this review are above 250 W. It is the law in Europe that no electric bike will have continuous power output of greater than 250 W, with a turbo mode of 350 W allowed.
Top 3 Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits:
- All in one kit, everything included for you to convert your bike
- Water proof - all components and wiring are protected
- RPM 135-160 - Max Torque 160 N.M - Max Current 25 AMP motor controller
- 48V 12AH water bottle mount Lithium Ion battery included
- LCD Display: to show battery power, time, speed, mileage and gears
- Pedal Assistance System (PAS): let you enjoy cycling while driving electric bike
- Dual Mode Controller: Motor works under Hall effect and non-Hall effect, extend life for electric bike
- 36V 500W Powerful brushless gearless motor with approx. 16-22mph (25-35km/h) speed.
- Pedal Assistance System (PAS): enjoy cycling while driving electric bike with 220-330LB / 100-150KG Max Load Capacity.
- Brake Levers cut off the power supply to the motor safely; Twist throttle has battery level display
The Rear and Front wheel kits do not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack from AW. Remember to select the correct voltage rating to go with your conversion kit.
1. Bafang 8FUN - Best E-bike kit for 2019
The best electric bike conversion kit currently on the market, pricey, but comes with battery and LCD Display.
Our best electric bike conversion kit, if you can afford it! Mid-drive means the motor is in the middle part of your bicycle. The kit has proven to be useful in making your biking experience more enjoyable and thrilling than ever before.
If you do not like the rear wheel kit, then this is a good enough alternative. Both kits perform the same thing: converting your bike into an electric bike. The difference is the position of the kit on your bike.
Components of the mid drive kit are constructed to be waterproof. This feature provides the protection they need to perform efficiently no matter the weather conditions.
Being a mid-drive kit, then expect a crank motor that operates on 850 watts and 48V. The lithium battery ensures that the motor has the energy it needs to guarantee you comfortable cycling. The 120-rpm rating on the motor also fosters its good performance on the bike it is used on.
We found this kit's motor to be the quietest in our review. The motor controller always ensures you know what is happening on the inside. It helps you monitor it. This way, you can take the necessary action for fun riding.
Safety is a crucial factor when it comes to bicycles. Do not worry. Because of the online tracking system included by the manufacturers, you can always know where your electric bike is at all times. Thieves have nowhere to run to.
We did an in-depth review for this kit, taking a deep dive into its features and specifications!
Each of the parts in the kit has an amazing elegant design that is just irresistible to look at. They are also small enough to cut unnecessary additional weight on your bike. The black color matches well with any bike color. You do not want some shining parts on your rather dark bike. This is great for those of us who prefer to keep it low key!:)
2. AW Rear Wheel Electric Kit - Best Budget Kit
The best budget kit, lots of power, LCD Display, just remember to purchase a battery with your kit.
If you have decided that the rear wheel electric bike kit is what fits you, then this AW brand is worth your money. You will love several things about it, especially the price!
It relies on a 48 volt and 1000 watt motor. This gives your bike the energy it needs to steer you through miles. The motor rotates at 470 rpm making it fast enough to generate power for your bike within the shortest time possible.
Imagine a maximum speed of 48km/hr on this bike. It will take you places and enable you to run errands on time. The motor has exceptional efficiency of 80% making it worthwhile.
Mechanical bikes always have friction issues due to the chains and gears. This affects movement at times requiring you to oil the moving parts. With a rear wheel kit, there is no friction because there are no moving parts. It is a smooth applying power directly to the road.
The motor controller is effective as it comes in dual mode. There is a hall and no hall effect. This helps make your bike more durable to get value for your money.
This kit does not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack from AW. Remember to select the 48 V rating to go with your conversion kit.
3. Voilamart Front Wheel Conversion kit
Our top front wheel kit, great power, but we do not like the feeling of so much power (1000 W) on the front wheel of our e-bike.
Voilamart has an excellent electric kit with the battery that has many users liking it. It is a front wheel electric conversion kit.
The front wheel kit gives you more flexibility on your bike. Like the rear wheel kit, you need to replace your old wheel with the Voilamart’s front wheel. However, you can keep the old tire if you feel it is good enough to hold Voilamart’s wheel in place and keep you going on the road. Safety and compatibility are critical here.
You will not take more than an hour installing the kit. Also, it is super easy having it on your bike. The motor is rated 48V 1000W (downrated to 750W to make it road legal in the USA) making it powerful to take you up and down the hill with a lot of ease. Besides the rating, it has a brushless hub eliminating friction and unnecessary noise during cycling.
About the type of battery; this Voilamart model comes with a 11.4 Ah lithium battery. 11.4 Ah is above the standard 10 Ah, which you will find in most kits, which will come needed if you plan on using all of its incredible power.
However, lithium is always preferred due to its efficiency and weight. Additionally it comes with a battery bag, making it easy when moving it around from it's charger to the e-bike for example.
The kit eliminates the need for a drive system with chains and gears. This simplified kit makes it lighter, frictionless and more efficient at its performance. About speed, get ready to enjoy 28 MPH thanks to the motor rotation of 470RPM. The motor has an efficiency of 80 % making it great.
The dual mode controller ensures increased efficiency of the tool. Buyers have a one-year warranty, a free replacement and a 100% money back guarantee to enjoy.
One concern we have with such a power front wheel drive kit is that it feels really weird when you apply the full torque. You feel like you are being pulled by the motor, it might be something you like, but if you have not tried a 1000 W motor we suggest you install it on the rear wheel before trying a front wheel kit.
The kit comes with several other items such as a front wheel, motor, controller, harness, elastic rope, disc holes, thumb speed throttle, handlebar grips and brake level.
This kit does not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack from AW. Remember to select the 36 V voltage rating to go with this kit.
4. AW Front Wheel Kit
Another solid kit from AW, great power, but we are skeptical about running 1000 W through the front wheel.
AW seems to be doing a good job in the field of electric bike conversion kit market. Apart from its rear wheel kit, here comes it's front wheel kit. The wheel is 24-by-1.95-2.5 inches. A 26 inch variant at 1000 W is also available. If you have a bike with such dimensions and you want a front wheel kit, this is the brand to buy.
Of course, it has a powerful motor that works on 48 V at 1000W, or 36 volts and 750 watts depending on which tire size you choose.
For front wheel drive ebikes we do recommend the 750 W variant, as previously mentioned, the 1000 W motor applying power to the front wheel might feel very strange to those used to normal biking. Remember, when you cycle, you are applying power to the rear wheel.
The engine runs at 470rpm offering you a great experience when cycling. It has an 80% efficiency making it, even more, luring for users. Such performance increases purchases of AW kits.
The 40mm tire is perfect for riding on whichever terrain. The rim is stronger as it is reinforced to ensure it lasts longer. The controller allows you follow whatever is happening on your bike such as the speed. Its dual mode with a Hall Effect, no Hall Effect mechanism, makes it amazing. It prolongs the bike’s lifetime.
You will love the handlebar grips. They ensure your hands are comfortable when cycling; there are no instances of hands sliding or slipping be it accidental or because of moisture. The grips also prevent blisters, which can prevent you from enjoying cycling.
The kit uses a variety of battery types including lithium, lead-acid and NiMH. Whatever battery type you choose, it should have a nominal voltage of 48V and 17Ah. The LCD keeps you abreast with the crucial functions of the bike conversion kit such as battery power, mileage, speed, time and gears.
The Pedal Assistance System (PSA) allows you cycle your bike while using the electric mode. This flexibility ensures you gain the most out of cycling. The pedal system offers great exercise for your legs. If your legs get tired then you can switch to driving your bike; no pedalling required. The speed throttle will ensure you are cycling at the right, comfortable speed.
The carrying bag is something to like about this kit. It helps you manage your storage space and keeps the kit’s components in one place. You will have an easy time assembling the parts. There is nothing as frustrating as yearning to convert your ordinary bike into an electric one than finding that some parts are missing. The bag will save you the frustration.
The fact that there is separate space in the bag with a zipper for the controller means the manufacturer understands how delicate it is. I mean you cannot keep the metallic parts of the kit in the same place as the controller which as a display/monitor area.
The other things that come with the kit include brake pullers, battery connection cable, fuse and cable tie/winding pipe.
This kit does not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack from AW. Remember to select the 48 V voltage rating to go with this kit.
5. Aosom 26" Bike Kit Review
Not a recommended conversion kit, no disc brakes and poor quality
Delivering 1000 W of power to your bicycle, the kit by Aosom is the big daddy of rear wheel e-bike conversion kits.
The Aosom 26” bicycle motor conversion kit is a convenient, easy and well-priced way to convert your pedal-powered bicycle in to a pedal motorcycle, through the installation of a rear wheel electric bike kit.
All it requires is for you to install this small but powerful motor to your rear wheel, and you’re off on your travels in comfort, and with little to no physical exertion.
The motor is designed to fit 26 inch rear wheels, one of which is included in the kit. The motor is controlled by a controller – also supplied. It is a 48V 1000W motor, which can propel your bike to an impressive top speed of 28mph.
However, there are no disc brakes included with this kit! This is a major safety concern with such a powerful motor!
The battery is rechargeable, making it a green option as you are not having to regularly dispose of spent lithium containers. It has a long life, meaning that you can go for several rides without the constant worry of nightly charging. You are also able to see when the battery is low, so that you aren’t caught out in the middle of the road.
The kit also includes two handbrakes and a pedal sensor, which work in tandem to power the motor and to assist with stopping, so you don’t put yourself at risk of crashing.
The kit is extremely easy to set up, and comes with detailed installation instructions, including how to install disc brakes, which are not included with the kit, on to your bike as an extra safety measure. The instructions also show you how to remove the kit, so that you can swiftly alternate between powered bike and conventional pedal bike.
This kit does not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack from AW. Remember to select the 48 V voltage rating to go with this kit.
The five kits discussed above are our top electric bike conversion kit for front, rear and mid drive conversion. It does not matter whether you would like to have a rear wheel, front wheel or mid drive kit. The most important thing is finding one that fits your needs and preference. Now, you have all the necessary information you need to ensure you buy the right kit. The four brands are an excellent guide. You can find out more by researching online. There is a lot of information including reviews that can help you better understand the conversion kits.
Extra E-Bike Conversion Kit
Tongsheng TSDZ2 Mid Drive Motor Conversion Kit
Unfortunately, there is no battery in the kit!
This a trusted mid-drive conversion kit from the Chinese company, Tongsheng. It has all the power you’ll need on your e-bike and serves as a lighter and simpler alternative to the Bafang. Aside from being cheaper than most other mid-conversion kits, it comes with a reliable motor that can perform just as impressively as the Bafang model.
This kit features a 350W motor that is mounted to the bottom brackets. To install it, you’ll have to remove the current cranks on your bike since the kit comes with cranks and chainring. This kit will also replace gears and chainrings you have at the front, just like the Bafang.
The kit will enable you to reach a maximum speed of 14-20 mph while riding for up to 24miles. Other features include a controller and torque sensors that have been built on the side. You also get an LCD where you can follow up on the mileage, battery percentage, speed, time, etc.
A grip shift allows you to switch between various modes and there is no throttle on the kit, just pedal assist. You can either choose to limit the power or leave it open, leaving you with different top speeds.
The benefit of this kit is that it’s compatible with the majority of standard bike frames, which proves to be a convenient aspect if you’re not choosy about the kit and bike dimensions. Anybody trying to convert their regular bike into an electric bike while on a tight budget will find this brand to be very useful.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Conversion Kit
It's not a good idea to blindly purchase a kit just because you have a good feeling about it. You need facts. Some of the things to put in mind during purchase include:
Quality: always go for products that will give you value for your money. Avoid cheap items. Let quality be your priority and not price
Durability: this has to do with quality. The higher the quality, the more durable the product. The vice versa is also true
Motor ratings: this is about watts and volts. They determine how powerful the kit will be. A 1000watts motor is better than an 850watts motor. The rpm rating of the motor is also a factor. The higher the rating, the better.
Performance: you need to consider how well the kit works. The motor could be good but poor performance is the problem. Reviews will help you determine the performance of the product you are considering to buy
Speed: a good kit should make your bike fast enough to substitute your car when a need arises. It should not be too slow. The speed throttle is also an essential element of speed as it allows you adjust how fast you want to cycle
Battery versatility: a great kit allows you to use several battery types on it. This is convenient especially in situations where you cannot find the particular battery; you have alternatives that are as good
Ease of use: an excellent kit gives you an easy time installing, using and even dismantling. Do not buy a kit that undoubtedly will frustrate you in the three stages
Noise: cycling is fun when you are on a quiet bicycle. A noisy one distracts you and is even annoying to people around you
What are the different types of e-bike conversion kits?
There are various ways you can choose to power your bike using an electric motor. The following e-bike conversion kits are usually available for this purpose:
The most common type of conversion kit you’ll find. In this case, the front or rear wheel on your current bike is replaced with a special wheel that features a hub and gearing. You may also find a battery on the hub or have it mounted somewhere else.
For a battery that is mounted separately, replacing the front wheel will be preferable for road biking given that the weight of the kit will be distributed evenly across your bike. On the other hand, steering becomes heavy when the whole weight sits on the front wheel.
You also want to consider the strength of the fork and make sure that it can cope with the torque from the electric motor. The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need the frame to be stronger than a road bike's if you want to install a front-wheel motor.
A back-wheel motor is more suitable for off-road biking because of improved traction. But if your bike already has a hub gear, it will have to be replaced with a cassette and derailleur. You can also mount a separate battery on the frame, although this is not a necessity.
Integrating a battery into the wheel or mounting it on the rear rack tends to shift all the weight to the back wheel, resulting in unforeseen wheelies when you apply too much power.
This type of conversion kit mimics what you see on complete e-bikes. The motor and battery are mounted on the frame, with the motor attached to the bottom bracket in most cases. The weight is kept low in this design, which helps with the feel of the ride.
The only problem is that the motor is too exposed at this position and may be prone to damage when riding off-road.
In this conversion kit, the roller and motor sit on the back wheel and propel the bike forward with the help of friction. This is generally a crude solution and not many people prefer it. Apart from having weight distribution issues, the entire system is also not efficient.
If you want to hide the fact that you are riding an electric bike, this is the solution for you. However, it is going to cost you more. The motor and battery are fitted inside the seat tube where it drives the bottom bracket. This conversion kit is recommended if you really want to have a secret e-bike, especially when you consider the cost involved.
Can I convert the bike I currently have?
An electric bike conversion kit comes with everything you’ll require for the process. All the tricky part has been cut out for you and all you need to do is install the kit on your bike. This is a task that can be performed by practically anyone with the aid of a few tools. It’s even easier if the person has a background in bicycle mechanics.
Essentially, any bike can be converted into an e-bike, although some tend to be more appropriate for this. The main thing to consider on your bike is the strength of the frame and durability of the front fork.
The sturdier your frame, the better your bike will perform at high speeds and chances of the front fork breaking will be significantly decreased. While a steel frame makes a great choice, it adds weight to the bike and this may not sit well with anyone who has to carry the bike.
A bike with an aluminum frame is something you can definitely work with. It offers a good balance between weight and durability. Nevertheless, you still want to ensure that the frame feels stable and sturdy to avoid breaking the front fork when you encounter a pothole at high speeds.
Finally, a carbon frame bike is the lightest option you can get, but it is not as strong as you may want it to be. If you possess one, be sure to get an appropriate e-bike conversion kit. Generally, the best kits are installed on the back wheel or middle section of the bike.
What does it take to install an e-bike kit?
If you are installing a hub motor kit, it shouldn’t take you longer than a couple of hours to get the job done, as far as time is concerned. In fact, it could be done in just under an hour if you have some remote knowledge in bicycle mechanics. The mid-drive e-bike kits are the best when you want to convert your bike.
However, they happen to be the most difficult kits to install. This also means that they will cost a little extra to install. If you are willing to get your hands dirty, you are definitely going to need a number of tools.
Basically, a standard bike toolset should be enough to get the job done. The individual tools that will prove necessary include wrenches (Phillips and Allen), pliers, air pump, screwdrivers, etc. If you don’t own any of these tools, you can readily order a bicycle tool kit online.
Alternatively, you can check in with a rider friend to provide you with any tools you might be missing. You are also going to need a bike stand! This will ensure that you are working comfortably and helps to reduce the strain associated with the process.
The above set of tools will have you working comfortably to get your new e-bike up and running in no time. Otherwise, if you feel like you are not up to the challenge, there’s always a local bike store that you can find a technician to do it for you.
Just be sure to consult them before you order the kit, and be ready to bear the extra cost!
Electric bike conversion kits have made it possible for many individuals to enjoy riding electric bikes without necessarily buying electric bikes. It is a matter of the purchase of a kit and fixing it on the ordinary bike. According to ProBikeNinja.com you can also add e-bike conversion kits to your mountain bike.
Should you find the need of a conversion kit not to your fancy, try our best fat tire e-bike review for the full electric bike at the ready, or for a more relaxed approach see the best beach cruisers!
To recap, here's what we determined in this review:
Best Conversion Kit
If your budget allows, the Bafang 8fun conversion kits stands out as the best performing kit on the market. Although not the most powerful, the difference is in the quality of the parts and the versatility that a mid-wheel drive unit provides.
Best bang for your buck award goes to the AW rear wheel kit, note that we also reviewed the front drive kit for those crazy enough to install a 1000 W motor on your front wheel (not recommended!)
Both the Voilamart and AW front wheel drive kits are very easy to install. A unique design that adds a different flavour to proceedings, worth considering if you wish to stand out and fancy something out of the ordinary.
Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API