Top 5 E-bike conversion kits for 2020 (Mid, Front and Rear kits covered)

May 25, 2019

Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular and you might be tempted to trade in your old faithful traditional bike for a brand new e-bike. But wait, there are other options.

Due to a number of e-bike conversion kits on the market today there is no need to buy a new electric bike.  E-bike conversion is also a much cheaper option.

So, what do you have to do? It is quite simple,  all you have to do is replace a powered wheel either with the front or rear wheel of your existing bike. Another option is to attach a drive unit to the bottom bracket of your bike.  

Having said that, there are a number of conversions kits on the market. In this post we will review 5 conversion kits available in 2020 and list our top 3.

ALL 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:

Product
Details
Rating
Our #1 Rated
Electric Bike Bafang 8fun Mid Drive Crank Motor...
Bafang 8Fun
750W Mid-Drive Kit (incl. battery)
.
5 out of 5
"Editor's Choice"
  • 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
Our #1 Rated
.
5 out of 5
"Best in Test, and comes with optional battery"
Our #2 Rated
AW 26'x1.75' Rear Wheel Electric Bicycle LCD...
AW 48V 1000W
Rear Wheel Kit (no battery)
.
4.5 out of 5
"Best Rear Wheel Kit"
  • 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
Our #2 Rated
.
4.5 out of 5
"Best Rear Wheel Kit"
Our #3 Rated
JAXPETY 48V 1000W Electric Bicycle Cycle E Bike...
JaxPety 36V 500W
Front Wheel Kit (no battery)
.
4 out of 5
"Best Front Wheel Kit"
  • 48V 1000W and 750W super power brushless gearless hub motor, Restricted to 750W and 19.88mile/h by default as a road-legal...
  • Crank speed sensor for pedal assist, Aluminum alloy powerful controller
  • Nylon tire& alloy rim& stainless steel spoke, Rare-earth metal magnates are used in the motor to efficiently produce large...
Our #3 Rated
.
4 out of 5
"Best Front Wheel Kit"

The Rear and Front wheel kits do not include a battery, we recommend using this battery pack. Remember to select the correct voltage rating to go with your conversion kit.

Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits for 2020:


1. Bafang 8FUN - Best E-bike kit for 2020

The Bafang 8FUN is our top pic for the best electric bike conversion kit.  Although this is a quite expensive choice it is by far on of the best  Mid-drive conversion kits. 

A mid-drive system gives you two working modes; you can either switch between the pedal-assist or choose the throttle only mode which will provide you with a burst of speed.

Bafang 8fun mid drive conversion kit

Bafang 8FUN - Best E-bike kit for 2020

Supplied with a 750 W motor and a 48V 12AH water bottle mount Lithium-Ion battery it is capable of handling most conditions such as steep hills etc.

The best electric bike conversion kit currently on the market, pricey, but comes with battery and LCD Display.

Key Features

  • All components and wiring are  waterproof. 
  • RPM 135-160 - Max Torque 160 N.M 
  • BAFANG LCD which shows all the info like speed, battery percentage, mileage, pedal assist level etc.
  • A mid motor controller which controls the different levels of pedal assist
  • Brake levers that safely cut off any power from the motor while stopping

This Mid drive motor kit is compatible with fat-bikes, mountain bikes ,road bikes etc. This kit allows you to easily convert your pedal bike into a motorized bike within 1 hour.

The motor is quit and powerful. The 750W is a  brushless gear motor and torgue of 160N.M  make it great for speed and climbing. It is a very responsive system and also includes a power cut off brake system which is a good feature .

The LCD display has a backlight and displays all the information required such as battery percentage, mileage, pedal assist level etc. It it easy to fit to your bike and can also swivel for optimum view.

PROS

  •  It is lightweight
  • Has a brushless motor
  • Great battery included in the kit 
  • Quiet and efficient 

Cons

  • Less wattage compared to AW’s rear wheel kit
  • Pricey compared to rivals

2. AW Rear Wheel Electric Kit - Best Budget Kit

If you have decided that a rear wheel electric bike kit is what your require, the AW brand is definitely a kit that offers great value for money. There is much to love about this conversion kit and we discuss the key features below. 

Key Features

  • 1000W 48V 26" Electric Bicycle Rear Hub Conversion Kit
  • Brushless hub motor for noiseless running,
  • Dual Mode Controller - switching between non-hall and hall effect mode
  • Durable Frame - Aluminum alloy frame for durability and stability
  • Convenient to Use 
  • Hand brakes shut off the motor automatically to save energy and improve safety.  
aw 26 rear wheel ebike conversion kit

AW Rear Wheel Electric Kit - Best Budget Kit

This conversion kit features a 26″x1.75″ aluminum wheel with the tire and an electric controller. The controller is a dual mode controller that extends the lifespan of the motor by switching between Hall-effect and Non-Hall effect. Furthermore the  kit also features an LCD display that indicates battery level, speed, time and mileage.

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 motor is also equipped with Pedal assist System technology which makes riding short or long distances easy. It is convenient to use as it makes use of thumb throttle.  The speed and acceleration are impressive.

PROS

  • Powerful
  • Great speed
  • Very Cheap
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Bit heavy
  • Battery and charger sold separately 

3. JaxPety Front Wheel Conversion kit

This is a great, inexpensive kit. The motor is restricted to 750W :20mi/h and 250W:19.88mile/h by default as a road-legal kit.

Key Features

  • Powerful but noiseless 48V 1000W brushless motor
  • Pedal Assistance System
  • Dual-mode controller
  • Compatible with disc brakes (Disc Brake is NOT included)
  • 100% quality assurance for products for 1 year
Voilamart front wheel kit

Our top front wheel kit, great power,

This kit is very basic,  but with a Twist throttle, and a low price, it's one of the better basic kits out there.
It comes with almost everything you need, except the battery wiring, batteries, and Battery bag. Also, be warned that this kit does not include an LCD or LED display.

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 controller seems fairly standard, with three speeds. The entire system if also waterproof. 

You can reach top speeds of 31mph and the battery usage is very light.

PROS

  • Unique front wheel design
  • Great speed
  • Very Cheap
  • Produces minimal noise
  • Compatible with several battery types 

Cons

  • Bad instructions to assemble
  • Tire included not really good

5. AW Front Wheel Kit

AW seems to be doing a good job in the field of electric bike conversion kits.  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.

AW Front Wheel Kit

Another solid kit from AW, great power, but we are skeptical about running 1000 W through the front wheel.

With this conversion kit you can reach a speed of 28 mile/h (45 km/h) and it features a brushless hub motor for noiseless running, to fully enjoy the pleasure of riding. 

The dual Mode Controller motor works under Hall effect and non-Hall effect, extending the life of the electric bicycle (If the components break down, controller will switch into non-hall effect mode, the motor will still be working ).

It comes with LCD for Data Display and indicates battery condition, speed, distance, PAS, trip time and error codes for troubleshooting, also cruise and assist promotion function can be turned on by operating the LCD display.

The Pedal Assist Sensor included senses your pedal cadence and accordingly adjust the motor turning rate, get power assistant without using throttle, great for a long-distance journey, avoid wrist pain from keep pressing Durable Fram.

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.

Key Features

  • 1000W 48V 26" Electric Bicycle Front Hub Conversion Kit, fit for 3 15/16" front dropout spacing
  •  Speed of 28 mile/h (45 km/h), 
  • Dual Mode Controller - Motor works under Hall effect and non-Hall effect, extend life for electric bicycle (If the components break down, controller will switch into non-hall effect mode, the motor will still be working ).
  • LCD for Data Display 
  • Pedal Assist Sensor 
  •  Durable Aluminum Frame 
  • Twist Throttle  speed control
  •  Powered by battery, without carbon dioxide emissions.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Has a brushless motor
  • Very Efficient
  • Great LCD 

Cons

  • Battery and charger excluded *see frequently bought together items on Amazon
  • Instructions are not detailed enough
  • Brake-pads wear fast

5. Aosom 26" Bike Kit

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. 

AW Front Wheel Kit

Aosom 26" Bike Kit

Key Features

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.

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 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. 

PROS

  • Correctly-sized rear wheel included, allowing you to fit the kit to any bike
  • Has a brushless motor
  • Very Efficient
  • Promotes user comfort

Cons

  • Battery and charger excluded *see frequently bought together items on Amazon
  • Less weight over front wheel, therefore less grip to apply the power
  • When full torque is applied the front wheel can spin 

Conclusion

Whether you ride a hybrid bike, mountain bike, or a road bike, there are several ways to electrify your bike and remove those challenges that many people face with traditional bikes.The five conversion kits discussed above are our top electric bike conversion kits for front, rear and mid drive conversions.  Depending on your own requirements, you can select the most appropriate conversion kit for your bike and budget.

Extra E-Bike Conversion Kit

Tongsheng TSDZ2 Mid Drive Motor Conversion 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. 

Tongsheng TSDZ2 Mid Drive Motor Conversion Kit

Unfortunately, there is no battery in the kit!

Key Features

  •  Maximum speed of 14-20 mph
  • Range of  up to 24miles.
  • Controller and torque sensors that have been built on the side.
  •  LCD display

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 a high-end electric bike while on a tight budget will find this kit to be very useful.

PROS

  • Budget friendly
  • Compatible with most standard bike frames
  • Comes with a controller, torque sensors, and LCD for your convenience 

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a brake lever
  • No battery in the kit

Factors to Consider When Buying a Conversion Kit

Before converting your old trusted bike into an e-bike you should consider some fact before you merely order your conversion kit. Below we summarised sum of the most important facts to consider.

Quality: Always consider products that will give you value for your money. Avoid cheap items.
Durability:  Always consider an  Aluminum alloy frame for durability and stability
Motor: The motor is the powerhouse of the bike. The power of your motor is a factor in its price. The cost of your motor is important but don’t let it scare you from getting the best. The higher the quality, the better for you in the long run.
Speed: With a direct hub, also known as gearless motors, you get a reasonable amount of torque and power which makes them especially suited for high-speed ebikes.
Battery : Your e-bike’s battery life is a critical aspect of an electric bike and it has a major impact on your riding experience. Be sure to know the capacity of the battery and the range it will provide.


FAQ 

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:

E-bike Wheels

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. 

Mid-drive Conversion

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. 

Friction Drive

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. 

Concealed

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!

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 Value

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!)

Easiest Option

Both the Voilamart and AW front wheel drive kits are very easy to install. A unique design that adds a different flavour to the norm, worth considering if you wish to stand out and fancy something out of the ordinary.

Last update on 2020-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.