Electric bikes are the new way to get around! More people are ditching their traditional bikes for an e-bike; whether for commuting, exercising, or just recreational riding. However, investing in a new battery-powered bike can prove to be a costly affair!
Luckily, those of you who are looking for a cheaper way to own an e-bike can opt for an electric bike conversion kit.
This conversion kit allows you to turn your current traditional bike into an e-bike while promising the same kind of experience you get from a new bike. But just how much does an e-bike conversion kit cost, and what will it take to convert your traditional bike electric?
What is the Cost of an Electric Bike Conversion Kit?
Now that you know how to convert a regular bike into an e-bike using a conversion kit, the question remains how much will you pay for such a kit?
Typically, an electric bike conversion kit ranges between $300 and $900! This is what you’ll pay for a basic kit, although you can find much cheaper options, as well as top-shelf units. Note that the range above is for good quality conversion kits that will offer value for your money.
The prices of the conversion kits vary depending on the motor included, and what you plan to use the bike for. Some kits may feature the ability to adjust the control when riding on rugged terrains. Meanwhile, other kits focus on speed, which is ideal for the speed demons who want to test the limits of the bike on long stretches.
So, aside from the price of the conversion kit, you also want to consider the type of motor and the intended use of the bike when shopping for a unit.
In a nutshell, all electric bicycles are essentially regular bikes with a motor and battery added! All other components, including the frame, fork, tires, wheels, grips, derailleurs, shifters, stem, brakes, seat post, saddle, etc. are exactly the same on both a regular bike and an electric bike. The only parts unique to an e-bike are the battery and motor. Just add these to your normal bike, and with a few tweaks here and there, you’ll be good to go!
Electric Bike Conversion Kits
Electric bike conversion kits help to transform your standard pedal bicycle into an e-bike with the same kind of performance you’d expect from a new bike; only that you’ll be paying a fraction of the price. A decent conversion can be done at the cost of a cheap e-bike, if not for less.
The benefit of converting is that you can use a bike you already own, which will usually be of higher quality than bikes used for budget e-bikes. You also enjoy more room for customization to create a bike that best fits your riding style.
While most e-bike conversion kits will contain the electric components, you’ll need to buy a battery for your new bike; this is usually not included. So, you’ll have to buy a suitable battery for your bike.
Choosing an E-bike Battery
The main criteria to consider when selecting the appropriate battery for your bike are the capacity and voltage. An e-bike’s battery voltage is normally measured in increments of 12V; ranging between 12V and 72V. Generally, the more the voltage, the more the bike’s power and speed. 12V and 24V bikes are fairly weak and best suited for low speeds on relatively flat ground.
You’ll also need to select the right capacity for your battery. This is measured in watt-hours or amp-hours, which essentially determine the range of the battery. Normally, you’ll find most batteries with a 10Ah capacity, and as this increases to 20Ah, you also buy yourself more cycling time.
Converting your Regular Bike into an Electric Bike
If you plan to turn your regular bike into an e-bike, you will first have to buy a conversion kit. This will come with a range of components needed for the transformation. These include an electric motor, a throttle, wiring looms, motor cut-off levers, an LCD with a remote controller. To convert your bike, follow the steps below:
Step 1- Start by dismantling the bottom brackets, pedals, and cranks as they won’t be required once you fit in the new motor. Remove the pedals first since they will be more difficult to get rid of when the crank is loosened.
Step 2- Place the chainring on your bike and secure it. Usually, you’ll need just about five bolts to get this done, and these are included in the conversion kit. Screw the bolts into the chainguard then onto the bike.
Step 3- Proceed to mount the motor onto the bike by sliding it on the lower bracket. Test the positioning of the motor to ensure that the fit is correct before attaching anything else. Then use the lock ring and mounting plate to secure it onto the bicycle.
Step 4- The next step is to attach the speed sensor. Take the speed sensor and secure it on the chainstay, with the magnet secured onto any spoke on the back wheel.
Step 5- Mount the battery onto your bicycle. This can be positioned on a fixing plate on the bike frame’s down tube. Lock in the battery using the key you find inside the conversion kit.
Step 6- The last thing to do is to test the system to make sure the display is functioning properly. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s up and running, go through all the secured bits to confirm that they are firmly screwed in.
Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Worth it?
E-bike conversion kits are not exactly cheap, but they might cost you less than a good quality mountain or road bike. Aside from the cost of the kit, there are additional costs you will have to incur. For instance, if you decide to take the bike to a mechanic for the conversion, it will cost you a further $200, which is the typical rate charged by technicians.
Remember also that conversion kits do not come with a battery, so that’s another expenditure to include in your budget. At the end of the day, you might find yourself spending up to $1000, which is around the price of a cheap electric bike.
The question whether conversion kits are worth it eventually boils down to the needs and circumstances of the buyer!
What are Some of the Risks of E-bike Conversion Kits?
Some issues may arise with the conversion kit when you upgrade your regular bike to an electric bike. These include weight distribution and an increase in average speed. Remember, the regular bike you converted wasn’t designed to handle the extra weight; and neither was it built for the high speeds you will now achieve on the e-bike.
The implication is that riding the bike becomes trickier and somehow dangerous before you get used to it. This also exerts more stress on fragile components such as the fork, frame, brakes, and wheels of the bike. Finally, the performance of the battery in the long term may be affected, especially if it wasn’t properly integrated into the frame.
This is a common occurrence with conversions when the battery is too much exposed to direct sunlight. The battery can even end up being unsafe for the rider. In the worst-case scenario, you might find yourself spending more on maintenance to keep the bike running.
This is why you should always take your bike to an experienced technician, especially if you’re not familiar with basic bike mechanics!
Who Should Buy a Conversion Kit?
Buying a conversion kit instead of a new electric bike will best be suitable for riders who have a sentimental attachment to their bikes. The kit is a fresh breath of air for your bike and you still retain the familiarity of riding the bicycle. They also offer a great alternative when you have a limited budget and cannot afford a new e-bike!
If you feel that buying a new electric bike will be too much of a financial strain, then consider getting an e-bike conversion kit. You’ll be able to save money and still enjoy the electric biking experience. The above article explained how to convert your traditional bike to an e-bike and how much it will cost you to buy a conversion kit. Happy riding!!!