If you are considering purchasing an electric bike or an e-bike conversion kit and want to know more, you’re in the right place.

The main difference between the two, and the question on most cyclists’ minds is price. Converting a bicycle to electric power is typically cheaper and offers more customisation options than buying an off the shelf electric bike. If you’d like to explore more about what makes e-bike conversion kits and ready-made electric bikes different, we’ll be going through the key pros, cons and capabilities below.

Key Differences Between Electric Bikes and Conversion Kits

There are many differences between electric bikes and conversion kits, but we’ll skip the jargon and provide you with a helpful outline of the primary distinctions.

What is an E-bike Conversion Kit?

An e-bike conversion kit is something you attach to your existing bike to power it with electricity. It’s a motor you mount onto your bike and it requires you to pedal for power output. It’s great for those that already have a bike they like and can be cheaper since you are not buying the body of the bike. They usually work with a lithium battery because of their many advantages over other types of e-bike batteries.

What is an Electric Bike?

An e-Bike is a bicycle that is powered by the use of electricity. The motor helps you pedal, and if you hit a hill, it will assist in pushing your weight up that hill with little to no effort from the rider. An e-bike can be purchased as just the frame or as a complete bike, including all necessary parts. The only real difference from an e-bike conversion kit is that everything is built-in and ready for you to ride straight away. 

E-bike and Conversion Kit Cost Difference

Generally, an electric bike conversion kit will be cheaper than a ready-made electric bike. This is mainly because you’re only buying the electric bike components and not the whole bike. There is some overlap in cost if you compare super cheap factory-made e-bikes with higher quality e-bike kits. 

Some e-bike conversion kits include a battery, and some don’t, which could affect the price. But, you’ll need one to get going so factor the battery price into the overall cost of converting. Like anything, generally, you get what you pay for. But, what’s important to note with both e-bikes and kits is that a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality. Take the time to understand what you are getting for your money.  

What Comes With an Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Conversion kits contain three components, an electric motor, battery, and controller. While some conversion kits include all three of these components others only provide the motor and controller, leaving the third component as a separate purchase.

Generally, electric motor conversion kits come in three varieties: front hub motors, rear hub motors, and mid-drive motors. Of these options, the easiest conversion would be a front hub kit followed by the rear hub and lastly the mid-drive motor.

Installing a mid-drive conversion will be more complicated due to potential frame compatibility problems and the need for additional tools.

Types of Front & Rear Hub Motors

The two different configurations of hub motors are the Geared Hub and Direct Drive.

Geared Hub

Gears within the housing of these motors reduce high-speed to lower speeds. Most geared hub motors come with a freewheel, which is helpful for when you are not using the motor. But, this also means that regeneration braking isn’t possible.

Direct Drive

These motors have no gears and rely on magnets and alternating current to provide power. This motor will generate drag when not in operation, but it does allow regenerative braking depending on the sophistication of the controller.

Is an E-bike or E-bike Kit Better for Customisation?

Building your electric bike from a conversion kit is the best way to customise your ride to suit your needs. Some allow you to select the battery separately, whereas others offer you the option to buy an extra battery for those longer rides. When it comes to replacing the battery, doing so with an e-bike kit will be much easier than replacing a factory-built e-bike battery. This is mainly because the batteries are often packed into a custom housing.

Electric Bike Kits: Optional Components

Some optional components that can be found in some electric bicycle kits include:

Pedal Cadence Sensor – for incorporating a pedal-assist feature into the controller.

Torque Sensors – these provide more responsive pedal assist capabilities.

Motor Temperature Sensors

E-Brakes – these shut off power to the motor when braking.

Battery Chargers – Basic units charge more slowly. More advanced models can charge at higher rates and offer sophisticated charging cycles for longer battery life.

Front/rear lights – these are sometimes integrated into the kit.

Pros of an Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Cons of a Conversion Kit

In the past, when electric bikes were on the rise but hadn’t yet gained widespread appeal, many people struggled to get their hands on one. There are now many options for both electric bikes and electric bike conversion kits.

It’s up to the individual user which type of electric bike best suits their needs. For example, a factory-made bicycle may be preferable for someone who is unconcerned with customising components of the bike and has a bigger budget. Someone searching for a cheaper and more customisable option might prefer converting an existing bicycle into an e-bike.

There is a range of options and kits available for any budget and every different style of rider. Whether you’re looking for a cheap electric bike conversion kit with a battery or mid-range bike, there will be one out there that suits your needs. To find the perfect e-bike conversion kit, you first need to figure out how much you are willing to spend and what kind of features you want your e-bike kit to have.

Even if you do not have a bicycle to convert, there are plenty available for purchase that comes with an electric conversion kit so be sure to factor in the price of the bicycle itself into your budget. 

Thanks to evolving technology and government regulation, e-bikes are becoming more popular than ever before. The future is bright for electric bikes and conversion kits have continued to become better and better, which means less hassle during the conversion process as well as greater speed, performance and safety features than ever before.

Looking for an e-bike conversion kit? We have one of the easiest to install on the market. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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