What Are The Best Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits? (2020)

Electric Bike Conversion Kit Reviews

Electric bicycles continue to grow in popularity. Not only are these battery-powered two-wheelers a more economical way to get around than cars and motorcycles, but they are also very environmentally friendly.

Electric bikes are also very adaptable. You can pedal them like a regular bicycle or use the motor like a battery-powered scooter. You can also adjust the power ratio to get assistance from the engine to tackle big hills.

Unfortunately, regular e-bikes are more expensive than their pedal-only peers. Most people have already invested in a traditional bike, so an electric bike is an extra expense.

Thanks to technology, there is a solution to this problem. You don’t have to buy an e-bike; you can turn your existing bike into one with an electric bicycle conversion kit.

There is a plethora of electric bicycle conversion kits from which to choose. On the one hand, having a lot of choices is a positive thing because it means there is likely something to suit everyone’s needs. On the other hand, it can seem intimidating to encounter so many choices.

Luckily, it is possible to choose an e-bike conversion kit that matches your needs. Here are 10 great options.

Quick Picks: Compare The Best Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits of 2020

Our #1 Pick
AW 26"x1.75" Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Kit 48V 1000W Powerful Motor E-Bike Conversion w/LCD...
Runner-up
Electric Bike Bafang 8fun Mid Drive Crank Motor kit 750w with Lithium Ion Battery by 8fun
Also Consider
Electric Bike Conversion Kit / Li-ion 10.4 Ah Included 24V 250W Front Wheel (24" Wheel)
AW 26"x1.75" Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Kit 48V 1000W Powerful Motor E-Bike Conversion w/LCD...
Electric Bike Bafang 8fun Mid Drive Crank Motor kit 750w with Lithium Ion Battery by 8fun
Electric Bike Conversion Kit / Li-ion 10.4 Ah Included 24V 250W Front Wheel (24" Wheel)
Our #1 Pick
AW 26"x1.75" Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Kit 48V 1000W Powerful Motor E-Bike Conversion w/LCD...
AW 26"x1.75" Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Kit 48V 1000W Powerful Motor E-Bike Conversion w/LCD...
Runner-up
Electric Bike Bafang 8fun Mid Drive Crank Motor kit 750w with Lithium Ion Battery by 8fun
Electric Bike Bafang 8fun Mid Drive Crank Motor kit 750w with Lithium Ion Battery by 8fun
Also Consider
Electric Bike Conversion Kit / Li-ion 10.4 Ah Included 24V 250W Front Wheel (24" Wheel)
Electric Bike Conversion Kit / Li-ion 10.4 Ah Included 24V 250W Front Wheel (24" Wheel)

Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits Reviews

Number 1

AW Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit

A powerful motor with plenty of versatility

Pros

  • An impressive top speed
  • Easy-to-use thumb throttle
  • The Pedal Assistance System adjusts motor speed to match your pedaling speed

Cons

  • Battery sold separately
  • A little heavy

This kit comes with a few attractive extras. For example, you get an LCD that shows you the speed, mileage, battery power, and time.

There is also a pedal assistance system that makes controlling your new e-bike straightforward. This feature senses the cadence of your pedaling and adjusts the motor accordingly, which makes for smooth riding experiences.

When you rely totally on the electric motor, your bike can achieve a top speed of 28 miles per hour. You control the speed with an easy-to-use thumb throttle.

Number 2

Bafang 8Fun Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

A mid-drive motor that lives up to its “fun” name

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Waterproof
  • Assistance mode makes pedaling easier

Cons

  • Complicated to install
  • Range is competitive, but some other kits are better in this area

If you love riding on different types of terrain, then you’re going to love this conversion kit. Not only is it powerful enough to handle any trail conditions, but it also comes with a powerful battery that can last a long time before needing a recharge.

You don’t have to worry about wet weather either because the kit is waterproof. The motor has 750 watts of power.

The kit also features an assistance mode that adjusts motor speed to your pedaling speed. You can change riding modes with the press of a button.

Number 3

Li-Ion Electric Bike Conversion Kit

An ideal kit for everyday commuters

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Samsung battery is reliable and long-lasting
  • Can operate in dual mode

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Not great for steep hills

If you’re looking for a simple e-bike conversion kit that will last you for a long time, then this kit should be a perfect choice. It also comes with a high-quality Samsung battery as part of the package.

The battery provides enough power to ride about 20 miles on a single charge.

You also get dual operating modes on this kit. Dual operating modes means that the motor will be activated by pedaling or by pushing the bike.

This conversion kit should be an excellent choice if you’re a casual rider who doesn’t want too much speed. On the negative side, however, it’s not very good on steep hills.

Number 4

BAFANG BBS02B Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion Kit

A powerful mid-drive motor that works with almost any bike

Pros

  • Compatible with almost any type of bike
  • Very safe
  • Lasting components that don’t require much maintenance

Cons

  • The LCD isn’t bright enough in sunny conditions
  • On the heavy side

The engine on this e-bike kit has a powerful 750 watts, and it comes with an equally strong 48V battery. This Bafang product also has a lot of safety features and has earned CE/EN/ROHS certification.

The best aspect of this kit is that it is universally compatible. It will work with almost any bike.

The kit also comes with an LCD, a thumb-controlled throttle, and speed sensors. All these features help make the ride more comfortable by giving you full control over the motor.

Number 5

Clean Republic Hilltopper Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Reliability and battery power in a muscular package

Pros

  • Known for its reliability
  • Easy to install
  • Versatile and compatible with most wheel sizes

Cons

  • The throttle wire is rather short
  • Doesn’t come with an LCD

This quality electric bicycle conversion kit is reliable and delivers a lot of power.

Hilltopper owners can choose between two kinds of battery. Both offer the quick charging and range of a lithium-ion battery. Commuters can opt for a 20-mile-range battery, while those who travel long distances can get a 40-mile pack.

Another great thing about this conversion kit is that it fits pretty much any kind of bike. This trait is important because some kits require specific wheel sizes.

The battery is also capable of 36V of power. It is very efficient, which is useful for bikes that carry heavy loads or if you need to go up steep hills on your commute.

With a top speed of 20 miles per hour, it’s also reasonably fast. Do-it-yourself installers will appreciate the fact that this kit is quite easy to install.

Number 6

AW Rear Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit

A kit for people who want to go fast without a lot of frills

Pros

  • Very efficient motor
  • Can reach speeds of more than 30 mph
  • Dual-mode operation

Cons

  • Can be a bit noisy
  • Heavy

This rear wheel conversion kit focuses on speed. With a 1000W motor and a 48V battery, it is potent for an e-bike. All that power translates to a top speed of 31 miles per hour. That is faster than most conversion kits.

The AW also comes with a dual-mode controller, which gives you more control over when the motor kicks in and how much it assists you while you pedal.

Another great thing about this kit is that there are no moving gears or chains. Not only does this make for smoother operation, but it also helps overall reliability. Fewer moving parts mean that there are fewer parts in danger of breaking down and needing replacement.

Number 7

Bafang Mid-Drive E-bike Kit

A rugged conversion kit for off-road enthusiasts

Pros

  • Powerful motor for uphill rides
  • Great for off-road trips
  • Comes with a USB port for charging

Cons

  • Requires an investment
  • Installation is a little complicated

This electric bicycle conversion kit is an excellent pick for those who love to go cycling off-road. If your bike rides take you on uneven terrain, then you’ll need an e-bike that can handle some bumps and keep you balanced and in control.

This bike conversion kit allows you to have the control and reliability that you need to tackle dirt trails.

The 1000W motor, coupled with the 48V battery, offers enough power for any terrain. You can even drive up steep hills.

This kit doesn’t skimp when it comes to extras. It comes with an LCD that shows speed and battery information, a speed sensor, waterproof wires, and, best of all, a USB port that you can use to charge your phone.

Number 8

TSDZ2 Mid-Drive Motor Conversion Ebike Kit

A simple-to-installation mid-drive for handy DIYers

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Ships with all the tools that you need
  • Great for everyday commutes

Cons

  • Relatively low top speed
  • The speed sensor can be inaccurate sometimes

This conversion kit is easy to install, and it ships with all the tools and parts you will need to put it in yourself. The motor has 350 watts of power, which it provides at 36 volts. This performance should be more than enough for everyday use. Because of these traits, this kit is ideal for commuters and daily riders.

The power also makes quick work of hills and rough terrains. The TSDZ2 comes with a functional display that shows you the mileage, speed, and remaining battery power.

At a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour, it has more than enough pep to get you to work on time.

Number 9

JAXPETY Hub Motor Conversion Kit

A quiet motor that is easy to install

Pros

  • Quiet motor
  • Very powerful
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Restricted speed

This e-bike conversion kit comes with everything you need to perform the installation yourself. The process is simple, so you should be done in as little as an hour.

The JAXPETY is also quite powerful, and its brushless motor is durable and reliable. You can choose between a 1000W and a 750W motor, depending on your power needs.

Unfortunately, however, the speed is restricted to just under 20 miles per hour to make the kit road legal, so the power is underutilized.

Number 10

EBIKELING 48V 1200W 700CC Front/Rear Wheel Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit

One of the most potent kits on the market, and an ideal

Pros

  • Powerful and efficient motor
  • Capable of high speeds
  • LCD data screen

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with installation instructions
  • Too much power for casual riders

If you’re a power enthusiast looking for an electric bicycle conversion kit that can handle almost anything, then it’s nearly impossible to outdo the EBIKELING.

With a 1200W, 48V motor, it is the most potent kit on our list. It can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

This kit comes with everything you may need for installation, though it might take some work to figure out what goes where, since it doesn’t come with a detailed instruction manual.

The kit does come with an LCD that shows you data such as mileage, speed, and remaining battery power.

How Do Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits Work?

There are different parts on an electric bike conversion kit. There is a sensor that senses when you’re pedaling, a motor, a controller that coordinates the activity, and, of course, the battery that powers everything.

You charge the battery by plugging it into an outlet or, in the most modern e-bikes, the battery charges when you ride downhill.

You start the motor by pedaling. The sensor senses the pedaling and passes the signal onto the controller, which will then activate the motor.

The sensor also picks up when you stop pedaling. It sends a signal to the controller, which deactivates the motor.

There may be other parts, such as digital displays, a throttle, and brake gears connected to the kit. These parts vary depending on the design.

What are the Three Types of Electric Bike Conversion Kits?

There are many different designs for e-bike kits. However, these designs get based on three main styles.

  • Front-wheel e-bike conversion kits
  • Mid-drive e-bike conversion kits
  • Rear-wheel e-bike conversion kits

Front-Wheel E-Bike Conversion Kits

A front-wheel conversion kit involves the replacement of the entire front wheel. You need to install a new motorized wheel with built-in controllers and speed sensors.

The kit typically comes without a battery, which you have to source separately. This type of kit is especially suitable for road bikes. One of the biggest advantages is that the installation is easy, especially if your bicycle has a quick-release front wheel.

Mid-Drive E-Bike Conversion Kits

Mid-Drive conversion kits affix to the frame of your bicycle. They sit between the two wheels.

These kits are popular because the extra weight is centered and placed low on the bike, making it more stable and easy to control. Also, because you’re driving your bike from the middle, the power is distributed evenly.

The mid-drive conversion kit comes with a motor that you will attach to your bike’s conversion arm. It will then be able to power your chain system. This design is useful if you want to leverage the power of the motor on all gears, which can make going up hills much easier on the e-bike.

Because they are more complex, mid-drive conversion kits are more expensive than their wheel cousins.

Rear-Wheel E-Bike Conversion Kits

A rear-wheel electric bicycle conversion kit works pretty much like a front-wheel one. That said, they provide more stability than front-wheel conversion kits since they power the e-bike from the back.

The main downside with this type of conversion kit is that it can be cumbersome. All the weight is on the back and not well distributed as it is with the mid-drive conversion kit. As a result, you’re going to have to make sure your bike has a sturdy frame from before you fit this type of conversion kit on it.

Can You Install an Electric Bike Conversion Kit Yourself? What Tools Do You Need?

There are different ways to go about an electric bike conversion kit installation, depending on the specific type you’re installing. There are some things you’re going to need for all installations:

  • The electric bike conversion kits
  • A crank arm tool
  • A bike tool
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A screwdriver

Wheel E-Bike Conversion Kits

Fortunately, the process for installing front-wheel and rear-wheel e-bike conversion kits is mostly the same.

Start by removing the old wheel. If you’ve ever changed a flat tire on a bicycle, then this should be a breeze. It’s much the same process as you would go through if you were trying to change the inner tube on the wheel.

Next, install the motorized wheel from the conversion kit. Again, this is the same process as changing a flat tire on a bicycle.

Now, you have to install the brake levers on the bike. Disconnect your brake cable from and remove the original brake handles on your bike and install the ones that come with the e-bike conversion kit. You will then connect the brake cable to these new brake handles.

Your conversion kit is likely to come with a throttle and a gauge. These should be installed on the handlebar and secured with screws.

You need to install the sensors and receiver. There are typically two types of sensors on the average e-bike conversion kit. The most important is the pedal sensor, which should be on the crank arm. To install it, you should unscrew the crank arm, install the sensor and secure it with a washer, and then reattach the crank arm. The other sensor is the speed sensor, which will get fitted to the spoke of whichever wheel you are converting. You usually attach this sensor with a zip-tie.

After that, you mount the battery. The battery usually sits on a mounting plate screwed onto the middle frame of your bike. Whichever type of battery you’re working it, installing it is typically as simple as tightening a few screws.

Finally, you will connect the wires to the different controls. Most conversion kits come with color-coded wires, which makes the work much more manageable. You can then zip-tie the cables to the frame of the bike, so it all looks neat and doesn’t get tangled.

Mid-Drive E-Bike Conversion Kits

The process for installing a mid-drive e-bike conversion kit on your bicycle is a little different, though it is also pretty easy if you do it if you have the right tools.

Using your wrench or a specialized crank arm tool, you remove the crank arm and crankshaft.

Next, you install the electric motor, which will go on the crankshaft. The motor comes with screws and washers.

The kit also comes with mounting brackets for the electric motor. You should install these as well, making sure to tighten them. These brackets make sure the engine is secure. This step is especially important if you plan to ride off-road.

Next, you should replace the crank arm and pedals with the ones that came with the conversion kit. It’s about the same process as it is on a regular bike. If you’ve replaced a crank arm before, it should be easy. If not, you might want to watch a few tutorials or get expert help. Make sure the pedals are on the right side (right pedal on the right and left pedal on the left).

You need to reattach the chain to the derailleur that came with the e-bike conversion kit. You do this by unhooking the chain from the old crank arm, and then fitting it onto the new derailleur.

Next, you need to install the battery. This step is as easy. It involves attaching brackets into the bike frame and fastening the battery onto the brackets.

Next, the speed sensor sticks onto your wheel’s spokes.

The cables that connect the different parts of the system should get zip-tied to the frame of the bike. they are well secured and do not get caught on anything during operation.

Next, install the brakes and cables, much like you would do with a wheel conversion kit. The cables are often color-coded so you know which wires connect with which part of the system.

Final Thoughts

Bicycle conversion kits are a great way to take part in the e-bike trend without having to invest in a fully-electric bicycle. They are cheaper than full e-bikes if you already have a quality bicycle.

If you have do-it-yourself skills and a bike that you already love to ride, then a kit is the obvious choice for you. Even if you do not think you are handy enough, you may find an easy-to-install kit with precise directions that can guide you through the process.

There are different options for electric bicycle conversion kits, so you can easily find the one that best fits your needs. Whether you are a casual commuter or a cycling enthusiast, you can find an e-bike kit that will work with your cycling style.

Brett Gordon
 

The engine behind editing at DigMyRide and the brains behind its build. During the day, Brett is a thirty-something dude from SoCal climbing the corporate ladder, but by night, he spends his time contributing to the online world of automotive tech & trends.