If you’re a little low on cash and want to buy an electric bike, you can convert your existing bike into one. Yes, you heard that correctly. There are budget models of course, but why not get more bang for your buck and beef up your existing bike? It’ll save you a lot more money, and you can even customize it to look cool.
By doing so, you can invest more time into making your bike look great and go faster. Demand for affordable e-bike solutions has grown as of late.
However, so has the average pricing for electric bikes. Hence, you should at least check your options for electric bike conversion kits before you decide.
So, here is a guide to help you choose some of the best and the cheapest electric bike conversion kit deals.
Best Cheapest Electric Bike Conversion Kits
The Jaxpety is probably the best value for money conversion kit you can buy for your bike. It offers a great bang for your puck with a powerful motor. There are also several electric features and top-quality parts which you can get at an affordable price.
Included is an intelligent upgraded motor controller. It also includes every part that you need for installation including the zip ties. However, there is one con. Setting it up can be a pain. The battery connections and setup are both unclear.
What’s more, at times, the instructions may not match your conversion kit.
The Swytch is one of the most popular and one of the cheapest electric bike conversion kit that you can buy. It is a combination of the front wheel replacement and hub mounted motor.
It also includes a removable power pack. There is also a pedal sensor that delivers dynamic level assistance based on the level of cadence.
The design is very compatible with rim and disc brakes. They will get you to the legal speed limit of 15 mph in the UK and 20 mph in the US. The Swytch will offer you up to 50 km of range which is pretty decent.
This is a great example of a conversion kit which offers compatibility with many different bike types. It’s always vital that you check the C1 system and its compatibility with your bike though. The wheel conversion kits come with about 25 miles of range which is better than the Swytch.
However, the price is a little towards the high end. Hence, if you’re looking for a more budget solution, then this may be an issue.
Rubbee is a company that makes some of the best cheapest electric bike conversion kits around. They usually provide you with a motor mounted behind the saddle to push the rear wheel along.
It is a bit quirky, but it comes with modular batteries which can deliver different levels of range. Hence, it depends on how much you’re willing to splurge.
You can get models started at half a grand or lower. If you spend a little more, you can get extra range as well.
The ONwheel is an alternative kit that makes use of the friction wheel idea. It has a retrofit kit which works on the friction wheel idea. The ONwheel can be configured to work using greater power in areas where you can legally do that.
However, getting the flexibility means that you’ll have to splurge a little more for range and speed. The Kits start at a little under $800, but can go further up depending on how much you want to spend.
This is a name that’s been around for a while. It offers several different products which can convert two-wheelers into e-bikes using motors mounted to the bottom bracket. You can pay as little as $300 or as high as $450 for this one.
However, there are variants online that can actually reduce the price down to $300.
Another great deal on the cheapest electric bike conversion kit you can buy is the TongSheng. This starts at about $300 and can go up to $400. You can get the same functionality that you get from Bafang from TongSheng kits.
9. Cyclotricity and Conv-e
These are a bit pricy, but they land squarely in the mid-range conversion kit category. The former has a hub and battery combo kit. It costs around $950.
However, the Cyclotricity kit has a similar option for around $570 which lets you convert your bike into a powerhouse.
You may like to read, What is a Touring Bike?
Electric Bike Conversion Kit Buying Guide
The electric bike conversion kit you will buy will have three components. The first will be the motor, the second will be the battery and the third will be the controls. You need to get a combination of all three that will best suit you and won’t break the bank.
While there are several great kits out there, you need to get the one that is compatible with your existing bike. Otherwise, it’ll be a waste of money.
So, here’s a small guide to help you select the right bike conversion kit.
The typical price of an electric bike conversion kit is between $300 and $900. This is what you’ll pay for a basic kit. You can find other cheaper options, but then you’ll be getting into flimsy territory.
Remember that you get what you pay for. Between $300 and $900, you’ll get value for money kits and not rip offs or cheap knock offs.
The prices of an electric bike conversion kit can vary so much depending on the motor that is included. It also depends on what you plan to use the bike for. If you need it for casual riding and exercise, then the motor you buy could be moderately powerful.
However, if you need the motor for racing, then it’ll be more expensive.
Certain kits have the ability to adjust the control when you ride on rugged terrains. Other kits are more focused on propelling you forward with greater speed. This is ideal for greater speeds and for those that want to test the limits of the bike.
All electric bikes are technically regular bikes with motors and batteries added. However, when you pay to convert an ordinary bike into one, the kit is very important.
You’ll need to get one that is compatible with your type of bike. If you don’t get one that is compatible with yours, you may end up damaging the bike or affecting its handling.
Choosing an E-bike Battery
When choosing an E-bike battery, there are two basic things you need to take account of. The first is the capacity and the other is the voltage. The e-bike battery’s voltage is measured in increments of 12V. It ranges between 12V and 72V.
The greater the voltage, the greater the bike’s power and maximum speed. 12V and 24V bikes are usually weak and are best suited for low speeds on flat ground.
You will also need to select the right capacity for the battery. This is measured in watt hours or amp hours. It essentially determines the range of the battery.
Normally, most batteries have a capacity of 10 Ah. If you increase this to 20 Ah, you can generally buy yourself more time and greater range.
Types of Conversion Kits
- The most obvious type is the powered wheel. It switches out a front or rear wheel for another with a motor in it. The motor resides in the hub and in some cases, there is a possibility of a drive unit or a motor. The motor fits at the bottom of the frame.
- You could also go for a mounted motor over the rear wheel in order to propel the bike and yourself along. You can get kits that mount inside the frame as well. That’s a more inconspicuous as well as a more expensive option.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying an Electric Bike Conversion Kit
There are a few obvious things that you need to keep in mind:
- Your bike’s weight will increase. When you’re turning an existing pedal bike into an electric powered bike, you will be adding batteries. You will also be adding motors and other things that will add extra weight. Hence, this can change the characteristics of the bike that you weren’t supposed to change.
- You will probably end up with a bike that handles differently. This can depend on where the accessories have been added. In fact, the range and the speed of the options are a little academic. The main consideration here is that the bike feels very safe to ride.
- You’ll need to carry the conversion in order to check this. With an off shelf e-bike that has been designed and built for its shape, you’ll know what you’re getting. Any halfway decent bike shop will let you try that out first. However, when it’s about saving money, you can get a great deal by just upgrading your bike.
- Don’t ever go for a twist and go kit for your electric bike conversion needs. There are kits out there that let you do this, but it’s a bad choice. You won’t like what you’re working within that scenario. Twist and go bikes are only for people that require minimal motion or effort for the bike to move. If you’re new to the world of bike conversion, just stick to the basics.
- Always check for compatibility with your bike when you’re taking a conversion kit. If you’re taking one that is completely incompatible with your bike, then you’re better off splurging on a new bike. The devil may care approach here may end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.
Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Worth It?
E-bike conversion kits, no matter how you look at it, aren’t cheap. They can be bought pretty cheap if you want some knock offs, but the good ones cost a pretty penny. However, aside form the cost of the kits, there are additional costs you can incur.
For example, you may have to decide to take the bike to the mechanic for the conversion. This is for the less tech savvy or mechanically inclined of you. Most of you may fall into this category. This may cost you $200 or even more depending on the mechanic.
Remember that conversion kits don’t come with batteries either. You need to add that your budget too. Hence, you may end up spending anywhere from $700 to $1000. So, include all of that in your budget.
Benefits of Electric Bike Conversion Kits
You can get greater capability from your bike if you add a conversion kit. You can reach speeds of up to 15 and 20 miles per hour. You can also go from 12 to 40 miles in a single charge.
You can also power up your rugged mountain bikes with electric bike conversion kits. With a conversion kit, your current bike will have greater power to get up steep hills and tough trails as well.
Another great benefit of a cheap electric bike conversion kit is you get to keep your bike. If you love your ordinary bike and just want to give it some power, you can keep riding it. Upgrading it significantly is going to be a good compromise.
Finally, you can save money on electric bike conversion kits. Instead of splurging about $1500 on a new electric bike, you can get one for a third or even less of the price.
Risks of Electric Bike Conversion Kits
There are certain issues you may run into when you get an e-bike conversion kit. The weight distribution can vary and the average speed can increase as well. This may affect the handling of the bike and you may have to get used to the new system.
If the bike becomes too tricky to ride, it may defeat the purpose of upgrading it. Also, the speed and the weight of the components may exert pressure on fragile components of your bike. This could be the brakes, the wheels, the frame, the fork, etc.
Finally, the performance of the battery in the long term can be affected. Especially, if it’s not properly integrated into the frame.
Hence, if the kit actually makes your bike more dangerous to ride, that will defeat the purpose. So, it’s very important to select the kit that you’re buying carefully. This will ensure that you’re not overengineering your bike and that you don’t have to overpay to maintain it.
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- Can an Electric Bike Get Wet?
- Best electric bike for long distance touring
- What is the Best Electric Bike Repair Stand?
- How to Determine E-Bike Battery Amp Hours
- Can You Pedal an Electric Bike With a Dead Battery?
- Mountain Bike vs Fat Bike
- How to Clean an Electric Bike
With all this information about cheap electric bike conversion kits you’ll be able to make better decisions. You can get cheap kits that you can install yourself or get someone else to. Either way, you can make informed decisions about boosting your bike’s capability or just adding more power to it. Either way, you’ll be making a decision that benefits you rather than simply wasting money.
I am Michael, an avid rider and bike expert. I am here to provide, biking tips and expert advice on in-depth bike reviews covering features, capabilities, price range, and much more. Specially on electric bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, etc. I will provide honest product reviews, along with expert advice on purchasing, training, and maintenance. Check out my complete profile.