Electric bikes are slowly becoming the norm for many bike enthusiasts all around the world. Unlike their more-traditional counterparts, electric bikes come with an electric motor that helps bikers ride longer distances without taking breaks. Electric bikes are easier to ride, and they aid bikers in a way that doesn’t wear them out even after long bike rides.
Electric bikes use many different electric motors. However, the two main important ones are the hob motors and mid-drive motors. You need to take care of these motors so they don’t give up on you and leave you stranded in the middle of your journey. Electric motors are essential in electric bikes as they’re the component that distinguishes electric bikes from normal ones.
There are many ways to maintain these motors. However, today our focus will be on mid-drive motors and bikes that use them. Read on as we inform you of what a mid-drive electric bike kit is and how you can use it to cover your standard bike into an electric one.
What Is a Mid- Drive Electric Bike?
An electric bike can be defined as a bicycle with electric components to facilitate the rider while biking. One of the most important components of an electric bike and perhaps the one that makes it work is its electric motor.
Motors can be of two types: hub motor and mid-drive motors. When an electric bike has a mid-drive motor, it’s rightfully called a mid-drive electric bike.
How Is a Mid-Drive Motor Different From a Hub Motor?
All motors use the same tech, but they do have certain differences. Most manufacturers place mid-drove motors on the center of the bike frame, whereas hub motors you find near the front or the rear hub. Hub motors also occur in two different variants, i.e., the direct-drive hub motor and the geared hub motor.
In mid-drive motors, an electric motor creates torque that moves a chainring. The motor then helps the rider pedal the bike by facilitating the pedaling power inside the bike’s chain drive.
Mid-drive motors are better if you want to climb an ascent. They use the bike’s existing geared drive train to climb slowly but surely. They also have a more centered position on the bike that helps with its balance. These two features make them great as e-mountain bikes. You can also change the tires of such bikes a lot more easily.
However, mid-drive motors also have drawbacks. Due to the added torque, you’ll have to replace the chain on a mid-drive motor. Mid-drive electric bikes are also more expensive.
In contrast, hub motors don’t wear down the chains or cogs of a bike. These are also more cost-efficient because they’re produced in bulk and don’t require any changes in the frame to accommodate them. However, hub motors are not great for climbing.
Weight distribution in hub motors is also not very centered, so you’re likely always a little off-balance. In bikes with hub motors, changing tires is also no easy feat as you’ll have to disconnect all the wires before you can change the tires. Once you’ve done disconnected the wires, you’ll have to reconnect them.
What Is a Mid-Drive Electric Bike Kit?
An electric bike kit or an electric bike conversion kit is a prepackaged set of components that can fit your normal bike and convert it to an electric bike. If the kit comes with a mid-drive motor, it is called a mid-drive electric bike kit. It’s a simple and easy way to convert your existing bike into an electric one.
Most conversion kits have several components that prepare you for transformation. These kits are very helpful and easy to use yourself. This convenience means you can achieve conversion in a matter of hours.
What Components are Present in a Mid-Drive Electric Bike Kit?
The mid-drive electric bike kit is supposed to have all the components necessary to ensure that a standard bike is now electrically charged. Manufacturers generally include the following components in a mid-drive electric bike conversion kit.
The most important factor to consider when converting your bike to an e-bike is the compatibility of your tires or wheels. If your tires are not compatible, you might not be able to move around using your e-bike regardless of the motors you use. Because of this reason, most bike kits come with two whole wheels compatible with electric motors.
If it’s a mid-drive electric bike kit, it should come with a mid-drive motor. Most bike kits come with a good quality 48 volt, 1,000 watt motor with a maximum of 470 RPMs. It would be best if you considered all these factors when deciding on an electric bike kit.
Pedal-Assist and Throttle
These two components are ways to manage your new system. The pedal assist and throttle components allow you to decide how much power you will be taking from your motor. It is the system that lets your switch from a normal riding mode to an assisted riding mode.
Both of these components might be present or one might be. Pedal-assist is different from throttle because pedal-assist still requires you to pedal, whereas throttle moves the wheels using the motor.
Programmable LCD Dashboard
The programmable LCD dashboard is necessary for conversion as it helps you to operate your new electric bike. The programmable and interactive LCD board means you can switch between different modes of assist.
There are three main options: pedal mode, pedal-assist, and electric mode. The LCD dashboard helps you decide between the three.
Furthermore, having an LCD dashboard in the pedal-assist mode lets you have more options regarding the assistance you can take from the motor.
So, you can choose to have from 0% assistance to 100%, depending on your personal preference. This way, you can alter your ride depending on how you feel in its duration.
The LCD also shows other information, like time, speed, mileage, battery power, and the gear you are currently on.
Battery and Charger
It would be best if you had a battery and charger to have an entirely electric bike. Most conversion kits don’t come with a battery or charge. However, they are compatible with 36 volts and 48-volt batteries that you can buy.
If your kit does have a battery make sure, it’s at least 24-48 volts so that it can power your rides easily without you constantly having to charge it. Higher power motors drain batteries more quickly.
However, they’re faster. So, ensure you’re aware of the motor’s specifications before choosing a battery.
Eyeleted Double-Walled Rims
These double-walled rims reinforce the strength of your wheels so you’re likely to continue your journey steadily.
Some other components these kits may include are:
- 12g SS spokes and brass nipples
- Premium cables and connectors
- E-Brake handles
- Thumb and twist throttle
- Universal torque arm included
All these extra components come together to give the bike more stability and strength. E-bikes are more durable than traditional bikes, and these components reinforce their structure.
The cables and connectors help set up your bike’s electrical components; thus, they should be of premium quality.
What are Some Considerations You Should Make Before Investing in a Mid-Drive Electric Bike Kit?
Apart from component considerations, there are also other considerations you must make before you convert your traditional bicycle into an electric one.
Since you’re using a kit and doing the conversion yourself, you must ensure that the new parts fit. If you have any problems, it’s best to give the kit to a professional and let them handle it. You have to ensure that the kit works on your bike.
Most of these kits are universal, but you need to carefully evaluate both the kit and your bike before making a purchase and spending hundreds of dollars.
E-bikes come with certain legalities, and when you convert your bike, these legalities will apply to you. For example, one law requires that your electric bike doesn’t travel at speeds greater than 20 mph.
If you have a motor that does not meet these standards, you might have to replace it. It would be best to keep in mind these laws change with geography, and different states have different laws. So, go through these laws thoroughly before you invest.
Converting your regular bike to an e-bike means that you’re adding the weight of a motor and a battery to the bike at a minimum.
This addition is likely to make your bike bulky, and you may not be able to ride it how you expect to. Your balance might be off due to the addition of all these components.
Even though using a mid-drive motor does curtail some balance issues, they might still exist. It would help if you were careful in understanding your bike’s capacity.
Most kits do come with some warranty. However, these are likely to save you from bad products within the kit themselves, which you can have the manufacturers replace within the warranty.
Most agreements don’t cover wear and tear aspects, which is how most damage comes to be with these electric bike kits. Please make sure you never let warranty be the deciding factor between two kits, as it doesn’t count for much.
5. Bike Applications
You need to know what you’re hoping to use your bike for before you decide on converting it. If you’re converting your bike so you can drive up hills more easily, you might make different decisions regarding your electric bike kit.
Additionally, if you’re only converting your bike for ease and so you can drive longer distances, the specifications you’d be adhering to would be different.
These are some other factors you would look into before investing in a mid-drive electric bike kit. However, the most important aspect of this kind of kit would be the presence of a mid-drive motor.
What are the Benefits of a Mid-Drive Electric Bike Kit?
As discussed before, mid-drive electric bike kits are an easy way to convert your traditional bike to an electrically assisted one. There are benefits to the operation altogether, and we have listed some of these below:
You can have greater biking power
Since the electrical components will assist you, you are likely to have greater biking power. You can ride uphill more easily without breaking as much of a sweat. You can increase your efficiency effectively by switching to an electric bike.
You can go faster
Electric bikes are faster because you don’t have to use as much energy to pedal to go faster. You can achieve higher speeds by pedaling less. Additionally, you can also reach places more quickly, given that you have a faster bike.
You don’t have to buy a whole new bike
You can use the conversion kit to transform your bike. You don’t have to look for and buy a whole new electric bike and then adjust yourself to driving it. This conversion saves you time and money.
It’s environmentally friendly
Electric bike kits enable you to use your traditional bike differently altogether. You don’t have to use your car to get from one place to the other.
Your newly transformed electric bike can take you places without you having even to pedal. Thus, you won’t have to drive and contribute to climate change.
It’s good for your health
An e-bike provides you with the perfect balance of exercise and rest. If you want to use the bike on pedal mode as a challenge, you can do that and get your heart rate up.
However, when you’re done exercising, you can shift to an electric mode easily so you don’t have to overexert yourself. These modes keep your health in check while also providing you with the necessary rest.
It’s better suited for difficult terrain
E-bikes with their assistive pedaling help you climb hills more easily. You can also handle more difficult terrain like a cliffside or a steep ascent without the electrical kit you would tire yourself out on.
You’re also less likely to roll down a hill as mid-drive electric bike kits help maintain better control.
It is less expensive than buying an e-bike
E-bike conversion kits are less expensive than buying an entirely new e-bike. Additionally, you’ll have to maintain only one bike, so that’s less work for you. These conversion kits do add weight, but you can make adjustments in the motor to counter it.
They are safer for the road
They come with particular tools, like barking overrides and well-calibrated throttles, making these conversion kits safer for you to ride on the road.
Cons of a Mid-Drive Electric Bike Kit
The good comes with the bad. Listed below are some drawbacks of these electric bike conversion kits:
- Your bike may not be compatible with the kit regardless of your careful considerations
- If you don’t have the expertise to install the motor, you’ll likely have to pay someone else to do it, and thus, this will cost you more money.
- The combination of a new motor on an old bike isn’t very sustainable. You might have to get a new bike when this one breaks down.
- You’ll never be able to go as fast as a pre-built electric bike
- The combination of the conversion kit and an old bike might not be safe, and you may find yourself with an injury.
- Tires of your bike may deflate more often because of all the extra weight they’re carrying.
- The bike will become bulkier overall. If you don’t have a garage to keep it, lugging it around could create a fair bit of annoyance.
- Even though conversion kits enhance your bike’s performance, they might not give you the cohesive feel of an e-bike.
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- Can an Electric Bike Get Wet?
- When to Charge an Electric Bike
- What is the Best Electric Bike Repair Stand?
- How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go?
- How Long Does a Battery Last on an Electric Bike?
- How Long Does an Electric Bike Motor Last?
- Major Electric Bike Problems
Mid-drive electric bike kits are a handy tool to convert your normal bike into a mid-drive-motor-powered electric bike. They are pre-packaged sets of accessories that help you do the conversion yourself. You need to consider many aspects closely and be careful before you invest in an electric bike kit.
However, they are a very good alternative to buying an e-bike. They save you money and time by simply elevating a product you already have. Certain features to them aren’t the best. The weight these conversion kits can put on the bike’s mechanics is a significant hurdle. However, you can apply these countermeasures to overcome these hurdles.
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.