Converting an Electric Bike

Electric bikes present a great way to commute, travel, and even exercise without harming the environment. Electric bikes are more environmentally friendly than a car, are much faster than walking or using a push bike, and take a lot less effort. When it comes to getting an electric bike you have two options; buy an electric bike or buy an electric bike conversion kit and “electrify” your current push bike. Here are some tips for converting an electric bike.


What to Expect

You need to install four parts onto your bike to convert it; a battery, a controller, a motor and a throttle. Some conversion kits contain some extras but they aren’t totally necessary. Everything is designed to be attached to the bike. You can bolt the battery and controller onto the frame and the motor comes in a wheel hub so you just have to replace a wheel. The throttle can be placed onto the handle bars and that’s really all there is. Easier than you thought, no?


The Cost

One reason people choose converting over buying an ebike is the cost. An ebike can set you back up to $6,000 while a conversion kit containing the same electric components can cost just $700. While the price does depend largely on what you want, and the more you add to your bike the higher the price will be, for the most part converting is much cheaper. An electric bike costs up to and over $1000 at least while a good conversion kit is just a few hundred dollars.


Things to Consider

The main thing to consider when it comes to converting an electric bike is what you will be using the electric bike for and what kind of speed, range, and power you want. If you’re someone looking to commute on a flat road with your electronic bike then you could get a small motor and a large battery. For an off-road experience or living in a hilly city you should get a bigger motor and a more powerful control. Everything sounds a little complicated and overwhelming at first but you’ll quickly learn and understand what you need when doing your own electronic bike conversion.


Which Kind of Bikes are Suitable for Conversion

When converting an electronic bike the kind of bike is another important factor. You need to be using a bicycle that has a little meat at the dropouts (this is where the wheels are attached). Great bikes for conversion include mountain bikes, 20-inch folding bikes and cruiser bikes. Even many road bikes will be suitable for conversion. Bikes that are lightweight, particularly ones made of carbon fiber, shouldn’t be converted. Ask yourself if the bike is something that could be used in the Tour de France. If it can then you shouldn’t convert it. Interestingly enough a cheap department store bicycle actually makes a great choice for converting. These are made of steel and are built without saving weight in mind. They’re strong and sturdy bikes that make ideal candidates for converting.