The Best Electric Bike Kits in 2018 – That Won’t Break Your Wallet

Building your own Electric bike may seem like hard and complicated work…

It is way easier than you might think;

The best electric bike conversion kits come with all parts included and are very easy to install. In this comprehensive guide we will list the best ebike kits available and how to install them.

It is Cheaper Motorizing a Bicycle than Buying an Ebike

It is not as hard and time-consuming as people think to build your very own electric bike. Ebike kits today have all parts included and comes with an instructions manual.

What is a bit time-consuming is all the research and planning before buying an ebike kit. And that is what we will be going over together in this article along with the best Electric bike conversion kits.

There truly are huge advantages to building your own Electric bike, including;

  • Buying the kits directly from the manufacturers – Skipping the middle men cuts down on the cost
  • You don’t have to buy the bike – Assuming you already own one
  • Greater variety of parts – You can choose how powerful motor or how long range you want
  • It is easier finding replacement parts –  Since the parts are not customized for a specific brand you can easily find replacement parts or later on upgrade certain parts
  • Greater speed – When riding between 20-30 mph you should wear a proper Ebike Helmet
  • Bragging rights – Many people will be impressed and curious about how you managed to build an ebike on your own

So many of the benefits are about cost efficiency. Even if you don’t have a bike already you can get a used one of your liking for a small amount.

Choosing which Bicycle to Motorize

If you already have a bike, that’s great, but you should make sure it is suitable for the amount of power you will be mounting on it.

Don’t worry, most bikes are, the most important factor to look for is how sturdy the frame is. It has to be sturdy enough to not bend over time when a powerful motor is mounted on it.

A sturdy frame  is not expensive at all. The cheapest bikes usually have steel frames, more expensive ones probably have aluminium frames. The ones to be careful about are the expensive carbon fiber frames.

A front wheel hub motor is putting the most pressure on the frame (front fork), a mid drive is preferable if you have a light but weak carbon fiber frame.

To summarize this;

  • A sturdy steel frame – You can choose any kit you want.
  • A good aluminium frame – You can choose any kit you want but beware not to get a too powerful one if you choose a front wheel hub motor (750-1500W). It might damage the front fork mounting slot over time and cause the wheel to fall off. To avoid this you can get a torque arm as support.
  • An expensive and light carbon fiber frame – You can choose a mid-drive or rear wheel kit. If you choose a powerful rear wheel kit make sure the rear wheel is well supported by the frame so it won’t bend.

Choosing the Best Electric Bike Conversion Kit

When choosing a conversion kit there are a few things to keep in mind.

Some are easier than others to install but all have different advantages and disadvantages.

A front wheel conversion kit is the easiest one to install. As long as you have a sturdy front fork there is not much to worry about.

  • Easy to install – Anyone can follow the instructions.
  • Low cost – The best electric bike kit if your wallet gets to decide.
  • Fits most bikes – Most bikes have a standard mount size. If it is a bit too narrow you can often bend it in with a little force.
  • Shorter wiring – Most wires go from the front wheel to the handlebar. Don’t forget to fasten the wires to the frame.
  • Can loose traction when it is slippery – There is not as much weight on the front as on the rear wheel.
  • Can damage the front fork mounting slot – Won’t be a problem if you either have a sturdy front fork or choose a 500W motor or less. You can also get a torque arm to support the front fork.

A rear wheel conversion kit puts less pressure on the frame and is still relatively simple to install. 

  • Easy to install – Anyone can follow the instructions.
  • Low cost – The best electric bike kit if your wallet gets to decide.
  • Good traction – When the motor is at the rear it becomes a bit back heavy and gets better traction
  • Better handling – Rear wheel drive gives you more stability and a smoother ride
  • Fits most bikes – Make sure the bike’s mount size matches the Ebike kit.
  • Steadily mounted – A rear hub motor has good support from the frame.
  • Can be a bit difficult to mount the gears – It can be hard to fit all the gears in place after mounting the hub motor.
  • Longer wiring – Fasten your wires with zip ties or an equivalent neatly to the bikes frame.
  • A powerful motor may lift the front – Only a really powerful motor and a back heavy bike can do a wheelie

A mid-drive conversion kit is probably the best but also most difficult to install.

  • Good traction – The motor drives the chain and back wheel where most of the weight is
  • Better handling – Rear wheel drive feels more smooth and easier to handle
  • Steadily mounted – The frame supports the motor well
  • More effective motor – It uses the existing gears of the bike for power efficiency
  • Low gravity – Low gravity gives you better handling and balance 
  • Does not fit all bikes – Make sure the measurements are correct for the attachment point
  • More wear on the chain and gears – As it is using the existing chain and gears for efficiency there is also more wear
  • Susceptible to damages from gravel and curbs – As the motor rests below the bike it can get hit by rocks flying up or high curbs
  • Expensive – Cost a bit more than a hub-motor but truly is the best electric bike kit out there

There are other motor types such as Friction-drive, Internal motors and All wheel drive motors. The ones above are the most common and certainly the best motor types.

Front Wheel – Best Electric Bike Kits

These are the best front wheel electric bike kits available right now.

As you can see I have mostly chosen powerful ebike kits because there is not a big difference in price. You should get as much quality and electrical power as possible from the money you spend.

There are also less powerful ebike kits on this list. If your only goal is commuting or cruising, a less powerful electric bike kit will do just fine.

Ebikeling 1200w E-bike kit

Ebikeling is based in Illinois and provides quality products for a great price. This is one of their most powerful ebike kits that is super easy to install.

You can modify this kit and choose between LED or LCD display and thumb or twist throttle. Since they are an American company they are easy to reach on telephone for support or warrant issues.

It runs on a 48 volt battery but some people have bought the 52 volt battery for even more power and speed. The battery needs to be bought separately.

This is a truly powerful Ebike kit. Some of the features are;Ebikeling 1200 watt is the most powerful and best rear wheel conversion kit

  • Incredible power
  • Easy installation
  • Disc-brake compatible
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Torque arm included
  • Top speed 26-35 mph

This is the best front wheel electric bike kit in a reasonable price range. You can check all the measurements and read more about the features here on Amazon.

Pinty 1000w E-bike kit

Pinty is a great and very affordable electric bike kit.

The FT2000 model includes everything you need to quickly convert your bike (except the battery). On Amazon you are suggested a recommended battery however I would not buy that battery (there are better ones).

The battery Amazon recommends is a lead-acid battery. I would buy a Li-ion ebike battery with a lockable case for both safety and convenience.

If you buy this kit, be sure to order a torque arm as well.

This model features;Pinty rear wheel conversion kit

  • Great power
  • Easy installation
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Top speed 28-30 mph

Read more about this ebike kit here on Amazon.

Ebikeling 500w E-bike kit

This Ebikeling kit is pretty much the same as the 1200 watt kit on this list.

Great quality from an American company with all the necessary parts to convert your bike. The battery needs to be bought separately. I recommend a 36 volt battery mounted either in a lockable battery case on the frame or on a rear bike rack.

Some of the features are;Ebikeling is an amarican ebike conversion kit

  • Easy installation
  • Disc-brake compatible
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Torque arm included
  • Top speed 20-25 mph

Check out this 500w Ebike kit here on Amazon.

Rear Wheel – Best Electric Bike Kits

The rear wheel conversion kits are better when aiming for the most power and they are still easy to install.

Having the motor on the rear part of the bike gives you a lot better traction and handling. This is necessary when pushing the limit and going as fast as possible, especially if you ride a bike trail or a bit of road.

You won’t need a torque arm since the bikes frame is stronger in the rear mounting slot. This is both safer and more fun.

AW 1000w Ebike Kit

AW has grown in to a well-known retailer in electric bike kits. They have so many sold ebike kits and therefore a lot of reviews on Amazon.

This Ebike kit is one of the few that actually come with a tire on the wheel so you don’t have to change from the old tire.

I can not recommend the led-acid battery you are suggested when buying this ebike kit. You should go for a Li-Ion battery with good range to get the full capacity out of the motor.

Many people have gone with a 52 volt battery with great success for even more power. I have not tested this but it is definitely an interesting idea.

This Ebike kit features;AW 1000 watt is the best reviewed conversion kit on Amazon

  • Great power
  • Good installation manual
  • Disc-brake compatible
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-Assist
  • A new tire included
  • Top speed 30 mph

AW provides one of the best electric bike kits, available here on Amazon. Check out the great reviews.

Ebikeling 1200w Ebike Kit

This American company has many Ebike kits available for sale. This one is made for the rear wheel while keeping the same great quality as the front wheel kit shown before.

With options between throttles and displays this package has it all. The battery needs to be bought separately but that gives you the possibility to choose a battery that fits your needs. Choose where to mount it on your bike and the range you want to be able to ride.

This great kit features;Ebikeling 1200 watt is the cheapest way to motorize your bike

  • Incredible power
  • Easy installation
  • Disc-brake compatible
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Top speed 26-35 mph

Check out this great kit here on Amazon.

Pinty 1000w Ebike Kit

The RR1010 model has been sold for some time now with many satisfied customers.

This kit comes with everything but a battery. Do not buy the recommended battery, get a Li-Ion battery with enough range to get you where you want.

Many people are running this kit on 52 volts even though it is not recommended with great success.

This kit features;The best electric bike conversion kits from Pinty

  • Great power
  • Easy installation
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Top speed 28-30 mph

Get this electric bike kit here on Amazon.

Mid-Drive – Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits

A mid-drive electric bike kit definitely gives you the best performance and speed.

As for the motor quality the mid-drive kit is definitely the best, there is however a lot more moving parts so there is some wear on your chain and gears.

It might be more difficult to install, and the research beforehand need to be made carefully so the mounting slots matches those on your bike. When this is done properly you certainly get the best possible electric bike for the money you spend.

This is not for the inexperienced, you need to have done some tinkering with bikes before attempting this. It also helps a lot if you have a bike stand and the usual bike tools.

Since the mid-drive uses your pre-existing gears you don’t need as much power as a gearless hub-motor does. That also makes the top speed depend on how big gears you use.

If you feel you have the experience than there is no choice, you need to get yourself a mid-drive kit.

Bafang BBSHD/BBS03 1000w (battery included)

Bafang has the recent years grown in to a well-known brand. The name Bafang is now a synonym to a mid-drive kit, kind of like google is to search engines.

This is one of their most powerful kits at a whooping 1000 watts. For a mid drive kit that is an incredible amount of power.

In this package you are supplied with the needed bolts and nuts to fit it to your bike. You also get brake levers, speedometer and an LCD-display among other things.

The Battery-pack included in this kit is made from proper 18650 Samsung high discharge cells. It rated for 48 volts and 17.5 Ah, the battery case is fitted to a bracket you mount on your frame.

This package has it all, power, speed and range;Bafang BBSHD ebike kit

  • Incredible power
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-assist
  • Great top speed
  • Bolts and nuts included
  • Li-Ion Battery included

Definitely the best electric bike kit, and most powerful, right here on Amazon.

Bafang 8fun 750w (Battery Included)

This mid-tier kit from Bafang is known as the 8fun.

In this kit you also get all the needed bolts and nuts, brake levers, speedometer and much more.

This package has a slightly smaller battery than the previous one. This one is rated for 48 volts and 12 Ah and is also built from 18650 Samsung cells. Encased to the frame it is out-of-the-way when riding and easy to charge.

The 8fun model features;Bafang 8fun conversion kit

  • Great power
  • Safety brake levers
  • Pedal-Assist
  • Great top speed 
  • Bolts and nuts included
  • Li-Ion Battery included

Get this one, it is one of the best electric bike kits out there, check it out here on Amazon.

Conclusion

It is not easy to choose between the best electric bike conversion kits listed, but I am certain you will find one that is perfect for you.

When buying an Ebike kit the saying “you get what you pay for” is certainly true. Especially when choosing between batteries.

There are many types of batteries that are cheap but they will not serve you well on the long run. A good Li-Ion battery in a waterproof and easily accessible casing is hard to beat.

Depending on your technical knowledge and experience with bikes I am sure you will find it easy installing the kit you have chosen.

I hope you have found this guide about the best electric bike kits helpful, and that you will enjoy your new electric bicycle.

How to Install a Conversion Kit

To get started you will need some basic tools.

You will need philips, wrenches, flat screwdrivers, allen wrenches, an air pump and pliers. Every bike is different so you may need other tools aswell.

A bike stand is also useful if you have one and remember to prepare a good spot to work on with lots of space.

If this seems to complicated (it’s not) than there are great pre-assembeled electric bikes that are affordable. Read about the top 5 electric bikes here.

Remember that these are general instructions, always follow the instructions in the conversion kit’s manual.

Installing a hub motor conversion kit;

Step one: Take off the wheel you are to replace. If it is the back wheel you need to take off the chain aswell. To install Pedal-Assist (voluntary) you need to take off the left pedal arm.

Step two: Take off the old tube and tire and put it on new hub motor wheel (if the new wheel don’t have a tire on). Dont forget to inflate it.

Step three: Install the new hub motor wheel on your bike. On a rear wheel you need to install the gear cassettes and/or disc-brake aswell. Put the chain on the gear cassettes, try spinning the pedals and see if the rear wheel is spinning properly.

Step four: Find a good spot to place your controller where all the cables from the battery, motor,brakes and display can reach (shouldn’t be a problem). Mount the controller.

Step five: (Pedal-Assist is optional) Where the left pedal arm was you should see a lock-ring holding the pedal to the frame. Take that ring off and place the pedal-assist sensor there, put the lock-ring back. Put the pedal arm back and make sure you tighten it properly.

Step six: Install the battery mount, either on the rack (install the rack) or to the frame. You don’t need to put the battery on yet.

Step seven: Remove the handlebar grips, brake levers (release tension on the brake wires first), and LCD (if you have one), let the gearshifter stay in place. Slide on the new LCD-display first, than the new brake levers (connect the brake wires),the throttle and lastly the handlebar grips. Route the cables to the controller and connect them.

Step eight: Put the battery in the battery mount, connect all the cables to the controller according to the manual (they usually only fit in the right port).

Step nine: Test every thing to make sure it works and everything is fastened properly. Zip-tie all the cables neatly to the frame.

Step ten: Go out for a test ride and enjoy your new electric bike!

Installing a mid-drive conversion kit;

Installing a Bafang mid-drive kit is a bit to complicated to write down a guide here. But with the manual it is not that hard.

You can find the manual here and see what work you have ahead of you.

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