The Best Electric Recumbent Bike Conversion Kit (And Trike Kit)

So, you are looking for an electric recumbent bike conversion kit but can’t find one.

That’s simply because such a thing doesn’t exist. There are kits out there though, they are just not labeled as an electric recumbent bike kit.

We will help you figure out which ebike kits that are suitable for your recumbent bike/trike and sort this mess out.

Why Aren’t There Any Electric Recumbent Bike Conversion Kits?

A trike waiting for it's electric recumbent trike kit to be installed. Well, for the same reasons there aren’t an electric trike recumbent kit out there.

Seriously though, all recumbent trikes and bikes have very innovative designs. As you might know, all recumbent bikes are completely different from each other in their design. No-one looks the same as the other.

Some bikes have a small wheel in the front, some in the back. Some have the cassettes on the front wheel and some on the rear wheel.

What most recumbent bikes and trikes have in common though, is that the pedals are located near the front of the bike. If you have the cassettes on the rear wheel (most common) you also have a really long chain.

There are simply too many variables to consider in order to make an electric recumbent bike conversion kit that will fit most bikes. That is why we need to figure out which ebike kit that will fit your recumbent bike/trike.

Choosing My Electric Recumbent Trike Kit/Bike Kit

An electric recumbent bike conversion kit would make this model a beast.Alright, now that we see the problem we can begin figuring it out.

There are two (three) types of conversion kits. A hub motor kit which is a new wheel you replace your old one with, and a mid-drive kit which drives the chain.

  • A hub motor is by far the easiest to install. You can replace either the front wheel or the rear wheel with the hub motor.
  • As you can imagine it will be really difficult to install a mid-drive kit with such an unusual pedal and chain setup. To do this you need to be proficient in both welding and electrical engineering, otherwise this will be impossible. Even if you are really skilled, this will be a challenge.

Most hub motor kits are 26 inch wheels, a rear wheel kit comes with cassettes on it while a front wheel kit is an ordinary wheel. There are a few 16.5 inch wheel kits too on Amazon.

The easiest wheel to replace is the front wheel. Changing the front wheel does not require you to tinker with the chain and new cassettes. It is an easy swap and then just a matter of attaching the wires to the frame.

Another advantage of changing the front wheel is that you have a lot less distance to the handle bar. In other words you don’t have to worry that the wires included are not long enough.

Electric Recumbent Trike Kit

Obviously a trike has three wheels, which we all know. What can differ though, is if the double wheels are located in the front or rear end of the trike.

If your trike only has one front wheel (least common), you can go for the easiest solution, a front wheel conversion kit.

The advantages of a solution like this is that it is very easy to swap out the wheel. You don’t have to think about the chain or cassettes in regard to your gear shifter. You can also be fairly certain that the included wiring will be long enough to reach the handle bar.

If your trike on the other hand has two front wheels you need to consider your options.

Option one would be to still go for a front wheel kit. This could work even if it will lower the stability a little bit. If you decide to go with this option then you can’t buy a too powerful recumbent conversion kit. I would say at most 500 Watts. With this said, I still recommend option two even if this works fairly well.

Option two is swapping out the rear wheel. This is a much more stable build in every possible way. It is a little bit more complicated but not that hard.

The one thing that could be problematic is that the included wiring might not be long enough. They usually are but if you have a really long trike you want to be certain.

I suggest measuring the distance you need along the frame and asking the supplier what the length of their wires are. If they aren’t long enough you could go to an electrical store and buy extension cables and solve the problem on your own.

These are your two options you have to consider for your electric recumbent trike kit.

If you want more detailed information and reviews on the type of conversion kit you are considering, I suggest looking at my in-depth article about conversion kits.

Electric Recumbent Bike Conversion Kit

Looking for an electric recumbent bike conversion kit leaves you with a bit more options. Since you only have one front wheel unlike a trike, a front wheel kit is a very viable option.

As mentioned before, a front wheel kit is the simplest solution. If you don’t have an odd sized wheel, this is the option to go for. There are different sizes on the hub motor kits, 26 inches is the most common but there are 16.5 inch kits as well.

If you unfortunately have a custom sized wheel in front, you have to go for a rear wheel kit. Try to make sure that the wires will be long enough to be attached on the frame from the rear wheel to the controller unit and handlebars.

They probably will, if by chance they don’t, you can modify them with extension cables. Be a bit creative and I am sure you will be able to solve it.

Be sure to read my article about convertion kits before you make up your mind. I have reviewed the best affordable kits out there, have your pick.

Good luck building your electric recumbent bike conversion kit.

3 thoughts on “The Best Electric Recumbent Bike Conversion Kit (And Trike Kit)”

  1. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, awesome blog!

  2. One thing you didn’t mention re: rear wheel kits:
    Most recumbent bikes come with 8, 9 or even 10 speed cassettes; most rear hub motor ebike kits only come with 7 speed freewheels (I’ve only seen one that you can actually use a 7 speed cassette on).
    I wouldn’t mind giving up a gear or 2 for the advantage of having a motor, but is the indexing (the space between each of the physical gears) the same for 7. 8. 9. 10 speeds???

    1. On some bikes there are a small difference of about 0.2 mm between the 7 speeds vs the 8/9/10 speeds, but that is growing more and more uncommon. However it is impossible for me to say in your case, but it shouldn’t cause any major issues that couldn’t quite easily be fixed. Let us know how it went if you go at it! Regards Mark

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