Easton Harris is a California native, and has been using electric bikes for nearly ten years now. What started out as a hobby turned into a passion, and today, he’s constantly breaking down the top electric bike brands, batteries, and news on electric bikes, as well as tips and tricks to get the longest life out of your electric bike possible. His goal is to help you develop an affinity for electric bikes while looking at it as an investment.
Take a Quick Peek at the E-Bike Conversion Kits Before Continuing
- Very quiet
- Powerful motor
- Easy to install
- High performance
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall - Bafang BBSHD Electric Bike Conversion Kit
- Runner-up - Voilamart 26” Rear Wheel Conversion Kit
- Most Reliable - BAFANG BBS02B 750W Mid Drive Kit
- Best Buget - AW 16.5” Electric Bike Front Wheel Frame Kit
- Best Intermediate Level - JAXPETY 36V 500W E-Bike Conversion Kit
- Electric Bike Conversion Kits FAQs
- Installation Guide
- Installation Process
- What’s better: front, back, or mid-drive electric conversion kit?
- Electric Bike Conversion
Best Overall - Bafang BBSHD Electric Bike Conversion Kit
- Very quiet
- Powerful motor
- Easy to install
- Kit is quite heavy
The BBSHD is a flagship mid-drive motor from Bafang and with a motor stator that’s 66% larger than its predecessor – the BBS02.
Capable of running at 130 – 150 rpm, this conversion kit is physically large and comes with external fins that help with heat dissipation. Power-wise, this kit produces up to 160 Nm. Of torque, which is enough to get you zooming uphill.
The BBSHD comes in the classic 68mm – 73mm bracket fitment and the installation is fairly easy for anyone looking to DIY or with little experience with bike mechanics.
The torque produced by the BBSHD 1000W is considerably high and the controller can handle up to 30 Amps of continuous current all day.
Similar to its Bafang sisters, the BBSHD utilizes an internal cadence sensor and offers electric assist based on your pedaling rpm. Pedal assist is incredibly responsive and you can easily fine-tune the power output, all thanks to the 9 power levels available.
This conversion kit is also supplied with a thumb throttle, making it possible for you to use your bike as an electric motorcycle. Reconfiguring the controller, with a software and USB programming lead, could make the throttle more friendly.
The motor drives the bike’s rear wheel directly via one front chainring.
If you’re looking to own a high-performance electric bike, then this is the kit you need. With an efficiency >80% and powerful motor, this kit can meet most of your high-performance biking needs.
- Position: Mid Drive
- Top Speed: 30 mph
- Material: N/A
- Wheel Size: N/A
- Wheel Weight: N/A
- Max Load Capacity: N/A
- Controller: N/A
- RPM 140 – 160 and a Maximum Torque of 160 Nm.
- All the required conversion accessories are included in the kit
- 48V battery and a powerful 1000W motor
- ROHS certified
Runner-up - Voilamart 26” Rear Wheel Conversion Kit
- Great weight limit
- Powerful and fast
- Speed variable throttle control
- Great customer service from the manufacturer
- The brakes are made of cheap plastic
- Not as sturdy as other types of geared motors
Our runner up conversion kit is a rear wheel only kit made by Voilamart and which comes with an LCD monitor, its own brake levers, a battery carrying case and more.
With a maximum load capacity of 440 pounds and maximum speed of 28 mph, this kit greatly expands the range of potential cyclists.
It also includes a function to shift from 1000W to 750W, and this alternates the max speed from 28 mph to 24 mph.
The carrying case is nice and the battery fits perfectly. The bag’s made from a water-resistant fabric and doesn’t sway around as you cycle, keeping your controller secure.
What we didn’t like about this set is that it doesn’t include a battery, so you must look for one to power it. On the flip side, however, this setup is designed to use a range of voltages from 24, 36, 48, 60, to 72V.
The conversion kit’s LCD monitor is quite basic but does the job. The speedometer displays either kilometers per hour or miles per hour, and there’s a battery life indicator as well.
To the left of your LCD screen is a motor controller that helps you switch from 1000W to 750W. The LCD screen, however, has some poor lighting and could be difficult to see in bright daylight.
Installation of the Voilamart’s conversion kit is straightforward. All instructions are clear and separating the kit’s wires is easy and reduces clutter.
The Voilamart e-bike conversion kit would be a great option for anyone who’s a first-time buyer or who’s on a budget.
- Position: Rear
- Top Speed: 24mph/38 km/h
- Material: N/A
- Wheel Size: 26 inches
- Wheel Weight: 22lb/10 kg
- Max Load Capacity: 330 – 440lb/ 150 – 200kg
- Controller: Aluminum alloy
- Pedal Assistance System: enjoy cycling as you drive an electric bike with 150 – 200 Kg maximum load capacity.
- 1000W powerful brushless motor with a 28-mph maximum speed
- LCD display that shows pedal assistance settings and battery level
- Comes with most of the accessories you will need for a full conversion, including motor controller, rear wheel, controller bag, twist throttle, manual, pair of brakes, and LCD meter
- CE approved: a 48 V battery with a minimum nominal capacity of 11.6Ah.
Most Reliable - BAFANG BBS02B 750W Mid Drive Kit
- Lightweight components
- Snow and waterproof
- A Lithium ion battery is included
- Hydraulic disc brake compatible
- A carrying case isn’t included
- Quite expensive
Our next conversion kit is one of the pricier options.
The BAFANG BBS02B is a top of the line conversion kit that’s not entirely beginner friendly because of the nature of installation.
Although it isn’t something complex to require some electrical or mechanical component knowledge, it requires some specific maintenance tools that might not be readily available in your household.
But if you make your way past the difficult installation and relatively high price, you’ll have an e-bike experience like no other.
There are a couple of things that make the BBS02B special and one is that the kit comes with a battery.
In spite of the lengthy installation process, this kit has the option for a 54V battery. The battery life is great and also provides a stable top speed of 30 mph. Should you want to ride faster without losing any stability, you might need to utilize a powerful battery.
We were also greatly impressed by the lightweight nature of this conversion kit’s components.
The total weight of all the accessories is less than 20 pounds, with the controller included. You might probably be able to fit the controller and battery into the same bag without any inconvenience all thanks to their lightweight nature.
The conversion kit also includes an LCD screen that’s made from a tough and sleek metal frame.
The easy-to-read display shows all the basic information and comes with two small clamps that make it easy to attack to the handlebar. Since it uses clamps rather than straps, it is quick and easy to adjust.
This kit also includes a powerful 750 Watts motor. It is a crank motor rather than the standard motors and is probably this kit’s greatest selling point.
Crank motors produce more riding power since they work together with the pedal chains in addition to using their internal wattage, making them quite powerful even at smaller speeds.
The BAFANG BBS02B is probably the most challenging to install but once you get past that, you’ll have a breathtaking experience. Besides, this kit offers the best and most reliable package, including a Lithium ion battery.
- Position: Mid Drive
- Top Speed: 30mph
- Material: N/A
- Wheel Size: N/A
- Wheel Weight: N/A
- Max Load Capacity: N/A
- 48V 11.6AH or 52V 14Ah Lithium ion battery included
- RPM 140 – 160, Maximum Torque of 120 Nm., and a 25 Amp max current motor controller
- Waterproof – wiring and components are well-protected
- Everything needed to convert your bike is included in this all-in-one kit
Best Buget - AW 16.5” Electric Bike Front Wheel Frame Kit
- Strong and sturdy
- Hub is well constructed
- Provides good speed and power
- Instructions are poorly written
- Battery and charger must be ordered separately
If you’re looking to convert your bike into an e-bike without spending a fortune, then this is the kit to go for.
Despite being fairly priced, you won’t have to compromise about quality.
This conversion kit comes with a high-performance 36V 750W hub motor, a 20-inch front wheel, two brake pullers, an electric controller, and a speed throttle.
Although this conversion kit does not include a battery and its charger, the positive news is that it’s disc brake compatible.
If your bike has a front tire disc brake, then installation will be easy after electric conversion modification.
And since this is quite an affordable conversion kit, getting a compatible battery won’t be a big problem either.
We would best describe this conversion kit as lightweight. Everything from the thumb speed throttle to the controller is compact and incredibly easy to handle.
The kit’s instruction manual also provides clear guidelines on how you can put every piece together correctly and in the shortest time possible.
Its hub size is 16 – ½ inches, and the brushless hub motor delivers an efficiency greater than 80%. The kit is also suitable for installing tire sizes of 20 inches by 1.95” – 2.5”.
The hub motor is powerful enough to permit a top speed of 25 km/h. In addition, the kit boasts a new design that’s waterproof, which ensures more stability and convenience for maintenance or installation.
There’s also a well-thought-out driving system that has no gears or moving chains, adding to the overall efficiency and reducing the chances of breaking.
To get the most out of your conversion kit, AW includes 3 LED indicator lights for better viewing of various riding parameters. Moreover, this kit includes a brake system that automatically shuts off the motor to improve safety and save energy.
While this conversion kit lacks some accessories that are present in the more expensive brands, it is still worth investing in since it includes most of the basic pieces needed to get great results.
The AW conversion kit is a simple yet affordable conversion kit, ideal for beginners and which can be used as a front wheel.
- Position: Front Drive
- Top Speed: 25 mph
- Material: N/A
- Wheel Size: 16.5”
- Wheel Weight: N/A
- Max Load Capacity: N/A
- Powerful 36V 750W brushless hub motor
- Kit comes with a motorized wheel, power brake lever, speed throttle and motor controller
- Thumb throttle has 3 LED light indicators
- Drive system has no moving gears or chains
- Motor efficiency is >80%
Best Intermediate Level - JAXPETY 36V 500W E-Bike Conversion Kit
- Powerful controller guarantees a large current supply
- Wheel and tire are of great quality
- Easy to assemble
- Great performance
- Installation instructions are not adequate
- Battery charging cable isn’t included
This electric bike conversion kit has pretty much everything that a rider would be looking for to get the best experience, except for a battery. This kit from JAXPETY is a gearless and brushless model that beats all the friction to ensure durability and long-term use.
This kit is made from aluminum alloy material, which is incredibly sturdy and which is used to create a controller that ensures a high current supply for the entire bike conversion process.
One of our favorite things about this kit is the crank speed sensor. This feature is a great addition to the conversion kit since it lets you pedal your bike to help the charging process, therefore keeping your bike in continuous motion.
This e-bike conversion kit also features nylon tires, stainless steel spoke, and alloy rims which add to the overall efficiency.
With the 750W motor, thus conversion set can achieve an impressive top speed of 23 mph.
With the capability to reach such speeds, it is evident why JAXPETY provides you with a complete wheel rather than the tire frame alone.
When it comes to motor control, this kit’s controller is one of the most intelligent on the market.
This dual model controller ensures that you can continue riding your motorized bike even when there’s a problem with your signal source. Unfortunately, no battery is included in this kit and there’s also no carrying case.
This is a conversion set geared more towards intermediate level e-bike users. If you’re buying it as your first set, you will probably find the lack of battery and inadequate installation instructions quite a hassle.
- Position: Front
- Top Speed: 23 mph
- Material: Aluminum alloy
- Wheel Size: 26” x 1.57”
- Wheel Weight: 16.5 lbs
- Max Load Capacity: 330 lbs
- Has a crank speed sensor that makes pedaling easy
- Brushless and gearless motor for durability
- Motor is restricted to 750W
- Aluminum alloy powerful motor controller
- The twist throttle has a power cut-off button and battery level display
Electric Bike Conversion Kits FAQs
Are electric bike conversion kits easy to install?
This is a question that we’ve received from many e-bike enthusiasts and those who want to convert their conventional bikes into electric bikes.
The creation of an electric bike is a rewarding project, but we always advise that you exercise caution.
When it comes to ease of installation, the truth is that with the right tools, taking the necessary precautions and having the right kit, the entire process can be a breeze.
Let’s take you through a breakdown of what to expect when it comes to electric bike conversion kits.
Conversion Kits Parts Introduction
When you open the conversion kit carton, here’s a list of components to expect.
- Hand-built motor wheel
- Battery (in some kits)
- Battery charger
- LCD display
- Micro switch cut-off brakes
- Thumb throttle or accelerator
- Pedal assisted system/sensor
- Battery cable
- Motor cable
- Controller bag
- Cable covers and nylon bands
Controller Cables Introduction
All the controller connections are designed to connect to the unique counter connector.
So, irrespective of the color of your wires, after pushing the connections and locking them, the whole wiring job is done.
Here’s a picture showing the respective controller wires.
For most conversion kit installations, you’re able to use a similar set of tools, or you could purchase specialized tool kits.
You might not need the crank too (No. 10 and 11) if you have an adjustable wrench (no. 3). A set of Allen Key is essential as well.
Check Whether Your Bike’s Suitable for Conversion
Although most e-bike kits are universal and could be used to convert a majority of bikes, there is some criteria to first meet.
The rear dropouts and front forks must be wide enough to accommodate the hub motor.
The front fork dropout MUST BE 98 – 102 mm for normal bikes. Rear conversions need 133 – 137 mm for normal bikes. The motor axle’s diameter is typically 10 mm.
You might have to peel off a layer or two of paint for the axles to fit in the bike dropout, since they are designed to be a tight fit.
Transfer the tube & tire and install your motor wheel
You’ll need to transfer the existing tube and tire or a new tune and tire to hand-built motor wheel.
If your existing wheel contains rim tape, just transfer the tape across to your new motor wheel. This will reduce the chances of puncture.
Front motor wheel:
- Remove the original bike wheel and release the caliper
- Dismantle the old disc and install it on your motor wheel
- Fit the spacers close to the motor
- Now fit the spacers on the axle and then insert the motor wheel. Ensure the rotation direction is correct since the motor cable comes out of the axle from the right side.
- Tighten all the nuts and place the seal caps of the motor axle
- Adjust the caliper to a suitable location and tighten all bolts
- Start by releasing the screws on the display’s back and fit it on the bike’s handlebar.
- Adjust the display location accordingly and tighten all screws.
Install the Throttle and Brake Levers
- Pull out all the original brake lever grips
- Insert your brake lines to the new electric brake levers
- Fit the brake levers on your bike and tighten all screws
- Install the throttle (typically on the right side) and fit your new grips
- Install the Pedal Assist System
- Install the battery and controller
- Make the final adjustments
By now, you’ve probably installed all the major accessories and it is time to lay the cables appropriately and tie them using nylon belts.
Ensure the brakes are properly adjusted, the wheel’s secure, all screws are tightened and everything else is functioning as expected.
And since the battery is quite heavy and likely to come loose due to road vibration, ensure there’s enough support and rigidity for the battery case assembly.
What’s better: front, back, or mid-drive electric conversion kit?
When it comes to transforming your conventional bike into an electric one, there are numerous aspects to consider.
One important aspect to consider is the type of your conversion kit, could be front, back or mid-drive.
Your choice of conversion kit could have an impact on your riding experience. So, what does each conversion kit entail?
- Front hub conversion kit: This conversion kit usually has a motor on the front wheel. The battery is usually placed in a bag or installed on the frame.
- Rear hub conversion kit: This conversion kit usually has its motor in the back wheel. And similar to the front hub kit, rear hub kits battery is installed on the bike frame or placed in a carrying bag.
- Mid drive conversion kit: With this conversion kit, the motor is installed on the frame’s crank, where the pedals are located.
To understand which is best conversion kit, let’s explore the pros and cons of each. In this case, rear and front kits will be treated as hub systems.
- Adequate Torque: Mid-drive systems are advantageous because they have a lot of rotation force (torque) for hauling carts and zooming up hills. The extra torque is because the mid-drive motor combines the power of your bike chain and motor to create driving force.
- Weight is Centered on the Bike: Since the bulk of this conversion kit’s weight rests in the middle of your bicycle, your mid-drive converted bike will handle more since no significant weight is added to the rear or front wheels, and pedaling will be easier.
- Changing Your Tire Won’t be Different: Since the electrical components of this system aren’t connected to the rear or front wheel, changing a flat tire is similar to doing it on your regular bike. You won’t have to unplug wires or need extra tools for the job.
- More Maintenance Needed: Mid-drive conversion kits generate lots of torque and this places more demand on the drivetrain – which comprises chainrings, front derailleur, chain, rear cassette, and rear derailleur. With this conversion system, power from the motor must go through the drivetrain before it is passed to the wheel. Since the power is spread over several components, they will easily wear out or require frequent adjusting.
- Installation Could Be Involving: Installing your mid-drive conversion kit will require you to dismantle some drivetrain components, including the chain, front derailleur, and crank arms. As a result, the entire installation could be more involving compared to that of hub conversion kits.
- Can Be Quite Expensive: In some instances, mid-drive motors could be more expensive that hub motors.
Hub Conversion Kits (Both front and rear)
- Lower Maintenance: Most hub motor kits are fairly self-contained and very few moving components, which implies that minimal maintenance and adjusting is required.
- Don’t Strain The Drivetrain: Hub motors don’t strain the drivetrain and this means that there’s less wear and tear on these components.
- System Can Run Even When Part of the Drivetrain Breaks: Since hub conversion kits are not connected to the bike chain, you can still use the motor when the chain breaks.
- Easy Installation: If you know how to remove your bike’s tire, then you can easily install your hub drive kit. Besides, specialty tools are rarely required.
- Cheaper: Hub systems are usually simple in design and this substantially affects their overall cost, giving them a lower price tag.
- Not as Much Torque is Produced: Hub systems rely solely on the motor to generate rotational force without incorporating the drivetrain, hence they are not as powerful.
- Handling/Stability Could Be Affected By Weight: Hub systems typically add more weight to the rear or front of the bike, and this could make handling quite difficult. Rear hub motors could cause your e-bike to “fishtail” (the rear wheel could slide to the side as a result of the extra weight).
- Changing A Tire Is More Demanding Than a Normal Bike: Changing your flat tire on a hub motor could require some specialty tools as well as more effort as opposed to a non e-bike.
The answer to which is the better of both conversion kits depends on your needs.
If you need the added torque, then a mid-drive system would be a great choice to cycle through steep or hilly terrains. Hub systems won’t perform well in such conditions and might overheat.
Besides torque, all the pros and cons of both systems must be considered.
Think about your budget, do you want a kit that needs more maintenance for the additional torque? With hub drive systems, throttle and regenerative braking are factors you might consider.
Regenerative braking is a feature present in some hub systems and aids in braking or slowing down your bike. The main advantage about this braking mechanism is that it places less wear on the brake pads.
Throttle is also common in hub systems and could give some added advantage.
For instance, a bike with throttle could move independent of its drivetrain. Besides, throttle could be used to overcome the starting lag at stops. Unfortunately, throttle is a huge drain to the battery and your overall range could tremendously decrease.
Electric Bike Conversion
Are electric bike conversion kits waterproof?
For most conversion kits, the answer would be no. However, most conversion kits are water resistant.
Do not get confused between these two aspects; waterproof implies that water is completely incapable of passing through whereas water-resistant means it’s hard for water to pass.
As a result, you can comfortably ride in the rain.
What’s the lifetime of an electric bike conversion kit?
The lifetime of your e-bike conversion kit often depends on how frequently you use your bike.
If you use your bike quite often, you should expect your kit to last at least a year before the motor starts wearing out and the kit starts making strange noises.
Is it better to buy an electric bike or convert your regular bike?
Although many people find it easy and convenient to buy an electric bike, others find it more appealing to convert their old bikes to electric by adding a motor.
Converting to electric is generally easy and leaves the greater majority of your original bike intact.
On the flip side, taking apart and rebuilding the wheels could be challenging, while the additional weight of the motorized hub and extra torque will need some upgrades to the spokes and rim to accommodate the motorized hub.
Buying an already electric bike could be advantageous for those who want a complete package.
Ultimately, cost is the greatest determining factor and converting your old bike is better than buying an electric bike.
Pros of conversion
- You still use your old bike
- Cheaper spare parts
- Individual adjustments can be made
- Dismantling to a conventional bike is possible
Pros of Buying a New Electric
- All accessories are integrated into the bike’s design
We hope this guide has provided some insight into the best e-bike conversion kits.
Although we recommend any of the kits reviewed here, it is good practice to take into account your needs so as to get a kit that best suits you.
Besides, conversion kits are not all equal so you must evaluate your needs before making the right purchase decision.
The e-bike conversion kit market is expanding and there could be some great models we didn’t review here.
Please drop us a comment with what you think would be a great addition. We’d love to hear what you have to say.