Biking has been a popular activity for many years, and like many other activities, it has also been impacted by changing technology. This has led to the creation of the growing popularity of the electric bike or e-bike. Generally, these bikes look just like traditional bikes with the obvious difference being the motor that is used to assist the rider. These types of bikes offer a number of benefits. These benefits include the following:
- The pedal assist decreases stress on the legs, giving the rider an easier time over long distances.
- E-bikes encourage people to ride more so they will get more exercise.
- These bikes cause less pollution, so they are good for the environment.
- They are faster than traditional bikes.
If you already have a bike, you may be able to turn it into an e-bike with the right components using a conversion kit. An electric bike conversion kit includes a cable system, lithium battery and motor. Generally, anyone can use the kit to do the conversion with little or no problem. However, there is also the option of hiring a technician to do the conversion.
Everyone uses their e-bike differently, so this should be taken into account when looking for the right e-bike conversion kit. A few questions to consider when you want to take this step are:
- What is the type of terrain you will be riding on most often?
- What is the size of your budget?
- How much extra weight can your bike handle?
- Would you prefer to not pedal at all and instead ride the bike like a motorcycle?
- How much distance will you cover when you ride?
Conversion Kit Motor Types
E-bike conversion kits fall into three main categories, namely:
- Geared hub: This type is generally lighter, and it is ideal for anyone who does not want to add too much weight to the bike. It provides high torque, accelerates quickly and is better for climbing hills. When the motor is not being used, the bike can coast freely without any drag. However, the gears sometimes tend to be noisy, which may be an issue for some riders.
- Direct hub: Also called a gearless motor, this type is ideal for riders who want more speed. This system is heavier than the geared hub and it helps to maintain high speed for longer distances. This is a simpler system, so it tends be easier to install.
- Mid-drive system: This motor must be installed in the middle of the bike’s frame. The system is more complicated, and some of these conversion kits do not operate as smoothly as the geared hub and the direct hub.
Types of Conversion Kits
After you have decided on the type of motor, you can move on to selecting the type of kit you need. The options are:
- Front hub motor: this conversion kit is easy to install. It provides adequate assistance as the rider pedals the rear wheels while getting power from the motor at the front.
- Rear hub motor: since this kit has gears, installation is a bit more difficult. With power at the rear wheel, there is less stress on the rider and plenty of power for going up hills.
- Direct to rear wheel geared drive: the motor is bolted to the frame and connects to a chain running to the rear wheel. It is energy efficient and budget friendly, but it can give the bike a bulky look.
- Pedal crank geared drive: the motor is bolted onto the frame and powers the pedal cranks. It is the most difficult to assemble, but it is efficient and provides good power for hill climbing. One downside is that it causes more wear to the chain and sprockets.
E-bike conversion kits are available in a wide price range. The budget-friendly options start at roughly $300, and the high-end types can cost more than $1,000. If you want the e-bike experience, there are a variety of options to explore. Conversion is cheaper than buying a full e-bike and you will be able to enjoy all the benefits.