Best e-bike conversion kits for 2022 & kit types explained
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
Bikes are good exercise, emissions-free, and riding them is much cheaper than driving a car.
But you may find, as many people do, that two factors prevent you from riding your bike more: it’s too slow, and it can be very tiring – especially if there are hills involved.
The good news is that you can fix both these issues with the addition of an electric bike motor. To achieve this, you simply need to order a DIY e-bike conversion kit, which will provide you with all the equipment you need to electrify your existing bicycle.
Once converted, your bike will be both faster and easier to ride. And, if you haven’t ridden one already, you’ll probably find that e-bike riding is way more fun.
If you want to learn about converting your bike using an e-bike kit, then this guide is for you. We’ll start by showing you the best kits to buy in 2022. We’ll also look at the top reasons to buy a kit and explain the key differences between different kit types.
Are you looking to upgrade your existing bike? Here are the best e-bike conversion kits in 2022.
|E-bike kit||Why get it||About||Buying options|
|Bafang BBS02B||Best overall||This best-selling mid-drive kit offers an excellent combo of performance and value. Bafang has a U.S. office for after-sales support.|
|CYCMotor X1 Pro Gen 2||Best performance||The massive 5000-watt mid-drive motor on this kit provides serious power and speed. Not recommended for amateurs.|
|Swytch Universal eBike Conversion Kit||Best for commuters||Simple front hub kit featuring a sleek detachable power pack on the handlebars. It’s compatible with most bikes.||From $999; check on eBay and Swytch|
|eBikeling||Best budget kit||Affordable kit from a Chicago, IL-based company. Available in both front and rear hub motor options.||From $339; check on Amazon and eBikeling|
|Rubbee X||Easiest installation||All-in-one kit with a friction motor. It can be installed in minutes, and the whole kit can be removed and reattached almost instantly.||From $637; check on Two Wheels Empire and Rubbee|
While these kits are our favorites, there are several other reputable kit manufacturers worth considering as well, such as Golden Motors and Tongsheng.
Here are a few things to be aware of before you buy a kit:
E-bike conversion kits largely fall into two main categories: hub-motor kits and mid-drive kits.
Each kit type comes with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The right one for you will depend on your needs, your aptitude, patience for performing installation and maintenance, and of course your budget.
With hub motor kits, you attach a motor directly to the hub of one of the bicycle’s wheels.
Conversion kits with motors on the front wheel hub are more common. They are the easiest kit type to install thanks to the simpler setup of the front wheel.
On the other hand, rear-wheel conversion kits are harder to set up but offer better traction and handling.
Hub motors in conversion kits are usually gearless, or “direct drive.” The alternative, a geared hub motor, is less common and typically offers less power.
Hub motor kits usually come with a pedal assist system (PAS, or pedelec) based on a cadence sensor. Most hub motor systems also include a throttle system, which lets you operate the bike on electric power alone.
Hub motors are an older technology but remain the most popular option for both e-bikes and e-bike conversion kits.
Hub motor kits are convenient: they’re cheap, easy to install, and require minimal upkeep. They’re usually the best conversion kit if you have a road bike, are a commuter, or don’t plan on doing much off-roading.
Hub motor kits are relatively easy to install.
Mid-drive conversion kits are installed onto the bike’s drivetrain. The drivetrain is a system of pedals, cranks, and a chain that converts your pedaling into power for the rear wheel.
Mid-drive kits offer a big advantage over e-bikes bought off the shelf: the inclusion of throttle. Most mid-driver kits – even cheaper ones – will include throttles as standard, and if they don’t there will be an option to add it. Store-bought bicycles under $2,000, on the other hand, rarely come with throttles.
Mid-drive kits are a newer technology, and still less common than hub motor kits.
The mid-drive kits offer a greater range and superior all-around performance, but they are harder to install, harder to maintain, and more expensive. They are best for more serious cyclists who already have nice mountain bikes and want the best off-road experience.
The emergence of efficient lithium-ion batteries has created many new product categories. They’re used in e-bike kits, electric vehicles, and whole-home battery systems, among other products and appliances.
In addition to being emissions-free, battery-powered products are great because they can be charged with solar panels, a clean source of energy that is typically much cheaper than utility power. You can learn about using solar panels for your home by using the calculator below for a solar estimate.