Electric bikes are the delight of lovers of cycling. It makes commuting easy and is very safe for the environment. However, getting an ebike may be expensive, especially if you want a robust and durable ebike. With the help of conversion kits, you can convert your regular bicycle to an ebike.
In recent times, there has been a rise in the demand for conversion kits. As a result, several manufacturers are fast saturating the conversion kits market. Thus, choosing what conversion kit fits you best is difficult, especially when working with a budget.
Choosing an excellent conversion kit on a budget could be tedious. However, we have compiled a list of the cheapest electric bike kit you could find out there. That way, it would be easier to know the pros and cons of each of these conversion kits. Before diving into that, let us consider the types of ebike conversion kits.
Essential Factors To Consider When Fitting Your Kit
Many conversion kits available might make it confusing to know what option to choose. This might be worse if you are a newbie because the specifications look the same. When selecting a conversion kit, you need to consider some essential factors. These factors are:
1. The Motor Type The Conversion Kit Uses
You cannot outrightly tag them as good or bad because they have varied advantages and disadvantages. The motor type that suits you best depends on the terrain you are riding on and the frequency of use of your ebike.
The front and rear hub motors are easier to fit and maintain than the Mid-drive motors. They do not strain the system of your ebike and would make it easier for you to get around faster. Front and rear hub motors function excellently for regular commutes and daily trips.
Due to the positioning of these motors, they don't give your bike much balance like the mid-drive motors. Also, choosing either of these systems would restrict the type of tires, rims and cassettes you can use for your bike.
On the other hand, Mid-drive motors are best used for off-road commuting. While they work well for regular terrains, the advantage of this motor type is best experienced in rugged landscapes. They are positioned in the midsection of your bike. Hence, giving your bike stability and balance. Additionally, using the mid-drive motor means using a wider range of tires, rims and ebike parts.
2. The Power Rating Of The Ebike Motor
How much ebike power you would need is dependent on the average length of trips you tend to make with your electric bike. You could liken the power rating of an ebike motor to the horsepower of a car. The power rating of the ebike is usually measured in watts and Newton meters of torque.
The higher the wattage of the ebike, the longer the motor can sustain the ebike without overheating. If you only commute short distances at low speeds, an average or minimal power rating will be perfect for your needs. However, heavy riders interested in speed should look out for ebike motors with high power ratings.
As a regular rider who is not so bothered about speed, a 250-watt ebike with 4o Nm is fine. If you are a heavy rider, you should aim for a higher power rating of about 750 watts. If you tend to ride quickly, coupling the 750 watts with a minimum of 80 Nm will cater well for your needs.
The battery of the electric bike kit is an essential factor you need to look out for. The effectiveness of your bike, speed and largest coverable distance depend significantly on the battery of your conversion kit.
Some cheap conversion ebike kits do not come with a battery. However, several options come with a battery. You need to take out time to choose a battery that would suit your commuting needs and the type of ebike motor your conversion kit uses.
More powerful ebike motors tend to drain the ebike battery faster. Given this, opting for a powerful conversion kit motor also implies the need to invest in a heavy capacity battery. While making this choice, you need to factor in the strength of your bicycle frame. Fitting a battery heavier than the ebike frame's strength could destroy the bike.
Even if you are not a technician, you could easily project your ebike battery's maximum duration. To estimate the maximum hours the bike will serve, multiply the amp hours of your battery by its voltage.
For example, if the battery has a voltage of 60 V and a 10 A controller, the multiplication of both figures gives you 600 Watt-hours. This implies that your battery can give you 600 watts continuously for one hour. If you move at 1200 Watts, your battery will last only 30 minutes.
4. The Sensor Type
There are two main types of sensors: the cadence sensor and the torque sensor. The torque sensors give a more natural feel than the cadence sensors. The power delivery by the torque sensor depends on the force of rotation applied to the crankset. Consequently, they do not deliver more power or less than is required per time. Due to this mode of operation, torque sensors could help to extend the battery life of your ebike.
Cadence sensors supply a proportional amount of power based on how fast the pedals move. The cadence sensor is located at the crankset, enabling it to detect the speed of the pedals. Based on the detected motion, it supplies assistance to the rider. Compared to torque sensors, cadence sensors are cheaper and easier to fix. However, its power delivery is often jerky, making the assistance supplied feel unnatural.
5. Compatibility Of The EBike Kit With Your Bicycle
Before purchasing an ebike kit, you should ensure it is compatible with your bicycle. For Mid-drive motors, ensure the kit is compatible with the cassette of your bicycle and its bottom bracket diameter. Also, watch out for the bicycle's frame to ensure that it can comfortably accommodate the weight of the motor.
If you opt for rear and front hub motors, make sure they are compatible with your bicycle's brakes. Additionally, the dropout of your bicycle should be wide enough to accommodate the motor perfectly.
Different states have different laws. Before fitting a cheap ebike kit into your bicycle, ensure the speed limit is acceptable by your state. Additionally, find out if you need a license to operate an ebike in your state. To be safe, it is best to check the legal regulations before purchasing and installing a kit.
Ultimate List Of Cheapest Electric Bike Conversion Kit
Searching for the cheapest electric bike conversion kit may be tough if you run on a budget. This holds when you are after quality and would want to get value for the amount you are paying. Here are some of the cheapest electric bike kits listed in no particular order.
1. AW 48v 1000w Front Wheel Ebike Conversion Kit With LCD
The AW 48V ebike conversion kit is one of the cheapest electric bike conversion kits for bikes meant for short trips. It houses a 48V 1000W brushless and gearless hub motor that helps the cycler run efficiently. The motor works best for bicycles, having a 26'' body frame and 3 5/16" front dropout spacing.
The motor works with a dual-mode controller and can function under the hall and non-hall effects. If a component breaks down when using the hall effect, the controller automatically switches to the non-hall effect. This switch helps conserve your ebike battery. Additionally, the motor keeps working when and after the switch is made.
AW 48V Ebike conversion kit comes with a pedal assist system that relieves the stress of twisting the throttle. The kit has brake levers that effectively cut off power and aid braking when riding. This guarantees the safety of the cycler.
The 48V ebike kit comes in a box containing a 26" Front Wheel with Brushless Hub Motor and a Twist Throttle. The box also contains a Dual Mode Motor Controller, 2 brake levers, 2 handle grips, a twist throttle and a controller bag.
The LCD meter, winding pipe, strip, cable tie fuse, manual, spoke key and battery connection cable are in the box. However, the kit does not come with a battery and tires. After buying the kit, you would need to purchase a compatible battery and tires.
2. Reasejoy 48v 1000w Rear Wheel Ebike Conversion Kit With LCD Display
This Reasejoy ebike kit is fitted with a powerful 48v 100 W brushless and gearless hub motor. The kit best suits bikes with a 66cm wheel diameter and 10cm front dropout spacing. The kit is well-suited for running and can achieve a 45 km/H speed.
The Reasejoy 48V ebike kit is fitted with a pedal assist system that enables you to ride comfortably without needing to use the throttle. While enjoying the ride’s comfort, it is essential to note that the Reasejoy 48V ebike works best for commuting and short trips.
Due to the presence of a dual mode controller in the kit, you can easily increase the battery life of your electric bike. The motor of the kit works under hall and non-hall effect. Consequently, when the components break down, the controller switches the motor to non-hall effect mode without stopping the motor.
The kit does not come with its own battery, so purchasing one alongside/after buying it is essential.
3. Ebikeling 48v 1200w 700c rear wheel electric bike kit
The features packed into the ebikeling 48v 1200w real wheel ebike kit make it essential to include it in this list. To ease the installation of the Ebikeling kit, its hub is usually attached to an aluminium double-walled rim. However, you would need to purchase and attach a tire to the rim because the kit does not come with tires.
With the pedal assist function, get the most out of your cycling adventure as the motor boosts you across your preferred terrains. With the kit's LCD, you are certain to stay updated with information about the battery percentage, speed and wattage. The LCD also displays the single total distance travelled per trip, pedal assist levels, and error codes that aid troubleshooting.
Each new ebikeling 48v ebike kit pack contains a Direct Drive Brushless Hub Motor and a Brushless Motor Controller. The package also includes the Pedal Assist Sensor, Freewheel, an LCD, a Twist or Thumb Throttle, and a tube liner.
To safeguard cyclers, the kit comes with two brake levers having safety switches. These brake levers are compatible with V-type and Disc brakes. When opting for the ebikeling 48 V kit, it is essential to note that it does not come with a battery or compatible chargers.
4. Kirbebike 36v 250w Rear Wheel Ebike Kit
When searching for the cheapest electric bike kit, the kirbebike 36v rear wheel ebike kit should hold a special seat on your list. This conversion kit uses a rear wheel drive that is easy to install without technical support. To make the assembly more straightforward, it comes with a ready spoked wheel which needs you to fit into your ebike.
Kirbebike 36v 250 w ebike kit comes with a stable, double-walled hollow chamber rim. It has a pedal assist sensor, a controller, and a waterproof connection cable rear wheel drive. The rear wheel also has a rear wheel drive harness for its controller. However, this harness function is not compatible with Bafang hydraulic brake sensors.
The box content of each Kirbebike 36V ebike kit is a 6/7 rear wheel drive and a 250 W 36V V-brake. The V-brake could sometimes be replaced by a disc with a 20 inches rim brushless motor. You would need to get the battery for the kit by yourself. Before choosing a battery, it is essential to crosscheck its compatibility with the kit.
5. Voilamart 36v 250w rear wheel electric bike kit
The Voilamart 36v 250w rear wheel electric bike kit is a powerful conversion kit for anyone on a budget. This cheap electric bike kit houses a brushless, gearless motor that can cover as high as 16-22 miles per hour. Its brake levers give cyclers a speed check by safely cutting off power when the maximum speed is reached.
Voilamart's throttle ensures you stay up to date with your battery level. It contains a battery level display and a power cut-off button. Hence, making it easier to maximize your battery by cutting off the power supply when it is not needed.
Each pack of the Voilamarrt 36v rear wheel ebike kit comes with a brushless gearless motor rear wheel. Additionally, the package contains an Intelligent Motor Controller, Pedal Assist Crank Sensor, Cable Ties and Plastic Coil. To ensure you have proper guidance while fitting your kit, the pack also comes with its user manual.
Other things you could find in the kit box include a controller bag, a pair of brake handles and a pair of handlebars having twist throttle. Unfortunately, the kit does not come with a battery.
6. BAFANG 48V 500W Front Hub Motor Electric Bike Conversion Kit
The Bafang front hub ebike conversion kit is a cheap electric bike kit that you can set up in the comfort of your home. It comes with an installation video and manual that could help you set up in an hour. This conversion kit affords you two driving models: the ebike and the pedal assisted model.
The bafang front hub conversion kit has a power rating of 500W. It has an impressive speed of about 38-40KMH, a torque of 470RPM and over 80% in efficiency. Additionally, the kit has all the accessories you would need for its operation. It comes fitted with its own front wheel and motor, the controller and a thumb throttle. Furthermore, the kit contains either a brake lever or a hydraulic brake sensor.
This ebike kit is compatible with a wide range of disc brakes and provides cyclers with comfort while riding. Due to the strength and efficiency of the Bafang ebike kit, it is best suited for touring, commuter, and mountain bikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the cheapest electric bike kit worth my money?
The fact that the kit is cheap does not make it non-functional or inferior. The price of a conversion kit is often the cumulation of several factors. These factors could include "brand name", motor power, functionalities and even the essentials that come with the kit.
Can I install the cheapest ebike conversion kit on my carbon fibre frames bike?
It is possible to fix a conversion kit o your carbon fibre bicycle. However, such a decision is not advisable. Carbon fibre frames were not designed to accommodate the extra weight, stress and strain of installing an ebike motor. Subjecting them to such pressure could be dangerous for the bike and put you at risk of an accident. It is best to only install conversion kits on bicycles with steel or alloy frame.
What tools do I need to fix the cheapest electric bike conversion kit?
To fit your ebike conversion kit, you would need the ebike conversion kit, a crank arm, and a bike tool. Additionally, you would need wrenches and a screwdriver.
Are Electric Bike Conversion Kits Difficult To Install?
The difficulty of installing the kit is dependent on factors like the kind of kit and your prowess with the installation tools. Converting your bicycle to an ebike may not be stressful if you are familiar with handling the required tools.
Should I get a conversion kit or buy a new ebike?
The answer to this question is not generic. Before making a choice, it is best to count the cost and weigh your options. A new electric bike would cost more than fitting a conversion kit in your current bike. Additionally, the functionalities of ebikes vary, and this affects their prices. Hence, the price of a standard ebike you love may exceed your budget.
Can I use Lead Acid batteries?
Yes, you can. Sealed lead acid batteries are cheaper than their Lithium counterparts. They are heavier as well, but they would power the kit effectively. The disadvantage of this choice is that lead acid batteries have a shorter lifespan than Lithium batteries. By implication, even though they appear cheaper, constant replacement costs more, making them more expensive than Lithium batteries.
Do the cheapest electric bike kits come with a battery?
Not always. Some of the cheapest electric bike kits do not come with a battery. However, some brands fit batteries into their conversion kits. If you are particular about having a battery in your conversion kit, ensure you buy from brands that sell their kits with a battery.
Are electric bike conversion kits legal?
Conversion kits are as legal as buying ebikes. The only legality question you would have to answer concerns the laws of where you live. Different states have their ebike rules and maximum limits. As a result, you should know the regulations guiding your state before you fit a conversion kit into your bike.
How can I install an electric bike conversion kit?
Unfortunately, there is no single way to fit an ebike conversion kit. Different brands and ebike kits have their specialized way of working them to the bicycle. There may be similarities in how they are fixed, but they are not usually the same. To make the fitting of the ebike kits easier, most conversion kits come with the user manual and installation videos.
You could enjoy the comfort of riding an electric bike even though you are on a budget. Sometimes, there is the misconception that cheap is synonymous with non-functional. However, this is not true for the conversion kits listed in this write-up. Even though it talks about the cheapest conversion electric bike kit, these kits are highly recommended.