Top 5 Electric Bike Conversion Kits
E-bike kit on bicycle.Looking for an electric bike kit requires serious thought and research on your part. There are a lot of great options out there, so it can be hard to figure out which one is the best for your bicycle and, even more importantly, for you. That’s why we set out to find the best e-bike kits around — so you can find the right upgrade for your ride. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 e-bike conversion kits of the year. Before we go into the specific kits, though, let’s delve a little deeper into what makes these e-bike conversion kits so great.

What Is an Electric Bike Kit?

Front wheel e-bike kit installed on a bicycle.An electric bike kit — also known as an e-bike kit or e-bike conversion kit — is essentially an electric hub motor that can transform a regular bicycle into an e-bike. Typically, an e-bike kit consists of three key components:
  1. Electric Wheel/Mid Drive Motor — This contains the motor that propels your bike forward.
  2. Battery — This is what stores the energy used by the motor to help you ride.
  3. Pedelec — This is what helps read the cadence of your pedals while you're pedaling, sending a signal to your motor to help assist your ride as much or as little as you prefer.
Of course, you also receive everything to make the kit run, as well. This includes the controller that regulates the energy going to all parts of your bike; throttle components; and accessories like a speedometer. The components in an e-bike conversion kit are the same ones you'll find on any electric bike out there, from the high end models to budget bikes. The difference, of course, is that instead of purchasing a complete e-bike, you get everything you need to make one yourself out of the bike of your choice.

Why Should You Install an E-Bike Kit on Your Bicycle ?

ModWheel mid-drive motor installation.So who, exactly, are electric bike conversion kits for? Well, anyone, actually! An e-bike kit is a great way to upgrade your current bicycle. Here are some of the reasons so many bike riders prefer e-bike kits:
  • Pedal Assistance While Riding — If you’re cruising around town or going for a daily bike ride, you may want to ease the intensity a bit. E-bike kits don't remove your ability to pedal, so if you want some assistance while riding, these kits are a great upgrade.
  • Climbing Hills — Steep hills can be a challenge for even seasoned bicyclists. As such, an electric bike kit is a great way to ease into tackling those inclines. These kits are especially great if you have a long trip with multiple hills to look forward to.
  • Commuting — Maybe you just need to get to work, school, or your local coffee shop. Installing an e-bike kit on your bicycle essentially turns it into a daily commuter. Plus, conversion wheels are eco-friendly, so you’re doing your part to help the environment.
  • Off-Roading — If you want to take your mountain bike to the next level, a high-powered e-bike conversion kit is a great way to turn your basic ride into an electric dirt bike. With the proper kit, you’ll be able to take on off-road terrain with plenty of power and control.
  • Customization — Who doesn't want a bike that's 100 percent their own? While e-bike styles may vary, there's no denying that the majority of them look similar. With an electric conversion kit, the sky's the limit! You can take your favorite bike, match the wheel sizes, install, and in less than an hour you have a fully-loaded e-bike you don't have to break in or get used it.
E-bike motor on bicycle with battery.Now, we'll admit that these conversion kits aren't for everyone out there. For example, if you're not mechanically inclined, mid-drive conversion kits like the ModWheel 48V 500W Mid Drive e-bike kit won't be the best option as they require you to swap out the cranks on your bike. If you're not up for the challenge of putting your own electric bike together, you may want to consider purchasing a preassembled electric bike. However, if you've got a moderate-to-good knowledge of changing the wheels on your bike and/or know how to change the cranks on your bicycle, there's no reason to not use a conversion kit (unless you want to spend lots of money on an e-bike).

Types of E-Bike Conversion Kits

ModWheel Mid-Drive E-Bike Kit on bike.As you've probably seen in your research, there are quite a few electric bike conversion kits out to choose from. Not just in terms of brands, but how they run. Here are some important aspects to pay attention to when shopping for an electric bike kit:
  • Hub Drive — This type of e-bike kit motor powers either the front or rear wheel of your bicycle. The motor is attached directly in the hub of the wheel.
    • Front Wheel vs. Rear Wheel — Front wheel e-bike conversion motors are great for acceleration and flat terrain. Meanwhile, rear wheel motors give you solid torque and better performance on off-road terrain and hills.
  • Mid Drive (aka Center Drive) — Aside from their lightweight design and discreet size, mid drive motors give your bike some great torque. This type of e-bike kit is great for climbing especially steep hills with ease.
  • Geared Hub — A geared hub consists of multiple rotating gears. These gears spin rapidly to power the motor while making the most of their energy consumption.
    • Geared motors are able to give you high levels of torque. On the flipside, though, top speeds aren't very high.
  • Brushless Hub — A brushless hub doesn't include gears but rather a stator and rotor. These components take your e-bike kit battery's energy and use it to power magnets that spin the wheel.
    • Brushless hub motors are capable of high speeds. They're also much quieter and longer-lasting than geared hubs. That said, while capable of decent distances, their range suffers in stop-and-go traffic situations.
Electric bike kit installed on bicycle.There are also a few helpful terms you'll see when shopping for your next electric bike conversion kit:
  • Wattage — This is the overall power output of a motor. The more watts a motor is capable of putting out, the more power (in speed and torque) the motor can handle.
  • Voltage — This is the the power it takes to run your motor. The voltage of a motor will let you know how much power it'll take to move you and your bike.
  • Amperage — This is a representation of the total amount of power that can be used with a given battery and motor setup. Think of this sort of like a fuel tank, in that the higher the amperage, the higher potential there is for more power.
Bicycle with e-bike kit.These three elements work together to give you an understanding of the power and potential of an e-bike kit. Let's break down the ModWheel 36v 250w 26 Inch Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit, for example:
  • This motor needs a 36 volt battery to power the 250w motor.
  • With a 36v battery, this motor will be capable of putting out 250 watts of power through its motor.
  • The compatible battery is made to power 36 volts at 11 amps.

The Top 5 E-Bike Conversion Kits of 2020

Now that you've familiarized yourself with the ins and outs of electric bike kits, all that’s left is finding the right e-bike kit to install on your bicycle. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about going through dozens of options because we’ve narrowed it down to the very best e-bike kits we could find. From speed to longevity to ease of installation, here are the top 5 electric bike kits of 2020 that are the best for you and your style of riding:

1. Editor’s Choice: ModWheel 36v 500w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

ModWheel 36v 500w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike KitThe ModWheel 36v 500w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit is one of the most well-rounded conversion kits available. This e-bike kit comes with a pedelec assist system and a 7-speed Pro Series cassette for better hill-climbing. It also has a minimum range of 21 miles, though that number greatly increases if you pedal along with the motor. In addition, if you’re converting your current 7-speed bicycle, you’ll be glad to know that this e-bike kit is fully compatible with your existing setup. That means all you need to do is install your e-bike conversion kit and you’re ready to ride. With a potential top speed of 17 MPH (more if you pedal), this ModWheel e-bike conversion kit is great for long and short commutes. So whether you’re riding to work, running errands, or just getting some fresh air, you can’t go wrong with this kit. E-Bike Kit Specs Wattage: 500w Top speed: 17 MPH (without pedal assist) Range: 21 miles (without pedal assist) Charge time: 5 hours

Our Price: $758.95 | Click Here to Buy This E-Bike Kit

2. Best for Off-Roading: ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive Front Wheel Electric Bike KitIf you’re the outdoorsy type, the ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit is the best choice for your off-roading and trail-riding needs. The powerful 1000w front wheel motor will ensure you’re riding through tough terrain and steep hills with ease and full control. This ModWheel e-bike conversion kit can hit speeds of up to 25 MPH unassisted. That’s a lot of power, and it can be increased significantly if you pedal while hitting the throttle. That means you’ll be able to get through the roughest terrain with virtually no problems. E-Bike Kit Specs Wattage: 1000w Top speed: 25 MPH (without pedal assist) Range: 14 miles (without pedal assist) Charge time: 5 hours

Our Price: $938.95 | Click Here to Buy This E-Bike Kit

3. Easiest Installation: ModWheel 48V 500W Direct Mid Drive Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

ModWheel 48V 500W Direct Mid-Drive Electric Bike KitMost e-bike conversion kits are pretty easy to install, but the ModWheel 48v 500w Direct Mid Drive Electric Bike Kit takes that ease of use to the next level. All you have to do is install the conversion kit directly where your bicycle frame pedal crank is and you’re ready to go. Thankfully, you’re not trading performance for convenience as this kit has quite a bit of power behind it. Available in both 500w and 350w versions, the mid drive e-bike conversion kit is great whether you’re traveling nearby or riding longer distances. In addition, due to its sophisticated design, this mid-drive electric bike kit is a solid option for off-roading and mountain biking. E-Bike Kit Specs Wattage: 500w, 350w Top speed: 15 MPH (without pedal assist) Range: 25 miles (without pedal assist) Charge time: 5 hours

Our Price: $918.95 | Click Here to Buy this E-Bike Kit; 36v 350w Version Also Available

4. Longest Range: ModWheel 36v 250w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

ModWheel 36v 250w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike KitThe ModWheel 36v 250w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit is for anyone who needs a simple yet efficient ride. You’ll get a range of about 28 miles, and that number increases exponentially when you pedal, making this an ideal e-bike kit for anyone who needs an easygoing ride. Unassisted, this conversion kit can reach speeds of 15 MPH, so while more laidback, it’s certainly no slouch. If you need an e-bike kit for that lengthy commute ahead of you, this 250w option is a solid choice. E-Bike Kit Specs Wattage: 250w Top speed: 15 MPH Range: 28 miles (without pedal assist) Charge time: 5 hours

Our Price: $ 678.95 | Click Here to Buy This E-Bike Kit

5. Best Value: ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike KitLooking for an e-bike conversion kit that’ll get you from point A to point B without breaking the bank? The ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit is the best value money can buy. Like other electric wheels, you’ll get plenty of performance and range from this e-bike conversion kit. Pedaling while engaging the throttle will ensure you get anywhere you need to go. But if you’d rather just cruise, you’ll easily get more than 17 miles of range. At under $500, that kind of performance is a great deal. E-Bike Kit Specs Wattage: 500w Top speed: 21 MPH (without pedal assist) Range: 17 miles (without pedal assist) Charge time: 5 hours

Our Price: $449.95 | Click Here to Buy This E-Bike Kit

Finding the Right E-Bike Kit for You

Person riding bicycle with e-bike kit. Photo: Electric Bike Action Magazine
You’ve done the research. You know why you should consider an electric bike kit. You’ve also narrowed down your choice to some of the best e-bike conversion kits on the market. From casual commuting and leisurely riding to off-roading and long-distance trips, you know what you’re looking for. With so many options and so many price ranges, there’s definitely a lot to think about. Hopefully, though, with the information in this article, as well as our five suggestions, you’re able to rest easy knowing that there’s an electric bike kit out there for you. Now all that’s left for you to do is choose the best e-bike kit for your needs and get riding! Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2018. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of November 2020.

6 comments

Rashad

Great Prices too

Roman

Yep, agreed love my ModWHEEL

Lisa N.

Very Helpful :)

Harvey Miller

It would be nice if you included kits for the 700c bicycle wheel.

Daniely

I have had the front wheel modwheel for about 5 months now and this baby rocks, they are a bit pricey but you get what you pay for :)

Larry

Your company bike berry is pure awesomeness

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