Best Electric Bike Kits of 2021

It's time to take a look at the best electric bike kits of the year. We specialize in helping you motorize your bicycle, and while gas engines are great, electric bike kits come with a wealth of benefits, too. Which electric bike kit is the best, though? Well, that depends on what you're looking for.

We've put together a detailed list of the best electric bike kits of 2020. The list below highlights the best kits in terms of performance and features, and we've broken them down so that you're able to find the electric bike kit that's best for your needs.

Each ranking takes several factors into consideration, including: speed, performance, torque, reliability, and value. That's not all, though. We've also factored in customer feedback, expert product testing, and warranty claim rates. This has helped us to put together the most complete and informative list of electric bike kits for you.

Alright! Let's take a look at the best electric bike kits of 2020!

ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery - wheel with parts

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ModWheel 36v 350w Mid Drive Electric Bike Kit - Motor and Included Parts

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ModWheel 48V 500W Direct MId Drive Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery - motor with parts

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ModWheel 36v 250w 26 Inch Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery - wheel with parts

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ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery - wheel with parts

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ModWheel 36v 350w Mid Drive Electric Bike Kit - Motor and Included Parts

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ModWheel 48V 500W Direct MId Drive Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery - motor with parts

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#1 ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

Whether you're fighting the stop-and-go traffic of the city, hitting the trails for some exercise, or just taking a spin around the block, the ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit is made for nearly any commute or ride you can think of. With a 36v geared motor giving you 500w power, this kit is the safest, most energy-efficient option for any rider.

The 500w geared motor is made to give you some great range. Unlike direct drive motors, geared motors won’t need to create a charge every time you come from a stop like a direct drive does. That means you won’t waste energy starting from the many dead stops you face in the city, and that means longer rides.

Don’t let the motor size fool you. This 500w e-bike kit is capable of getting up to around 15 MPH by using the throttle alone (and up to 21 MPH if you pedal), which is plenty fast when zipping around a packed part of town. Alternatively, if you need some extra pull on rough terrain, you have 500 watts of power to get you through loose dirt without cause lots of slipping. It’s also fast enough to keep good control over your bike, which is what you’ll need out of a front wheel no matter what terrain you ride on.

#2 ModWheel 36v 250w 26 Inch Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

If you’re looking for an electric bike kit that will take you point A to points B, C, D, and even further, you’re going to want the ModWheel 36v 250w 26 Inch Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit. Whether you’re looking for an around-town commuter or something to take you on an extra-long ride, this 250w front wheel will take you where you want to go and back with ease.

The 250w front hub motor is strong enough to pull 250 lbs at a max speed of around 10 MPH (up to 15 MPH if you pedal) with a range of 25 to 35 miles. That may not seem like much, but considering that the average speed of a bike rider is around 5 MPH, that essentially doubles the range with throttling alone.

Whether you want to go pedal-less or you only want a little bit of throttle, this e-bike kit will give you the range to enjoy your rides as long as you want.

#3 ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

The ModWheel 48v 1000w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit packs a lot of power inside of a wheel that’s perfect for mountain bikes and trail riding. With a 48v direct drive motor that gives you 1000 watts of power, this bike can hit speeds over 25 MPH on and off the road while giving you full control over your bike unlike front wheels of the same size.

This motor’s made for off-roading for two reasons. The first is the 7-Speed Shimano cassette that’s compatible with multi-speed derailers you find on mountain bikes. The second is its adaptive pedal assist system, capable of switching between modes to accomodate any style and amount of riding you want to do. Set the motor to full throttle and eliminate pedaling, or set it to any other mode to give you more of a workout on tough terrain.

This kit can have you riding on dirt, sand, and gravel just the way you like it.

#4 ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

Got lots of cargo to carry? With a load carrying capacity of at least 300 lbs, the ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit is just what you need for doing a little light towing.

While its 48v 1000w direct drive motor is capable of reaching up to 28 MPH, the key to this motor is its torque. Normally that would be too much for simple commuting, but this front wheel with 1000 watts of power is just what you need for pulling trailers, building electric tricycles, and even carrying more than one rider without hindering performance.

Though the load capacity is rated at 300 lbs, with assistance from pedaling you can actually carry more. Pedaling will help take some of the work off your motor, helping you both maintain a good speed and carrying over 350 lbs with ease.

#5 ModWheel 36v 250w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery

We could all use a little more exercise in our lives, but sometimes an old injury or a lack of motion limits your ability to even ride a bike. That’s where the ModWheel 36v 250w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit comes in handy. With a 36v geared drive motor giving you 250 watts of power, this e-bike kit will give you enough assistance to get you where you want to go and back without leaving you huffing and puffing when you come home.

While this motor is only capable of going up to around 15 MPH (factoring in pedal assist), it’s all the power you need to get you moving into a good pedaling rhythm. Once you’re riding, the pedelec will give you little bits of energy to keep pedaling easy for you. When things get too difficult, just hit the throttle and do the bare minimum to get back home.

This e-bike kit comes equipped with a 7-speed cassette that can fit nearly any 26” mountain bike or cruiser. So when you want to get your heart rate up without feeling like it’s going to explode, take a nice long ride on this kit and get back into the swing of working out.


ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery


"This kit may be the best you can get."

"I put this kit on my Electra Cruiser. I just went on a 13-mile trip without depleting the battery. Everything advertised is true. 21 MPH, 17-mile range under best conditions, and 5-hour charge time. This kit may be the best you can get. I don't notice any loss of power when the battery gets low. I'm satisfied and I am recommending this to anyone who is interested." - Review by Bruce Williams

ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery


"Impressed with the quality of this kit."

"After assembly was complete, it was time for a test run. The run was very impressive. I live in a very hilly area. I found it can take the hills with no problem at all. I will not have to walk my bike to get to the top ever again. I can now go places I could not before. The hills are no longer a problem for me now. It is money well spent." - Review by Bill Campbell

ModWheel 36v 250w 26 Inch Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit + Optional Battery


"High quality."

"You cannot beat the price on this because it includes the battery and everything else. The parts are very high quality and i have not run into any issues. I bought one for my wife and I, and we ride these along the beach lines." - Review by Kenny Wilson


Q: What is an electric bike kit?

A: An electric bike kit — also referred to as an e-bike kit or electric bike conversion kit — consists of a wheel with an electric motor. This motor works in tandem with a controller and battery and essentially turns a standard bicycle into an e-bike. Using the throttle controls, you can provide power to your electric wheel, which allows for ease of use when riding your bike.

Q: Which electric bike kit is the best?

A: That's a great question! And the answer is: It depends. Electric bike kits vary in terms of wattage, voltage, and amperage. The best electric bike kit is the one that best suits your needs. For example, if you're looking to turn your bicycle into a daily commuter, the ModWheel 36v 500w Geared Front Wheel Electric Bike Kit would be the best choice for you. If you're a racer or like going off road, a 48v 1000w e-bike is a more suitable option.

Q: Is it difficult to install an electric bike kit on my bicycle?

A: Installing an e-bike kit is a breeze! You'll simply install the electric wheel and wire the necessary cables, and you're good to go. For reference, check out our electric bike kit installation video here.

Q: What kind of bike do I need to use for one of these wheels?

A: When it comes to putting an electric bike kit onto your favorite bicycle, all you have to do is make sure the wheel that comes with your kit is the same size as your bicycle’s current wheels. For example, if you have a 26” beach cruiser, you’ll want to look for a 26” electric bike kit, not a 24” or 20” kit.

You’ll also want to take into consideration how big the motor is and how it affects the components on your bike. For instance, 250w motors are small so they don’t look any wider than a regular bike hub. A 1000w motor, on the other hand, has a larger motor and may stick out a little more than your current wheels, which may put a little stress on your forks when mounted.

An important thing to remember when you’re looking for your kit is checking out the size of the wheel that comes with it. Make sure it’s the same size as your wheels and that they’ll fit inside of the frame and forks of your bike.

Q: How long do e-bike conversion kits last?

A: The longevity and life of an electric bike kit all depends on how much riding you do and how the components are constructed. While controllers last indefinitely, components like the motor and the battery have shelf lives, so it’s important to keep an eye on these while you use them.

The average life of any given motor coming out of the factory is anywhere between 3,000-10,000 miles. Once that motor hits the road, though, that life can go down depending on how hard the motor needs to work. For example, if you’re carrying lots of weight or riding on rough terrain, your motor will wear out sooner than riders who carry much less weight and ride on smooth, even surfaces because it has to work harder to do so.

There’s also the matter of the motor’s construction. Remember: A direct drive motor tends to outlast a geared motor because of its construction and how it generates energy for your ride. Couple that with the rides you go on, and that motor’s lifespan goes down.

Then you have the battery. This one’s a little easier to pinpoint because most — if not all — quality batteries will let you know how many charges you can expect out of a battery. For example, the ModWheel 48V 11.6AH Li-ion E-Bike Battery is rated at over 800 charges.

Over the life of a battery their charges won’t last as long. That depends on how much you’re riding, as well as how you charge your battery. For example, if you’re commuting 10-20 miles everyday, your battery will require more charging than someone who takes their bike out a couple of times a week for 4-5 mile rides. Or if you charge your batteries when they die versus charging them before they get too low — without completely draining a battery before recharge, you’ll disproportionately charge each cell, affecting overall performance and the longevity of your battery.

Q: Can I use an e-bike kit in the rain?

A: Now this is a tricky one, because while you can use an electric bike kit in the rain, the real question is: should you? Here’s why we don’t think it’s a great idea to do so:

Unlike e-bikes, an electric bike kit leaves wires and your controller exposed to the elements. We all know that water + electronics = a dead motor, and unfortunately the controller and all of the wiring of an e-bike kit are exposed. That means whether you start out in the rain or get caught in a downpour, if those wires get wet, your controller’s going to short. When that happens, the kit becomes useless.

Now, you do have the option of protecting your wiring and controller. Most electric bike kits come with a controller cover or bag to help avoid water hitting your controller on your rides. You can also wrap your wires with cable housing to avoid direct contact with moisture to further protect your kit from shorting out on you. This is a good measure to take just in case you think you’ll experience rain on your rides.

Keep in mind that while the motor and battery are sealed, excessive water on either of these components can eventually lead to damage. For instance, leaving a motor in a flooded area can cause leaks if the motor’s submerged for a long time. A battery left in the rain could also experience water damage if it’s left for too long and never cleaned.

So can you use an electric bike kit in the rain? With the right precautions, you absolutely can. Should you ride your bike in the rain? If your area is prone to flooding or you have to ride for long distances in the rain, we don’t recommend it. Otherwise, make sure your wiring, controller, battery, and motor are well protected and you’ll be good to go.

Q: Should I use a front wheel kit or a rear wheel kit for my bike?

A: Choosing between a front and rear wheel electric bike kit will make a huge difference in installation and use. The easy answer is: It really all depends on what sort of riding you do and how much work you want to put into it — but the easy answer is never really a complete answer, is it?

Let’s break down a few of the key advantages and disadvantages of each to see what’s best for you and your lifestyle:

Front Wheels

  • Safe speed and acceleration in the 250w-500w range (up to about 15 MPH).

  • Simple to install — just slip the wheel into your front forks and bolt down.

  • Ideal for flat land and dry surfaces like streets, paved roads, and asphalt.

  • Tricky to handle 750w-1000w front wheels due to their power, especially on loose or wet terrain. This will cause the wheel to slip and lose traction at high speeds.

Rear Wheels

  • Big boost of speed and torque in the 750w-1000w range (around 25-28 MPH) while providing optimum balance and control over your electric motorized bike.

  • Minimal experience to install — replace your rear wheel, lace the chain around the cassette of the electric bike kit wheel, and you’re ready to ride.

  • Ideal for any terrain, but great in hilly areas and loose terrain like dirt trails, sand, and snow.

  • Lower wattage kits (250w-500w) can bog down under lots of weight, which puts stress on low-powered rear e-bike kit wheels. Lower wattages are more for assistance rather than eliminating pedaling.

Q: Can I pedal when I use an e-bike kit?

A: You absolutely can! Electric bike kits were made to assist you while you ride your bike, giving you the choice of how you want to pedal: a lot, a little, or not at all. That’s to say that you can choose to either not use your motor and pedal like normal, use a pedal assist system (PAS) like a pedelec to assist pedaling your bike, or use a throttle and not have to pedal your bike at all.

The great thing about e-bike kits is that whether you run out of energy from your battery or you just want to ride your bike assist-free, the ability to pedal your bike is still there. That said, there are two factors that may make pedaling a little harder with an electric bike kit: the extra weight and the motor composition. Thankfully, it’s not much of a hindrance, but it’s something to be aware of.

The weight of your motor and battery, along with the makeup of the motor, will add a little resistance to your ride. While 250w-500w motors are around the same size of your bike hub, 750w-1000w motors are larger and a little heavier. Geared hubs are light due to their minimal construction, but direct drive motors run on a series of magnets and copper wires — this adds more weight than plastic gears.

Now, despite their ability to move, geared and direct drive motors give you some resistance when you’re pedaling your bike. The composition of a geared drive allows you to pedal with minimal resistance due to the gears and stationary motor. The way a direct drive is built results in a little more resistance because of the the magnets and wiring it takes to power the motor when it’s in use. It’s nothing too strenuous, but it’s enough to make your ride tougher without the use of your motor.

Q: How do I know which battery to get?

A: Finding the right battery for an electric bike kit is a lot easier than most people think. Some kits come with a battery, but even in those cases it’s good to know what to look for when choosing a battery.

To find the right battery for your needs, there are two things you’ll want to think about: compatibility and range. To make sure a battery is compatible with an e-bike kit’s motor, you’ll want to match or exceed its voltage. For example, if you have a 48v 1000w motor, you’ll want either a 48v or a 52v battery (note: a 52v will unlock the full potential of a 48v motor and even get better range than a 48v battery). You won’t want to go down in voltage — for example, using a 36v battery with a 48v motor — because you won’t get enough power to operate the motor.

The range of your battery is decided by the amperage, so choosing the right amperage is the difference between a long ride and a short one. If you want more range, you’ll want to go with a battery that has high amperage. Lower amperage batteries are cheaper, so it makes sense that most electric bike kits use them. However, with lower amps you get less distance, especially if you include riding on rough terrain or up hills and inclines. For example, a 36v 14ah battery is going to give you more mileage than 36v 10ah or 11ah battery — even more if you pedal with minimal throttling.

So to recap: When you look for a battery, first make sure it’s the same voltage as your motor, or at least within 4-5 volts. After that, make sure you choose an amperage that fits your needs and your wallet. For maximum range and power, go with the highest amperage available in that wattage. For simple pedal assistance and an economical choice, a lower amperage battery is the right option.

Q: Do these electric bike kits come with a warranty?

A: Our complete electric bike kits are backed by a 6-month parts-replacement warranty. In addition, we offer lifetime technical support, so if you need any help with troubleshooting or installation, we'll be glad to assist you over the phone at 800-317-0479 or via email at

Q: Where can I buy an electric bike conversion kit?

A: features a wide selection of e-bike conversion kits. With over 12 years of business and experience in motorized bikes, BikeBerry prides itself on being your number 1 go-to for all of your electric bike kit needs.


When you look for an electric bike kit online, you’re bombarded by hundreds — if not thousands — of options in seconds: front wheel, rear wheel, geared drive, direct drive, a whole host of wattages to choose from. It all becomes overwhelming — so overwhelming that you may give up your e-bike kit dreams altogether.

That’s why we wrote this guide on how to find the right electric bike kit just for you.

We know how intimidating it can be deciding what sort of e-bike kit is best for you and your bike, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide we will explain the ins and outs of e-bike kits to help you decide on the kit that's tailored to your needs.

Electric Bike Kits 101

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of an electric bike kit, we think it’s important to take a step back and answer a few key questions to figure out if electric bike kits are right for you.

First off, what’s an electric bike kit?

By definition, an electric bike kit is a kit of components that allow you to change the propulsion system of a bicycle from pedaling to a motor-assisted propulsion system. Sound a little too wordy?

Well, all it means is that an e-bike kit has parts — like a wheel, battery, and throttle — that you can put on your bike to take it from a bike you need to pedal to a bike that moves without you pedaling — or at least not pedaling as much.

Why would you want to use an electric bike kit instead of just pedaling?

There are four key reasons why e-bike kits are worth the time, effort, and cost to install on your favorite bike.

  1. Pedal Assistance — Whether your knees don’t work like they used to, you’re on a ride that’s a little more than you could normally handle, or you just want to take it easy when you ride your bike, electric bike kits are meant to make riding your bike much easier, which they do in two ways:
  • Some kits offer a throttle system that will move your bike on its own by twisting a throttle grip or pressing a throttle button.
  • Some kits also offer a pedal assist system like a pedelec that will read the rhythm and pressure of your pedaling and match your power to make pedaling much easier — more on pedelecs in a minute.
  • Transportation — An electric bike conversion kit will turn your beach cruiser, mountain bike, roadie, BMX, or any other kind of bike into an electric vehicle. That means you can rely on a bicycle fitted with an e-bike kit to be your daily ride for getting to work, school, or the grocery store instead of using expensive cabs, buses, or bumming rides off people.
  • Exercise — Contrary to what some say, there are plenty of health benefits to riding e-bikes. Riding your bike — even when assisted by an electric motor — gets your heart rate up, opens up your lungs, and helps your cardiovascular system. You also don’t have to be intimidated going up hills or traveling long distances, which can give you more pleasure than riding a regular bike.
  • Riding Terrain You Couldn’t Before — Regular bikes are way too hard — if not impossible — to ride when terrain isn’t ideal for pedaling. Electric bike kits are perfect for off-roading, hill-climbing, and hitting intense trails with lots of rocks, mud, loose dirt/sand, and even snow. You won’t tire yourself out pedaling through tough terrain on your rides, making them much more ideal to use than a regular bike or even a dirt bike.
  • How do you install an electric bike kit onto your bike?

    Installing an electric bike kit onto your favorite bike is pretty simple. It’s a six-step process that doesn’t involve more tools that two adjustable wrenches, a crank puller, zip ties, and a screwdriver.

    1. Remove your front or rear wheel and replace it with the wheel that comes in the kit.
    2. Mount the electric wheel into your stock wheel’s place and fasten it down.
    3. Mount the throttle assembly to your handle bars.
    4. Mount the controller and battery safely onto your bike.
    5. Optional: Remove your bike’s cranks and install the pedelec if your kit came with one.
    6. Wire all the color-coded wires into each other and zip tie the loose wires to your frame.

    See? That’s not so hard, right? If you’ve got a few tools, a bike, and a little time, you’re already 50 percent of the way to your dream bike. All you have to do now is look for the right e-bike kit. To find the right one for you, though, you’ll need to know what to look for. That all starts with understanding what comes in a kit and how it works.

    Getting to Know Your E-Bike Kit

    There’s a lot of technical jargon out there when you’re looking at e-bike kits: watts, volts, ohms, wheels sizes, tire sizes — the list goes on. The bad news is that you’ll need to pay attention to a lot of that technical jargon when you’re shopping for a kit. The good news is we’ve broken down every aspect of an e-bike kit that you need to know so you can find exactly what you need.

    Let’s get started by breaking down the physical components of these kits.

    E-Bike Kit Construction

    The first things you’re going to notice when you’re looking for an e-bike kit are its parts. Once you understand what all of those parts are, choosing an electric bike kit will be a breeze.

    Let’s start by looking into the motor, the controller, the throttle and pedal assist, and the battery.

    Motor — The motor is the main component that moves your bike, and it’s mounted directly inside of a kit’s wheel. This component is powered by a battery via the throttle and will propel the bike when the throttle is engaged. Without a motor, you’ve just got a regular bike wheel.

    You’ll notice that e-bike kits are rated by their wattage and voltage, which refers to the size of the motor. However, motor size isn’t the only aspect you’ll be taking into consideration. There’s also the matter of choosing a front or rear wheel, and choosing between a geared or direct drive motor. More on that later.

    Controller — The controller acts like the brains of the e-bike kit. It takes the power provided by the battery and pushes it through to the motor. Without a controller, there’s no way for your battery to get its energy to your motor when the throttle is engaged. Then you’re stuck pedalling.

    The controller is also vital for add-on components. For example, most kits include an LCD speedometer that’s powered by your battery, which receives its power via the controller. Secondary pedelec systems also get their energy through the controller. So without a controller, nothing — from the motor to speedometers and everything in between — will function.

    Throttle/Pedal Assist — Just like a motorcycle throttle sends fuel to an engine, a throttle or pedal assist sends your energy to your motor when it’s engaged. This can be done in one of two ways.

    1. Twist/Thumb Throttles — These are made to eliminate pedaling altogether by twisting a throttle grip or pressing a throttle button. These let the motor do all the work of moving your bike.
    2. Pedelec Systems — These are made to assist pedaling. As you pedal, the pedelec reads your pedaling cadence and tells the battery to release a small amount of energy to your motor. This lets you pedal your bike with much less resistance than you normally would.

    Battery — The battery provides the power that’s sent to the wheel by the controller and throttle. Electronics of any kind need a source of energy, and for e-bike kits that energy comes from its battery. E-bike kit batteries are mostly lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are made of lots of small, rechargeable lithium batteries sort of like the ones in toys and portable electronics. They’re strung together and work in connection to each other to give your motor the energy it needs to move.

    Let’s Get Technical

    Now that you have an idea of the parts in a kit, it’s time to start getting into the technical specs of electric bike kits. Choosing the right one depends on a kit’s power, the wheel size and placement, and the composition of the motor.

    It can be a bit tricky to understand, so we’re here to clear up that confusion. Let’s start by looking at how power is expressed in an e-bike kit.

    Power (Wattage, Voltage, and Amperage)

    When trying to choose an e-bike kit that's right for you, start by looking into the power the kit offers. Power is expressed in three ways: wattage, voltage, and amperage. These elements work together to give an e-bike kit its power and utility, so let’s unpack these terms and see what they mean for your kit’s performance:

    • Voltage This is the measurement of the overall strength (or force) that’s used to push your e-bike kit’s wheel. This will affect the speed and acceleration of your e-bike kit.
    • Amperage This refers to a battery’s capacity for stored energy. Amperage will affect the range of an electric bike kit on a full charge.
      • An electric bike kit’s range in relation to a single charge is measured in amp hours (Ah). It’s not the only factor in terms of range, though. We’ll talk about what else affects range in a second.
    • Wattage Wattage is a measurement of the power an electric bike kit is capable of producing. This is found by from combining voltage (force) and amperage (capacity).
      • A kit’s capacity in relation to the usable amount of power and energy is measured in watt hours (Wh).
      • Peak wattage is the wattage that’s reached when an e-bike kit is going full throttle, climbing steep hills, carrying a lot of weight, or any combination of the three.

    All of these elements come together to give you an idea of how fast an electric bike kit can go and how far it can travel on a single charge. Here’s a quick example using the ModWheel 48v 1000w Geared 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit:

    • The first thing we see is “48v” which means it will be able to produce 48 volts worth of force to move your wheel, which is a lot. That much voltage is going to be capable of some pretty good speed.
    • The second thing you see is “1000w” which means it will be able to give you 1000 watts of overall power. With a high capacity for force, 1000 watts of power are going to give you good torque and speed. This motor will be capable of both high speeds and heavy loads.
    • The amperage refers to the battery, and though it’s not available in the title, most retailers will pair a kit with an appropriate battery. If you have to find your own battery, though, the key here is to find a battery with the same voltage as your wheel.
      • In this case, you’ll want to look for a 48v battery.
      • With your voltage in mind, you can choose from the amperages available. Remember: The higher the amperage, the more range you’re capable of. For example, a 48v 14ah battery will have more range than a 48v 11.6ah battery.

    Motor Sizing

    We should note that there are four main sizes of motors out there you can choose from: 250w, 500w, 750w, and 1000w. Picking the right motor size all depends on how much power you need, the ideal speed you want to ride at, and the terrain you’re riding on.

    • Lower wattages (250w and 500w) aren’t very powerful, but they’ve got great range.
      • These motors have top speeds in the 10-20 MPH range, with 250w motors topping out around 15 MPH and 500w motors topping out around 20 MPH.
      • They offer an average range of 15-22 miles per charge*.
      • These e-bike kits are perfect for people who want a slight boost of power when they’re exercising, as well as those living in flat areas who don’t need lots of power to get around.
    • Higher wattages (750w and 1000w) are very powerful, but they tend to have a limited range.
      • These motors have top speeds of up to 25-30 MPH, with 750w motors topping out around 23-25 MPH and 1000w motors topping out around 28-30 MPH.
      • They offer a range of around 15-22 miles per charge*.
      • These are great e-bike kits for hilly areas, rough terrain, and riders who want a kit that eliminates pedaling altogether.

    *Note: The advertized range of an electric bike kit is based on mathematical calculations which are mostly correct. However, that range doesn’t take into account factors like pedal assist levels, how much weight you carry on your rides, and the terrain you’re riding through. We’ll be going over variables in determining range shortly.

    Wheel Size and Placement

    Once you know the power you want out of your bike, the next important consideration is knowing the size of your wheel and whether your electric wheel will be mounted in the front or in the back of your bike.

    The size of your wheel will let you know if it is compatible with your bicycle and its components. Wheel placement will tell you the potential speed, torque, and overall ability to ride how you’d like. Both are vital to understanding what sort of wheel you need to go with, and both offer various sets of strengths and considerations.

    • Wheel Size — Wheel size is about compatibility with your bike. Before thinking about the power you’ll need, you’ll want to make sure there’s a wheel made for your bike.
      • The most common sizes of e-bike kit wheels are going to be 24" & 26" — the size of most adult beach cruisers and mountain bikes.
      • There are also uncommon sizes like 20” wheels for BMX bikes, 29” wheels for tall bikes, 700c wheels for road bikes, and fat tire electric bike kit wheels designed for fat tire bikes.
    • Wheel Placement — Front and rear wheel placement is important when you’re building your own electric bike. From acceleration to torque to overall control, most — if not all — e-bike kits come in front and rear wheels that offer their own benefits.
      • Front Wheels — A front wheel e-bike kit gives you great acceleration, which is perfect for riders on dry, flat surfaces. Especially useful in the lower wattage range (250w-500w), front wheels are great for long rides that need just a little assistance to get you where you want to go.
        • There’s lack of weight on your bike’s front end, so wet surfaces and loose terrain can cause slipping while engaging a front electric wheel’s motor.
        • High-powered front wheel motors (750w-1000w) can be hard to control because of their high acceleration and torque.
      • Rear Wheels — A rear wheel electric bike kit works great for riders who want more torque out of an e-bike kit. They’re great for hills and rough or loose terrain, and they offer more control over your bike than front wheels. These are especially useful in the 750w-1000w range to eliminate pedaling and for turning your bike into an electric vehicle.
        • Lower wattage rear wheels (250w-500w) may not be strong enough to move your bike on its own. Lower powered rear wheels are made for those who want to assisted pedaling instead of eliminating pedaling altogether.
        • Rear wheels require a little bit of bike knowledge to install — like how to install a chain, and how to install a cassette onto a derailleur.

    Motor Composition

    One important feature that’s overlooked when searching for the right electric bike kit for your needs is how the motor is built. While it may be a little intimidating to think about, this is an important aspect of a motor that will let you know a kit’s power capability and how long it will last.

    To begin, there are two main types of motors: direct drive and geared. Each is made in a different way and offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. While we go more in-depth in our Electric Bike Motor Guide, here are some important facts about direct drive and geared motors that make all the difference in an electric bike kit.

    Direct Drive Motors These motors are made up of a stator and a rotor. When these motors get energy from your battery, the stator will create an electromagnetic field. This energy reacts with magnets around the rim to rotate the wheel.

    • Advantages: Direct drive motors are capable of high speeds because of their ability to continually build speed. They’re also very quiet during operation, giving them a stealthier and more ear-friendly option than other motors.
    • Disadvantages: Because of magnets and copper, these tend to be heavy motors which will limit their range. Each start requires a surge of energy from the motor, which make these motors drain lots of energy in stop-and-go traffic.

    Geared Motors These motors are made of a series of rotating gears. When you throttle, energy makes those gears in the motor rotate the wheel and move you forward. These motors are a lot smaller than direct drive motors and produce a little more torque, too.

    • Advantages: Geared motors rotate faster than direct drive motors, which maximizes their energy consumption. This helps the motor work less while still giving you great torque.
    • Disadvantages: While these can accelerate and pull quickly, they can’t continuously build speed like direct drive motors, so they’re a little slower. Moreover, because of their small construction, geared motors don’t last as long as their direct drive counterparts.

    A Note on Range

    The fact is that range is relative. E-bike kits and batteries are advertised with an estimated range based on the wattage of the motor and the amperage of the battery. However, this range doesn’t take into account real-world factors like pedal assistance, or what sort of commute you encounter.

    Unfortunately there’s no definitive way to say “with (x-wattage) electric bike kit you’re going to get (y-mile) range”. However, if you consider how much work you want your motor to do, you’ll be able to get an idea of how far your can ride. For us this comes down to a few different factors.

    Throttle vs. No Throttle

    The range of an e-bike kit depends largely on whether you’re going to be solely using your throttle, or if you want to pedal with the bike. The advertised range of most electric bike kits is usually an idea of the range when you only use the throttle. However, if you don’t use the throttle as much, you’ll actually get more range.

    Limiting your throttle usage and extending your range can be done in two simple ways:

    1. Pedal your bike as often as possible. It may sound like a no-brainer, but if you use your throttle sparingly, you’ll be able to ride farther without draining your battery of lots of energy. It’s not just a great form of exercise, you’ll be able to start, continue, or finish your rides with plenty of battery life just in case you need it.
    2. Use your throttle sparingly and make sure you’re moving when you do. Engaging your throttle in lots of short bursts will drain the battery faster than giving your motor fewer, longer engagements that help you reach the same speed. Also, when you’re giving your bike throttle make sure you’re already moving. It takes more energy to move a rider at a dead stop than while they’re in motion.

    Speed Limit

    The slower the speed you operate an electric bike kit’s throttle, the more miles you get. Unlike cars that use more gas driving slower than when they drive quickly (i.e., city MPG vs. highway MPG), electric bike kits aren’t as heavy to move or as intensive to run. In this case, operating e-bike kits at low speeds actually helps extend range.

    To illustrate the point, here’s how you can calculate the estimated range of an e-bike kit with a simple formula:

    Voltage x Amp Hours ÷ MPH = Estimated Range.

    Let’s use the ModWheel 48V 11.6AH Li-ion E-Bike Battery as an example. First you’ll want to pick the speed you want to go with — let’s use 10 MPH and 20 MPH. Then plug the numbers into the equation:

    48v x 11.6aH ÷ 10 MPH = 55.68 miles

    48v x 11.6aH ÷ 20 MPH = 27.84 miles

    In this case, you can see that throttling a bike at 10 MPH instead of 20 MPH actually increases range by 50 percent. While this is an estimate, you’ll find on average these estimates give you a good snapshot of the range you can expect out of a motor.


    From you to your cargo to your bike frame and physical size of the motor, the total weight your electric bike kit is asked to move will play a big factor in its range. The size of your motor will let you know how much weight it can move without too much hindrance.

    Along with an estimated range, you’ll usually see an average load limit, which is typically around 300 lbs. This range is partially dependent on the load limit, and any change in that weight will either help or hinder the speed limit.

    Now, that 300 lbs isn’t just the rider — it’s the total weight you’re carrying. You also need to factor in everything you’re carrying or pulling on your bike, any accessories you have on it, and the frame and motor themselves.

    • If all of those factors together weigh less than 300 lbs, you’ll likely see a boost in range outside of the estimated range because your motor won’t have to work so hard to move you at peak speed.
    • If those factors together weigh more than 300 lbs, you’ll see a decrease in range from the estimated range due to your motor having to work harder to reach peak speed (if possible).

    Riding Conditions

    When your motor has to work harder, it’s going to drain faster. This is obvious by now, but most people tend to overlook how the conditions they put their bike through can make their motor work harder.

    Less obstacles mean more range, and more obstacles mean less range. Two major rider obstacles are inclines and riding surfaces. You’re going to get more range riding on a flat street than you will going up inclines and hills. You also get more mileage riding on hard, solid concrete or cement than soft, loose gravel and dirt trails. Keep in mind that pedaling and/or using less throttle will help increase range when you face these obstacles.

    Motor Type

    The type of motor you’re running will also factor into your overall range.

    It’s worth reminding you that a direct drive motor needs to create a magnetic field inside of itself to run. Moreover, every time you hit the throttle, it needs to create that magnetic field all over again. All of that takes a lot of energy to do, especially if you ride to top speed.

    Compare that to geared motors that only require energy to move a rotor, which then runs the attached gears. Though they may not be able to get the top speed that direct drives do, they take significantly less energy to operate, which gives them better range.

    Now You're Ready to Ride

    Whew! That was a lot of information, wasn’t it? Thankfully, the hard part’s over, because now you have all the tools you need to find the best electric bike kit for your needs!