Buying Guides

Which conversion kit to transform your bike into an electric bike ?

How to build an electric bike for a few hundred euros in less than 2 hours? The answer : thanks to a new generation electric bike kit. All that for less than €800 (more than $880)!

To give you an idea, an already assembled electric bike with the same features costs about €2000 (around $2200) but if you’re willing to spend 2 hours, then I’ll explain how to make real savings.

Transform your traditional bike into an electric bike

I’m not a handyman at all but some of the new kits are so easy to assemble that anyone can transform their bike into an electric bike by following a tutorial. My bike is not very modern but that was not a problem for the installation because nowadays electric motor kits adapt to ALL the bikes.

In fact, everyone thinks that the big difficulty is in the assembly, but with my experience, I can tell you that it is a mistake. What is really complicated is to find the RIGHT kit. There are dozens of electric bike kits for sale on the Internet and 95% of them are either GADGETS or way too HEAVY.

When I chose mine (which I will introduce to you below), I spent days studying all the kits. I even went to an electric bike show in Brussels to test a maximum of different motors. You will find here all my advices to choose your electric bike kit safely.

The best electric bike conversion kits

Our favorite
Bafang BBS02 (750W)
$491,99

Tested and approved for 3 years. It's the best value for money. 1-year warranty. Very light weight (around 9 lbs). Can be assembled in under 2 hours.

Price: $$ | Speed: 31 mps | Battery: Optional

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Latest Bafang kit
Bafang M625 (500W)

Bafang's latest model. Similar performance but a slightly smaller design than the previous ones and a higher price.

Price : $$$ | Speed : 37 mph | Battery : Optional

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Bafang BBSHD (1000W)

Tested and approved. A very powerful and robust motor, 2-year warranty. Quick assembly (2h). Ideal for mountain roads and mountain biking.

Price: $$$ | Speed: 37 mph | Battery: Optional

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Bafang BBS03 HD (1000W)

1-year warranty, easy to install (video & documentation), 1000W, for 68-73mm bottom bracket

Price: $$ | Speed: 34 mps | Battery: Optional

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What is the best electric bike kit?

Below, you will find the best motors, ranked by their location on the bike: crankset, rear wheel or front wheel. The best location for me is the crankset because it provides the best balance and the most natural feel when pedaling.

The Bafang BBS 2 B 750 W motor that I have been using since 2018

How to choose your electric bike kit ?

Choosing an electric bike kit is a bit like assembling a PC yourself: you choose the parts according to your use and you only pay for what you need. It’s a very smart solution because it allows you to get parts (motor, battery, on-board computer) of higher quality than most of the bikes already assembled. All this for a price divided by 2 minimum.

When I built my electric bike myself, I set myself a budget of €1000 (around $1100) maximum to find the most advanced parts of the moment. It’s at Bafang, the pedal motor specialist that equips 40% of the electric bikes in Europe, that I found my happiness.

The perfect combo: an electric bike kit with battery

  • The Bafang BBS02 B 48V 750W motor (44 T sprocket) (currently available on Amazon): a concentrate of technologies that has the same characteristics / performances as models considered as high end (Bosch motors that are worth 4 times the price.)
  • The 48V 17.5Ah lithium battery : There are cheaper batteries (often quite heavy lead batteries) but I advise you to bet on a light and durable battery. The efficiency of the battery is also very important (the one I bought has an efficiency of 90%, which is one of the best) and especially think that the battery must last for many years. It is thus necessary to privilege a battery with a cycle of charge/discharge very high.
  • The on-board computer (speedometer) 860C: Nice interface and very simple to set up. It gives the speed, the distance traveled, the duration and the level of charge of the battery. It can be connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone.

The Bafang BBS02 B kit which has been around since 2014 has built a solid reputation over the years. It combines power (31 mph), efficiency (a torque of 120 Nm) and balance (8.8 lbs positioned in the center of the bike.) It has excellent features for this price range and is compatible with all bikes. I’ve been using it since 2018 and it’s a pure pleasure every time.

Technical characteristics

For those interested in the technical characteristics of the motor, as you can see it is a real gem.

Engine Power750W
Max Speed31 mph
Weight8.8 lbs
Maximum torque120 Nm
Pedal sensorSpeed sensor
Shaft standardJIS (standard)
Noise class (dB)<55
Warranty1 year

How to install the BAFANG BBS02 B electric bike kit ?

The installation of this kit is really simplified and takes less than 2 hours (count 1 hour if you are a real handyman). Here is the tutorial I followed when I installed my Bafang BBS02 750W kit.

What you will find in your kit

  • Bafang 48V 750W BBS 02 motor
  • Hydraulic sensors / mechanical brake levers
  • LCD screen with Bluetooth function to be connected to your smartphone
  • Speed sensor and magnets
  • Waterproof EB-BUS cable (1 to 4 cables)
  • Chainring (44T / 46T / 48T / 52T according to your choice) with plastic protector
  • A pair of cranks
  • Nuts and cables needed for the assembly
  • Installation manual (I advise you to watch the video)

Since the creation of this blog in 2018, I have had the pleasure of advising dozens of people who wanted to convert their bike to an electrically assisted bike. With experience, I have come to realize that some dealers have NO respect for their customers (poor quality parts, defective product, no after-sales service, constantly extended delivery times). Like many, I personally bought my kit on Amazon. It’s what I recommend you if you want to benefit from a serious customer service, exchanges with the seller and a real follow-up during the delivery.

Bafang BBS01 electric kit (250W)

I hesitated for a long time between the BBS02 kit and the BBS01 kit.

The Bafang BBS01 kit is 250W. It is therefore a kit that can be used directly on the public road, without insurance and without wearing a helmet (although we strongly recommend you to put one!). This is the motor we recommend to people who are looking to transform their bike into an electric bike with just the right amount of power (you can reach 18 mph maximum) for everyday city trips and rides. In short, an excellent investment for those looking for quality, reliability and a good level of assistance.

On the technical side, this kit is an improved version. It is especially the pedaling assistance that has been optimized and I can tell you that we are here on very good material: the pedaling assistance sensor does its job perfectly, that is to say that it does not pedal in our place: it helps us. This is particularly appreciable on the flat and on hills of less than 6%. No jerkiness, the motor adapts to our rhythm and transfers the power through the crankset of the bike. It ensures here a support which allows to ride easily even on slopes.

The BBS01 is a very easy motor to mount on any type of bike, like all Bafang motors. It also offers a good combination of powerful torque, high efficiency with low power consumption while remaining very quiet. An excellent kit, often out of stock because of its success.

Technical caracteristics

Engine Power250W
Max Speed18 mph
Weight6.6 lbs
Maximum torque80 Nm
Pedal sensorSpeed sensor
Shaft standardJIS (standard)
Noise class (dB)<55
Warranty1 year

Bafang BBSHD electric kit (1000W)

Bafang BBSHD (1000W)

Tested and approved. A very powerful and robust motor, 2-year warranty. Quick assembly (2h). Ideal for mountain roads and mountain biking.

Price: $$$ | Speed: 37 mph | Battery: Optional

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The BBSHD kit from Bafang is a 1000W motor that exists since 2016. It develops a very high power and especially a lot of torque (160 Nm). It can be used for daily commuting, but it is especially for off-road and sport use that it is best (mountain biking, fat biking, enduro.) It is excellent for climbing the steepest hills and you should know that the 37 mph mark can be crossed.

You will need an adapted bike: mainly good disc brakes to stop this war machine! Its other assets: an impeccable manufacturing quality and a design that makes it discreet once integrated to the bike. In short, an excellent choice. Note that its high power also makes it a very good motor to electrify a tandem.

Technical caracteristics

The BBSHD (sometimes called BBS03) is a little bit bigger than the BBS02 (that’s why I prefer the BBS02 because it’s a little bit lighter and it’s better for my use) and it has cooling fins on the outside.

Engine Power1000W
Max Speed37 mph
Weight13 lbs
Maximum torque160 Nm
Pedal sensorSpeed sensor
Shaft standardJIS (standard)
Noise class (dB)<55
Warranty1 year

Bafang M625 electric kit (500W)

The latest model of central motor kit proposed by Bafang can convert any bike (over 27.5 inches) into an electric bike. It fits 68mm and 100mm cranksets, which means most cranksets on the market!

Latest Bafang kit
Bafang M625 (500W)

Bafang's latest model. Similar performance but a slightly smaller design than the previous ones and a higher price.

Price : $$$ | Speed : 37 mph | Battery : Optional

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
The new Bafang kit, smaller… but much more expensive than the previous versions

The particularity of this new motor? Its design has been updated! It is a bit smaller than the previous versions BBS01, BBS02 and BBSHD and now contains an extra mounting point on top of the motor, it’s an extra reinforcement.

It is sold with a Bafang 50.4V 19.6Ah battery (with a Samsung cell) and a rear light for safe riding at night. Its control is designed to be positioned on the handlebars and operated by the thumb. It was thought to be used in town but also on more sportive mountain bikes.

Technical caracteristics

On the performance side, we find a power of 500W to 1000W depending on the model.

Engine Power500W – 1000W
Max Speed28 to 37 mph
Weight13 lbs
Maximum torque100 to 140 Nm
Pedal sensorSpeed sensor
Shaft standardJIS (standard)
Noise class (dB)<55
Warranty1 year

Season rear wheel engine (1000W)

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to turn your 28″ bike into an electric bike, the Season motorized rear wheel might be for you! A 350W brushless motor is positioned in the wheel, which allows you to easily reach a speed of up to 20 mph, not bad for a motor with an affordable price.

Regarding the battery, it is installed directly on the frame and weighs 6.6 lbs, it is equipped with a high Power 18650 cell and a voltage of 36V. The installation of this rear wheel is disconcertingly simple, in a few tens of minutes, you will give a new life to your classic bike by transforming it into electric bike.

Technical caracteristics

Engine Power350W
Max Speed20 mph
Weight6.6 lbs
Warranty18 months

Z Zelus rear wheel engine (500W)

The Z Zelus kit is a kit that has managed to get a very good reputation, despite its “low budget” side. The wheel is powered by a very quiet 48V brushless hub motor. 2 modes of use are possible, allowing to use the bike normally by disabling the wheel motor when needed.

The installation is very easy and the disc holes are pre-drilled to install disc brakes later. The kit is composed of the 26-inch (66 cm) rear wheel with its motor, the motor controller, a cable harness and the gearbox as well as the necessary ancillary parts for the installation.

Technical caracteristics

Engine Power500W
Max Speed26 mph
Weight13 lbs
Warranty1 year

Oukaning rear wheel engine (1000W)

If you have a bike with 28 inch wheels, you know how difficult it can be to find a way to motorize it easily. This 28 inch electric rear wheel kit is just the thing for large bike wheels. It includes a powerful 1000W electric assist system (which allows you to reach 31 mph in less than 200 m), 7 sprockets and e-brakes technology that automatically turns off the motor when you are stopped to save battery power and make the bike safer.

This electric bike kit rear wheel is what we could call a “plug and play”: we install it in less time than it takes to say it and we enjoy it!

Certainly less expensive than the competition due to the quality of parts and finishes slightly lower (without falling into the bottom of the range), the electric bike kit 1000W 48V from Oukaning contains everything you need to convert your traditional 28 inch bike into an electric bike. The throttle and pedal assist system are included, as well as cable brakes with sensors to cut the motor during braking.

Technical caracteristics

Engine Power1000W
Max Speed31 mph
Weight19 lbs
Warranty/

L-Faster rear wheel engine (250W)

The L-faster rear wheel motor is more suitable for those who have a minimum of mechanical knowledge. It’s not a “plug & play” motor since you’ll have to make some manual adjustments to get the most out of your bike.

This “DIY” side of the installation may seem tedious to some, but it turns out that it is also an advantage if you have a more atypical bike to motorize. This rear wheel motor will for example fit very well on a scooter with an original shape, or on a BMX.

From a performance point of view, the 250W motor is not one of the most powerful on the market but it is quite coherent with a daily use, in town in particular. You can easily reach 12 mph without pedaling, and you can even go up to 15.5 mph with a little pedal stroke from time to time. To finish, since this motor is not sold with a battery, I recommend you to use it with 12V 14Ah or even 16Ah batteries placed in series to have an optimal autonomy.

Technical caracteristics

Engine Power250W
Max Speed15.5 mph
Weight8.8 lbs

Theebikemotor rear wheel engine (1500W)

Theebikemotor installed on the rear wheel of an ATV = an electric dirt bike!

With its breathtaking performance (yes, that’s the word!), the Theebikemotor 1500W has become the reference for those who are looking for speed via their electric bike rear wheel kit. It is very simple, it gathers all the qualities expected by the cyclist in search of strong sensations!

Surprisingly quiet, the 48V 1500W motor is amazingly efficient. The top speed speaks for itself: 40 mph: pure power! Precise pedaling sensor and 85% motor efficiency make the Theebikemotor a reliable ally to ride the most demanding trails. A true all-round racing machine that sportsmen and thrill-seekers will appreciate.

Petrolscooter front wheel engine (1000W)

With this PetrolScooter conversion kit, the promise is simple: you will be able to transform any 26-inch bike into an electrically assisted bike in just 40 minutes. You will find a 26 inches motorized wheel to which you will have to connect the 48V motor for 1000W. The brake levers and the gas pedal are also provided with the wheel.

The big advantage of this electric front wheel is its ease of installation. The connectors are very easy to identify and the user guide is full of pictures to make sure you connect the kit correctly. There are also videos available on YouTube on how to install it with ease.

The performance is very good and allows you to easily reach 31 mph on flat ground by adding a 44V battery. The design of the wheel is very sober, which allows you to motorize your bike in discretion.

Oukaning front wheel engine (1000W)

The Oukaning conversion kit is a very good choice for a front wheel setup. It has a higher torque than its competitors while being much quieter thanks to its brushless system. The comfort of use is guaranteed by the numerous accessories provided, in particular the LCD screen (very well made: it works even when it is very hot). It allows to visualize the speed in real time, the brake levers and the acceleration handle, but also the connector cable which is totally waterproof, as well as the dustproof protection case.

After a test in real conditions, this engine allows to reach 12 mph, it also facilitates greatly the climbs to be done. Installation is very quick and easy with the easy to identify connectors. The wheel fits bikes with 27″ wheels and its very minimalist design makes the electric wheel extremely discreet on any bike.

Which kit to choose and install?

I think you will have understood: any bike can now be converted into an electric bike for a very low price! You just have to choose the most suitable conversion kit for your use. I explain here how to distinguish them and which one to choose according to your use:

  • Kit with pedal motor
  • Front wheel kit
  • Kit with motor on the rear wheel
  • Electric bike kit with battery

Pedal motor kit

The ultimate in electric bike conversion kits. The electric bike kit with motor in the pedal assembly (also called mid-drive kit) ensures the best performance.

kit velo electrique pedalier
Bafang BBS02 B : A reference !

Installed in replacement of the original crankset, the motor is directly linked to the transmission. The engaged chainring directly influences the power delivered by the motor. The result: an efficiency that the most sporty riders or those who like to ride on hilly terrain will be looking for.

The weight being positioned in the center and at the bottom of the frame, the balance of the bike is thus optimal.

Small chainring for maximum torque on a velotaf, or large chainring for increased speed, the crankset motor offers excellent versatility in addition to offering the most reasonable power consumption.

This performance justifies a slightly higher price both for purchase and maintenance. Transmission, sprockets or even cassette holders are more solicited. And who says many moving parts means faster wear, so theoretically more periodic maintenance. For your information, I’ve been using mine daily since 2018 and I haven’t had any repairs. Regarding parts changes, it goes without saying that an engine of this type makes tire repairs much easier.

My bike after installing an electric motor kit with battery

The best pedalboard motor kits

  • 🥇 Bafang BBS02B (750W)
  • Bafang BBS01B (250W)
  • Bafang BBSHD (1000W)
  • Bafang M625 M325 (750W)

Electric rear wheel kit

The electric bike rear wheel kit is a very interesting alternative for those who are looking for performance, while maintaining simplicity of use.

A simple tool, a little method and patience are enough (count less than one hour of installation). Assembling the many cables is easier than it looks! Moreover, the original transmission with all its chainrings is kept.

Directly connected to the wheel, the engine always delivers the same power, whatever the gear engaged. The lightness of the unit benefits the comfort of the ride. All this for a reasonable cost and limited maintenance. The best quality-price ratio is currently the Z ZELUS (500W).

Note that unlike the front wheel kits, the kits with a motor on the wheel have a separate battery from the motor, usually to be installed on the frame or in the form of a luggage rack as I chose it myself on my B-twin.

The best rear wheel kits

  • Season (350W)
  • Z ZELUS (500W)
  • Oukaning 28′ (1000W)
  • L-faster (250W)
  • Theebikemotor (1500W)

Electric bike kit in the front wheel

The ultra-simplified electric wheel or “all-in-one electric wheel” is a solution that may seem ideal to turn your bike into an electric bike at a lower cost and in a few minutes: just install the front wheel and a sensor on the crankset and… that’s it! Indeed, it is an electric bike kit with integrated battery. However there is a slight hitch.

Having the motor in the front wheel is the least stable solution as far as balance is concerned: being “driven” by the front can lead you to do some slipping in rainy weather and it is really surprising. The first time I tested an electric bike, it was equipped with such a motor and I really didn’t feel comfortable, precisely because of the fear of falling.

If you are interested in this system, you should know that the all-in-one electric wheel is often equipped with a “brushless” motor which has the advantage of being almost not subject to wear because there is no friction. It is connected via Bluetooth to a box attached to the pedals (the sensor) which acts as a speedometer.

Available in several sizes, the electric front wheel can be adapted to a maximum of models. The installation is certainly done in a jiffy (it is the easiest type of kit to install because it takes less than 5 minutes) and you get used to it very quickly but when the battery is discharged, pedaling with a weight on the front is not very comfortable…

The best electric front wheel kits

An electric bike conversion kit is composed of the elements necessary to transform a classic bike into an electric bike. You can generally find :

  • PetrolScooter (1000W)
  • Oukaning (1000W)

What is included in an electric bike kit?

  • The motor: To respect the legislation, the power of this one should not theoretically exceed 250W. It can be placed in the crankset or in the wheel and allows the bike to reach a speed of up to 20 mph.
  • The controller: Key element of the installation, it is the brain of the electric bicycle of which it manages the assistance. Without it, there is no communication between the different elements of the kit!
  • The battery: Sellers of electric bike kits generally prefer lithium-ion models, for their lightness and reliability. Note that the battery is not systematically included in the kit, it is then up to the buyer to equip himself with a model corresponding to his needs. Note that the current batteries allow to ride on 25 to 31 miles of distance.
  • The pedaling sensor: As its name indicates, it tells the motor that the user is pedaling. Without pedaling, there is no assistance, otherwise the bike is considered a moped!
  • The console or control box: To be fixed to the handlebars, it is from there that you manage the level of assistance wished, that you consult your speed, the distance travelled…
  • The cables

Should I choose an electric bike kit with a motor on the wheel or on the pedals?

In short, each of the existing solutions to transform your bike into an electric bike will find its audience. The quickest and easiest solution to set up, the ultra-simplified kit, which comes in the form of a complete wheel, will delight bicycle enthusiasts and city sportsmen who are looking for simplicity of use and assembly above all, and who are prepared to pay a little more for it.

Lighter, the kit with motor in the wheel offers more interesting performances for a lower price, with a little bit of DIY during the installation. Finally, the choice of a kit with a motor in the crankset will mainly attract the more demanding cyclists, looking for the best performance, and who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

Do the kits fit all types of bikes?

The vast majority of bikes are compatible with the installation of a conversion kit. Before buying a kit with a motor on the wheel, check the distance between the wheels, the width of the frame slats or the size of the tires on your bike, and compare them with the dimensions of the kit you want. In the case of a bottom bracket motor, take into account the width and diameter of the bottom bracket tube.

Is it better to mount the electric bike kit on the front or rear wheel?

Installing the kit on the rear wheel offers better traction. If you plan to ride off the beaten path and off the paved roads, this is the best alternative. It requires, however, a more complex assembly because of the presence of the rear derailleur, which may require a specific adjustment.

Mounting the kit on the front wheel has practical advantages. It is easier to mount because you are not hindered by the presence of the chain or the derailleur. Moreover, you don’t need to change the cassette, you can keep the gear change system.

On city bikes, where you are almost sitting, the weight distribution is naturally towards the rear, so it is recommended to balance the masses by choosing a motor on the front wheel. On the other hand, this can be felt in terms of wet grip, even more so if you venture out onto gravel or sand. For a relaxed ride (and setup!), the front-wheel kit is still an excellent choice.

Why choose an electric bike kit over a real electric bike?

The number one argument for an electric bike kit is both sentimental and ecological: with it, you can go electric and still keep your bike! The motor gives this bike that is yours, that you pamper and that you undoubtedly know by heart, a whole new versatility. Less heavy than an EAB, a bike with a kit delivers a sportier feel and less time to adjust.

In addition, it is easier to customize your equipment when your needs or routes change on a bike equipped with a kit. It also has serious financial advantages: cheaper to buy, a kit is easy to repair and inexpensive to maintain… and can even be reused if you change bikes.

Should you fall for a cheap electric bike kit?

The market for electric bike kits is booming, so much so that you can now find really affordable models. We have already presented here some excellent kits that are really cheap, such as the Z ZELUS (500W) or the remarkable Bafang BBS02B compromise. It proves that, for a reasonable price, you can combine all the qualities you are looking for in a kit: lightness, power and progressive assistance.

To be sure to make a good purchase, only one word of order: get information on specialized websites (that’s why we are here!). And to conclude the purchase, it is better to make sure of the reputation of the merchant site, or to go through a trustworthy retailer and there too we have preselected for you the best sellers in our comparison of the best electric bike kits (a little above)

After these few precautions, the good deal is often at the end of the road. The electric bike kit can quickly turn out to be very profitable compared to an ebike. We are talking about an average of €500 (around $550) for a kit against €1500 (around $1650) for an electric bike. Especially since the kits are nowadays very complete and provided with all the equipment.

What does the legislation say about electric bikes?

Be careful if you intend to equip your bike with a particularly powerful kit. In the eyes of the law, the motor of an electric bicycle must stop once the 15.5 mph reached. Moreover, it must not develop more than 250W.

Beyond that, the bike is considered a moped, which comes with certain obligations. Starting with the wearing of an approved helmet but we can only recommend it anyway! Especially since with your new bike, you can’t use the bike paths anymore. You will also have to get the BSR if you were born after 1988.

Last but not least, you will have to take out a new insurance policy. A collision with a pedestrian happens quickly and your insurer will not cover you if your bike exceeds the legal power thresholds.

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