E-bike has not been a strange vehicle to us. Imagine how amazing it is when you can drive through the city, go off the road, on something that can be both a bicycle and a scooter, depending on what you want.
However, an electric bike is not cheap. A high-quality e-bike from top brands, which offers both sleek package and high performance, costs about 3,000 – 5,000 USD.
You, of course, can buy a typical e-bike, but if you are looking for a cheaper option, you might consider an e-bike conversion kit that allows you to convert a standard pedal bike into an e-bike at a fraction of the price.
So, how to turn a traditional bicycle into an electric with that kit? Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Choose the right kit
A conversion kit usually includes a controller, a battery pack, and a motorized hub. Depending on your preference, you can add a motor to the front or rear wheels of the bike.
In case you mount the motor in front, your front wheels will be heavier, and it may be harder to ride. Meanwhile, a rear-mounted engine can offer better traction, but you have to make sure it matches your gears.
To choose the right conversion kit, you need to consider your riding habits and purpose first.
Light and small engines might be suitable for short trips on flat terrain. For long trips or to climb the slopes, a stronger motor and good batteries will be ideal choices.
People often sell e-bike kits based on the wattage the motor can generate and the number of amps that the controller can draw. A conversion kit with higher wattage will usually give you more traction and power for climbing. Meanwhile, the controller with a high amp rating will increase acceleration.
There are many conversion kits for you to pick. If you want to convert an old mountain bike, the YescomUSA 500-watt front-wheel conversion kit will be the right choice.
The motor is on the front wheel, so you do not need to worry about compatibility with your gear. However, this kit does not include batteries or chargers, so you have to buy a separate battery pack.
Also, you can choose the conversion kit from LEED Ebike Conversion Systems. They offer a lot of options for a variety of vehicles and wheel sizes. You need to provide them with the parameters of your bike as well as your riding habits; they will suggest a suitable kit.
A kit from LEED includes a controller, a battery, a motorized hub, a charger, hardware for mounting, housings, and assorted cables.
Step 2: Prepare the bike
First, you need to prepare a bike with a sturdy frame. An old mountain bike may be a good choice because its frame is made of steel and it rolls well.
You can also improve the frame by stripping of most parts, sanding, masking, and painting. This task takes about a day and costs about $10 for the sprayer to paint.
Step 3: Install motor
Remove the wheel you need to replace:
You will start with opening the rim or cantilever brake using the lever. If the bike has a disc brake, remove the clips, springs or cotter pin that hold the pads in place. Then, you pull out the pads with needle nose pliers and set them aside.
To remove the front wheel, turn the bike over so you can fix it by the seat and steering wheel, then flip the quick release lever to the opened position and lift the front wheel off the bike.
To remove the rear wheel, crouch behind the bike. Keep the frame with your non-dominant hand and use the other hand to pull the derailer backward. After that, lift the bike frame up and off of the rear wheel and remove the chain with your dominant hand.
Install the motor and cables:
After removing the old wheels, install the motor and electric bike wheel to the front or rear forks. Remember to put all washers and nuts in the right place. Then, tighten the axle nuts with the standard ⅜’’ wrench or any suitable wrench size.
After fixing the wheel and motor, you will need to hook up the cables. The first one is the motor cable that runs from the hub motor to the throttle.
You can run it along the frame with zip ties or Velcro straps. Then, mount the throttle valve on the steering wheel.
Next, you need to hook up the battery cable that runs from the motor to the battery. This cable is usually wired on the frame or carried in a bag hanging on the bicycle.
After you have mounted the throttle, battery, hooked up and fixed the cables to the frame, you are ready to turn on the battery. If everything goes well, your bike has been completely converted into an electric one.
Step 4: Finish and test
After you have installed the conversion kit on your bile, take some tests to make sure there aren’t any unexpected problems.
Take a few rides, if you match the gears fully, the brakes and other parts also work well, then you succeed in building an electric bike of your own without spending too much money.
The final lines
Now, you already know how to convert a typical bike into an e-bike. With a conversion kit, this process is not too complicated.
Of course, it will take more time and effort if you want a conversion kit that offers better power and more powerful functions. But, no matter which product you use, building an electric bike by yourself is a fantastic activity, right?
Hope you will find our article helpful and if you have any question, feel free to contact us. Happy riding!