How to convert a bike to electric power

The best electric bikes conversion kits allow you to add a power source to your bike easily and at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a brand new one. There are increasing numbers of ebike-conversion kits, which are getting more sophisticated and easier for you to mount on your bike. This is a great alternative to buying an entirely new electric bike.

A kit to convert an electric bike into a bicycle will include both the motor and the battery. However, it must include the device to control power output. This can be a bar-mounted monitor.

You will also find sensors that can detect your speed and pedal input levels to make sure you receive the correct amount of power.

All electric bike converter kits have to stop when you’re pedalling. This figure is 20mph for the USA.

BikeRadar’s tested a few different electric bike conversions. But there are many more. We will be back shortly with a comprehensive review of the best electricbike conversion kits.

To see a full explanation of all the available kit types, visit our explainer down the page.

Best electric bike conversions 2022

Swytch Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit

Pros
Cons: A 100mm threaded, front axle is only compatible with thru-axles

Swytch from London makes a lightweight conversion kit, which it claims is 3kg in total weight. It can convert any bicycle into an ebike.

The kit also includes a 40Nm hub-based brushless motor and a replacement for the front wheel. The lithium-ion battery charger connects to your handlebars. Additionally, it acts as the system controller/LCD display. There is a crank-mounted, cadence sensor that can be attached to your bike.

Brompton is also able to purchase a Brompton-specific kits, including an adaptor and a Brompton’s luggage mount.

There are three options for battery packs depending on the range that you desire.

Swytch unveiled a compact kit recently that weighs only 700g, and offers 15km of range. The new kit will go on sale in May. Pre-orders for the kit are expected to open soon. The existing Swytch kit, however, will be available until mid-summer 2022.

Kit Cytronex for electric bike conversion

Pros
Cons: Insufficient information on range and battery charge available onboard

The Cytronex Cytronex bike conversion kit weighs between 3.0kg and 3.2kg.

The kit can be used on a Cannondale Quick hybrid. It took around 30 minutes to convert. The battery houses the system controller, and the LEDs indicate the level of the battery’s charge. We were able to travel up to 48 miles with just one charge.

We have also tested it on a Brompton P Line folder. It was lighter than the C Line-based Brompton Elektro. It will fit to a C Line and is cheaper than the Brompton Electro.

Electric bike conversion kits: different types explained

There are many options for electrifying your bike to assist with the uphill climbs.

You can convert your bike into a hybrid or mountain bike, road bicycle, or even a tourer, folder, or gravel bike.

Many can be fitted by an experienced home mechanic if needed.

What are your options, then? Let’s take an in-depth look at how to convert your non assisted bike into an electric bicycle.

Powered ebikes

Most people will choose to replace their non-powered wheels with an electric e-bike. A special hub contains a motor and includes the necessary gearing. The bike has an extra-large hub that drives it and comes with a strap-on lithium battery pack.

It sounds simple enough, but it is not the best option. Rotating mass adds weight to your bike and makes it difficult to accelerate.

Kit for rear-mounted friction driving ebike convertor

These boxes were used in earlier versions, which may have been available for older readers. They are a small box that you place on your rear axle and power it through friction with a rubber drivewheel.

The idea doesn’t seem to have died. It lives on in devices, such as the Rubbee. This promises bolt-on, electric assistance for almost all bikes.

Rubbee’s standard model is just 2.8kg. The 16km range can be extended upto 48km with the top-spec 4-kg version.

It can handle any wheel diameter between 16in-29in. Prices start from EUR579.

Concealed conversion kit for ebikes

The Vivax Assist concealed a battery in the seat tube of a frame, and then applied power directly to its crank.

Vivax

Now, we’ll show you how to conceal a bike’s motor so nobody knows.

The Vivax Assist device was most famous for doing this. However, the company has ceased trading. Femke Van der Driessche, a Belgian professional cyclocross, used the system in 2016 to power herself to victory at her home championships. After she was discovered, she received a six year ban from racing and quit.

Although Vivax Assist may not be around anymore, we think that this idea still holds some value – at minimum for budding cyclocross players.

Mid-drive ebike converter kit

Many ebikes sold commercially have motors attached to the bottom bracket near the pedals.

These have an advantage: they place the weight lower down on the bicycle, making it more stable.

This is not just a ready-made option. You can also buy aftermarket kits that combine mid-drive units with it.

Bafang is a brand which is increasingly focusing its attention on complete Ebikes. But it also offers a middrive conversion Kit on Amazon and wheel hub motors.

Bafang stated that the conversion cost only PS360. He used a few tools for the removal of the bottom bracket and to fit the drive onto the front of the downtube.

As with the previous, don’t buy throttle-controlled scooters that do not comply with UK ebike regulations. They will be considered legally a moped.

Amazon offers other midmotor systems such as TongSheng’s which are claimed to fit 95% standard bike frames and weigh 30 percent less than a Bafang.

It comes with a torque sensor, which should allow it to fall within the ebike regulations.

Folding ebike conversion kit

Brompton electric convertor from Electric Concepts, one of many available kits to electrify an old Brompton.

Electric Concepts

What do you do if you own a folding bicycle and want to participate in the electric revolution.

You have good news if your Brompton has an ebike conversion kit. They typically have a powered hub at the front and a battery that is carried in a bag.

Cytronex, Swytch, and Cytch can both be used in converting Bromptons. Swytch sells Brompton kits starting at PS999. Sometimes, however, discounts upto 50% are available.

There’s also a front hub motor, clip-on pack and bottom bracket torque sensor. A range of up to 50km is possible.

Swytch can also create wheels for folders with different wheel sizes, fork blade widths and other fork blade widths like the Dahon models.