Choosing the right bicycle for an e-bike conversion

E-bikes have become a thing in recent years, and this adaptation as a means of transport is on the increase. The reason for this development is not far-fetched. E-bikes offer efficiency and increased ease of riding. With an e-bike, you don’t have to pedal as hard as you would with the traditional bike. Also, e-bikes make it easy to climb against slopes. 

Things might be more natural if you already have a bicycle you want to convert to an e-bike. However, if you don’t have one you are obliged to convert, there is a need to find the right bike for you. 

There is so much that goes into this search, as you would want to get bikes that fit and are just perfect for you. So many factors need to be considered before choosing a bike for conversion. If you are not conversant with the procedure, it can get a little daunting. 

However, this guide is poised at guiding you through the conversion of your standard bicycle to an e-bike. It especially touches on how to choose the best bike for conversion. Also, to make your bike conversion possible, you need an electric bike conversion kit. We will discuss this in the next section.

 

What is an electric bike conversion kit? 

An electric bike conversion kit is one that ensures that you can transform the standard pedal bike in your garage to an electric bike. Just by the addition of this small kit, your standard bike is converted into an electric-powered bike. 

An e-bike conversion kit comes in different grades and types. There are also differences in settings which will you allow you to choose the level of pedalling you will like to apply while riding. 

These settings are a great utility to a bike, as it allows you to get the needed extra power while pedalling. For example, if you are to pedal up a steep slope, rather than having to apply so much force, you can adjust the settings. Changing the setting, such that the conversion kit provides the bulk of the power needed is a definite plus.

 

Differences between an e-bike and a regular bike

In actuality, there is just a simple line that differentiates a standard bike and an e-bike. This is the motor present in the e-bike. The motor, however, is not a visible addition to your bike. The presence of the engine on the e-bike can somewhat be unnoticeable. The design is low profile, and you wouldn’t even know it is there. 

There are so many benefits fielded by the use of an e-bike conversion kit. One such reason is the fact that it is very eco-friendly. The core of the functioning of the e-bike conversion kit is the motor. With the electric motor, there is no emission during travel. Hence, the environment is safer than it would be in the presence of standard cars.

Electric bike kits are also very cost-effective. With the e-bike that you have made, you can quickly get to work without having to keep up with constant spending on public transportation. Not only will the e-bike save you from colossal transport fares, but you would also find it easy to visit places. 

With the e-bike, you would care less whether the route you are taking is sloppy or not. By converting your standard bike to an e-bike with the aid of the conversion kit, you save more money. This is because the cost of buying e-bikes in Canada is on the high side. However, to maximize this, you need to pick out the best bike for conversion.

 

How does an e-bike work?

Other than picking the best bike for conversion, anywhere you might be located in Canada, it is pertinent to understand how e-bikes work. 

There is no difference between how one rides a standard bike and an e-bike. The electric motor that characterizes the e-bikes are there to aid the pedalling of the rider, and not to take over the peddling power completely. 

In an electric bike, three core components are essential to proper functioning. These are; drive chain, battery, and the motor. There is no need to tell you that the motor is the most critical of these parts, and it can come in different types. There are:

  • Front motors
  • Rear motors
  • Mid-drive motor. 

Just as there are differences in e-bike motors, there are differences in the battery. There are pedal only, pedal-assist, and completely electric. The drive chain as a component of the e-bike is responsible for the forward motion of the bike, by powering the wheel.

 These batteries can take on ranges that extend to 40 miles or more, and charging this battery takes just about 2 – 4 hours. The speed of charging is dependent solely on the quality (difference in price) of the conversion kit you purchase. 

You can always charge these batteries via standard plug sockets in your home. For convenience, it is advised that you leave the cells to charge overnight. This way, you are good to go for the day.

 

Choosing the best e-bike for conversion

When it comes to converting your standard bike to an e-bike, there are so many factors involved. These factors would determine if you will be able to make use of the half-decent bicycle that has been sitting in your garage for years. You don’t have to condemn the bike, it could become an excellent e-bike for you. There are so many conversion kits available that can help you do the trick. 

Just about any bike with a pedal can be converted to an e-bike, however, you need to consider one that is right for you. Also, you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to thinking if it is right for you, you should also check for its ability to stand the test of time, as well as withstanding the extra weight and power produced. 

One other thing to consider before picking a bike to convert is the compatibility of the kit. So many factors come into play in the case of making your choice, and it can get daunting sometimes. However, here are some factors that you should look out for when picking a bike for conversion. 

Brake

Different bikes have a separate braking system, and you must be aware of this before you attempt any conversion. There are bikes with hydraulic braking systems, as found in hybrid or mountain bikes. The use of bicycles with hydraulic brakes has upsides just as it has downsides. However, there is one thing to note. It provides you with better stopping power and brake modulation. 

There are other braking systems you can go for; the mechanical disc brakes and rim brakes. When both are set up correctly, you should have no problem with your e-bike. 

Concerning the preferred braking system, you need to consider how much extra weight the conversion kit will add to your bike. Some conversion kits can add as much as 12kg to the weight of your bike. This is a drastic change in the load the brake was designed for and might pose some issues, especially when riding downhill.

There is no direct answer to which bicycle is best to convert to an e-bike. However, when it comes to questions such as “how much power is required?” and 

“What will you be using the bike for?” it is safe to say the best is mountain or hybrid bikes. 

These bikes are preferred as they are known to be sturdier, and are designed to handle more rugged terrains. Also, they have hydraulic brakes that can help you control the speed of your bike even with increased power. 

Gearing

This is another pertinent factor to consider when determining the best e-bike for conversion. This is more important if you are looking to outfit your bike with a mid-drive system. If your residence is situated in areas with moderate hills, then you don’t need to worry about the range of your gear. 

However, if the steeps are extreme, you need a more extensive gear range. The best bikes for hill climbing are those with mid-drive systems, as they transfer power to the rear wheel easily. 

When you are making use of a mid-drive system, you should ensure that you have a smaller chain-ring upfront. With the chain-ring, the load on the motor is reduced. Also, it reduces the gearing. However, when your bike makes use of the hub motor, there is not much difference. 

Tires

There is one single factor that influences the type of tyre you would be getting, and that is the kind of riding you will be doing. If you are the type who engages more with commuting and riding on tarmac, you should get road-friendly tires. 

With these tires, you can be sure of a decrease in the rolling resistance, as well as an increase in the quality of the ride. We would always recommend excellent quality puncture-resistant tires. This is best if your bike makes use of hub motors. 

Other accessories

Your riding determines how time tells on your bike. You know yourself best, hence, you would be a good judge of whether you need to have a kit of extras. 

A right quality saddle combined with a decent suspension seat-post will make you have an enjoyable ride. If you live in a place that experiences lots of rainfall, it would be best to have a mudguard. You can also make use of pannier racks, as well as a saddlebag. You can always use the saddlebag to store stuff like your battery and controller. 

 

Should I convert my bike to an e-bike?

Converting bicycles to e-bikes has been a trend for a while now, and as stated, there are several best bikes for conversion. It is best to know that what is good for the goose might not be suitable for the gander, always. 

Hence, it is only right if you ask yourself this question, “Should I convert my bike to an e-bike?”. There are pros and cons to converting your regular bike to an e-bike. 

Pros

The use of an e-bike has two significant advantages, which might poise you to convert your standard bike. By turning your standard bike to an e-bike, two things are sure, you are already familiar with the bike, and it would cost you less. 

Since you are already familiar with the bike, you keep using it, just the way you have loved to. When it comes to cost, securing a conversion kit is way cheaper than having to buy a new electric bike. By converting your bike, you are saved the hassle of getting used to a new bike. Also, you can cut some slack when it comes to the expenses you incur. 

Cons

Some significant disadvantages can’t be overlooked in the issue of converting a standard bike to an e-bike. These disadvantages have actually just become vital in recent times, owing to significant development in the design and innovation of the modern e-bikes. Before now, e-bikes were just a bit different from what you would get when you try converting your standard bike yourself. 

The recent designs of bikes are more innovative and adapted to purpose-built frames, which do well to house the components of the electric bike. Elements such as the battery, the controller, and even the motor are well housed in the modern e-bikes, which might not be achievable for DIY converted e-bikes. 

Also, you should know that conversion will not be as smooth or as efficient as the electric bike would be. With a factory-made electric bike, you can be sure of the seamless incorporation go the motor, which cannot be achieved excellently for a converted e-bike. 

Furthermore, all-in-one wheels are also very dependent on hub motors, and with this, they tend to produce a less natural and less efficient riding experience.

 

Conclusion 

Before you get your standard bike converted to an e-bike, you need to consider all the factors stated above.

Also, the choice of conversion is left to you; it all depends on what you are trying to get from the improvised e-bike. With an improvised e-bike, you can enjoy some perks of what the e-bike has to offer. 

However, according to professionals, it is impossible to match the performance from a standard e-bike. These e-bikes have been designed right from the start to be a uniquely convenient, efficient, and motorized hybrid vehicle.

It is safe to say the best bikes for conversion cannot replace standard e-bikes. E-bikes are a thing in Canada right now, either improvised or not, get yourself an e-bike. Contact us today!

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