This is a very common question being asked.

These days, you have options. One is to take an existing bicycle, buy a electric kit and change it to an electric bicycle. What are the pros and cons of doing this?

Keep in mind that an e-bike is a complete package. It was designed with a purpose in mind. The final product is the result of what the engineers had in mind which includes the technical workings of the bike. It includes balancing the motor output with the frame design; a tried and tested result. No issue of whether it is going to work or if the installation will be successful. You hop onto the bike well knowing it will do what it is designed to do.

A conversion could be fun. The DIY enthusiast will have a project and if successful, a very satisfying experience. But there is a risk here. The bike is not designed as an e-bike and the question is whether the bike can actually handle it. Is the frame strong enough to carry the extra weight and the force coming from the motor? If this is not done properly, it can be a safety risk as this may result in an accident. Maintaining the upgraded bike may also result in higher maintenance.

Buying a conversion kit is substantially cheaper than buying a new electric bicycle. So, you will save on the overall price. But that is about all. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Your bike was not built or designed to be an electric bike. Is it able to handle the extra weight and power?
  • Who is going to install the kit? It is not as straight forward as it way seem.
  • Is this process reliable. In our experience many technical issues crop up and if you are not technically orientated you have an issue on hand.
  • Even after spending the money, you still have an old bike, be it now converted.
  • There are some changes and add-ons you will need such as positioning of the battery, motor, controller and this at the end will give that typical “DIY” look to it.
  • The conversion kit comes with a limited warranty (if any) where a new electrical bike comes with a 1- or 2-year warranty.
  • If you have specific requirements, you can build an e-bike to your specifications – such as a bigger motor or a long-range battery.

Given the above, you can make a call whether to buy a new electric bike or convert an existing bicycle. In our view, new is the way to go. We have seen just too many converted bikes that is not working or not working well. For this reason, we do not stock these kits. We do not have time to address technical issues and problems with conversions

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