E-bikes are becoming more popular each day thanks to the remarkable convenience they offer. They help riders cover more distance with much less effort, which makes them a great option for commuting, running errands, cruising, exploring new terrain, and a lot more!
This has got many owners of good old all-manual bikes wondering, can you convert a regular bike to an e-bike?
If you too are trying to find an answer, then you’ve come to the right place!
Today, we’re discussing the possibility of changing a conventional bike into an electric bike, the pros and cons of such a conversion, and how you can make it happen. Let’s jump in!
Can You Convert a Regular Bike to an E-bike?
Yes, you can convert a regular bike to an e-bike with the proper parts, but it may not be as simple as it sounds. If you take a minute to compare the components of a regular bike and those of an e-bike, you’ll find that both types of bikes consist of a frame sitting on two wheels. They both also feature handlebars, pedals, and a chain.
The main difference is that e-bikes have extra components to provide the element of electrical assistance, namely the motor and the battery.
Of course, there are other components such as an onboard computer, a pedal-assist sensor, and brake cut-off switches. However, the motor and battery are the heart and the brain of the operation.
The motor generates the power needed to automate the movement of the wheels, whereas the battery supplies the motor with electricity to keep it running.
As such, if there’s a way you can incorporate a motor and battery system into your regular bike, it should give you the basic performance of an e-bike.
The good news is, such a way exists! It’s called an “e-bike conversion kit”.
An electric or e-bike conversion kit allows riders to convert their all-manual bikes into electrical bikes at the same average cost as a new regular bike or as an affordable e-bike. Sometimes they can even cost you less.
E-bike conversion kits typically include a motor along with a bunch of gear and electric components that enable the mounting of the motor onto the bike and its operation.
They can also include digital screens, speed sensors, brake sensors or levers, headlights, cranks, chainring wheels, thumb throttles, and more. The exact list of components included depends on the brand and the type of the kit.
As for the battery, most e-bike conversion kits don’t include one. This means you’re to buy a battery separately to deliver the required electric energy to power the motor.
So it’s important that you keep in mind the compatibility of the battery with the voltage of the motor as well as the added cost. The e-bike conversion kits that do include a battery are notably more expensive than battery-less kits.
Is It a Good Idea to Convert a Regular Bike to an E-bike?
Now that you know it’s possible to change a regular bike into an e-bike, your next order of business is to decide whether or not you should go through with the conversion process.
To help you make up your mind, here are the pros and cons you can expect from converting a conventional bike to an electric bike:
First, let’s talk about the advantages of converting a regular bike to an e-bike.
More versatile uses
By incorporating electric assistance into your cycling and bike riding experience, you’re automatically expanding your bike’s range of uses.
You’ll be able to use it more easily for commuting to and from work, going to and back from school, running errands around the town, and cruising the streets for fun. You won’t have to worry about getting tired from cycling, so you can use your bike to travel farther or even use it to replace short automobile journeys.
Converting a regular bike to an e-bike is also an excellent way to overcome joint issues that prevent injured or older people from riding manual bikes as they please. It’s also a fantastic chance for you to navigate more challenging roads that would be difficult to ride on a manual bike.
Longer rides with less effort
The added electric assistance means you won’t have to work as hard to power your bike. Instead of depending on your physical power alone, the motor and battery do most of the work for you.
This allows you to cover longer distances without spending as much effort as you normally would.
The added electric assistance comes with a speed boost. E-bikes travel at higher speeds than regular models, which means they take less time covering the same distance.
Not to mention, e-bikes reduce the impact of traffic on your journey and enable you to ride through more direct roads.
Less Expensive Than Normal E-Bike
Converting your regular bike to an e-bike is less expensive than buying a true e-bike. The process will cost you a fraction of the price of a new e-bike, so you get to save money while getting the experience.
Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages of converting a regular bike to an e-bike.
- The process can be complex and time-consuming.
- The frame and wheels of a regular bike aren’t optimized to accommodate the high speeds and extra weight.
- The change in weight distribution can make the ride tricky and dangerous, especially at first.
- The added components and operation mechanisms can cause extra stress and eventually damage parts of the bike such as the fork, brakes, frame, and wheels.
- You won’t be able to replicate the exact experience of riding a specialized e-bike.
How to Convert a Regular Bike to an E-bike
Converting a regular bike to an e-bike is a whole article on its own, but the most important part is choosing a suitable e-bike conversion kit.
This includes choosing the right type of:
- Motor (front hub, mid-drive, or rear hub)
- Battery (amps, mount position, and level of assistance)
- Sensor (torque or cadence)
Once you buy it, you’ll need to follow the installation instructions. The complexity and length of installation vary according to the type of the kit and your precious experience.
So, can you convert a regular bike to an e-bike? The answer is yes! All you need is a suitable e-bike conversion kit and you’re good to go once it’s properly installed.