If you’re intending to electrify a favourite bike, an electric bike conversion kit might be the answer for you. Electric bike conversion kits usually include a replacement front wheel fitted with a motorised hub. They are available from a wide range of manufacturers at a wide range of prices, from a few hundred pounds to well over £1,000. Kits vary in quality a great deal too. The cheapest tend to be unbranded Chinese or Indian products… OK for leisure use, but with limited warranties and back-up, so don’t expect to use this sort of thing for daily commuting! More expensive electric bike kits are usually kit versions of proprietary electric bikes sold by manufacturers such as Heinzmann, Ezee and BionX.
- Some electric conversion kit prices include fitting, others do not.
- Most electric bike kits are supplied with UK-legal 250 watt motors, but many use motors of 500 watts, and a few are rated as high as 1000 watts. Remember that these powerful high-speed conversion kits are not legal in the UK and the fact that you are riding a machine powered by a self-fitted conversion kit will make no difference in the eyes of the law!
- And as always, watch the battery guarantee. The cost of running the conversion will depend on battery life… nothing else. A long guarantee gives you some confidence. Cheaper kits can conk out in months.
- If you are planning to commute daily, forget buying a conversion kit and go for a quality electric bike instead!
- Our current favourites are marked in bold. This is not a scientific exercise, but is based on performance, reliability and price. Do let us know if you’ve had a good or bad experience with any of these kits: email@example.com
Electric Bike Conversion Kits
|Make / Model1||Last A-to-B Test||Control / Drive||Battery
|Battery Size3||LAST UPDATE
|Pedalease for folding bikes||–||hybrid / Front Hub||??||NONE||2017||£199||No battery, but kit includes 80mmOD motor and twistgrip throttle|
|Smart-pie||Dec 12||eBike / Front Hub||??||??Wh||2017||£320||Lots of unknowns. Seems to be available for 700C wheel only|
|Pedalease iMortar||–||eBike / Front hub||??||130Wh||2017||£330||Tiny battery clips onto 700C front wheel. Looks sexy, but best avoided|
|Pedalease 250 watt||–||eBike / Front hub||??||370Wh||2017||£385||700C wheel only. There seem to be two versions|
|EBC 250 watt||–||Hybrid / Front or Rear Hub||12 months||468Wh||2017||£429||Why pay more?|
|Pedalease 1,000 watt||–||Hybrid / Rear Gearless Hub||??||375Wh||2017||£440||Spot the issue here? With a 1,000-watt motor and very modest battery it will go for about 15 minutes|
|EBC 500 watt||–||Hybrid / Gearless Front or Rear Hub||12 months||468Wh||2017||£449|| Not strictly legal, but who’s to know? Rear wheel kit may not suit all bikes
|Woosh 8FUN 250 watt
||–||Hybrid / Crank Drive||12 months||468Wh||2017||£668||Big price increase. Also with 540Wh battery at £715
|EBC 1,000 watt||–||Hybrid / Gearless Rear Hub||12 months||720Wh||2017||£599||Not strictly legal, but who’s to know? Rear wheel kit may not suit all bikes|
|Smart-Pie||Dec 12||E-bike / Front Hub||?||???Wh||2017||£320||Seems to be available for 700C wheel only
|Conv-E||Oct 11||E-bike / Front Hub||?||360Wh||2017||£749||Now sold by Powabyke
|Woosh 8Fun 500 watt||–||Hybrid / Crank Drive||12 months||540Wh||2017||£748||Bit pricey these days|
|Nano-Brompton 2.1||May 08||E-bike / Front Hub||12 months||180Wh||2017||£780||Light, quiet and discreet
360Wh battery £100 extra
|Mojo Mid-motor||–||Pedelec / Crank Drive||?||370Wh||2017||£875||Rare crank-drive kit. Psst… also with twistgrip throttle
|Brompton Sparticle||Nov 08||E-bike/ Front Hub||12 months||540Wh||2017||£970||Apart from the big battery, it’s nowhere near as good as the Nano version
||–||Pedelec / Front hub||12 months or 300 charges||180Wh||2017||£995||Long-awaited sophisticated kit for serious cyclists looking for occasional assistance|
|Sunstar I-Bike SO3||May 08||Pedelec / Crank||24 months||369Wh||2017||c£1260||Sophisticated Japanese crank motor. Bigger 416Wh battery for extra £190|
|Heinzmann||–||eBike or Pedelec / Front or Rear Hub||24 months||324Wh||2017||£1326||Starting price for quality German kit, loads of options
|BionX P250||–||Pedelec / Gearless Rear Hub||36 months or 600 charges (activated when capacity falls by 30%)||317Wh||2017||£1500||Nice technology, but rather heavy, and unreliable in the past. Also with 423Wh battery for £1650
|Pendix||Feb 17||Pedelec / Gearless Crank Drive||24 months||300Wh||2017||£1649||Interesting, but heavy crank drive kit from Germany|
|BionX D-series||–||Pedelec / Gearless Rear Hub||36 months or 600 charges (activated when capacity falls by 30%)||317Wh||Li-ion||£1800||Nice technology, but rather heavy, and unreliable in the past. New motor appears to supercede earlier kits.|
New subscribers can order a ‘get-started’ six-pack of magazine back numbers covering key electric cycles at HALF the usual price! See the subscription page for details.
All back numbers can be ordered by credit card – call 01305 259998 (+44 1305 259998 outside UK)
Electric Bike Conversion Kit Manufacturers or UK Distributors
The comments relate to our own experience with manufacturers or distributors. As a general rule, a company that supplies a good product can afford to be open and helpful with the press, and will give good service and back-up. The others are something of an unknown quantity, but if you think we’ve been unfair, do let us know. For a global list go to Electric Bike Manufacturers Worldwide
Moving away from power kits these days
Electric Transport Shop, Hope Street Yard, Hope Street, CAMBRIDGE CB1 3NA (also in LONDON & OXFORD)
tel: 01223 247410
Very serious player in a market that can be a bit flie-by-night
Cytronex Electric Bikes, 7 Bridge Street, WINCHESTER SO23 9BH
tel: 01962 866122
email: via website
No UK distribution
10/3 HaMelitz Street, JERUSALEM, Israel
tel: (Israel) +052 500 1309
There’s been a battle between Kinetics and Twike for years for UK distribution. Twike seem to be on top in 2017
Twike UK, Landell, Brick Kiln Lane, Ingham, NORWICH NR12 9SX
tel: 07707 237070
Tony Castles, the expert on all things electric bike!
Mr Motorvator, Harepath Farm, Burbage, Nr MARLBOROUGH, Wiltshire SN8 3BT
Pedalease, Smart Pie
Very cheap stuff, but unknown quantity
Pedalease Ltd, Unit 1001 Shurguard House, Westmount Centre, HAYES UB4 0HD