All About E Bikes

E Bike or Conversion?

The BIG question? Do you convert your current bike or go all out for a brand new ebike? Let's look at the options. 

It's all about the money...A ready made ebike can set you back from £600 to £6000+. Wow, that's a huge difference. So what do you get for your money? 

An ebike at the lower end of the market will be a normal pedal bike that has been converted at the factory to be an ebike. So, nothing special about the frame or the conversion kit. To get the price down to £600 or less, the bike will be at the cheaper end of the market and the conversion kit will also be at that end! You can read more about the main components lower down this page. A cheaper ebike will work fine for a year or so if your lucky (depending on the use) but don't expect anything more. The power and quality will be low, so they normally up the wattage, a 1000w motor sounds great, but it's needed to compensate for the poor build quality and parts, just to give you the same power as a much smaller, quality motor.

A top brand ebike will give you a purpose built frame to house a mid drive motor, The battery is often build more discreetly in to the frame which keeps it out of harms way, and maintains the aesthetics of the bike. If you have the budget then this is the way to go, and you need to be looking in the £1700-£2000 price range at the moment.

So how does a conversion kit differ from a cheaper ebike? Well this depends on the bike and the kit. If you are certain you want to go electric, and already have a good quality bike, it makes sense to convert this rather that buy a cheaper ebike.  You now just need to decide what kit you want. 

E Bikes Conversion kits

Front wheel conversion kits. We have have some of the best kits on the market equipped with blue tooth technology to make fitting even easier.

Kits available from £600 including top quality and discrete bottle batteries.

Mid motor Kits - We use Bafang kits for reliability and quality. 500w/750w/1000w kits available. Fitted, with battery from £680

Rear wheel kits - Again we only use Bafang. Prices from £750 including a battery. Many options available so please drop in or call for more details.

Firstly, let talk simplicity. If you want a quick conversion and would like to do it yourself, then front wheel is the way to go. For the UK, the road legal limit is 250w, with no throttle, just pedal assist and a top speed of 25kph about 15mph, you really can't go wrong with a front wheel conversion. Quick to fit, no need to change anything but swap the front wheel, as easy as fixing a puncture. A quality kit with a good battery will set you back about £600. Yes you can find them cheaper but as always you get what you pay for. If you go for a full kit including a battery for £400 or less, expect to buy another one within a few years, not so cheap now!

If you want to go off road and really want to tear up some dirt then you need to look for a mid motor or rear wheel motor. 

Just how much power do you want? Here are a few things to consider.

 Firstly, think about your bike. It was designed and tested to be a bicycle, not an ebike. The brakes, the frame the wheels, all tested with leg power (about 250w of power). Lets just multiply this by 20x, should be fine? 

I have seen 5000w motors on bikes!!! seriously, who does this and think's everything will be ok.  100kph on a bike is terrifying, don't do it, it won't end well and your bike will not be happy. A 750w -1000w should be the very maximum if your using a quality kit. The power produced from  a rear wheel motor doesn't just propel the ebike forward, it also wants to twist in the frame, and a powerful motor will flex and brake frames. The strongest part of your frame is at the bottom bracket, so if you're going big, then you need to be looking at a mid motor conversion, it's common to put 500 - 1000w motors on the bottom bracket. A mid range kit from 500 - 750w could go at the rear wheel, often slightly cheaper than the mid motor conversions but you will be losing more of the original bike, anything bigger, 1000w+ will be putting a lot of strain on the bike so look for a purpose built ebike.

The Battery

The most common selling point of a battery is the cell type, "we use 'Panasonic cells' or 'Samsung cells" is something you often hear. How important is the cell? 

A battery is made up of many cells and joined together to give a particular Amp and Wattage. The cells are important, and the big brands will have strict quality controle to ensure the cell is up to standard.

These 'branded cells' are then shipped around the world in their millions to various  manufacturers and put together to make a battery. The cells are welded together, sealed and a Battery Management System  (BMS) is added. The welding, sealing and BMS are hugely important. A poor factory offering branded cells will produce poor batteries. You need to buy from a trusted dealer, eBay is full of cheap batteries that look great, but they are cheap for a reason.     

   Lithium batteries can be dangerous. A Top tip is to use a timer at the socket to prevent over charging, a faulty BMS can result in a fire. Always charge batteries in a garage if possible or only when supervised in the home, never over night.

The Motor

Copper and magnets make the world go round! I bought some cheap Chinese motors out of curiosity and the difference was plain to see. I could pull the motor from it's case with little effort, and put it back. To do this with a quality motor would be almost impossible. A special machine is used to set the motors in place at the factory and you have no chance of taking them apart by hand. Why? it's all to do with the magnets. 

The quality of the motor is very important. It's one of the main components of the kit and even if everything else is top quality, a poor motor will let you down, use more battery life, produce MUCH less power, and eventually fail. The only way to tell, as for batteries, is to buy from a quality supplier. There are 100's of motor and battery suppliers out there. You can't see inside these things, so go for a brand you can trust. Bafang, Bosch, Shimano etc

Need to know more?

We often run a course to guide you through the ebike basics 'know your ebike'. We cover all the basics and the parts ebikes have, how motors work and battery basics. email or call to express your interest. The short 1 hour courses are FREE