Ebike Conversion Kits – Buyer Beware

October 18. 2023

Drawing of a poorly made electric bike parked by a shed

An electric bike conversion kit seems like an easy and inexpensive way to give power to that bike you already have. There are some alluring and trending options out there by names like BAFANG, Swytch and Rubbee X – and a kit may be the perfect solution for you. However, there are some downfalls to the seemingly simple solution. Buyer beware.

Let’s take a look…

A low price tag is often the initial draw to a conversion kit as the cost of a good quality ebike is at least $2,500. Most people have a bike kicking around – an old one sitting in the shed, a commuter your roommate left behind, your favourite daily ride… We don’t think it makes sense to pull an old unused bike out of the shed to convert it. Why is that bike unused? It probably didn’t fit you well or had some mechanical problems you never go around to fixing. This bike is not a good candidate for conversion. A good conversion kit still costs around $1,000 so it should be put on a bike you love that is in good condition. If your bike needs repairs or too many alterations to make it work, it may not be the best choice for electrification.

Sellers of ebike conversion kits make claims of universality, but only careful research will ensure that’s the case. There could be slight tweaks to get parts to line up or connect. It’s also worth sober second thought about what your analogue bike was designed to do and handle. Converting your bike could cause wear and tear that was unintended. Can your traditional drivetrain handle it? Can your brakes? Your favourite old bike converted may no longer handle how you loved. Your old stead will be a new ride with a new feel. Are you prepared? Taking this a little further are you prepared for a franken-bike appearance? All the new cables and wires will change the look of your beauty – maybe it’s best left alone.

Conversion kits are also marketed as easy to do but not everyone knows basic bike mechanics. Will you know how to do this work on your bike yourself? Did you consider every point of integration to ensure your kit will adapt your bike from wheel size to bottom bracket. If you don’t have the skills, a qualified bike mechanic can help to ensure the conversion will work and is safe. This will add to your cost but it may be better than getting stuck with a half-completed project due to roadblocks.

  1. What do you want out of our bike/ebike?
  2. Make sure your kit comes with a battery. Not all do.
  3. Universal is often an over claim.
  4. Is there any warranty on this product and how does self-assembly affect that?
  5. Ensure you purchase from a company that has good customer support – you may have questions, you may need additional parts, you may need different parts…
  6. Is it easy to take off again or is your favourite bike now a permanent ebike?

Pedego is in the business of providing top-quality electric bikes to people who want the best possible ebiking experience. We are also here to support your maintenance and warranty needs as well as connect you to the social experience of being a Pedego owner. We may be a little biased but why would you want it any other way? Connect with a Pedego store near you!