Choosing the right conversion kit


by Jacob Fox February 22, 2017

An electric bike conversion kit is a bundled electronic product that is designed to change a standard mechanical bicycle into an electric bike. There are a plethora of electric bike conversion kits out there on the market at the moment and it can be hard to choose which ones are best for your application. I will discuss what I think a good approach to choosing you conversion kit is, using the Ebikery kits as an example. At Ebikery we offer 3 brands of front wheel hub kits and a single brand of mid drive kits. Front heel hub kits will replace your front wheel with a motor and the mid drive units will replace your crankset with a motor. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which I will discuss in a later blog post. The questions you should ask yourself initially are:

  • What distance do I want to complete before a recharge?
  • What is my budget?
  • Does normal commute involve a lot of serious hills?
  • Do I need the best warranty?
  • Will the kit fit my bike? (bike specific and won’t be discussed in detail in this post)
Once you have answer those questions you should be able have a good look at this table to weigh up the basic parameters that will help you choose a kit.

 

Dillenger Street

Arc Street

A-Kit

Dillenger BBS01
(Mid Drive)

Range #

45km to 100km

55km to 110km

30km to 60km

Battery package choice dependant usually >55km

Cost

Middle

Middle-High

Cheapest

High

Good at Hills

Good

Good

Good

Best

Warranty* (years)

1

5

1

1

*Battery warranty may vary.
# Range depends on a lot of variables such as pedal assistance level, throttle use, wind, weight, terrain, rider effort, battery health and tyre pressure.  

If your answer to “Does my commute involve a lot of serious hills?” was yes. Then going for a mid-drive system is going to much more suitable for you. The inherent design of the motor means that you can get the high torque that you need when climbing those serious hills. If you are more concerned with budget or only have the occasional serious hill then going for any of the front wheel drive options are going to be very suitable. Now that you have one or two kits circled you can weigh up the pros and cons on each of the conversion kits using this table:

 

Pros

Cons

A-Kit

  • Small range
  • Motor controller integrated (bottle battery variant)
  • Light on the wallet
  • Simple
  • Water resistant cabling
  • Simple handlebar controller
  • Great introduction kit
  • Easy maintenance
  • Comes with single throttle type
  • No speedo
  • 3 levels of PAS
  • Rear rack version can be tricky to install solo
  • Shortest warranty
  • Motor controller not integrated (rear rack variant)

Dillenger Street

  • Good range
  • Motor controller integrated
  • Cheaper than most kits
  • 9 levels of pedal assistance (newest model)
  • LCD screen
  • Water resistant cabling
  • Easy maintenance
  • Comes with single throttle type

Arc Street

  • Best Range
  • Comes both throttle types
  • Comes with rear rack
  • 9 Level of pedal assistance
  • LCD screen
  • Water resistant cabling
  • Best warranty
  • Easy maintenance
  • Motor controller not integrated in battery cradle
  • Expensive (RRP)

Dillenger BBS01

  • Best hill climber
  • 9 Level of pedal assistance
  • LCD screen
  • Water resistant cabling
  • Motor controller integrated into motor
  • Optional extras like the Bling Ring
  • More maintenance on drive train than hub drives
  • Most expensive
  • Optional extras can drive price up more
  • Come with single throttle type
  • Installation is much more difficult
  • Installation requires bicycle specific tools

Each pro and con may have more weight for you personally.

Another parameter to consider which is rarely discussed and it’s to do with battery range and lifecycle. If you are riding your e-bike close to maximum range of the battery every day, you will be using more of your expected battery lifecycle. For example, you have a 15km commute to work every day, that’s 30km’s total per day. You might think that the A-kit would be perfect for you because the approximate minimum range the battery is equal to that of your average commute. You are correct for the most part. Though because you may be recharging your battery every day (from empty), you are consuming one cycle of the battery’s lifecycle every day. If you were to choose the Dillenger Street, you would be consuming one cycle of the battery’s lifecycle every 1.5 days or 1.8 days for the Arc Street. This would mean that the Dillenger/Arc may be more expensive initially, though it may save you later down the line because your battery would be expected to live a longer time. This is assuming that you would be riding close to the maximum pedal assistance all the time and have good battery health knowledge which we have touched on in a previous blog post.

Some pros and cons will have a lot higher weigh depending on your personal preference. The above information should give you a good idea as to what kit is the most suitable for you. The numbers listed in the example above are just that, an example, they are only based of some basic calculations and should only be used as a guide. If you have any concerns about installation check with the manufacturer or retailer. As always if you would like anything specific discussed in our blog or would like more information on anything electric bike related. Get in contact with us via the website!




Jacob Fox
Jacob Fox

Author