E-bike Kit Or Retail Electric Bike
In the beginning days of e-bikes, the choices were to build your own. Many were rigged around a modern bike using batteries, motors and electronics from tools, household items and so on. The retail options for turn-key electric bikes were very limited and many with poor range, power, and low craftsmanship.
As the industry grew so did the retail options. While turn key ebikes have greatly improved over the years so have their e-bike kit counterparts. Today you can purchase any electric bicycle type including cruisers, cargo, mountain, commuter, road, trikes, folding and so on. In general, many of the higher-end factory ebikes have reliable electronics, dependable lithium batteries and motors.
So why a kit?
With the plethora of retail ebikes abound today, electric bike conversion kits still play a huge role in the future of the industry. With the growth of e-bike technology, we continually see kits offering the best bang for your buck. May low to medium end turn-key bikes offer low quality motors and poor lithium cells among poor performing bike parts. Much of the bike cost is spent on the bike frame and components itself. There is a reason kits are still outselling ebikes and here is why:
1. You already own the perfect bike
The main reason to go with an ebike conversion kit is because you probably already own the perfect bike. Adding a electric assist to your current bike allows you to own a quality bike with a quality motor and battery for half the cost. Since you’ve already invested in the perfect bike, it makes sense to use it as your base for a conversion. Our conversion kits require no major modifications to the bike itself and is practically plug and play. Its easy on and easy off if you ever need to convert it back and is basically undetectable when not in use. It makes very little sense to buy a pre-built electric bike when you already have a bike available at half the cost. Converting an existing bike will ultimately be less expensive, offer higher quality parts and all with a bicycle platform that’s been proven.
2. The ebike you want may not exist
While there are many options for retail ebikes they still don’t cover all the variations of bikes that exist. Turn-key bike companies tend to focus on the major market segments such as mountain bikes and commuter bikes. Their offerings also tend to fall within a common window for power, range, and speed. Another major concern is the large price gap in prices. You can find an ebike for $300-$8000 dollars with a wide range of components and quality. Many lower end bikes offer poor performance and can even offer unsafe riding conditions.
3. Your ebike kit isn't permanent
While this is easily overlooked; another benefit of a conversion kit over a turn-key ebike is the ability to move the entire electric drive over to a different bike platform. If you outgrow your current bike, buy a new bike, or your cycling needs change, you can simply move the kit over to to your new setup. Even reverting it back and forth when and if needed.
We have customers running the same hub motor for 10 years swapping it across platforms and even to recumbent bikes and etc depending on their needs. A conversion kit allows your initial investment in the electric bike kit and bike platform to evolve into your needs.
4. Flexible battery solutions
Factory made ebikes are many times designed with a custom formed and or integrated battery pack. Straight out of the box it looks elegant; but ultimately at a price. Generally speaking, only one specific battery can fit the bike and many times they are not removable. Once the battery dies, or the model is discontinued you may be out of luck in finding a replacement. It is not uncommon after a few years to have the manufacturer stop producing that specific battery or model. Most conversion kits, on the other hand are based on a premise that the battery by nature can
work with a wide range of battery options.
It is inevitable ebike that the battery of any ebike will eventually need replacing. Cheaper ebike kits often reach end of life in one, two or three years. Today’s higher quality lithium batteries can last four to six years or longer. When you find your retail turn-key ebike out of production, either you’ll need to find a custom battery manufacturer who can build or replace the cells in your original battery otherwise your left with a large and heavy investment that is now predominantly useless.