Should You Buy an E-Bike or a Conversion Kit?

1) Do you have a good bike?

If you already have a bicycle that’s been reliable and is still in good shape, you don’t need to buy a new e-bike. You can convert your existing bicycle to an e-bike using a conversion kit.

infographic on electric bike vs conversion kit in six steps

2) Do you have limited space?

If you only have space for one bike and want to keep your current bicycle, converting it into an ebike saves you having to give it up. The conversion kit adds a little weight but your converted e-bike will take up the same amount of space.

A couple riding a tandem ebike

3) Do you have special requirements?

You might choose a conversion kit if you have a special requirement you can’t find off-the-shelf. This could be bicycle configuration, frame, geometry or an electric assist performance you cannot find in a standard ebike. Normally this is the only solution for niche market products such as adult trikes, recumbent trikes, adaptive bikes or trikes. With the conversion kit, you can set it up yourself or see a bike mechanic for extra support.

  • Would you rather do it yourself, put in the research and get exactly what you want for less money, but more time spent?
  • Or, would you rather take a look at a few reviews, find a complete product that fits your cycling requirements and is delivered brand new, finished — a little more expensive but less trouble for you

4) Do you want a customized performance?

Having a converted bike makes it easier to upgrade your e-bike with new accessories. Having the bare frame means that after the battery and electrical system are installed, you can add whatever you want to improve the bike’s performance. Your existing bike may also be lighter or have a frame and tire size that suits your needs where an off-the-shelf e-bike might not.

a dog on the back of an electric trike

5) Do you want to save a few hundred bucks?

Your choice between kit and pre-built could come down to budget. Conversion kits are cheaper than e bikes, if you already have a solid bicycle. We have electric bikes starting from $1,199 ($859.78 US); these are smaller, lighter 250w folding electric bikes. They’re very convenient and can knock out the hills on your commute without a problem, but might not be what you had in mind; larger and more powerful e bikes will cost more.

  • $3000 in gas
  • $3,500 in parking
  • $1,500 in insurance
A guy in the park with a converted ebike

6) Do you have a non-functional e-bike?

You can use a conversion kit to bring a broken e-bike back to working condition, potentially at a lower cost than having repairs made. Conversion kits include a hub motor kit, and electrical system and a battery pack; the base components to turn a regular pedal bike into an electric rising machine.

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Adam Media

Adam Media

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Marketing, content, copy and all the other words, based in Vancouver, Canada.