article by Andrew Austin
If you want to turn your regular bike into an e-bike there are a few steps you’ll need to consider. The good news is that this is not a complicated process and can last from a few minutes with minimalistic kits up to an hour with more complex kits.
There are a few methods which can help you achieve your goal of transforming your traditional bike. Before you can experience the improved uphill performance, you’ll need to know that you’ll be able to purchase an e-bike conversion kit and the good news is that this will provide you everything you need for the conversion. But where do you even start?
Find a bike to convert
If you are looking to convert a regular bike into an e-bike, you are probably trying to save money. The good news is that there are a few conversion kits which can help you achieve this without spending too much or at least by spending less when compared to a new e-bike purchase. So can you convert any bike? The truth is that converting most bikes is possible, but this will largely depend on the conversion kit you can find on the market. Thus you can convert a road bike and even a mountain bike.
Once you have a bike to convert, you will need to decide which wheel you will convert. There is an ongoing debate on whether it is a smart idea to add the motor to the front or to the back wheel. The truth is that you’ll need to decide for yourself as both wheels’ conversion comes with some benefits or drawbacks.
The obvious option would be to mount the motor on the back wheel as this can give you better traction but some users prefer to place it on the front wheel. When you place the motor on the front wheel you will need to expect heavier steering. And this is normal when you consider the added weight. The choice will be up to you to select between placing the motor on the front or on the back wheel.
Find the right e-bike conversion kit
There are many e-bike conversion kits on the market. While it is true that not all of them are quality choices, you may need to consider looking for a kit which offers top quality parts as you may be playing with basic bike safety. So which kit is best in terms of performance?
This is where you’ll need to find a tailored solution. The mistake many new cyclists make is choosing a powerful motor when they don’t need one. The same can also be applied when choosing a weak motor when you need more power. The key is to assess your commute or cycling journey. The terrain will largely dictate the power you need from an e-bike conversion kit.
If your commute is mostly on flat terrains, you can save further by purchasing a motor which is not too powerful. At the same time, you’ll need to realize that if you have hills on your commute you will most likely need a powerful motor and an improved battery performance. The improved battery will need to power the potent motors and this is why it is important to assess your route before making a decision. But with a larger battery comes the storage debate, you can store it:
As you can see, you may need to purchase a rack and attach it to your bike in order to hold a larger battery. There are some other solutions which may even come in bags or other designs which are then mounted on the frame. Regardless of the power of the motor you choose for your bike, you may want to know that most designs will come with limitations in terms of prolonged performance at maximum capacity. Thus, you’ll need to consider that maximum acceleration is not that damaging as using the motor at a maximum capacity for long periods of time.
Although these situations might be rare, especially in cities, you may still want to consider that regardless of the power, you’ll need to alternate the performance for improved durability. You will also want to know that there are some different e-bike conversion kits you can choose from. A basic kit will include a motor, a battery, a throttle etc.
Remove the back wheel to install the needed components
You will most likely need some tools for the job which include: an adjustable crescent wrench, screw driver, Allen wrenches, a bike pump and scissors to cut wires. The best position to start working is by flipping the bike in order to easily access the back wheel. You will need to remove and release the air in order to remove the tire. This way, you will be able to move any components which come with a kit wheel to your bike’s wheel and these may even include a brake disc. After the components are moved to your wheel you can place the tire back and inflate it using a pump.
Install the wheel and rack
When your bike is upside down, you can install the wheel back into position. You will need to ensure that the installed wire from the motor will be pointing upwards to avoid water damage from rain. You can then proceed to mount the washer, lock washer and the nut. Using a wrench, you will need to secure the wheel to the frame using enough pressure to make it fit the right way. You want to avoid using too much pressure as to damage the motor or reduced lockdown not to secure the wheel tightly. You can now install the rack. The good news is that this process is not complicated at all and you will be able to perform it in minutes.
Prepare the cables and the throttle
You can now remove the handgrips from the handlebar. You can usually do this with a twist and pull movement. You’ll need to perform this step in order to install the brake levers. In most cases, you will need to also adjust the cable length. This is where a good pair of scissors might come in handy. Alternatively, you can also use a wire cutter.
You are now ready to install the throttle. For this step, you will need to use an Allen wrench which might even be provided in your e-bike kit. You will insert the throttle, the spacer and the grip. At this point, you will need to use the Allen wrench to tighten the throttle in place.
Some kits will also come with a display unit. It is a good practice to mount it at the end when you flip the bike back on its wheels. You can now also connect the wires from the motor, throttle, display, brake and battery.
Andrew Austin is the founder of Ebikecatalog, a trusted Internet Retailer for e-bikes. Their mission is to offer customers a wide variety of quality products at the lowest price.
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