The electric bike kit combines an engine and a battery to convert your bike. Manufacturers offer their own kits but you will find universal products that adapt to all models of bikes, an interesting option when you have to change bikes.
Good news: the electric motor is easily installed on your bike and you don’t need a professional toolbox! The advantage of the electrically assisted bicycle (VAE) is twofold: you save on a brand new electric bicycle and you can reuse the electric kit on other bikes.
The electric kit will suit athletes looking for assistance during their mountain trips but also withdrawn and large families (we know how much the child seat weighs in the long run!).
The eBike: main characteristics
The electric motors are designed for easy installation: the individual is normally able to install one (we offer a video tutorial a bit lower). For a modest price, you get assisted pedaling; it is all the more economical as this kit can be reused on your future bikes or those of your loved ones.
Warning: the electric kit does not replace pedaling per se; the effort is less, but pedaling is necessary to start the engine and make it work.
Among the large models of VAE kits, there are front hub motors (generally 250W), electric wheels (everything is integrated into the wheel), and pedal motors.
The speed of an electric bicycle
The speed of an electric bicycle is limited to 25km / h. Beyond that, you would need a special permit, because your bike is no longer considered as such. You must therefore buy an electric kit that will respect this speed limit and protect you from speeding, and incidentally from bursts of adrenaline.
Warning: do not confuse speed and acceleration time; some kits are more expensive than average because they start quickly to reach the desired speed in record time, but they must in no case exceed 25 km / h. Be careful with 500W motors without limited assistance. Only exceed 250W if you are going mountain biking in high mountains.
Once the maximum speed is reached, the engine must stop running; if this is true for electric assistance, it is also true for 100% electric bikes *: the engine stops at 25 km / h.
What’s in an electronic bicycle kit? When buying an electric bike kit, check that there are the following items
Motor: it is installed on the wheel, which must adapt to the dimensions of your bike: 20 ”, 26”, 29 ”.
Battery: generally in lithium (a light and robust material) and with a power of 36V
Controller: it is he who transmits the energy from the battery to the engine. You, therefore, need a controller capable of absorbing the maximum electrical charge.
Battery charger: essential for recharging your battery. Avoid chargers other than the engine.
Other elements: cables, motion sensor, engine shutdown system, activation of assistance levels.
The electric kit sometimes includes an LCD control screen to keep an eye on battery levels, your speed in real-time, and the distance you have traveled.
Which electric kit for my bike
We are going to give you some practical advice on how to choose your VAE kit (electrically assisted bicycle). If any questions remain unanswered, please do not hesitate to ask us for a comment.
The price of an electric kit
Your budget is the number 1 selection criterion. The price of a kit will depend in particular on the motor and its power: 250W, 500W, 1000W.
On Amazon, you will find electric bicycle kits for 100 €. As with any product, prices can skyrocket and you’ll find some $ 600 or more for the more sophisticated kits. That being said, investing in an electric kit is still more economical than buying a new electric bike. With a 100 € budget, you will find good deals.
Warning: the prices of the products are very attractive in some countries, such as China, but we do not guarantee their qualities, especially since you will only see the product once it has been delivered and you are never sure that the after-sales service is good (when it exists!). Not to mention the transport and customs costs which increase the bill.
Foreign brands are nevertheless benchmarks in this area: BionX is a Canadian brand known for its sports electrical kits. The manufacturers KTM and MATRA also use BionX to motorize their own bikes.
The fork connects the wheel to the handlebars of the bicycle: the size of this fork must allow the installation of an electric wheel. Before purchasing an electric kit, check the dimensions of the forks, typically 100mm at the front and 136mm at the rear.
The size of the rims
The rim that supports the motor should be equal in size to your wheel. This size generally fluctuates between 16 and 28 ”, but you will find models at 29”. Folding e-bikes have smaller wheels than hybrid bikes or mountain bikes.
The battery: voltage, autonomy & installation
The speed of acceleration of your bike will depend on the power of its battery: know that a 36V battery has about 33% more acceleration power than a 24V battery. The lithium batteries are lightweight and allow greater autonomy. In its early stages, your battery life should be around 30 km before recharging. The ravages of time will decrease this autonomy but if you take care of your battery, this decrease will be minimal.
The installation of the battery can be done almost anywhere on the frame of your bike, as long as you do not break pedaling or interfere with the seat. The choice of location depends on the model and size of the bike. Better to install the battery on the luggage rack, for example, than on the metal frame of your saddle.
Reminder: at the risk of being redundant, do not forget to travel at less than 25 km / h. Some manufacturers specify maximum speeds (sometimes 30-40 km / h). Your safety above all!
Electric assistance levels
Electric bikes assist the cyclist in pedaling: the motor is started with the mechanical movement of the pedals, proportioned by the physical effort of the cyclist. The levels of assistance can be light or on the contrary very high. Assistance is possible thanks to an effort and cadence sensor.
Low level of assistance: you produce most of the movement and you will reach speeds of 12 to 14 km / h.
Medium level of assistance: you feel that the effort is produced in large part by the motor. The difference is clear.
High level of assistance for maximum comfort or as part of a speed sport.
The control screen
The LCD screen is installed on the handlebars of your bike. It informs you about the state of the battery, the distance traveled, your speed in real-time, the speed variations, the time… these options are musts, rather interesting for sporting use of the bike.
The installation guide for a VAE kit
The installation guide normally comes with the electrical kit. It will depend on the model and the bike, although there are universal kits. If in doubt, it is best to go through a professional: improper installation could damage your device and be dangerous for your safety.