best electric conversion kits for mountain bikes

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In this article, I’ll be looking at the best electric bike conversion kits for mountain bikes. I’ll be examining the suitability of these kits in the context of off-road riding, plus looking at the benefits of adding e-assist to your bike for commuting or casual leisure riding.

best electric bike conversion kits for mountain bikes
Riding an electric mountain bike is great fun!

Mountain bikes are one of the most popular types of donor bikes used for electric conversion, and the best e-bike conversion kit for an MTB depends on its intended use. Riding off-road can take its toll on any bike and there are several things to consider when fitting an electric conversion kit.

 ⚠Legal considerations

Some of the e-bike conversion kits featured below produce more power than is road legal in some countries. It’s worth remembering that in the UK, EU and Australia there is a 250w continuous power limit and this law applies to any use in a public space (including trails). If you’re using the bike on private land, it’s not an issue.

uk electric bike laws
Always check the electric bike laws in your country

In the UK an electric mountain bike is defined as having pedal assist, no throttle and a 15.5mph (25km/h) assist cut-off point. Technically you can fit a throttle to a used bike as the law was changed in 2016, although the maximum assist and power limit still applies.

When you’re dealing with the kind of power output found on the Bafang BBSHD and CYC X1 Pro the performance is getting into electric motorbike territory.

Kind of Terrain Ridden on

Mountain bike riders have varying degrees of skill and ability – I’ve converted bikes for experienced riders and novices alike. The requirements are going to be different for a rider who is tackling technical ascents and descents when compared with a weekend leisure rider who’s riding hard-packed gravel and forest fire roads.

Make sure you choose the right mountain bike for your needs


If you’re fitting a mid-drive and expect to be tackling steep, technical climbs then a 14-28  7-speed freewheel isn’t going to give you a low enough gear and the motor will be working very hard. Ideally, you want a 9, 10, or 11-speed gear system with a wide-range rear cassette. I would think along the lines of an 11-40 to 11-46 cassette. These size cassettes are readily available 0n 9-11 speed drivetrains.

11-40 10 speed cassette on a btwin riverside 900
A wide-range 11-40 cassette

Unfortunately, most mid-drive kits have an offset chain line due to the motor design. This may affect shifting quality, particularly in the lower gears. For optimal shifting, you may need a chainring adapter that brings the chain-line inbound slightly.

Choosing the Right Mountain Bike for Electric Conversion

This isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. A lot of modern mountain bikes have thru-axle hubs which would rule out a hub motor, and some MTBs have pressfit bottom brackets which would limit the choice of a mid-drive motor.

Both the Bafang and Tongsheng mid-drive motor kits featured below are only compatible with a standard BSA threaded bottom bracket shell. I’ve listed some of the common threaded bottom brackets found on mountain bikes.

A Shimano Hollowtech II threaded bottom bracket
  • Shimano cartridge bottom brackets (anything with a 68mm – 73mm BB will be fine)
  • Shimano Octalink
  • SRAM Powerspline
  • Shimano Hollowtech II (Deore, XT)

Another important consideration is where you’re going to fit the battery. On a larger hardtail frame, the battery would usually fit in the triangle and be mounted on the bottle bosses. On some frames, these bosses are too far back (towards the seat tube) and it’s quite common to need to drill an additional hole in the battery mounting plate, or even mount the battery back to front.

A Cube hardtail mountain bike fitted with a Bafang mid-drive

Where do you Fit the Battery on a Full Suspension MTB?

Full-suspension mountain bikes can be a lot more challenging.  They rarely have enough space to fit a battery due to the rear suspension unit. You can mount the battery on the top tube, although this will significantly reduce stand-over height, and the extra weight of the battery can make the bike feel top-heavy.

boardman mtr 8.9 bafang mid drive conversion
Fitting a battery on a full-suspension bike can be a tight squeeze!

Some people choose to mount the battery on the underside of the downtube, but this too presents its problems – if you have a fair bit of travel in your front forks then the tyre may rub on the battery casing when braking downhill or going over bumps.

A seat post-mounted battery would work in some instances unless you have a dropper post fitted. Another option is to carry the battery in a backpack with a long power lead, but I’m not a fan of this because of potential safety hazards (particularly if you fall off). The best option would be to have a smaller, custom-built battery pack that fits neatly into the frame.

48v20ah clamp-on battery
A seat post-mounted battery pack

The Best Electric Bike Conversion Kits for Mountain Bikes 2023

I have installed most of the electric conversion kits below onto mountain bikes in the past except the CYC X1 Pro. Remember to check compatibility with your MTB before placing any orders, and if you’re in doubt please use the comments section below and I will be able to tell you whether your bike will be suitable or not.

Bafang Mid-Drive Conversion Kit

The Bafang mid-drive motor has been around since 2014 and has undergone several internal/electrical revisions since then, but the exterior and basic design have remained largely unchanged.

There are currently six different power configurations available:

bafang bbs02 review
A Bafang BBS02B mid-drive installed on a Boardman Hardtail MTB

What makes the Bafang mid-drive suitable for a mountain bike?

There are several key reasons the Bafang mid-drive is suitable for an electric mountain bike conversion.

  • Motor location: Having the motor fitted in the bottom bracket keeps the extra weight (4.2kg) low and central which will help the bike’s handling characteristics.
  • Power transfer: Power from the motor is transferred to the rear wheel via the drive chain and gears. This allows the motor to spin much faster, which helps to make it more efficient and produce higher torque.
  • Customisable settings: One of the great things about the Bafang mid-drive is the ease with which it can be ‘configured’ by the rider. Using the optional USB programming lead and free, easy-to-use software you can fine-tune the pedal assist characteristics to suit your personal needs.


The Bafang mid-drive is hard to beat when it comes to performance. The BBS02B 750w and BBSHD 1000w produce impressive amounts of assistance in the higher power levels, more akin to a small electric motorcycle. Below, I’ve detailed the maximum peak power available from all the Bafang variants.

Bafang MotorBatteryPeak Power
BBS01B 250w36v (42.2v x 15A)633w
BBS01B 350w36v (42.2v x 18A)759w
The voltage figures in brackets are for a fully-charged battery. Note: As the voltage drops, so will the power.
Bafang ModelBatteryPeak Power (Watts)
BBS02 500w 36v36v (42.2v x 25A)1055w
BBS02 500w 48v48v (54.4v x 18A)864w
BBS02 500w 52v52v (58.8v x 18A)1058w
BBS02 750w 48v48v (54.4v x 25A)1200w
BBS02 750w 52v52v (58.8v x 25A)1470w
The voltage figures in brackets are for a fully charged battery. Note: As the voltage drops, so will the power.
Bafang MotorBatteryPeak Power
BBSHD48v (54.4v) x 30A1632w
BBSHD52v (58.8v) x 30A1764w
The voltage figures in brackets are for a fully-charged battery. Note: As the voltage drops, so will the power.

This performance is great in a straight line but can be a hindrance on steep, technical climbs. The reason for this is the pedal assist is activated by a basic cadence sensor, and has a very on/off feel to it. This can be a bit disconcerting on very rough terrain.

Bafang mountain bike compatibility

The motor shaft on the Bafang is only compatible with mountain bikes that have a BSA thread bottom bracket of no more than 73mm wide. Quite a lot of modern, high-end MTBs have pressfit bottom brackets – as the name suggests, these are pressed into the frame. A pressfit BB shell will have a diameter that’s larger than the motor shaft, and quite often wider as well. It is still possible to use a reducer shim (for 68-73mm pressfit BBs) but for wider 86mm-90mm bottom bracket shells, the motor shaft will not be long enough.

Bafang BBSHD installed on a Decathlon Rockrider 540s MTB


Is the Bafang mid-drive e-bike conversion kit suitable for a mountain bike? I think it is to a degree. If you’re doing long climbs and fairly moderate single-track descents then it’s great. Problems start to arise when things get more technical, particularly on climbs. You’ll never be short of power as even the 250w produces a good level of assist.

The motor does tend to hang down a little, making it more vulnerable to impacts from things like rocks. The motor can also work its way loose in the bottom bracket shell and may need regular tightening.

All the feedback I’ve received from customers over the years rates this motor very highly for off-road use. For more information, check out the full reviews in the links above.

✅Buy the Bafang Mid-Drive👇

Tongsheng TSDZ2

If you’re looking for a natural assist feel more akin to the Bosch or Shimano Steps e-assist systems (but without the cost) then the Tongsheng TSDZ2 may be for you. It uses a torque sensor which measures the force being applied to the pedals.

tongsheng tsdz2 review

The Tongsheng TSDZ2 is available in the power configurations below:

  • 36v 250w (full Tongsheng TSDZ2 review here)
  • 36v 350w
  • 36v 500w
  • 48v 350w
  • 48v 500w
  • 52v 750w  ⚠ These versions are not approved by Tongsheng and have firmware that’s been modified by the vendor.

What makes the Tongsheng TSDZ2 suitable for a mountain bike?

  • Torque-sensing pedal assist: One of the main problems with the Bafang is the on/off nature of the assist – this can make negotiating technical trails at slower speeds interesting, to say the least. With the Tongsheng you don’t have this issue as you need to be putting force through the pedals before the motor will kick in. This translates into a much more natural and intuitive electric assist, making the rider feel much more in control.
  • Small and lightweight: The Tongsheng TSDZ2 is also physically smaller than the Bafang, meaning there’s more ground clearance which reduces the risk of damage from rocks or large tree roots. This motor is also over half a kilo lighter than the Bafang.
  • Motor location: Just like the Bafang, the TSDZ2 fits in the bottom bracket and transfers power to the rear wheel via the chain. Mid-drive e-bike motors are used on all high-end e-MTBs.
full suspension ebike whyte 46
Tongsheng TSDZ2 installed on a Whyte 46 mountain bike


As far as performance is concerned, the Tongsheng is much more sedate than the Bafang. If you want an electric motor that’s going to complement your abilities, while still giving you a good workout, then the TSDZ2 is excellent.     

MotorBatteryPeak Power
Tongsheng TSDZ2 36v (250w variant)36v (42.2v x 16A)675w
Tongsheng TSDZ2 48v (500w variant)48v (54.4v x 16A)870w
The voltage figures in brackets are for a fully-charged battery. Note: As the voltage drops, so will the power.

Tongsheng TSDZ2 mountain bike compatibility

The mountain bike compatibility criteria are the same for the Tongsheng TSDZ2 with a couple of exceptions. There is very limited clearance between the motor shaft and the housing. This means if you have any cables going underneath the bottom bracket shell, you will need to re-route them. Because of this reduced clearance you will not be able to install it on a pressfit BB shell, even with a reducer shim.

Orange full suspension mountain bike fitted with a tongsheng tsdz2 electric bike kit
An Orange mountain bike fitted with the Tongsheng TSDZ2


The Tongsheng TSDZ2 e-bike conversion kit is an affordable way to transform your old mountain bike into a capable e-MTB. What I like about this motor is the fact it’s not a free ride. You still have to put in some effort to get the full benefit of the electric assist.

It’s not quite as robust as the Bafang and the blue primary gear is a particular weak point, especially when used in a demanding off-road environment.  The blue gear takes about an hour (and a bit of patience) to replace.

Performance-wise it doesn’t have the raw power of the Bafang, but the electric assist is much better suited to off-road riding, particularly technical ascents.

Check out my Tongsheng vs Bafang comparison here.

✅Buy the Tongsheng TSDZ2👇

Check the Latest Prices at
Links to Buy the Tongsheng TSDZ2

CYC X1 Pro 5000w Mid_Drive Motor

This kit is designed for the serious enthusiast who wants a super-powerful electric motor that can be easily customisable and also provide the fluid, natural feel of a torque sensor.

cyc x1 pro

The CYC X1 Pro is the only kit featured here that I’ve not installed. It’s a very specialist e-bike motor, capable of producing up to 5000w of power with 250Nm of torque.

One of the things that make the CYC X1 Pro suitable for a mountain bike is the mounting options. Unlike the Bafang and Tongsheng, you can install the CYC on a mountain bike with a pressfit bottom bracket, thanks to the way the motor mounts to the bike.

One of the great things about the CYC X1 Pro is the fact it’s made to be easily customisable by the end user. Although most riders buy the CYC for its impressive performance, you can use a 36v battery and tone down all the settings if required. The X1 Pro is a flexible system which you can tailor to your own specific needs.

The CYCMotor Ltd was started by a group of electric bike enthusiasts whose primary aim was to produce the best e-MTB conversion kit on the market. It’s quite expensive when compared with the likes of Bafang, but as far as performance and customisation are concerned, it’s on another level.

This motor is currently available in limited quantities from some vendors in the UK, EU and US. It’s a very niche product aimed at the performance e-MTB market, and because of the high potential power output would only be suitable for off-road use.

Yose Power Rear Hub Motor E-Bike Conversion Kit

For the budget-conscious rider who just wants a simple, easy-to-install electric bike conversion kit the Yose Power kit offers exceptional value for money. This kit uses a simple rear hub motor which is typically laced into a 26″, 27.5″ or 28″ rim.

yose power electric bike kit review
✅Link to the Yose Power website (USE DISCOUNT CODE BH2E24BXQH)

This has to be the most reliable electric bike conversion kit I’ve installed over the last few years. I have never experienced any major problems and the Yose Power hub motor has proven to be very robust.

Installation is fairly straightforward and if you can change a tyre, you should be able to fit this conversion kit. They even supply a tool kit and cable ties.

The Yose Power kit installed on a cheap mountain bike

Is the Yose Power e-bike kit suitable for a mountain bike?

For mild to moderate off-road riding, the Yose Power electric conversion kit will be more than adequate. The small rear hub motor produces a surprisingly decent amount of assist and because the motor is in the wheel, nothing is hanging down that’s going to get knocked.

It isn’t going to have the pulling power of a mid-drive motor and small hub motors can struggle on really steep climbs, but for more relaxed leisure riding they’re ideal.


Yose Power offers its conversion kit in several different wheel sizes and front / rear motor options. I wouldn’t recommend the front motor for off-road situations, although it would be fine for generally riding/commuting.

yose power ebike kit review
The Yose Power conversion kit fitted to a Marin Hybrid bike

If your bike has modern thru-axles, then the Yose Power kit would not be compatible. The rear wheel fits standard 135mm quick-release drop-outs and the front wheel 100mm.


The Yose Power kit is an excellent option if you’re on a budget. It’s not suitable for hard off-road riding but will be fine for general leisure riding and gentler terrain. It is much more straightforward to install than a mid-drive and reliability is excellent. Read the full Yose Power review here.

Yose Power has fulfilment warehouses in the UK and EU and also supplies a range of batteries to complement their conversion kits.

Buy direct from Yose Power – use discount code BH2E24BXQH

Visit the Yose Power eBay shop

Also available on Amazon

Final thoughts

When it comes to converting your mountain bike to electric, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ – it depends on your bike and intended use. If you are a serious mountain biker looking for something that’s going to give you a similar level of performance and feel to the Bosch motor, then the Tongsheng TSDZ2 is a good option. It’s nowhere near as smooth and sophisticated, but it costs a fraction of the price.

hard tail mountain bike fitted with a bafang bbshd and 52v14ah battery
Bafang mid-drive conversion kit installed on a Decathlon mountain bike

The Bafang BBS motors offer a wide range of performance options and can be easily re-configured by the end user. I’ve installed more Bafang mid-drive motors on mountain bikes than any other motor and they continue to be very popular.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, then the CYC X1 Pro is an amazing motor, capable of handling massive amounts of power – this is a motor for enthusiasts and should only be installed on a mountain bike that has good quality brakes and components.

Finally, we have the Yose Power e-bike conversion kit. This is a great option if you don’t want to break the bank and are just looking for a cheap and reliable way to convert your mountain bike to electric. There are lots of benefits and negatives to choosing a hub motor vs mid-drive, but if you’re on a budget, they’re hard to beat!

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions relating to this article, please feel free to use the comments section below. I usually reply within 24hrs.

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  1. Thanks for all your expertise!
    I have a 2005 Kona Coiler with minimal hours on it that i want to turn i to a fun and powerful mid drive ebike. What would you think would be compatible with it?
    Much thanks,

    1. Hi Dave,

      Depending on your budget, either a Tongsheng or Bafang mid-drive would fit. Although, the Tongsheng can be problematic on full-suspension MTBs because it’s difficult to secure the motor using the supplied bracket. The Bafang BBS01B or BBS02B would be the easier solution. The only other issue I can see is battery placement. You’ll need to measure how much space is in the triangle. The most common type of battery (Hailong case) is 365mm long x 110mm high x 90mm wide. I’m fairly sure you would need a more compact battery on the Kona, something like a compact bottle battery or side-exit type battery. I would also take a look at the new CYC Photon – this is designed to be compatible will most MTBs but is quite expensive.

      Let me know if you need any more information.


  2. Bonjour,

    Félicitations pour vos articles ! Vous êtes l’un des rares experts en la matière !

    J’ai acheté un Canyon Grand 6.0.
    J’aimerais beaucoup le convertir avec le CYC X1 Pro.
    Je vis en France.

    Savez vous qui pourrait faire cela pour moi ? Vous-même?

  3. Dag Tony,
    Ik heb een vraag…. Ik heb een aantal jaren geleden een op maat gemaakte mtb laten maken . Dit omwille van mijn binnenbeenlengte +100 cm. Deze is afgemonteerd met Shimano slx, nu wil ik deze ombouwen naar elektrisch, let wel deze is een 29″. Ik ben een recreatieve fietser dus buiten een keertje offroad te gaan zal deze fiets vooral gebruikt worden op een normale geasfalteerde straat.
    De batterij wil ik in een harde framekoffer. En ik zou ook willen zo min mogelijk te boren oid om deze set te plaatsen vanwege de aankoopprijs van deze fiets (gebouwd door SCATTO op vraag)
    Ik zou graag op weg willen geholpen worden naar de keuze van de ombouwset.
    Mocht je foto’s wensen om de fiets te bekijken, dan stuur ik deze graag via email.
    Alvast Bedankt.
    Vriendelijke Groet,

  4. Hallo Tony,
    Meine Frau hat ein Fully von Cube WLS 26”dies würde ich gerne als E-Bike umbauen. Verwendung ist eher leichtes Gelände und mittlere Steigungen. Welche Variante an E-Antrieb, Mittelmotor, Radnabe-Motor Vorder-/Hinterrad würden Sie mir empfehlen?
    Vielen Dank

    1. Hallo Chris,

      Es sieht so aus, als ob es ein ziemlich einfach zu konvertierendes Fahrrad sein sollte. Wenn es auf ziemlich sanftem Gelände gefahren wird, würde ich eines der Yose Power 26-Zoll-Vorder- oder Hinterrad-Kits empfehlen. Ich persönlich bevorzuge das Hinterrad-Kit, aber ich habe diese zuvor am Vorderrad montiert und sie sind für den Alltag in Ordnung Tagesreiten. [Schauen Sie sich hier meine Rezension an] – Ich habe exklusive 10-€-Rabattcodes.

  5. Hi
    Been looking at the yose rear wheel converter kit for a Scott mountain bike but I don’t know
    If it’s a freewheel or cassette rear wheel

    1. Hi Neil,

      If your Scott has 8 or more gears on the back, then you will need a cassette version. If it’s just 6-7 gears, then it would be a freewheel.

  6. Hi, I am wondering what the crank hole is on my Trek Fuel 7 mountain bike would be. It is an older nice bike 1980-90????. I am 76 now and some help on the hills in the Santa Fe area would be nice. I like the mid mount setup and would do this myself. Your help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks , Thane

    1. Hi Thane,

      Your Trek will have a 68mm threaded bottom bracket, so it should be compatible with the Bafang. I’ve fitted this motor on a few older MTB’s (Cannondale, Specialized, Gary Fisher) without any issues. I hope this helps.

      All the best,

  7. I am looking to convert my Schwinn Rocket full suspension. What would you recommend for a conversion kit?

    1. Any of the Bafang mid-drive motors would fit, but I’m not sure where you’d fit the battery. I think the best option would be a seat post mounted battery as there’s no space on the frame. You could try fitting a battery on the underside of the downtube, but you run the risk of contact with the tyre when the suspension’s compressed.

  8. I Tony, I am looking to convert my 2019 Specialized stumpjumper using but am concerned about having enough room for the battery. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Jon,

      The only battery I can see fitting would be a mini bottle battery. These are okay, but don’t offer a lot in the way of range and are usually only 36v. I would recommend contacting Luna Cycle, they have a lot of experience build full suspension e-MTB’s and usually have a range of batteries specifically designed for these frames.

  9. Hi Tony,
    I’m wanting to buy 29er hardtail MTB as a donor bike for ebike.
    Due to my low budget, au$1000 for the conversion kit, I figured out it might be my only option to go for a wheel hub even though I was hoping to have mid-drive.
    My use is for light off-road and mainly to get me around and help climbing the hills in the area.
    Front hub or rear hub?

    If having a rear wheel hub and only one cog at the front, is it advisable to change front for 3 speed derailleur or how would I go about it?

    Long story short, which 250W kit with lots of would you recommend, that could fit the standard size 29″ rear fork without issues? The bigger battery the better.
    For the same purpose, also which 26″ kit would you recommend if I cannot find a Pekka 29er?

    Apologies for so many questions but looking forward to hear from you.
    Thank you and kind regards,

    1. Hi Pekka,

      In Europe we get the Yose Power kits, which are great value for money and extremely reliable. You could contact them through this link to their website, I’m fairly sure they would ship direct from China to Australia. A 29er is a 28″ rim with MTB tyre so if you order a 28″ rim that would be fine, also you would need to choose from freewheel or cassette freehub (depending on what set-up your bike has). The kits come with all the tools, display, pedal sensor and decent instructions. They also sell a good selection of batteries up to 36v 20Ah. One of these kits with a battery should come in well under budget.

      Let me know if you need any more info.


  10. Hello Tony,
    Must join in with the rest of the posters and thank you for the website, I hadn’t a bulls notion about e-bikes or conversions before finding it. Anyhow I’ve settled on the torque assist tongsheng-tsdz2.
    Am approaching seventy and getting out cycling over winter takes a lot of motivation and by not cycling there’s the loss of fitness when the better weather returns. With the assist, at least going to the shops about 5 km or the nearest town about 12 km will feel less of a chore. And of course myself and my wife will want to go longer distances maybe 50 to 70 km. It’s hilly around here ‘tho not as hilly as your area.
    The donor bikes are Trek 7.2 FX hybrids, the wife’s, the womens’ version with the lower top-tube. My question is to do with the battery, it looks like the bottle battery is the only one that will fit on the wife’s bike as I don’t fancy the rear-rack version. Am I correct on this?
    Sorry for the long winded intro, thanks again.
    PS. Regarding the captcha issue, this is one article that still has the captcha box. Thought that it might be a browser issue but have tried Firefox as well as Safari with the same result.

    1. Hi Neil,

      The installation on the Trek should be fairly straightforward, providing you can get the bottom bracket out – remember to loosen both sides of the BB towards the front of the bike. The compact bottle battery is the size of a large water bottle, so should just about fit. Here is a link to the compact bottle battery from one of my trusted suppliers. The TSDZ2 seems to be in short supply at the moment, I’m not too sure if it’s even being made any more. I did here through the grapevine that there had been some patent conflict with Bafang resulting in the motor being withdrawn from sale, although they are available in abundance on eBay UK.

      I’m looking into the Captcha issue, and hopefully I’ll have that sorted soon. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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