Electric Bike Conversion Kit Guide – What You Need to Know

ebikechoices is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Thinking about converting your bike to electric, but don’t know where to start? In this Electric bike conversion kit guide I will examine the different ways you can add electric assist your bicycle.

If you are willing to take the plunge, converting a bicycle to electric assist can be an extremely rewarding experience. Not only that, but you can also make a substantial saving when compared to buying a factory produced e-bike.

DIY eBike vs Factory eBike

A typical entry-level mid-drive electric bike will cost in the region of £1600 ($2000). The brand new DIY mid-drive ebike below cost me less than £900 ($1160) to build (including the cost of the new donor bike).

diy electric bike

The donor bike I used in the above build is a Decathlon BTWIN Riverside 900, with a Tongsheng TSDZ2 mid-drive motor and 36v 13ah battery.

As you can see there are substantial savings to be made by converting a decent spec new bike to electric assist. If you are converting a bicycle you already own then the savings are even greater.

Let’s say you have an old Trek or Cannondale mountain bike sitting in the shed. Typically, a decent mid-drive conversion kit with battery will set you back around £600 ($780). That’s a massive saving when compared with buying a factory-built mid-drive electric bike.

decathlon e stilus 29 electric mountain bike
The Decathlon E-Stilus is great, but you won’t get much change from £3000!

Converting a bike to electric isn’t for everyone though, and if you’re not mechanically minded, I would recommend purchasing a factory-produced electric bike or find someone who can fit the kit for you.

You will also need to consider the fact that a retro-fit electric bike conversion motor may not be as reliable in the long-term as a Bosch or Shimano steps motor commonly found on factory produced electric bikes.

Useful Links

In order to choose the right motor for your needs, you need to ask yourself what your intended use is going to be.

If you live in a fairly flat area, with only slight inclines, then a small geared hub motor should be more than adequate, but if you live in an area where there are relentless steep hills, then a mid-drive would be more suitable.

Ultimately, the decision you make will be influenced by your own personal needs.  Both types of motor have their place on e-bikes but it is worth remembering that mid-drives in general are far more energy efficient than small hub motors.

Direct drive hub motors

The direct drive hub motor is the simplest form of electric bike propulsion: The outer shell of the hub is an integral part of the motor, and has a big ring of powerful magnets fixed to it.

When the motor runs, it drives the wheel directly (that’s where the name comes from). Put simply this means that the wheel is basically a motor with the shaft fixed in place so that the body of the motor (the outer hub shell, and thus your wheel) spins instead of the shaft.

direct drive hub motor installed on a hardtail mountain bike

It is a simple design, but comes at a cost – the motor needs to be quite big and heavy to produce enough power. A smaller motor spinning slowly wouldn’t produce enough torque, and the speed you want your wheel to turn at is relatively slow, so the motor needs to be as big as possible to produce torque at low speeds.

On the positive side, direct drive hub motors tend to be cheap and reliable plus they can handle a lot of power. So if you are looking for a high performance electric bike on a budget then a big hub motor may be the way to go.

Geared Hub Motor

Small geared hub motors are a lot more efficient than direct drive motors. The motor case is connected to the stator through a planetary gear reduction system. For every rotation of the case, the motor inside spins many times faster. This allows the motor to work at higher (and more efficient) speeds, while still allowing the wheel to spin at a slower driving speed.

Another great benefit to using a geared hub motor is there is practically zero pedalling resistance if the motor is switched off or runs out of power – you can pedal like on a normal bicycle.

a small geared hub motor installed on a mountain bike

Geared motors are usually maintenance-free, but if you do a lot of hill climbing it is likely the nylon planetary gears will wear over time. Thankfully these are cheap and relatively easy to replace.

Check out the best hub motor conversion kit on eBay

Front Hub motor vs Rear Hub Motor

Front wheel Electric bike conversion Kit

There are various pros and cons of fitting a front hub motor vs rear hub motor. When it comes to electric wheels, front hub motors are usually more straightforward to fit. The main reason for this is you do not need to worry about swapping over gear cassettes or freewheels.

Front wheel electric bike conversion kit fitted to a ladies hybrid bike

It should be noted, that the best option for a front wheel electric conversion would be a small, geared hub motor. The reason for this, is they are compact, lightweight and produce reasonable torque.

Larger direct drive front wheel electric bike kits are available. They are generally cheaper and more powerful, but the extra size of the motor can make it difficult to fit onto bikes that have disc brakes. They are also considerably heavier and less efficient.

bafang 250w hub motor electric bike conversion kit

Another plus with a front hub motor is when you are using the pedal assist, the bike is effectively being driven by both wheels. Whilst the electric front wheel is giving you help, you are putting power through the rear wheel by pedalling.

Electric front wheels are not particularly good for off-road riding, as the powered wheel can have a tendency to spin on rough ground, particularly when climbing steep hills.

Rear Wheel Electric Bike Conversion Kit

A rear wheel electric hub motor is usually the preferred way to add electric assist to a bicycle using a conversion kit. Changing the rear wheel involves a little more work, specifically removing the gear cassette (or freewheel), you will need a special tool for this job.

As far a riding is concerned, the motor is pushing as opposed to pulling you (as with a front motor). Generally a smaller geared rear hub motor will look a lot more discreet.

bafang 48v 500w cst rear hub motor kit with color display

Another bonus with rear hub motors, is they are a lot better for use on rough ground. All of the rider weight is concentrated on the back wheel, there is much less of a problem with wheel spin.

The only real downside with this set-up, is replacing an inner tube in the event of a puncture can be time-consuming. I always recommend a good puncture resistant tyre like a Schwalbe Marathon Plus to greatly reduce this risk.

Mid-Drive Motor

The mid-drive motor is the preferred drive system of more expensive e-bikes. These types of motors are by far the most efficient and they also produce much more torque than hub motors.

a bafang bbshd mid drive motor installed on a hybrid bike

Fitting this kind of motor can be tricky for the inexperienced, as the bicycle’s bottom bracket needs to be removed to facilitate installation. Once this job has been done, the rest is fairly straightforward. It is important to remember that most mid-drive kits are only compatible with standard threaded bottom bracket shells of 68mm-73mm wide and approximately 33.5mm diameter.

When installed correctly, a mid-drive system will give your bike the look and feel of a more expensive e-bike.

cube mountain bike with a bafang bbs02 and 52v battery

The only downsides to mid-drive motors are increased pedalling resistance when the motor is switched off and periodic maintenance (such as tightening the motor). You will also be limited to a single chainring on the front.

bafang bbs02b 750w electric bike kit
✅Link to Bafang BBS02B (trusted vendor on Aliexpress)

Mid-Drive vs Hub motor

Taking into account all of the above information it really boils down to your budget and the kind of riding you plan on doing.

In my experience, small hub motors are usually a lot less hassle than mid-drives in the long-term. Another thing to consider is pedalling resistance. Both the mid-drive and direct-drive hub motor produce a significant amount of resistance with the motor off.

Mid-drives are definitely much better at hill climbing, a 250w Bafang BBS01B will produce nearly 100% more torque than a geared hub motor equivalent.

mountain bike fitted with a 1000w direct drive hub motor

Hub motor kits have more of a ‘DIY look’ about them, there will be an external controller (usually in a frame bag), an external pedal assist sensor and lots of wiring to tidy up. Mid-drive motors definitely provide a cleaner and neater looking finished product.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a bit of help with hills but want to pedal under your own steam for a lot of the time, then a small geared hub motor would definitely be the way to go. If you are looking for a bike that will be able to tackle very steep climbs with ease, then maybe a mid-drive would be a better option.

Choosing the right e-bike battery

Battery choice is important because it will determine the kind of range you can expect from your electric bike.

First and foremost you will need a battery of the right voltage. Most kits are 36v or 48v, the 48v kits will usually take 52v batteries but this can in some cases compromise reliability. There are some motor controllers available that will take either a 36v or 48v battery but you will need to double check this first before making your purchase.

The Ah (amp hour) spec provides a measurement of battery capacity.  In other words, it is an indication of how much energy can be stored by the battery. For example a 36v 13ah battery (36v x 13ah) will have a total energy capacity of 468Wh (watt hours) – using a constant 20Wh per mile would give a  range of approximately 23 miles. In real-world riding this figure could be much greater or lower depending on power level used, rider weight, the kind of terrain (flat or hilly) and wind direction.

The other thing to consider is the size / style of frame you will be fitting the battery to. Normal hybrid or hardtail mountain bikes of 18″ frame and above usually have plenty of space, but when you get down to 16″ frames, things can become a lot tighter.

full suspension mountain bike fitted with a bafang bbshd

If you have a full-suspension mountain bike then mounting a battery in the frame can be practically impossible (depending on the bike). Ladies framed bikes and step-through bikes are usually better suited to a rear rack-mounted battery.

It is advisable that you take measurements of your frame triangle before purchasing a battery. It is also worthy to note that some battery packs do not align particularly well with the bottle holder threads on the frame. If this is the case, you may need to drill and riv-nut an extra hole or two.

For more information on e-bike batteries please check out my article ‘electric bike batteries explained’

Compare prices on over 40 popular e-bike conversion kits.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, if you need any further help or advice choosing a conversion kit, please leave a comment below.

Tony

Passionate E-Bike advocate and enthusiast since 2016. Riding an electric bike helped me to lose weight, get fit and reignite my passion for cycling!

45 thoughts on “Electric Bike Conversion Kit Guide – What You Need to Know

  • Hi Tony
    First of all, congratulations for the site and its content.
    I’ve read several articles and realized that for what I want the mid-engine kit will be the most suitable.
    Now my doubt is between Bafang and Tongsheng and what model/power.
    I have a decathelon bike, a Riverside 500 that I swapped the suspension for a carbon fork. I like to do routes between 30 and 60 km on mixed routes; secondary roads, cycle paths, gravel and some off-road, both on flat and on gentle to moderate slopes.
    For this purpose, what do you recommend in terms of engine, taking into account the difference in assistance in the paddle between the 2 engines and which battery will be the most recommended?
    Thank you very much in advance for your attention

    Reply
    • Hi Fernando,
      Thank you for your compliments, much appreciated.

      Regarding your Riverside 500, I would personally go for a Tongsheng TSDZ2. I converted a Decathlon Riverside 900 a couple of years back using this motor in combination with a 36v 13Ah battery and thoroughly enjoyed riding it. I covered nearly 1000 miles on it before selling it on again.

      There are a few things to consider:
      1. The TSDZ2 uses a torque sensor and feels more natural pedalling, but it doesn’t feel as powerful as the Bafang equivalent. I used to regularly climb 15% hills without problems, but you still needed to add a fair bit of effort.
      2. There is more to go wrong on the TSDZ2 – Blue nylon gear can fail (easy to change) and sometimes the torque sensors can cause problems (I didn’t experience these problems).
      3. If there are any cables routed underneath the bottom bracket shell, you will need to re-route them as there is no clearance from the motor.
      4. It’s not straightforward to program the TSDZ2 (when compared with the Bafang)

      If it’s power you want, then the Bafang would be the motor to choose. If you want the motor to enhance your ability in a natural way, then the TSDZ2 would be better.

      Regarding battery, I found the 36v 13Ah Hailong case battery would give a range of around 100km using mixed assist.

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hei

    Tarkoitatko,ettei Bafang-moottoria voi asentaa,eikä se sopisi jalkajarrulliseen pyörään (mainitsit lasinalusjarru?) ollenkaan vai sitä,että sen jarrujohdotus on vain jätettävä kytkemättä? Etupyörässä olevaan V-jarruun sitten tulisi jarrujohdonkytkentä ja kahva.Oma pyöräni on Solifer 28″ ns.mummomallinen jossa on n.46 tai 48 cm matala runkokorkeus (en muista tarkasti kumpi) peruspyörä,johon tehtaan edustajan toimesta takapäähän vaihdettiin kiekko,jossa on Shimano Nexus 3 napavaihdetta ja jalkajarrut: SG-3C41 Hub w/Coaster Brake,jotka kaikki ovat siis takapyöräni “kapassa” sisällä.Olen katsellut 250W 36V Bafang-moottoreita,ettei tarvitsisi katsastaa ja saisin ajella pääasiassa pyöräteillä.Sopivat tarakalliset akkusetit vain vaikuttavat olevan lähes kaikilta myyjiltä nyt loppu.
    Ketjuratas ja ketjut myös epäiröityttävät,kun en ole muita vaihtoehtoja joutunut aiemmin tutkimaan.MInulla on n.30 piikkinen ketjua kuljettava ratas keskiön kohdalla ja Bafangeissa on valittava ratas,jossa pienimmässsä merkintä on 44T.Takapyörässäni ratas on 20-piikkinen.MInulla on ns. “peruspyörän” ketjutkin siis käytössä.Eräs myyjä vastasi,että voisin käyttää omaa alkuperäistä ratastani ja ketjuakin eli se olisi siis vapaasti valittavissa minkä haluan.Pitääkö tämä tieto paikaansa?

    Kiitos.

    T.Viol K

    Reply
    • Moi,

      Minulle tuttuja vuoristojarruja käytetään kääntämällä polkimia. Tämä ei olisi mahdollista Bafangilla moottorin sisäisen vapaapyörän vuoksi. Minulla oli jokin tapa muokata vapaapyöräjärjestelmää moottorin sisällä, niin se voitiin tehdä.

      Reply
  • Hi Tony, I looked at your website and bought a bafang bbs02b 750W Motor at a retailer you recommended to retrofit my Barracuda Colorado 27.5″ Mountain Bike. Hope it’s worth it.

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      You should be fine fitting a BBS02B to the Baracuda Colorado. I’ve just checked the spec and it has a regular threaded bottom bracket and standard (non-boost) rear hub spacing. Just remember that when you remove the bottom bracket, both sides unscrew towards the front on the bike (chainring side unscrews clockwise). You might need a long breaker bar to get the leverage to remove the bottom bracket, as they can be a bit tight.

      Let me know how it goes.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony
    Thought I would give you an update on the conversion of the Pashley Picador trike. First problem was that the Pashley front forks are not wide enough to allow the fitting of a disc brake on the Yose Power motor. I initally tried a 160mm dia disc, then a 140mm disc but there was insufficient clearance for either. The front forks just neaded opening out slightly as the Yose Power axle is larger than the Pashley. I solved the brake problem by mounting another caliper brake infront of the existing one. The Pashley caliper brake has a long drop amd the additional brake needed to have an even longer drop. The only brake I found with a long enough drop was the Ztto 70-90mm which is widely available on eBay. I couldn’t find a seller offering the option to purchase a single brake so had to purchase a pair. The other problem I encountered was that while the magnet disc of the pedal assist sensor just fitted the gap between the pedal crank and the bottom bracket set was so tight that the magnetic disc rotated at a much lower speed than the pedals. A grinder was used on the bottom bracket set, with care, to very slightly increase the gap – problem solved. The battery, a Yose Power 13Ahr rack battery was mounted on top of the rear basket. I had thought that cable lengths might be a problem but that proved unfounded. So the conversion was easy other then the provision of another brake to replace the Pashley drum. So far we haven’t done many miles on it but as the weather improves we hope to change that. I certainly think the Yose Power conversion is very worthwhile. Hope this encourages others with a Picador to convert to epower. Regards. Eric

    Reply
    • Hi Eric,

      Thanks for the update, much appreciated. Glad the conversion was reasonably straightforward. Please feel free to leave a review over on the Yose Power review article.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • hey tony!
    i have tried both bike here in vancouver. the rad power and ncm leon cycle.
    i prefer rad. the controller gives me constant assist i can pick. from 25% to 50 to 75. is this a watt type controller?

    the other ncm bike has speed cut off which is annoying. in pas 2 it cuts off assist in 15kmh. making it so hard to paddle on my own.

    do you know what the rad power type of controller is called? and where can i get this type of kit? would like to see a review of this one? thanks!

    Reply
  • I decided to purchase the BAFANG BBSO2B 48V-750watt, I’m going with the 48v-17.5ah battery. Can you recommend where to buy one and which model/manufacture. I’m in Toronto and thinking Amazon has the best deal but not sure it quality.

    Reply
  • Hallo Tony,

    Fantastische site met veel informatie.
    Ik heb net een tweedehands MTB Trek Roscoe 8 met 27,5+ banden gekocht.
    En ik wil de Trek elektrisch maken met Tongsheng TSDZ 2 middenmotor.
    Maar de motor past niet doordat de chainstays te snel te breed uitlopen. Daardoor kan ik de trapas van de Tongsheng niet ver genoeg doorsteken. Ik hou geen schroefdraad over aan de linkerkant.
    Is hier een oplossing voor te bedenken?
    Je kunt bijv. spacers toepassen, maar dan is de trapas waarschijnlijk niet lang genoeg.
    Graag jouw visie.

    Groet, Rob

    Reply
    • Hallo Rob,

      Helaas is de Trek Roscoe 8 niet echt geschikt vanwege de boost achternaafafstand in combinatie met de 73 mm trapasbehuizing. Als je de motor al hebt, kun je een trapasverlenger (83 mm-100 mm) aanschaffen. EcoCycles heeft hier meer informatie over. Je zou aan beide zijden afstandhouders nodig hebben, maar het eindproduct zou een zeer brede q-factor hebben. Ik hoop dat dit helpt.

      Groeten,
      Tony

      Reply
      • Hallo,
        Bedankt voor je reactie.
        De Trek Roscoe (2021) heb ik een week bij een particulier tweedehands gekocht. De motor heb ik niet gekocht, maar wel gepast op de Trek. En dat lukte niet. Vandaar mijn vraag aan jou of er een oplossing voor is.
        Inderdaad wordt de Q-factor een dingetje. Ik weet nog niet wat ik ga doen.
        Inruilen voor een E-bike bij mijn LBS?
        Even denkpauze nemen.
        Groet, Rob

        Reply
        • En past een Bafang middenmotor wel op de Trek Roscoe 8 (27,5 +)?

          Reply
          • De Trek Roscoe 8 maakt gebruik van een SRAM Powerspline trapas met schroefdraad, zodat de motor past. Het enige probleem dat ik kan zien, is de 141 mm boost achternaafafstand – hierdoor kan de liggende achtervork de motorbehuizing hinderen. Je hebt geen ruimte voor spacers op de 68 mm-73 mm-versie en de 100 mm BB-versie zal een zeer brede q-factor maken.

        • Hallo Tony,
          Past een Bafang middenmotor op de Trek Roscoe 8 (27,5+)?
          En zo ja, moet ik aanpassingen doen, zoals spacers of trapasverlengers?
          Graag jouw visie?
          Groet, Rob

          Reply
          • Hallo Rob,
            Zie mijn reactie hieronder. De Bafang past, maar heeft een bredere as nodig – de volgende maat groter is 100 mm. Dit zou passen, maar spacers zijn vereist en het zal de q-factor naar mijn mening te breed maken. Bovendien zult u waarschijnlijk problemen hebben met het draaien van de motor in het trapashuis. Een ander probleem zal zijn dat de kettinglijn goed af zal zijn en het zal de schakelkwaliteit zodanig in gevaar brengen dat je niet het volledige versnellingsbereik aan de achterkant kunt gebruiken. Ik zou een fiets aanraden met een non-boost naaf.
            Groeten,
            Tony

  • Hallo, ich überlege ein Flux V220 auf Elektroantrieb umzurüsten. Wenn würde nur ein Vorderradantrieb in Frage kommen, da ich hinten die Nabenschaltung behalten möchte und ein Mittelmotor in dem Fall vorn und relativ hoch wäre. Ich weiß aber nicht, wie ich den Akku am Besten befestige- es gibt keine Aufnahme für einen Flaschenhalter. Eventuell könnte ich den Akku “über Kopf” mit Rohrschellen am Rahmen befestigen? Der Kontroller sollte auch in das Akkugehäuse, da weiß ich nicht, welche Akkus und Kontroller dafür geeignet sind. Gibt es da Optionen?

    Reply
    • Hallo,
      Yose Power bietet ein Vorderrad-Umrüstkit an, das einen Akku mit integriertem Controller enthält – hier ist der Link. Wenn Ihr Liegerad ein 20-Zoll-Vorderrad hat, können Sie das Yose Power-Kit kaufen und den Motor in eine geeignete Felge schnüren lassen. Bezüglich der Platzierung der Batterie ist es auf den Fotos schwer zu erkennen, aber ich würde sagen vielleicht hinter dem Sitz, oder lassen Sie möglicherweise eine Montageplatte herstellen und platzieren Sie sie unter dem Sitz. Diese Batterien sind (Länge) 360 mm x (Höhe) 110 mm x (Breite) 90 mm.
      Grüße,
      Toni

      Reply
  • Hi Tony
    My wife has a Pashley Picador tricycle which she used to ride to exercise our golden retrievers. She would ride it at about 4-8 mph. She is in her mid seventies and has a knee problem which prevents her riding the trike. She is keen to have either an electric conversion for the Pashley or an electric trike. Having looked at your review on the Yose Power I feel that the front hub motor might be the way to go. The Pashley has two brakes on the front wheel, a drum and a side pull. Obviously using the Yose Power conversion the drum would be lost but could be easily replaced with a disc. Do you think the Yose Power is suitable for the low speeds required? There are no bottle mounts on the frame but it does have a very large carrier at the back. The battery cable supplied is unlikely to be long enough to reach the rear carrier from the controller. Does anyone supply longer battery cables? Regards Eric

    Reply
    • Hi Eric,

      Looking at the specification of the Pashley, I’d say a front hub motor would be the most straightforward option. Regarding suitability, I don’t see any problems as the top speed can be limited to 8mph through the display. You can buy e-bike battery extension cables from eBay, but you will need to make sure the corresponding connectors are correct. A lot of batteries use male/female bullet connectors, and some use the XT90 anti-spark connectors.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony,
    I successfully fitted a TSDZ mid motor kit to my Dawes 27 inch wheel road bike in 2019. It was fine until I got intermittent cut outs of electric assist at low speeds. These became constant at speeds below about 8 mph. Digital speed is shown correctly but analogue speed goes to full scale as soon as the bike starts moving. It then reverts to showing the same as digital speed reading above about 8 mph and electric assist is back on. When analogue speed is at full scale it clearly exceeds the maximum speed setting for electric assist which shows on the analogue scale. This is presumably why electric assist is lost at lower speeds. I have tried in vain to get a replacement display. I presume the fault is in the display. I presume there is only one speed sensor signal and the display is at fault coming up with two different speed values. I have tried in vain to purchase a replacement display.The display type is an 850C Unfortunately the type number is not a unique definition. An 850C for Bafang looks the same but is different and does not work correctly with my TDSZ2.
    Can you help me find a source for a replacement display to fit the existing kit including wiring harness. I can send a photo showing the error situation on screen.

    Best,

    Oliver Hinton

    Reply
    • Hi Oliver,

      It does sound like a fault with the display. Although, I’d temporarily disconnect the speed sensor to see if that makes any difference as they can sometimes fail. Regarding getting a replacement display. OKfeet on Alixpress sell the 850c display which is configured to use with the TSDZ2 – here is a link to their product page on Aliexpress.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony

    Any recommendations for a Pashley Princess e upgrade ??

    Reply
    • Hi Susanne,

      The Pashley Princess is a tricky one as it has an internally geared rear hub and drum brakes. This would rule out either a front or rear hub motor. A mid-drive on the other hand should work, but there may also be potential problems with that. Assuming the Pashley uses a standard threaded bottom bracket (crank bearing) then something like a Bafang BBS01B 250w motor should fit, but you would need to remove the chainguard.

      A more straightforward solution would be something like the Rubee X friction drive system – this would clamp straight on to the seat post, but you would need to remove the rear mudguard for this to work.

      If you could swap out the front fork with something similar that has mounts for v-brakes, then a front hub motor with a rack-mounted battery would work well. I would contact a local bike shop or Pashley dealer to see if this is possible.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony,
    I would like to hear your expert opinion.
    I want to convert my bike to an e-bike.
    My GIANT TROOPER 3500 bike is set to 28 “RIM (700C) or (622X19).
    1) The manufacturer indicates that for this rim the width of the compatible tire is from 1.1 “to 2.5” (28-62mm).
    2) On the other hand, in the Georg Boeder table, recommendations for choosing the width of the tire and rim, it is indicated that with an inner rim width of 19, the tire size according to ISO should not exceed 44mm.
    The first contradicts the second, who to believe and how to act?
    Because I plan to put Schwalbe marathon plus mtb 29×2.10 tires on my electric bike.
    What do you advise me to do when choosing tires?
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

    Reply
    • Hi Vladimir,

      I would say 2.1″ (53mm) is a bit of the wide side for 19mm internal rim width. They would fit and they’d probably be just fine, but I would err on the side of caution. I’ve ridden with oversize tyres before without any major issues, but they tend to feel a bit squirmy on the back end.

      Looking at the Giant Trooper it looks like a hybrid / touring bike, I would make sure there’s enough frame clearance for 2.1″ wide tyres just to be sure.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi there Tony,
    I’ve got a 59cm Nashbar steel frame cyclocross bike (https://www.nashbar.com/nashbar-steel-cyclocross-bike-nb-sxia-50-p/p-re2eqweq3uaeyaa2) and was looking at the mid drive option you’ve reviewed (the tongsheng tsdz2 ebike kit). I was wondering if you’ve had any experience with this style of bike before. It’s set up with Shimano 105 gear set and I was wondering how difficult it would be to install something like the tongsheng. Thanks for all your help and wonderful website, it’s truly a gift.

    Reply
    • Hi Brendan,

      I’ve convert quite a few road bikes in the past. Looking at the Nashbar, it has a standard FSA crank with thread bottom bracket, so the TSDZ2 should be a straightforward installation. You’ll be limited to a single chainring (42t standard), and you will need to adjust the indexing on the rear mech. The Q-factor is offset on the Tongsheng but you can fit the older style Shimano Steps cranks arms to improve this.

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi I’m looking to convert a Scott genius mc20 carbon bike to a ebike the rear triangle is aluminium but the main triangle is carbon I really like this bike and apart from knee pain when pedalling uphill (arthritis)I have no problems so I’mm just looking for a bit of assistance uphill otherwise I just want to ride as normal I’m told the mid motor (which I would prefer) isn’t suitable for a carbon frame,so I’m looking at a geared hub motor I usually ride 30miles twice a week , I’ve measured the front triangle and a down tube battery would be tight ,the triangular battery would fit with the controller fitted underneath the diagonal downtube I would prefer a torque sensor to pedal assist the wheels are 26” which kit and battery would you recommend thanks in advance kev

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      If your Scott MC-20 is the 2007 model, then it should use a regular Shimano XTR threaded bottom bracket. If you can remove the crank and take a photo of the bottom bracket area and possibly take a measurement from the underside outside edge to the inner part of the BB shell, I can let you know if the Tongsheng TSDZ2 will fit. You can contact me through my FB page – there is a link in the header of this website. The torque-sensing hub motor kits available from China are supplied with a torque-sensing bottom bracket that requires a hole to be drilled in the underside of the BB shell (for the wiring), which isn’t a good idea on a carbon frame.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
      • thanks for the reply tony ive been looking into it and now im thinking of a rear hub motor and the pedal assist sensor ( no drilling req) i like the sound of the bafang g320 geared hub motor the wiring supposed to be better not coming out of the end of the axle also its supposed to be silent ,i mainly want to pedal the bike as normal most of the time with a bit of assistance on the hills, also the g mac looks good with brake regeneration ,also because of the frame geometry a downtime battery would be tight ,i do like the idea of the grin with the controller built into the battery holder ,but the hardcore triangular battery would fit betters there a kit you would recommend for my needs”””””’i normally ride about 30 miles twice a week ,but if the battery flattened i would like to be able to ride the bike as normal as possible, apart from the extra weight ,where can i buy from-what about shipping and import taxes to the uk thanks in advance kev

        Reply
        • Hi Kev,

          I’ve just messaged you on FB. Checking availability with suppliers.

          Cheers,
          Tony

          Reply
  • Hi Tony,
    Just swapped out a broken Yose Power kit on my wifes Santa Cruz ultralight, all is good other than I had to fit the PAS on the crank side rather than the left due to the size of the bottom bracket, it’s on and reads fine, but only when peddling backwards. there is an option to reverse the direction of the sensor on the c500-lcd control unit but it either doesn’t work or won’t set. opened the wires up to see if I could swap them to reverse the sensor but the obvious swap makes no difference.( live red blk and wht, assumed swapping the blk n wht would reverse, but still reads backwards). Any ideas most appreciated, thanks, Neil

    Reply
    • Hi Neil,

      If your kit uses the split magnetic sensor disc, sometimes just turning the disc around will sort the problem out. If that doesn’t work you may need to buy a crank-side specific sensor and magnetic ring – these are usually available from eBay and occasionally Amazon. The Yose Power kit uses a 3-pin higo connector for the PAS sensor, if you can find an alternative with a similar connector it will save you the need to cut and splice the existing connector – the 3 wires are live, ground and signal. Sometimes different sensors use different colour codes for the wiring, so you may need to figure that out through trial and error (most manufactures will have a wiring diagram available).

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony, I read in your other post you stated “You would definitely need a 30A BMS for the BBSHD – unless you reprogrammed the controller and limited the maximum current to 25A (which would defeat the object).”
    If I plan to run a 48v 13ah battery, what is the problem with limitng the max current to 25? ie-why does that defeat the object. The motor is rated to 1000w, but at 48v that power is achieved at around 20A. I am concerned with the lifespan of the BBSHD when running, so why would you need a 30A output when that well exceeds the 1000w of the motor?

    Sorry if it’s a stupid question, I am exploring the idea of running the BBSHD on my mountain bike.

    Reply
    • Hi Jim,
      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with limiting the max current to anything you see fit. What I meant by ‘defeating the object’ is in my experience, most people spend the extra money on the BBSHD (over the BBS02 750w) for the full 1500w+ power output. I used to own a BBSHD and found it produced more than enough power in the lower assist levels, with the added benefit of increased torque, efficiency and durability. I know a couple of owners who have limited their motors to 18A and still very rarely need to use full power mode. In my opinion the BBSHD is worth the extra money over the BBS02 simply because it’s a more robust and reliable motor.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • that’s great to hear! I am mostly looking to do some trail riding, dealing with hills on the way to these trails gets tedious. I am not one for top speeds on these bikes. Just looking to cruise along to the trails at a comfortable 30-35kmh with pedalling. Is there any sort of battery size you’ recommend?

        Reply
        • For a good all-rounder, something like a 48v14Ah or thereabouts. Since you’re not going to be hammering the hell out of it in full power mode, you should be able to get a fairly decent range off one of those. I just had a quick look on eBay Australia and there’s quite a choice. If it’s going on a Hardtail MTB you should be fine for clearance. Here is a link to a decent one that uses Samsung cells.

          Cheers,
          Tony

          Reply
  • Thanks for the excellent resource website – truly great work and has made for fascinating reading since I decided to energise my 26” framed Trek 700c hybrid with a powered conversion for my 15m west/east London commute. I’m 6’6” and a chunky lump so will need some grunt, but I don’t fancy arriving at work dripping with sweat, so your recommendation of the ebikeling 700c 1200w kit looked great. Only issue – any idea where can I buy one in the UK? They wont ship & I don’t want to wait for 60 days shipping in from PRC……

    Reply
    • Hi,

      I’ve found a supplier on eBay who offer a similar kit (1500w 48v 700c rear hub motor). They ship from Spain, so delivery shouldn’t take too long – Here is the link.

      Glad you’ve find my website useful, if you need any more advice let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Thanks for the brilliant website…. lots of good advice. During the lockdown I have dragged my old commuter bike out out of the shed and put it back into service. I to regularly ride to work, but when I moved to a very hilly area it was relegated! I am now thinking that with some electric power I could start using it again……

    The complication is that it has a Shimano nexus 7 speed hub gear with a back pedal brake. That means either front hub motor, or convert to derailleur or….. would a mid mount conversion work with the hub gear….. or would it just break it?

    Any suggestions bearing in mind good hill climbing is a key for me

    Geoff

    Reply
    • Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for your complements, glad you like my website.

      There is a version of the Tongsheng TSDZ2 mid-drive that works with a coaster brake – here is the link.

      In my experience Shimano Nexus and Alfine hub gears work fine with moderately powered mid-drive motors. I have even installed several Bafang BBS02 750w motors to bikes with Nexus 8 hub gears without any long term issues. The Bafang doesn’t support the coaster brake function though.

      The Tongsheng is a good motor in my opinion, if you opted for the 350w or 500w version, that should give you enough assist for steep hills. I have tried these motors on 25% – 30% gradients and you still need to put a fair bit of effort in, but it doesn’t turn your legs to jelly!

      If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • Hei

        Tarkoitatko,että jalkajarrulliselleen “perusmummomalliseen” minulla Solifer pyörään,jossa on modifioitu tehtaan huollon eli myyjän toimesta pyynnöstäni Shimano Nexus 3-vaihteisto eli vaihteet siis myös ovat takanavassa eli “kapassa” sisällä,ei voisi asentaa ollenkaan Bafang-moottoria,mutta vain Tongsheng-merkkisen moottorinko voisi vai riippuuko se moottrorin tehosta? Olin ajatellut valita vain 250W moottorin ja jos löydän akku 36V,ettei tarvitsisi katsastaa ja tarkoitus olisi ajaakin pääasiassa pyöräteillä,eikä autojen seassa missä suinkin vain pyöräteitä pitkin pääsee.Vaikuttavat vain tavaratelineelliset setit sopivilla akuilla olla jokseenkin joka myyjällä nyt loppuumyytyjä.
        Minulla on myös tavalliset “peruspyörän” ketjut ja ratttaat,joissa ketjulle keskiön kohdassa on n.30 piikkinen ja em.sisältöisen shimano-takanavan kohdalla takapyörässä 20-piikkinen ratas. Voisinko käyttää näitä jo olevia tehtaalla asennettuja rattaita ja niihin sopivia perusketjuja,vaikka moottorin mukana tulisi jokin muu esim. 44T vai tarvitaanko jotkin erikoisketjut? Rattaan voisi erään myyjän kyselyyni vastauksensa mukaan “vapaasti valita minkä haluaa laittaa”,mutta asia jäi epäilyttämään,kun en ole ketjuja joutunut toistaiseksi muuttelemaan.Onko siten?

        Kiitos.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.