Best place to buy Electric Bike kits

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Contents:

  1. What is Aliexpress?
  2. Warranty
  3. Buying electric bike batteries from China
  4. Best electric bike kits available on Aliexpress
  5. NEW GP-LB01 torque sensor mid-drive electric bike kit
  6. Product links for international visitors

Introduction

Purchasing an electric bike conversion kit can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of sellers out there, but finding the right e-bike kit at the best price, isn’t always as straightforward as is sounds.

 

bafang bbshd mid drive electric bike kit with 48v or 52v battery

There are, of course the obvious places like Amazon and eBay, and there are plenty of independent retailers dotted around the globe.

I have always purchased direct from suppliers in China, through Aliexpress. I have been using this platform for over two years now, and have found some of the best places to buy electric bike kits at fantastic prices.

Having said that, buying an electric bike kit off Aliexpress may not suite everyone, especially if you are a novice DIY e-bike builder who is looking for after sales support and a comprehensive warranty.

GP-LB01 mid-drive motor

My recommendation of this platform comes from my own personal experiences – I have purchased in excess of 200 kits and components from Aliexpress over the last couple of years and 99% of the time the transaction has gone smoothly.

What is Aliexpress?

Aliexpress is a subsidiary of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce wholesale giant. Alibaba was founded in 1999 and has since grown to colossal proportions. Aliexpress is often compare to Amazon for sheer size and revenue.

Why Aliexpress for Electric Bike kits?

Global production of practically everything relating to electric bikes is concentrated in China. Electric bikes were popular in China long before they caught on in Western countries.

The suppliers you will find on Aliexpress are not only wholesalers, but will also ship individual orders to single customers all around the globe.

The main benefit of this is a greatly reduced price compared to what you would pay in your home country.

 

bafang bbs02b 750w

There are, of course some caveats to this. Delivery may take a little longer and there may be customs / import fees to pay (depending on your country). Other things to consider, are warranty and after-sales support (such as technical support).

The fact is, most of the suppliers will do their best to help you with any issues, and Aliexpress buyer protection is always there as an added back-up.

tongsheng tsdz2 mid drive electric bike conversion kit

How long does delivery usually take?

It really depends on the supplier. More and more sellers on Aliexpress have regional fulfilment centres located in the US, EU, Russia and Australia, making delivery a lot quicker and negating the need for extra customs charges.

bafang max ultra 1000w torque sensing mid drive motor

Even ordering direct from China seems to be a lot quicker than it was a few years back. My most recent order direct from a supplier in China took 5 working days to get to the UK!

What about warranty?

Alixexpress is a fiercely competitive marketplace, that has an excellent customer feedback system in place and a strong buyer protection ethic. As a result most suppliers provide warranties of around 12 months.

You do need to read the warranty policies carefully though, as you will nearly always have to pay for return shipping (which can be costly).

If you were buying a Bafang BBS02 750w, for example, I would be inclined to purchase a spare controller and some other bits and pieces, so you can keep yourself on the road in the event of any issues.

Buying Electric Bike Batteries from China

A typical 52v shark case ebike battery pack

As you are probably aware, electric bike batteries are considered hazardous goods and are subject to strict shipping rules, they are usually sent either by sea or transported by air in specially adapted cargo-holds. They are also shipped partially charged at around 30% of a full charge.

Some of the larger suppliers now, also keep ebike battery packs in stock in various locales around the globe.

What about battery quality?

Most electric bike battery suppliers will state if their batteries uses branded cells like Panasonic, Samsung or LG, or domestic unbranded Chinese cells. There have been cases in the past where batteries have been sold as using branded cells, when in fact they have used the cheaper unbranded cells. Thankfully this practice is now very rare.

UPP is my preferred battery supplier, I have purchased over a 100 batteries from this company and their service is always second to none! I have rarely had any issues with the batteries they supply, and if there have been problems, they have always been addressed promptly.

What are the best electric bike kits available on Aliexpress?

You will not find a better choice of electric bike conversion kits in one place, anywhere else on the internet. In fact, the choice on offer at Aliexpress can be overwhelming for somebody using it for the first time.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to stay with well-known brands such as Bafang and Tongsheng.

bafang bbs01b 250w mid drive electric bike kit

There is also a vast array of sellers to choose from, some of which will be able to ship to your locale fairly quickly.

I have compiled a comparison table for the most popular mid-drive electric bike kits currently on offer with links to sellers, that I use and trust. 

Please note: I participate in the Aliexpress affiliate program and get a small commission for referring sales to Aliexpress. You will not pay any more or less by purchasing through my links. New users are entitled to a  first-time purchase discount.

Mid-Drive e-bike Kits from trusted suppliers on Aliexpress - GLOBAL SHIPPING
Bafang BBS01B 250w mid-drive kit with choice of 36v batteries
Bafang BBS02B 36v 500w mid-drive kit
Bafang BBS02B 750w mid-drive kit with choice of 48v or 52v batteries
Bafang BBSHD 1000w mid-drive kit with choice of 48v or 52v batteries
Tongsheng TSDZ2 250w / 350w / 500w / 750w (36v / 48v / 52v)
GP-LB01 mid-drive motor 250w / 350w / 500w 36v or 48v
Electric Bike Batteries - 36v / 48v / 52v / 72v
All the suppliers that are linked to in this table are trusted sources that I use regularly. They provide excellent customer service, and communication is always good.

The New GP-LB01 mid-drive electric bike kit

GP-LB01 mid-drive electric bike kitThe new kid on the block is called the GP-LB01  mid-drive electric bike kit – the GP motor was developed by a breakaway group of Bafang engineers. It looks similar to the BBS motor, but uses a torque sensor like the Tongsheng TSDZ2.

gp-lb01 mid drive motor primary gear

This motor is still relatively new to the market, but early feedback has been excellent. One of this motor’s strong points is the larger primary nylon gear – this can be a weak point on the Tonsheng and Bafang.

gp-lb01 motor specifications

This motor also apparently runs very quietly, and is very competitively priced when compared to the Tongsheng and Bafang. I will be ordering one of these motor kits in the next few weeks to try it out.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Best place to buy Electric Bike kits

  • August 6, 2019 at 12:52 pm
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    Hello Tony, (is it Tony?)
    I’m looking to do my first conversion. I have a decent old steel minerva mtb which I converted to a single speed a few years ago. Now it’s time to convert it into an ebike. (I will have to reinstall a new drivetrain and gears I know) I will be using it on road, not offroad and I live in Belgium, so except for bridges, it is flat. I’ll be using it just for fun and to get to places faster. I also have a riesse&muller load 75, but that’s for transporting the kids around. So I am familiar with the bosch motors.
    The conversion I would do is just for the fun of it!
    I’ve been reading articles and forums about conversions for weeks now and your website really sticks out in terms of expertise and information. Really nice.
    I still have a thousand questions, trying to make up my mind about which one to buy. Initially I thought I would be installing a rear hub motor, but lately I’m also considering a middrive. Most people say a hub is a lot cheaper, but if I compare prices (aliexpress, amazon,…) there doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference in price. I think prices around 350€ for both without battery are adequate. I would really like a torque sensor based experience as that ressembles riding a bike most. I would not instal a throttle. So especially the GP-LP01 got me interested. Do you already have some more information or experiences about these motors? If I would go for a hub drive, and still want torque sensor, I would also have to install a torque sensor bottom braquet and maybe also a cycle analyst. Or could a troque sensor be directly connected to most controllers?
    My mtb’s frame is not convetional, so I found out that installing a TSD02 is not possible. (no frametubes from the BB to the rear axle) My bike also has V-brakes and no suspension so I don’t want to overpower it. I think a 36 or 48v 500W tops. A bafang or a GP-LP01 would work or a hub ofcourse.
    Anyway, like I said, I have a thousand questions. Probably trying one engine out will make more things clear. And maybe it is just in my head that I need/want a torque sensor based motor, I haven’t ridden one with the traditional PAS sensor on the cranks, but that seems rather ought to me to be honest.
    I also like the golden motor magic pie edge, don’t know if you have any experience with those motors? Looks like a nice integration.

    So: any more news on the GP_LP01?
    any tips on a torque sensor based hub motor?
    or any other tips? 😉

    PS: I wanted to email you, but can’t find your adress anywhere so I just used this thread in you blog

    Kind regards and keep up this nice blog!
    Gert

    Reply
    • August 6, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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      Hi Gert,

      Thank you for your compliments and positive feedback, i’m glad you like the blog.

      Regarding the GP-LB01, I have yet to try out one of these motors, I have a friend in another part of the UK who has just fitted one to a hybrid bike, and he is very impressed with the overall performance. He has said the torque sensor is very responsive and the motor itself is smooth and quiet. There still seems to be limited information on this motor on endless-sphere.com and other sites, although the few customer reviews on Aliexpress are favourable, and I know the supplier in question has a good reputation.

      I did manage to fit a TSDZ2 to a Whyte full suspension mountain bike recently and I used a large steel hose clamp to secure the motor to the bottom of the seat tube (where it meets the bottom bracket shell). It’s not the most elegant solution, but a few hundred kilometres on and the motor hasn’t moved at all. Here is a link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/NUQ6xU_jeDs

      One of my suppliers sell a rear hub motor kit with a torque-sensing bottom bracket. They either do the whole kit (with wheel and motor) or they sell the torque sensor with specific controller and display.I have installed a few of these kits and they use the Bafang P850c colour display. The motor used is a 350w standard geared hub motor with peak output of around 540w.

      The main issue with this system, is you need to drill a hole in the bottom bracket shell in order to be able to feed the sensor cable through. If you do this, it is important to fit a rubber grommet in the hole beforehand to prevent damaging the cable on the sharp edge of the hole.

      I haven’t any experience with the Golden motor Magic Pie edge, but I like the idea of having a hub motor with an integrated controller. It would certainly make for a neat installation. My only concern would be if the controller were to fail, how easy would it be to replace?

      My own opinion is that I definitely prefer a torque sensor over a cadence sensor, as I want the electric motor to feel like extension of my own cycling ability.

      I hope you find this information useful, and if you need any more advice, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • August 13, 2019 at 4:51 pm
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        Hi Tony,

        Thank you for your reply. I was on vacation and tried to reply via my phone, but your blog doesn’t seem to work very well on a mobile device, or maybe just not my device. Just got home, so now trying from my laptop…
        I have two gp-lb01 motors (36v and 48v) and also the rear hub kit with torque sensor BB that you refer to on my AliExpress wishlist for now so those are the choices it might come down to.

        The golden motor indeed looks like a nice integrated system, and the Bluetooth programming option also looks nice but I don’t find a lot of independent recent reviews or tests and it is a direct drive, so I’ll probably need a bigger battery than I care for. And indeed, if something goes wrong with the controller, it won’t be that easy to replace. There is a YouTube movie where the ceo(?) demonstrates a magic pie with a torque sensor and a CA v3, looks nice.

        I did take a look at your whyte full suspension conversion and the sure looks nice, so I’ll take the TSDZ2 as a second option for a middrive.
        Maybe one question about the AliExpress kit with hub and TS BB: how many gears can I put on the cassette? Any idea if it is 6/7 or also 8/9/10 possible?
        I think my preference goes out to the GP-LB01 because of the torque sensor and the efficiency of a mid drive. But you seem to have good experiences with the bafangs as well, though those are with cadence sensor?
        I do have some questions about the GP-LB01 that maybe you can answer:
        – GP-LB01 is a type name I assume, what is the brand?
        – what gearing would you recommend? Front 46 (higher speeds) and rear a 10 or 11 speed cassette would be what I’d like I think…
        – I would like a range of about 50 km and a high speed of +/- 35 km. Would you recommend a 36v350 watts or a 48v500 watts but with limited amps?
        – is it possible to reprogram the controller? (you probably don’t know this yet)
        – do you have any experience with the eggrider display? would that work with the GP-LB01?

        Anyway, it would be great if you could answer any of these questions before I make a purchase.
        I found a few more nice blogs and sites to find more information so I’m gonna do some more research and than just take the plunge, gotta start somewhere 🙂

        Thanks again for the reply and I’ll keep an eye on your blog for more info on the GP-LB01.

        Take care,
        Gert

        Reply
        • August 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Gert,

          The torque-sensing hub motor kit on Aliexpress accepts cassette gears 8/9/10 speed, I have fitted a 10-speed 11-36 cassette without any problems.

          The GP-LB01 is made by Changzhou Green Pedel Co.Ltd. They are a small company that has been trading for about 10 years, although I cannot find an actual website for their company. They have a company profile on https://greenpedel.en.made-in-china.com/

          Regarding gearing, on my TSDZ2 36v 500w hydrid I used the standard 42t chainring upfront with a 10-speed 11-40 cassette at the rear, and I found that excellent for maintaining speeds of around 35-40km/h.

          I personally think the 48v 500w GP-LB01 motor would be the one to go for, but because it is relatively new, there doesn’t appear to be much information available regarding programming this unit. This is where the Tongsheng wins for me, I have looked at the TSDZ2 open source software and you can really custom program so many different variables.

          As far as I know the Egg rider display currently only works with the Bafang, and possibly can be configured to work with a reprogrammed Tongsheng.

          With my limited knowledge of the GP-LB01 at this time, I would have to recommend the TSDZ2, simply because it is a more established brand with better parts and programming support. I keep in regular contact with my friend who has the LB-01 and it is still going strong, but like all things- time will tell!

          Endless-sphere.com is probably the best forum and source of information anywhere on the internet for ebike motors and there are 1000’s of pages of info on the TSDZ2, and also a little bit on the LB-01.

          As soon as I get my hands on an LB0-01, i’ll let you know.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
          • August 20, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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            Hi Tony,

            Thanks again for your reply. I’ve done some reading on the TSDZ2 and that also seems to be a nice option. In the meantime I’ve taken on the plan to start with the conversion of a bike for my wife, before I convert my own MTB. (I’d like to wait for some more experiences and info on the LB-01) First I thought to do it the other way round. But the TSDZ2 would be suitable for her.
            But for my wife I first need to buy a decent donor bike. To simplify things for her I was thinking on buying a bike with internal gearing like a nexus 8 or something. I did see a ‘Hendricks’ bike conversion with a bafang and what I think is a nexus internal geared hub. So I assume it is possible. Can you give some ideas about that, things I should or shouldn’t do or look out for? Is a IGH strong enough for adding a motor, is a nexus 7 or 8 enough for commuting on the flats?
            I was looking at something like the vsf Fahrradmanufaktur T-50 trapezoid.
            Also, what speeds can be obtained with a TSDZ2 if I choose not to go through the proces of installing the open source firmware. (Seems very nice, but not sure if my wife needs those adjustments). About 30 to 35 km/h is sufficient.

            Again, any thoughts are highly appreciated.

            Kind regards,
            Gert

          • August 20, 2019 at 9:05 pm
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            Hi Tony,

            Me again…
            Just looking around for donor bikes for my wife’s conversion, and came across the Orbea Katu 20, which also has a nexus 8 I think. There’s an electric version of this bike as well, so should be a viable option I guess. Or would you think that a bike with 20″ wheels is unsuited for doing speeds of 30 km/h and up?

            Gert

          • August 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm
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            Hi Gert,

            The Orbea Katu 20 would make a great donor bike.

            I can’t forsee any problems with going over 30km/h, I have ridden a Brompton folding bike at speeds of over 40km/h without any issues.

            Regarding the Shimano Nexus 8, you shouldn’t have any problems.

            I installed a Bafang BBS02 750w on three Nexus 8 Hendricks city bikes, and a Bergamont N8 and all are still going after 2 years.

            On the Bafang conversions I fitted a gearshift sensor, but this shouldn’t be necessary with a TSDZ2, just ease pedalling force slightly when changing gear to reduce the chance of wear.

            The TSDZ2 will comfortably maintain speeds of 30-35km/h on the flat in speed / turbo mode.

            Regards,
            Tony

          • September 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm
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            Hello Tony,

            Thanks for the reflections and ideas. I purchased an Orbea Katu 20. Time to order motor and battery. TSDZ2 it will be, not entirely sure about 36 or 48v. It’s mainly my wife’s bike, she’ll be using it for commuting on the flats, speeds around 30 to 35km/h and a range of about 50km would be sufficient.
            The katu was listed as a 42T chainring in the front, but I think it has a 48t (it’s not indicated, but it has a diameter of 200mm), so going to a 42t from the TSDZ2 might be to low?
            The downtube doesn’t have eyelets for battery mount so have to find a solution. I was thinking about something as the ‘DMR hinged clamps’ but diameter of downtube is 1 3/4 inch, so the clamps will be to small I’m afraid. Looking at some other options. (there are eyelets on the top tube, but then I would have to mount the battery upside down.
            Another option would be placing the battery on a rear rack. The katu doesn’t have a rack, so I was planning on adding one for bags anyway. Finding a rear rack for 20″ wheels ebike isn’t easy either as I’ve noticed. And ofcourse more weight on the back.
            I’ve found three suppliers for the TSDZ2 on aliexpress, (Okfeet, eunorau and ebird), with ebird sending from Tsjechië so no tax. And okfeet an eunorau offering DDT tax option.
            Also thinking about ordering a KT-LCD3 so I can update the firmware later on.

            Any final additional thoughts are appreciated.

            Thank you,
            all the best,
            Gert

          • September 1, 2019 at 3:29 pm
            Permalink

            Hi Gert,

            I personally found the 36v 500w to produce more than enough power. The 42t chainring shouldn’t be too low gearing, I found that I could pedal comfortably at 40km/h, although if your wife prefers to pedal at a lower cadence, then it might be worth sourcing a 110BCD 48t chainring.

            My supplier in China have just released a battery that is in a waterproof bag, that would mount to the top tube easily enough. Here is the link. It is a 36v 13ah and should give a range of 60-80km.

            I have purchased a lot of kits from ebird, and OKfeet and have not had any issues with the motors I have purchased. Ebird would be the better option as they ship from within the EU and delivery is usually in 3-5 days.

            The KT-LCD3 is worth ordering. I will be experimenting with the opensource firmware myself in the future, as it has consistently good reports.

            All the best,
            Tony

  • August 12, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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    Hi Tony,
    I am trying to turn my Dawes tandem into an E tandem. I know it is not easy but it is a fun project that I want to have a go at. I already have a Gepida E tandem which my wife and I use for road and touring. It has a Bosch mid drive fitted at the front, which means the pedals are always out of sync.

    I am considering a 750w TSDZ2 and not sure if 48v or 52v would be best. 48v seems to have more choice of high wattage batteries available.
    I want to try and fit the motor to the rear BB so as not to intefere with the eccentric chain adjust on the front BB. I would also order the metal TS gear to replace the nylon one as we are both heavy.
    If none of this works I will fit the kit to my MTB solo bike.
    I am aware that the bike can only be used off road on private land.

    Battery choice is bewildering. Amazon do a 48v 17ah Greencell battery that looks ok, any experience of these?

    Thanks for the great blogs and reviews, very helpful.

    Regards Keith

    Reply
    • August 12, 2019 at 9:20 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Keith,

      Thank you for your comments.

      I have purchased a couple of batteries through Green Cell in the past, and they have always been excellent. If this is the 48v 17ah battery you looked at, it uses the Panasonic NCR18650 lithium cells, which are regarded as one of the best cells available.

      I have experience of both the 48v and 52v TS motors, the 48v in my opinion would be more than adequate for your needs. If you are intending on fitting the motor to a Dawes Galaxy Tandem, i’m not too sure how you will get around the problem of the front to rear chain, as I have motorised Galaxy Tandems before using a front hub motor and if my memory serves me correct the front to rear crank is on the left hand side.

      Let me know how you get on, and if you need any more advice please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply

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