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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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 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.
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.
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.