On this page, I have compiled a list of cheap electric bike kits available on various Amazon locales and Aliexpress. These are all electric hub motor kits, and are fairly straightforward to install.
Direct drive hub motors are generally the cheapest and most reliable, but they can be heavy, and difficult to pedal without electric assist.
Remember you will need to make sure the wheel size is compatible with your donor bike. If you have a 27.5″ / 650b rear wheel for example, you could fit a 26″ rear wheel kit (you will need to buy an appropriate-sized tyre). I have fitted 26″ rear wheel kits to 27.5″ wheeled mountain bikes previously without any problems.
Most of the generic kits are available in 26″ wheel size only, but there are others available that accommodate 27.5″ and 28″ / 700c / 29er wheel sizes.
The only time you would have an issue fitting a smaller diameter rear wheel would be if your bike had traditional v-brakes. If you had a hybrid with a 700c rear wheel, with v-brakes, then it is unlikely the pads would reach a 26″ rim. So this only works on bikes with disc brakes.
In my post: Electric bike vs conversion kit, I compare the benefits of hub motor vs mid-drive and the pros and cons associated with each type of drive system. Direct drive hub motors are generally the cheapest and most reliable, but they can be heavy, and difficult to pedal without electric assist. They are also less efficient than their geared hub motor counterparts. For more information check out my post on the electric bike hub motor.
Are cheap electric bike conversion kits any good?
I have converted countless bikes using 1000w rear wheel electric bike conversion kits, and they seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper. I have never had any issues with these motors in the past, and apart from the fact they are getting quite ‘old-hat’ now, they are still a very cheap and viable way to electrify your bike.
Some of the kits listed below are geared hub motors. These are, in my opinion much better than direct drive motors, as they are lighter, smaller and much more efficient. And you have the added bonus of being able to pedal your bike normally if the battery runs out of juice.
Most of the kits listed below use either a 36v or 48v battery, but some of the more powerful kits use 60v or 72v batteries. You will need to make sure your battery voltage matches that of the motor controller.
I have compiled a list of electric bike batteries that contains the most popular voltages from 36v through to 52v.
Can I use lead acid batteries?
Sealed lead acid batteries can be used, if you don’t mind the extra weight and size. It is a cheaper option than using a lithium battery pack, but the longevity of the battery will be shorter. For a 48v motor you could use 4 x 12v motorcycle batteries connected in series. Connecting batteries in series means connecting the (+) terminal of the first battery to the (-) terminal of the next battery. Each battery you connect in series increases the voltage of the battery bank.
Personally I would stick with lithium batteries, as they are coming down in price now, they are much lighter and last longer than lead acid batteries.
Thankfully, there are plenty of electric bike parts available, should you ever have any issues with your build. The cheap electric bike kits available here are all generally very reliable, but controllers, displays and pedal sensors can play up from time to time.
If you are in the UK, EU or Australia then the maximum permissible assisted speed is 15.5mph (25km/h) and 250w of continuous power. Some of the kits listed are 250w and road legal. Anything above that cannot be legally used on the public highway, cycle ways or any land that the public has access to. Please read my post on UK electric bike laws.
If you have any questions or need any further advice regarding electric bike conversions, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
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Please use the contact form below for any questions or advice on any of the kits featured. I aim to respond to all genuine enquiries within 24hrs