E-Bike Kit Reviews

DIY e-bike builders are a crazy bunch – I’ve been doing it for a living for nearly three years and I still have to question my sanity sometimes! If you are thinking of taking the plunge and building your own e-bike, I have posted a selection of honest ‘warts and all’ reviews and comparisons on some of the best electric bike conversion kits currently available.

I have extensive knowledge of all the kits reviewed here, and have personally installed nearly two hundred electric bike kits through my career.

I will be focusing primarily on the popular Bafang and Tongsheng mid-drive systems, and will also be adding detailed reviews of the 250w – 1000w front and rear wheel hub motor kits. See my article on the top 10 best ebike conversion kits for 2019 This article also includes a buyers guide on choosing the best conversion kit for your particular needs.

best ebike conversion kits

If you are looking to build an insanely quick e-bike, there are also plenty of excellent kits available. I have compiled a shortlist of some of the best selling fast electric bike kits currently on offer.

Salsa mukluk fat bike fitted with a bafang bbshd mid drive electric conversion kit and 52 volt battery

Fat bikes have been increasing in popularity for the last few years, and there are more options than ever to convert to electric – check out my post on the best ebike conversion kits for fat bikes.

Why a conversion kit and not a ready built e-bike?

An electric bike conversion kit can be a cost effective way to transform your bike into an e-bike. In my article electric bike vs conversion kit I will go over the pros and cons of buying a factory built e-bike versus converting a bicycle you already own.

If you are bothered about the e-bike laws in your country it would be worth checking out the legality of your planned build before choosing a motor kit. Different countries have different laws relating to electrically assisted bicycles. UK and EU electric bike laws differ from the USA and Canada.

You will also need to find the right lithium battery pack to go with your conversion. My article explaining the basics behind electric bike batteries can be found here.

electric bike battery

Is converting a bicycle to electric assist easy or difficult?

Different bikes can throw up different challenges, but I would say on the whole, most electric bike conversions are fairly straightforward. You will certainly need a degree of mechanical knowledge (and patience) in order to do the job properly. I have been doing it for nearly three years, and I still make mistakes from time to time!

Make sure you have the right tools for the job. There is nothing more frustrating, than making a start only to find you have to pop out to your local bike shop for a spanner or socket. I would also recommend getting a bike stand.

Choose your donor bike wisely

Personally I would go for something like a hardtail mountain bike or a hybrid. Ideally, something that isn’t too fancy and hasn’t got a pressed fit bottom bracket (a right pain if you are going to fit a mid-drive motor).

hybrid city bike

If you are fitting a front or rear wheel hub motor, you will need to make sure your bike hasn’t got thru-axles, as you will not be able to install the motor wheel.

GP-LB01 mid-drive motor

Conclusion

All the kits reviewed in this section are from well established brands . I will offer you my own personal opinion on each motor, and will not just promote the good points but will also make you aware of the bad points and any reliability issues.

Ultimately, I want you to make the right choice. Building your own electric bike can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be a right pain, if things don’t go to plan.

The good news is,  there are loads of videos on YouTube detailing how to fit these kit. I will be posting an article on installation in the near future.

If you need any help or advice, please feel free to use the contact form at the bottom of this age and I will get back to you within 24hrs.

The tables below contain product links to Aliexpress and various Amazon locales in Europe and North America.

Bafang BBS02B 48v 750w
Buy from Aliexpress GLOBAL SHIPPING
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon USA
Buy from Amazon Canada
Acquista da Amazon Italia
Kaufen Sie bei Amazon Deutschland
Comprar en Amazon España
Bafang BBSHD 48v 1000w
Buy from Aliexpress GLOBAL SHIPPING
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon USA
Buy from Amazon Canada
Acquista da Amazon Italia
Kaufen Sie bei Amazon Deutschland
Comprar en Amazon España
Bafang BBS01B 36v 250w
Buy from Aliexpress GLOBAL SHIPPING
Buy from Amazon UK
Acquista da Amazon Italia
Kaufen Sie bei Amazon Deutschland
Comprar en Amazon España
Tongsheng TSDZ2 36v / 48v / 52v
Buy from Aliexpress GLOBAL SHIPPING
Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon USA
Buy from Amazon Canada
Acquista da Amazon Italia
Kaufen Sie bei Amazon Deutschland
Comprar en Amazon España
Bafang hub motor Kits (Global Shipping)Product Photo
Bafang 250w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit bafang 250w front rear hub motor electric bike kit
Bafang 48v 500w front or rear wheel hub motor kitbafang 48v 500w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit
Bafang 48v 500w CST rear hub motor kit with 850c or 500c color displaybafang 48v 500w cst rear hub motor kit with color display
Bafang 48v 750w rear hub motor kit for fat bikebafang 48v 750w hub motor kit for fat bike
36v 20ah or 15ah hard case triangle battery36v 20ah or 15ah hard case triangle battery
48v / 52v 20ah Hard case triangle battery52v 20ah hard case triangle battery

The kits listed below are capable of producing an insane amount of power, make sure your bike is up to the job.  Some of these kits can also be used to electrify a small motorcycle.

Fast Electric Bike Kits (Global Shipping)Product Photo
1000w Electric Bike kit1000w electric bike kit
1500w Electric Bike kit1500w electric bike kit
72v 2000w Electric Bike Kit2000w 72v electric bike kit
3000w 72v Electric Bike kit with 750c color display 3000w electric bike kit
50H QSV3 48v-120v 5000w Electric Bike hub motor5000w electric bike hub motor
72v 8000w QS 273 Electric Bike kit with color display and bluetooth72v 8000w electric bike kit
48v / 52v 20ah Hard case triangle battery52v 20ah hard case triangle battery
72v 21ah Electric bike triangle battery72v 21ah triangle electric bike battery

12 thoughts on “E-Bike Kit Reviews

  • February 6, 2019 at 1:25 pm
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    Hi Tony. Ive found your website very informative. I am considering fitting a 250w bbs01, but due to budget constraints (£250)my choice of donor bike is restricted. I am looking at either the rockrider range from declathlon or the carrera range from halfords. Would these bike be compatable with the bbs01?
    Thankyou, John.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm
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      Hi John,
      I have installed the Bafang BBS01 and BBS02 on all of the Carrera range of bikes. The only issues I experienced were, the bottom brackets are always very tightly fitted and can be difficult to remove. And usually, you will need to take a rounded file to smooth off some of the rough edges inside the bottom bracket shell, in order to get the motor axle to fit in.

      I have also fitted the Bafang motors to the Decathlon B’TWIN Rockrider 520, 540 and 540s. These were all very straightforward conversions. The bottom brackets always came out relatively easily, and no filing was necessary.

      If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

      Tony

      Reply
  • May 31, 2019 at 10:21 pm
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    Hi Tony,

    I am a experienced bike converter as well, I converted about 10 bikes by now. I learned a lot from your website, thanks for that! I do have a reoccurring problem with my bikes. The problems occur with btwin rockriders 520 and 540 (the only bikes I converted). I use BBS02B 750 watt kits. The problem is that under high power (500+ watt) the chain can slip in the smallest rear gear. So the chain makes a loud pop and than skips a teeth it seems. Is this a problem you encountered as well? I see that you have a lot of experience with the btwin brand. I would like to know, if you do something special to avoid those problems. If you even have those problems. Like do you maybe shorten the chain? Or do you adjust your derailleur in a certain way? I would like to know, thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • June 1, 2019 at 12:05 pm
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      Hi Geil,

      Due to the chain-line offset caused by the motor it is necessary to adjust the rear derailleur. Chain length should not be too much of a problem if you are using a 44t front chainring. I do not usually have any problems with the 520 or 540 after adjustment. Sometimes it is just a case of adjusting the ‘H’ limit screw a little.

      To adjust the rear derailleur:
      1: Select the highest gear (smallest sprocket on rear cassette).
      2: Turn the barrel adjuster on the derailleur all the way in and then back it off a couple of turns.
      3: Release the cable clamp and adjust the ‘H’ limit screw (if necessary), so that the upper jocky wheel on the derailleur is just inboard of the small sprocket.
      4: Pull the gear cable so it is tight, and then tighten the securing bolt.
      5: Shift up and down the cassette – if there is any cogging noise on any gear, finely turn the barrel adjuster either in or out until it stops.

      It can take a bit of time to get it spot on, but it should do the trick.

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

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • June 9, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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        Hi Tony,

        I have another problem with the rockrider 520 and 540. I had a customer with a loose motor. The lockring was tide, but the ring underneath the lockring was loose. Shouldn’t the lockring press against that other ring to prevent it from comming loose? I have the idea that the lockring isn’t actually touching the other ring. So there is a gap between them, that why the ring came loose I think. Shouldn’t the lockring make contact with the other ring? Do you use another spacer to secure your bafang motors to rockrider 520 and 540? Or do you just tighten the rings really well? Or do you use some extra loctide or something? I would like to know if you have encountered this problem as well. And if you know how to fix it. Thanks in advance.

        Reply
        • June 9, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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          Hi Giel,

          Unfortunately the inner lockring on the Bafang does have a tendency work its way loose from time to time. I have tried using loctite in the past, but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. It just makes it more difficult to re-tighten things.

          I usually tighten the inner lockring as much as possible by hand and then tap the spanner a quarter of a turn further with a hammer – but make sure the drive side inner casing isn’t pressing up against the chainstay or you will need to use a spacer.

          The outer lockring seems to serve no other purpose other than cosmetic. There are two solutions to the problem that have worked for me in the past.

          1: Make a shim out of 1mm sheet steel to fit in the bottom bracket, this can help with taking up any slack there may be.

          2: Use a motor stabiliser bar from Luna cycles, or get one fabricated. Here is the link. They also do one for a full suspension bike.

          The other thing that I now do is supply a lockring spanner and crank puller with each conversion and explain to the customer beforehand of the need to periodically tighten the inner lockring.

          I hope this information helps.

          Tony

          Reply
          • June 9, 2019 at 5:59 pm
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            Hi Tony,

            Sorry for the many comments but I have an idea that might fix it, I wonder what you think of it. If you tighten the ring on the outside really well, it still doesn’t touch the other ring on the inside. I think if you add a spacer in-between the outside ring and the inside ring it does contact with eachother. By doing this, the outside ring puts pressure on the inside ring. So if the inside ring wants to become loose, it gets stopped by the outside ring. This now isn’t the case because there is still some room between the two rings. I know that there is some space between the rings, because if you look inside the outside ring, it isn’t scratched at all. If they would have contacted you should see some scratches on the ring I think. Could this just be a design flaw by bafang? Or do you think this idea won’t matter at all? I would like to know. Thanks.

          • June 9, 2019 at 6:52 pm
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            Hi Giel,

            I have never tried using a spacer between the inner and outer lockring before, but it may be worth a try. The source of the problem seems to be very slight manufacturing variations in bicycle bottom bracket dimensions. I find sometimes the motor shaft is a very tight fit, and other times the motor fits in very easily.

            If you can find a spacer that will fit, it is certainly worth trying, but there is a limit to how much you can tighten the outer lockring as it is aluminium and it is easy to strip the thread if over-tightened.

            If you try this method, let me know how you get on.

            Many thanks,
            Tony

      • June 9, 2019 at 5:32 pm
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        Hi Tony,

        Some corrections to my last message, with lockring I mean the ring that is visible from the outside. That ring also has a lot of small contact points for the tool (20+ points). With the second ring I mean the ring that is underneath the lockring. So the ring with the 4 indentations. That is used to directly tighten the motor. I also read on the internet that the locking, so the ring on the outside only has a esthetic purpose. It doesn’t actually lock something. I call it the lockring, but is that correct? Or is it just a ring to make it look nicer?

        Reply
    • August 5, 2019 at 5:29 am
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      Hi Tony
      What about a kit that is compatible with hydraulic brake systems as I see the levers and perches supplies are for cables only

      Reply
      • August 5, 2019 at 6:30 am
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        Hi Brett,

        Most of the kits available are usually only supplied with brake levers for mechanical disc brakes / rim brakes. The Tongsheng TSDZ2 does not require brake cut-offs as it is a torque sensing motor (unless a throttle option is specified). Some suppliers will offer the option of hydraulic brake sensors.

        There are hydraulic brake sensors available for the Bafang mid-drive motors and most hub motor kits. Some suppliers can provide replacement hydraulic brakes with sensors fitted.

        I hope this information helps.

        Regards,
        Tony

        Reply
  • June 9, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the advice, the correction wasn’t necessary I see. Great Advice, will try all the things you said. Thanks!!

    Reply

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