E-BikeKit 500W Direct Drive Kit Review

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Summary

  • Value electric bike kit in multiple wheel sizes, works with front or rear, throttle only design
  • Excellent support and warranty, easy to install, multiple battery options for weight or range
  • Direct drive motor is quiet, durable and powerful for cruising around applications vs. pedaling
  • LCD display panel can turn the bike on, measure speed and distance, select from five levels of power

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

E-BikeKit

Model:

500W Direct Drive Kit

Price:

$862 USD (Up to $1,660 Depending on Battery Size)

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Motor and Lithium-ion Battery, 6 Month Sealed Acid Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

16 lbs (7.25 kg) (Up to 18 lbs Depending on Battery Size and Chemistry)

Motor Weight:

13 lbs (5.89 kg)

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Freewheel (Rear Kit Option Only) or Single Speed

Brake Details:

Tektro Levers with Integrated Motor Cutoff

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)24 in (60.96cm)26 in (66.04cm)28 in (71.12cm)29 in (73.66cm)

Accessories:

Motor Cable, Accessory Cable, Battery Wire Harness, Zip Ties, C-Washers, Torque Arm, 22 amp 12 FET Motor Controller, HighPower 2 Amp Charger

Other:

Disc Brake Compatible, Estimated ~1,000 Charge Cycles for Lithium-ion and ~600 for Sealed Lead Acid, Kit Can Be Purchased Without a Battery for $674

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Electric Bike Tech

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub, Front-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Rhino (SLA), AllCell (Lithium-ion)

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

15 ah (Optional 9 ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

540 wh (Optional 432 wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Sealed Lead Acid or Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours (Up to 8 Hours Depending on Battery Size and Chemistry)

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Backlit LCD, Fixed

Readouts:

Five Power Levels, Speed, Range, Battery Capacity

Display Accessories:

On/Off Button on Throttle Mount

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

E-BikeKit has been offering electric bike conversion kits since 2008 with all kinds of different wheel sizes and battery options to choose from. The 500 watt direct drive (gearless) edition is meant for people who want lots of power for accelerating and climbing. It’s great for cruisers who like scooting around with the throttle vs. pedaling along and while it weighs a bit more than the gearless 350w kit (and looks larger) it’s very quiet and durable. Depending on how you set this kit up, it could end up making your bike rear heavy (motor and battery mounted towards the back) but if you’re not going off road this is the most convenient setup. It doesn’t freewheel the same way that the geared motor kits do so keep that in mind if you run out of juice far away from home… the motor will drag a little bit when coasting due to the magnets “cogging” effect” which I show in the video.

The motor itself is a powerful 500 watt direct drive (gearless) hub configuration that houses large magnets and a metal “stater” which receives current from the battery and pushes the motor forward. It’s capable of climbing medium sized hills on its own (depending on the size and weight of the bike and rider) and can ascend large hills with a bit of help. The great part about this design is how quiet and durable it is; there aren’t any gears rubbing around inside. I love that you can choose the wheel size you want with this kit including 20″, 24″, standard 26″ and 29″ and that the wheels are reinforced at the spoke point. You could use this thing to electrify a kick scooter, bike trailer, kids bike, tandem or even a wheelchair.

The battery options on this and other E-BikeKit products are pretty much interchangeable so you could get a 36 volt pack and a 48 volt pack and use either one for your kit (experiencing more power with the stronger pack). Eventually, all batteries wear out (and you can recycle them at Batteries Plus stores) and when that happens you can order another one straight away. Depending on your budget and weight tolerance, you can either choose from sealed Lead-acid (SLA) or Lithium-ion with the later being lighter and longer lasting for more charge cycles. They also offer different bag configurations or you could get a frame bag and try to make something custom for yourself. For the absolute simplest setup go for the front wheel motor and rear mounted battery to even out the weight and make installation and changing flats super easy.

A big feature that was introduced in 2013 to the E-BikeKit lineup is the LCD display panel. This thing is water resistant, backlit and pretty good looking. It mounts to your handlebar (I like to keep it on the left so I can reach the buttons while riding) and it tells you the speed, distance and battery capacity remaining. It also lets you turn the kit and choose from five power levels. One gripe here is that instead of being called “power levels” these are labeled “assist”. I’m sure the display panel is a generic model that was used on pedal-assist electric bikes and that’s where that label comes from (note that this kit does not offer assist). Ultimately, it works well enough and lets you limit your speed and power use to ride more safely or extend battery life. Note that top speed on this kit is 20mph to abide by US regulations. This kit also comes standard with both a twist throttle and a trigger throttle so you can choose whichever you like best or have a quick replacement handy in the event of an accident or hardware failure years down the line.

There’s a lot to say about this kit despite how simple it is to install and operate. The different options can seem overwhelming but it’s really about how far you want to go and how concerned you are with weight and battery longevity. E-BikeKit offers a two year warranty for the Lithium packs and SLA gets six months. One other big upgrade for the new designs is that the controller delivers 22 amps of power instead of just 20. This makes acceleration faster, climbing easier and overall operation smoother. If you like the idea of a throttle and display panel vs. just a simple on/off button but don’t think you need fancy pedal assist and regenerative braking options then this kit is perfect. They call it a “value” product and I think it speaks to a lot of people who want to convert their existing bike and save some money.

Pros:

  • Available with Sealed Lead-Acid, Lithium-ion or no battery at different price points
  • Quiet 500 watt direct drive hub motor is powerful, smooth and durable for years of use
  • Different mounting options depending on which battery you choose, included bag keeps pack clean and dry, can also put the controller box in there
  • Great two year motor warranty, solid battery warranty depending on which pack you get (sealed Lead-acid has a shorter six month warranty)
  • Solid track record with responsive customer support, E-BikeKit has been around since 2008
  • Designed, assembled and partially manufactured in the us, packaging is recyclable and does not use styrofoam
  • Twist throttle and trigger throttle offer variable power output vs. some basic kits that only have an on/off drive button
  • Available in a wide range of wheel sizes that don’t cost extra including 20″, 24″, 26″ and 700c / 29er
  • Great backlit LCD display console with speed, odometer and precise battery capacity readouts
  • Five levels of power to choose from, helps limit the top speed or extend the battery on long trips

Cons:

  • No pedal assist options, kit comes with a half-grip twist throttle or trigger only (kit includes both)
  • LCD display says “Assist Level” which is misleading, this is actually power level
  • May have to buy a frame bag separately if you want to mount the battery to your top tube to keep the bike more balanced. Standard bag is kind of basic

Resources:

More E-BikeKit Reviews

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  • MSRP: $862
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Value electric bike kit in multiple wheel sizes, works with front or rear, throttle only design. Excellent support and warranty, easy to install, multiple battery options for weight or range...

E-BikeKit E-Trike Kit Review

  • MSRP: $754
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Versitile electric bike kit specifically designed for trikes, available in a wide range of wheel sizes. Offered with multiple battery types and sizes including Sealed Lead-Acid, Lithium-ion or with no battery...

2012 E-BikeKit 350W Geared Kit Review

  • MSRP: $862
  • MODEL YEAR: 2012

Basic electric bike kit for front or rear wheel, includes battery pack, hub motor in wheel and twist throttle. Good value with support and warranty, easy to install, multiple battery options for weight and…...


Comments (4) YouTube Comments

gerardo
5 years ago

Would this be a good ebikekit for going uphill ? i’m going to start college soon and i need a way to get there its not that far from where i live its only 4 miles away but its almost all uphill and pretty bad uphills since i live in the mountains do you think this would get me there? or at least make it easier ? so that i don’t get to school all sweaty

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Gerardo, it would definitely make ascending hills easier. It’s hard to say just how easy it will be without seeing the hill and knowing your weight (along with the gear you’ll be carrying). A 500 watt gearless direct drive motor is above average in terms of strength but also a bit heavier than a gearless motor. The Lead Acid batteries sold with the lower end version of this kit are also heavier but it’s less expensive than many other options. If you’ve never ridden an ebike before I’d suggest taking a road trip to a nearby shop to do a test ride and then compare the specs of that bike with this kit to determine how much assistance you’ll be getting. Overall this is a solid option that’s easy to install and relatively affordable :)

  Reply
Jj
5 years ago

Could I put a 12v 15ah battery in it

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Interesting question Jj, I’m not an expert but it seems like it would be possible to connect a 12 volt battery but you would go very slowly and with very low poer because most ebike packs offer at least 24 volts of power and an average pack is 36v or even 48v. You might want to contact E-BikeKit and ask them about this (and determine whether your battery would even connect with their plugs) before moving forward.

  Reply

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