Intersted in conversation kit up to 500$

Noam

New Member
Hello everybody!

I curently have a strong bicycle (26") which doesn't has a motor at all... :( Bicycle photos right here!

(I would be glad if you will tell me if a kit can be installed on this bike at all. Moreover, I don't quite understand what kind of breaks do I have and what is the meaning of this for a kit).

I am searching for a kit that will allow me to ride the bike for school and back home for daily use (It's a road of about 6 km in total, it's very hard to climb it without an engine since there are lots of slopes...) My budget is about 650$ top roof. The shipping & texas for importing bicycle which cost 500$ are estimated in about 150$. So 500$ is the highest price I am willing to pay.

By searching the internet and electricbikereview.com I have found a few kits that will probably match. Can you guys help me decide which kit is the best for me?
  1. Leed kit (which I like the most) - 470$
  2. Currie kit (I am iinterestedin kit number 1, also known as Currie Electro-Drive Conversion Kit 126) - 450$
I have also found a few kits on amazon, in much lower prices, but I am afraid that these kits are just a piece of grab since I can't find a review over the internt. I'll post them here anyway, just to see what you think...
Thanks for help anyway!
Noam:)
 

lilrich1959

Member
Noam, Welcome to the forum you came to the right place to get the honest skinny on e bikes. Having done quite a few successful conversions as well as my work with manufactured e bikes of all kinds I can offer you some guidance. Sorry the news is not good. First you could not have picked a worse candidate for conversion. Although some manufactures use V brakes (clamping the shoes on the rim) they are restricted to their lowest end models with modest power and speed, disks are the way to go. Additionally converting a full suspension bike limits you to a rear wheel drive (probably the best set up anyway) and no really good method to mount your battery. All the components of the bike will be exposed to extra strain such as suspension, bearings and spokes it does not appear your bike would perform satisfactorily.

Scrutinizing the pictures you posted of the bike the dropouts (where the wheels mount) it looks as if the dropouts would not withstand the extra weight and torque of a motorized wheel. Additionally the two kits you are interested in I feel would only disappoint. The power is not there for decent hill climbing which you desire and battery range would only discourage you. The Currie system shows some promise but as pointed out in the review you linked to they offer complete e bikes close to your price range with the engineers having taken into all these factors involved as well as being in an attractive neat setup. Support for conversions is non existent save for an excellent forum and supplier in Gary Salo of Golden Motors of Canada. His kits however would not meet your price range with batteries in an acceptable voltage and range. Not to say a successful conversion cannot be done just not with the parameters you outline.

Conversions take some dedication to doing the research and a high level of skill to pull off without ending up with an unsalable or useless waste of money. I would suggest you keep checking out the forum and find an e bike dealer near you so you can check out the available models to see what would meet your needs. I would recommend against a conversion unless you have the technical skills going in or have a need for features such as speed or special applications the manufactured products don't offer. Remember if something breaks or does not operate on your conversion you are the expert no warrantee to fall back on either. Parts and support are another matter altogether. Lastly if you persist in doing a conversion (I understand the e bike bug bites hard) pick a better candidate and kit components as you will be stuck with your creation for better or worse as there is no market for conversions and the money you spent cannot be recouped if you decide to go to a premade e bike at a later date. I hope this helps and not discouraged you altogether. Peace and keep the rubber down.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I'm new at this, obviously, and don't have an ebike. What I've gleaned so far from my (albeit very) short time on this forum, reading and absorbing and asking a few questions of my own, is that there seems to be anywhere from a slight to middling negativity towards converting an existing bike to an ebike UNLESS you have a steel frame, steel fork, a very simple & basic bike, and nothing too fancy. And even then it's kind of iffy, or appears that way.

What I've noticed is that the most positive comments and general encouragement appear to be for manufactured eBikes, for a wide variety of reasons. Not all ebikes, mind you, and opinions vary greatly, as one would expect, but in exploring conversion kits vs manufactured ebikes, the needle on the dial is definitely more toward the manufactured ebike side, or perhaps the most vocal people on the forum are the ones who happen to have manufactured eBikes.

Then again, a manufactured eBike might just be that much better in most or even all areas (except in cost). I'm making generalities in this post, which I fully admit. It's what I've personally noticed in my time here. That's not to say conversion kits = only bad and manufactured ebikes = only good, it's just the tone I've noticed. And maybe that's just me and as always, YMMV (your mileage may vary).
 

lilrich1959

Member
Not saying there is anything intrinsically wrong with a conversion and they definitely have there place such as on a recumbents or trikes where the manufactures fall short with very little to offer in a reasonable cost.

My first conversion when added together ran me close to $1600 including a deeply discounted quality bike with disk brakes which a close friend sold me for $300. I still own the bike and it is going strong, offering performance that most manufactures models cannot legally offer (top speed throttle only 37-40mph) 1000w at 48volt. That said the makeshift mounting of the battery in the diamond to achieve better balance from my original rack mount leaves a lot to be desired. It definitely appears to be an electric bike, no chance at stealth there. Scary fast and fun to ride but I'll never get my money back out of it, but that was not my intention.

I am a highly skilled individual and was still challenged by some aspects of putting it together. I never intended it for serious transportation and anticipated trouble but with luck have encountered little due to diligence and choosing quality components. For someone to order a kit off the internet with little skills or resources and expecting to put together a machine they can depend on for everyday transportation can be done but I don't tend to challenge fate depending on it. There are some good affordable ebikes out there including the E3 Vibe by IZIP for example.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi @PowerMe thanks for the feedback. As the person writing the reviews on EBR and overseeing the forum here I acknowledge the light bias towards purpose built ebikes. This reflects my own values for warranty, aesthetic, balance and legal performance. @lilrich1959 shared his specs at 1,000 watts which is above the legal US limit and could put him in dire economic and legal condition if an accident took place and he was not licensed properly.

I err on the cautious side with conversions and try to communicate the challenge they present because I want people to have a good experience. Most kit manufacturers do recommend steel forks and premium suppliers like BionX opt not to ship direct and instead rely on a network of dealers for installation. I think this speaks to the complexity/warranty issue. That said, I converted an old GT hybrid bicycle for my Mom using the Leed 30K kit and it works great. She fell in love with the Faraday Porteur but that's more money than she wanted to spend on a bike so back to the trade off between value and performance :)