Having a bike that has a motor on it can provide quite a bit of value for different types of riders. Some people are going to really appreciate the ability to get to different places very quickly, while others are just going to be very happy about the fact that they do not have to put as much effort into tough riding situations. After all, there is nothing like having to struggle up a steep hill when the legs are already burning.
Whatever the reasoning might be, electric bike conversion kits are really starting to take off. It seems like fat bike riders particularly are finding just how beneficial they are, and prices are affordable enough that people are taking the plunge.
With more options out there than ever before, what are the best conversion kits to pick from? These five are just a step above the rest, especially when considering different price points. Not all of them are going to be 100% affordable for those who are trying to stay on a budget, but they all are the best of the best for anyone trying to take advantage of having a little bit of added power.
1. EBIKELING Direct Drive Motor Kit
To start things off, this is one option that virtually anyone can afford if they really want to feel the benefits of added power. EBikeling (Amazon) is a pretty simple design overall, and the installation process goes by incredibly quickly. It is not going to have all the bells and whistles that some of the other motors on this list will have, but it is still very much worth the investment.
First, let’s breakdown what type of power comes with his motor. For the price, it comes pretty pumped up with a 36 Volt, 500 Watt hub motor, as well as a 22 Amp controller. This is plenty for first-timers, which is exactly what the brand is targeting with its affordable price. The company wants something that is very flexible for people to attach themselves, and it does not take a genius to figure out the instructions.
Adding to the list of its true flexibility is the fact that the kit is disc brake compatible. Some kits do not work well with disc brakes, and it limits the options for people who have them. There is an opportunity to either install a throttle to use or bypass that option, as it is more of a personal preference than anything. Most do not really end up caring that much, so they skip it.
The final selling point for this cheap option over the others is the fact that it has a very good LED display that gives people everything they need to know on the go. People can quickly check where the battery percentage is, how fast they are going, the distance traveled, PAS levels, and even a switch for the headlight.
Built as the ultimate entry-level option, some people invest in this kit, and never feel the need to upgrade at another time. There is no reason to upgrade if it is still doing well even years later.
- Very powerful motor for the price.
- Easy installation.
- The LED display is big and informative.
- The battery is subpar.
- Throttle could be better.
2. Electric Bike Conversion Kit/Li–ion 10.4 Ah
One of the biggest complaints people have when it comes to investing in a conversion kit is that many of the batteries do not last particularly long. That is not the case at all with this conversion kit, as the battery provides some amazing power on each charge.
It comes with a 10,400 mAh Samsung 24 V lithium battery, which allows people to ride for about 20 miles on each charge. Included is a 250 W motor hub as well, meaning people are going to have a pretty impressive ride when it is all said and done.
Dual operating modes are very important to some people, while others do not really care one way or another. If a person is looking for dual operating modes, this is one bike that offers exactly that. This means that there is an entirely normal peddling mode, and also one that gives some assistance.
People can still get a pretty good work out, but they might be able to tackle some tougher areas without really having too much of an issue. It also helps to power through the end of a ride if a person is tired, wet, and just wanting to get home.
A huge selling point with this kit is the fact that it caters to so many different types of people. A long battery can be beneficial for even those who do not go on very long rides. The value is that there is less time charging to use on occasion. Even if it is charged every day, the battery will last a long time, without any issues for people whatsoever.
- Extremely long battery life.
- Powerful motor.
- Dual operating modes come in handy.
- Even with assistance, it is tough to ride uphill compared to others.
- The display screen could be better.
3. The Hub Motor Electric Bike Conversion Kit
There is nothing wrong with wanting to add a little bit of speed when it comes to an electric bike conversion kit. After all, these bikes are capable of going much faster than any typical man-powered bike. However, most do not reach the speeds of this one, and it is pretty impressive, to say the least.
Riders can expect to get up to 50 mph if they really want to push it to the limits, and that makes the kit worth it to a lot of people wanting to seek a bit of a thrill.
The truth of the matter is, most people do not need to go that fast when moving around. Electric bikes are limited to off-road riding for the most part, so it can sometimes be unsafe to go that fast. However, in an open area, it certainly is exciting to take things to another level.
In order for a person to feel safe riding at that speed, it is important to make sure that they have the right brakes to count on as well. The kit is prepared with disc brakes for the front and rear wheels.
They work extremely well, allowing people to stop pretty quickly without any issues whatsoever. It is always going to take a little bit more time to stop when going at top speed, but most people figure out a way to make it work.
This kit powers (Amazon) through pretty hilly areas, so no one has to worry about getting caught in the middle of nowhere. A lot of reasons why people invest in fat bike electric conversion kits in the first place is so they can power through the tougher parts of the ride. Think of it more as an aid, rather than something that is motorized and capable of cruising like a motorcycle.
Topping everything off is a great display that gives people all the information they could ever want. Tracking information while riding is very important, as no one wants to be caught in a sticky situation where they are low on battery, dealing with a mechanical issue, or some other sort of drawback.
- Extremely powerful motor.
- Fastest conversion kit available.
- Battery has a great life to it.
- Installation process is tricky for some.
- Tough to handle so much speed at first.
4. Electric Bike Bafang 8 Mid Drive Crank Motor Kit
Simply put, the best is safe for last when it comes to a conversion kit. Many people love the way that it handles any type of terrain, and even though it does cost more than some options out there, it provides excellent value that will last for years and years if treated properly. It is tough to find any flaws with this kit whatsoever, as people continue to count on it each and every day.
As soon as a person starts to research this kit online, it is very apparent that others have had a lot of success using it all over the world. The installation process from the very beginning is very straightforward, and the quality of the components are great.
It has a pretty strong mid-drive crank motor kit that consists of 750 Watts, 135-160 RPM, and Torque 160 NM. Riders can usually get over 20 Miles on a single charge if they want to, which is well above average for any type of motor kit like this.
Fat bike riding usually consists of going into certain areas that are a bit problematic for electronics. Everything is protected and waterproof, which is undoubtedly beneficial for those who are very worried about any accidents messing up their newest investment.
Assistance mode available with this kit is a true game-changer for a lot of people. It works very well, picking up the amount of help it provides when it feels like people are starting to lag behind.
It works when it should, and lets people go without any help when they don’t need it. That’s exactly what most people want out of a kit like this, which is why it ranks near the top of the list.
- Powerful kit in every way.
- Assistance mode really helps out.
- A little on the expensive side.
- Not the easiest to install out of all of them.
5. BAFANG BBS03 Mid Drive Kit
This Bafang BBS03 mid-drive (Amazon) is one of the most highly rated solutions for people who want to turn their fat bike into something a little more powerful. It is an advanced option that provides plenty of power and torque so that people can get around without much of an issue. It just feels like a different ride altogether, which is what a lot of people love about paying the extra money for a mid-drive option.
The installation process is a little more complicated, which is why some people will go to a professional service to get things done, instead of tackling it on their own. Once everything is set up, it is smooth sailing from there. The motor is great for not only fat bikes and trail bikes, but even rode bikes if a person wants to go that way.
The top speed is about 28 mph, which some might not be that impressed with. The thing is, most people don’t need to go any faster than that in most settings. Fat bikes are usually meant for extreme speed, as it is more about tackling different parts of the trail and getting some level of assistance at times. A fat bike does not need to go 50 mph in most cases, even if it is cool to mess around with them once in a while that way.
To top off the premium feel this bike are a couple of key features. The first is that there are nine different levels of pedal assist so that people get exactly what they want. There is even a throttle only mode available if a person wants to go that way and see how it can benefit them.
Finally, every kit includes a color LCD display that instantly makes a bike that much more informative. People can view their speed, battery level, pedal assist level, and so much more. Statistics provided are great to learn about bike riding in general, which is always a fun way to go.
It is hard to find many negatives with this kit, except for the fact that it is pretty expensive. People do need to be a little bit conscientious about using too much motor power when taking off from a standing start. That is a very good way to drain the battery quickly, which will be frustrating later on during the ride with little to no power left.
A one-year warranty is sufficient for most people, but it probably would have been even better if they included something a little longer. Do not be afraid to invest in this option if the plan is to ride on a consistent basis with the motor assistance.
- Mid-drive premium option.
- Outstanding components.
- Nine different levels of pedal assist.
- The battery can drain easily if people speed off.
Where Can People Ride Their Electric Fat Bikes?
The laws regarding fat bikes with an electric motor are a bit hard to completely nail down, mostly because of technology being so new. Some areas have taken action so far, while others have not felt the need to address things just yet.
The one thing that is pretty common everywhere is that these bikes are not street legal, and no one should be treating them as such. That is by far the easiest way to get pulled over by law enforcement.
Even if it can match the speed of vehicles, it should still stay off the road when actually using the motor. It is a safety hazard for riders, and cars have a hard time seeing these bikes as well.
As far as off-road riding is concerned, a lot of places allow for electric assist fat bikes. As long as a person is not reckless while riding, they should run into no issues. Some motors allow for very high speeds, and that has a better chance of being banned from certain areas. Again, this is a safety issue, and no one wants to have to deal with a scary accident that put lives at risk.
What Is The Future of Electric Fat Bikes?
There seems to be a bit of a race right now between ready-made electric fat bikes, and fat bike conversion kits to make a standard option electric. As of right now, they seem to be neck and neck as far as what people purchase.
Those who were early adopters for fat bike riding are generally gravitating towards the kit options. That is because they already have a bike they like, and they want to ride it as much as possible without giving up that level of comfort. It also helps that things can be taken off pretty quickly and not used if they are not needed.
For actual electric fat bikes, they are bringing in a lot of new people to the sport in general. People are seeing it as an opportunity to buy everything at once, instead of having to itemize everything throughout time. If it is already installed with electric capabilities, there is no reason to go back to the bike shop for additional changes.
Kids are becoming more affordable than ever, which definitely works in their favor. They are always going to have more overall options as well, because some fat bike companies are not really doing much at all with electric options.
For that reason, expect to see electric fat bike conversion kits continue to grow for years to come. They are a great opportunity to make a bike that much more enjoyable off-road. As long as people are very responsible with not going to fast and putting others in danger, they will continue to be perfect solutions for those who do not want to be caught in tough situations where they can’t completely get out of the way.