FORGET THE NEW BIKE, JUST CONVERT!
In case you love the bike you already own
There is, of course, no shortage of interesting innovations to be found in the world of e-bikes. Of the many, to us, the Bimotal adaptive system is one of the more impressive. Consists of a small, throttle-assisted motor that is attached to a gear installed on the inside of the brake rotor. With a battery housed in the bottle cage, the system produces 50 N/m of torque by using a trigger throttle. While Bimotal tells us they’re working on a pedal assist for the unit, we’re going to remain impressed with the current product. The Elevate motor can be used on different bikes and is easily removed by two latches and leaves behind only 200 grams of hardware.
Battery: 250 Wh
If you have any interest in home-built projects, the chances are high that you’ve seen the name Bafang around. Many people wonder about products from overseas and their quality. The fact is that Bafang has countless units in an array of bikes throughout the world with a known low-failure rate. Bafang offers a few different options, including a front-hub drive kit for 26-, 27.5- and 29-inch wheel sizes. Bafang’s front hub requires an open-slotted fork. They also offer powerful mid-drive kits with up to 1000 watts that can essentially bolt to your bottom bracket. Bafang has different displays, ranging from the bare essentials to displays with all the data you can imagine.
Battery sizes: 550Wh-970Wh
PARADOX KINETICS HERMES
Hand-woven carbon fiber composites, along with aerospace-grade aluminum, comprise the shell of the motor. The design is also ergonomically built to withstand the beating it may take on the trail. It’s more than enough power for any mountain bike trail with 130 N/m of torque. It is designed with a mountain biking purpose and will allow you to keep the bike you already love. If your bike doesn’t have a place to mount a battery, the Paradox includes a backpack that is meant to house the battery while you’re riding. A sizable three-year warranty comes with the kit that includes everything you need to get rolling—battery, throttle, cranks (with chainring), charger, bottom bracket, wiring harness and the backpack. When it comes time to sell your bike, you can remove the kit and your bike is back to normal.
Price: $3158 (with 600Wh battery), an additional $328 for an optional 1000Wh battery
Battery: 600 Wh, 1000 Wh
At 6.6 pounds, Swytch claims they have the lightest conversion kit available. It’s essentially a front hub-driven pedal-assist unit that is compatible with rim and disc brake wheels. Choose between a thumb or twist throttle to be compatible with whatever existing shifter setup you have. The battery pack has the power-level controls on it already and mounts to your handlebars. Separate battery packs are available as well. The motor itself has 40 N/m of torque, which isn’t a lot, but may be perfect to derive just that extra bit of assist. Just don’t expect to climb steep hills all day without overheating, as that is a common problem with hub-driven units. You have the option of brake cut-off sensors so that when you hit the brakes the power to the motor is ceased.
Motor size: 250W
Out of Chicago, Illinois, Ebikeling offers five different fully assembled hub-driven kits. Primarily designed for commuting and not so much off-roading, although there’s no reason they couldn’t handle some light gravel road use. Each of the kits have different wheel-size and battery-size options. The kits come with almost everything you need to get rolling, including display, controller, wiring harnesses and hardware. Some kits will require a separate battery purchase. Each bike is different and could require customization on your part to get it installed securely.
Motor sizes: 500W-1200W
Grin Tech offers a seemingly endless variety of e-bike motors, kits and batteries that can fit just about any bike out there, whether it’s a disc or rim brake model. Multiple sizes of fully built front or rear hub-driven wheels, including a 20-inch version, are available, and they even offer built scooter wheels. A full menu of individual products are available for making upgrades to your existing e-bike. Grin Technologies is a real outlet center for the do-it-yourself e-bike enthusiast.
Motor sizes: 250W-3000W