Battery attached to the back of the seat tube – Photo by Tower Electric Bikes on Unsplash


Electric bikes, lovingly known as Ebikes by enthusiasts, offer a combination of fitness and convenience that regular bikes can’t compete with. Of course, buying a brand new Ebike is rather costly since even cheap models cost over $1000, which may put these versatile rides out of your budget. For those trying to save money, learning how to convert a road bike into an Ebike is a fantastic option. If you have the right tools for the job, the process is easier than you think, so let`s take a closer look at how it`s done.

Why Convert A Road Bike To An Ebike?

Converting a road bike into an Ebike is a cheaper option than buying a new Ebike, especially if you already have a bike you can alter with a few extra parts. Ebikes use rechargeable batteries, so you don’t need to buy fuel for them.

The environmental impact is reduced when upgrading an existing bike with Ebike parts. As well as using less fuel by riding the Ebike instead of driving your vehicle, you’re prolonging the life of your road bike. It won’t end up in a landfill, reducing harmful environmental waste.

Best of all, the health benefits of riding an Ebike are the same as riding a road bike, including increased muscle strength, flexibility, joint mobility, and cardiovascular health. Of course, an Ebike has one crucial advantage. When you get tired, you can turn on the motor and keep riding while you rest, then turn it off when you’re ready to resume exercising.

What You Need

To convert your road bike to an Ebike, you’ll need a few parts, the first three of which you can purchase separately or as part of a conversion kit. These include:

  • An electric motor
  • Throttle
  • Speed control hub and wheel
  • Battery pack with charger
  • Wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Zip ties

Select The Right Bike

Though you may want to upgrade an old bike, you likely don’t want to waste new Ebike parts on a ratty model. It should be well-kept, with a durable frame. Clean steel free of rust or damage is best, though you can use aluminum or carbon instead. The seat, tires, wheels, and accessories should also be of decent quality. If you’re unsure if your bike is the proper choice and want some extra info on which bike to choose for your Ebike conversion, check out this gravel bike vs road bike comparison to help make your selection.

Choose A Conversion Kit

Conversion kits are the best option for converting a road bike to an Ebike since they come with everything you need. This includes the wheel, hub motor, throttle, and speed controls. Many also come with accessories, like LCD screens, brake levels, and gauges. They vary in front or back wheel types, motor power, safety features, and mileage, so check all the details carefully before purchasing one.

Pick A Battery

Conversion kits rarely come with batteries, so you’ll need to buy one separately. When choosing one, check the voltage to ensure it offers the power required. Keep in mind that more power usually increases the size of the battery, so you’ll also need to ensure it’ll fit the bike you’re using. The capacity is also vital since it determines how long the battery lasts between charges, so stick with 10 to 20 ampere/hr batteries.

Remove The Proper Wheel

The first step to converting a road bike to an Ebike is removing the wheel, though which one to take off depends on the kit or parts you’ve purchased. The process is similar for both tires, with a few exceptions.

Loosen the rim or cantilever brakes and remove any disc brakes. For rear wheels, push the derailleur back and lift the frame to unhook the chains. If swapping the front tire, turn the bike over, loosen the brake cable, switch the quick-release lever to open, and pull the tire off.

Install The New Wheel

Place the new wheel onto the bike, secure it in place, and reconnect the brake system, including reattaching any pads and securing clips on disc brakes. Rear wheels will also need wheel chain adjustments for the proper fit.

Attach Throttle And Speed Controller

Most often, these parts use bolts to attach them for quick and easy installation. These should be included, though check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper attachment method. First, secure the speed controller in place. The best spot is usually on the frame above the chains. Then install the throttle onto the handlebars where it’ll be within easy reach.

Connect The Battery

Before connecting the battery, read the instructions to be sure you’re attaching everything properly. Then install the battery on the frame, connecting the cables carefully to avoid issues like sparks, electrical shorts, malfunctions, or damage.

Mount The Motor

Figure out the best space for the motor, ensuring it sits comfortably on the frame without getting in your way while riding. This includes the wires, which could scrape against the motor, causing wear. Once you’ve chosen the perfect spot, mount the motor to the bike.

Attach Any Accessories

If you’ve bought accessories or a few are included in a conversion kit, attach them now. Use the included instructions for the proper installation method.

Secure The Wires

Before putting the new Ebike parts to the test, secure any loose wires to the bike frame. Zip ties are best since they can be tightened and trimmed as needed.

Test The Bike

Once all the Ebike parts are in place on your road bike, it’s time to test it out. Don’t go far on the first trip, in case of any issues. If you notice any pieces are loose or rubbing together, adjust them as needed. Then test it out again. Charge the battery using only the appropriate charger and a wall outlet to prevent damage to the battery. Don’t leave the battery unattended or charge it near a heat source, or you could risk a fire.


Learning how to convert a road bike into an Ebike helps prolong the use of your old models while allowing you to save money on an upgraded form of transportation. As well as the financial benefits, you reduce your carbon footprint while gaining the health benefits of a regular bike. Though installing the necessary parts takes some effort and skill, building your own Ebike is well worth the effort.