One of the best parts of buying a conversion kit over a complete e-bike is that you get to choose the bike you want to convert. There’s no doubt that choosing the bike is one of the best parts of the conversion process. Think about it, riding an e-bike is a lifestyle change and choosing the right bike to convert will help you get the most out of your new lifestyle. With thousands of bikes to choose from, how do you narrow the search? How do you make sure you get the best bike for your needs? Well here are a few things to consider when shopping for the bike you want to convert.
The Tech Stuff
There are certain specifications that a bike must meet before you can convert it. First, you need to consider whether you want a front or rear hub motor. I would recommend keeping this in mind as you shop for bikes and choose the option that you think suites your chosen bike. You must however remember that a front hub motor requires a steel fork. An alloy fork is likely to crack creating unsafe riding conditions. You also need to consider the wheel size and fork spacing (click here for details) but I wouldn’t worry too much about that since our kit fits most standard bikes. To avoid problems double check the specs before you buy and remember we’re always here to help. If you’re not sure, check with us first.
The Lifestyle Stuff
Okay, so now you know there are certain specs the bike needs to meet. What else do you need to consider? That really depends on how you plan to use your e-bike. Adding our conversion kit will allow you to use your bike in ways you never would have considered before. Every time you get into your car think; could I use my e-bike for this trip? You’ll be able to get up hills, stay cool in the heat, carry heavy loads like groceries or even pick the kids up from day care. To help narrow the search even more think about these points, they will help guide you onto the right bike.
Terrain: Choosing the right bike for the terrain can help get the most out of your e-bike. A knobby off road tire will not be as comfortable or efficient as a slick road tire when you’re on the asphalt but a road tire on the path may not provide enough grip. Think about the uses you’ll have for your e-bike, what does the surface you’ll be riding on look like? A city dweller’s bike may never see anything but asphalt. If this is true for you consider a commuter bike. Commuting by bike has really taken off in the last few years so there are a lot of excellent options in this category. Commuter bikes offer features like fenders and chain guards which help keep the rider clean and free of grime. They can also offer stock racking systems that come in handy for mounting your battery and carrying a brief case or a bag of groceries home after work. If you plan to keep your e-bike at the beach a single speed cruiser with a basket might be perfect. A hybrid bike with a front fork and rear motor is a great choice for unimproved country roads or path riding. If your bike will see a lot of path riding and you want a sportier look consider a cyclocross bike. They will offer a nice balance between road riding and rougher path riding.
How hilly is your ride? An E-BikeKit will completely change the gear ratios needed on your bike. When riding the toughest of hills you may only need the top 3 gears which means 18 gears of a 21 speed are rendered useless. Talk to your local bike shop, often times they can alter the gear ratios to fit your riding which can make your new machine even more efficient.
Utility: Converting your bike with an E-BikeKit conversion system is a lifestyle change. You may have only used your bike on weekends for exercise but now think about the opportunities your electric bike provides you. The E-BikeKit system combined with the right bike can really change your life. If your grocery shopping consists of two bags a week then get a set of panniers (saddle bags) that fit your commuter. Your bike has now become a grocery getter. Take it to the farmer’s market across town for some heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn on the cob or head to your favorite disk golf course just outside of the city. You’ll be able to carry a full set of discs, a cooler and save your energy for the course by throttling your way there. Maybe you’re grocery shopping looks more like you’re hunkering down for a long winter consider a cargo bike like the Xtracycle or Kona’s Ute. Cargo bikes enhanced with the E-BikeKit conversion system will let you do anything your SUV does (or used to do). Also called “longtails” a cargo bike can carry passengers, ten bags of groceries or just about anything else you can strap to it. They are made with a low center of gravity and a heavy duty frame to take the heavier loads. Take the cargo bike to the flea market and leave with a coffee table, coat rack, crate of old vinyl records and still have room for your ten year old son. If the long tail is too much and a single set of panniers won’t be enough then a touring bike could be the answer for you. Touring bikes are heavy duty and can be loaded with as many bags and racks as you need.
Price: For most of us cost is a big consideration. A person can spend thousands of dollars on a bike which is great, if you’re able to spend that much. Replacing your car with an e-bike will still save you money. Realistically though a lot of us don’t have that kind of money to spend. Consider this; most of the things that make a bike go up in price are designed to make them lighter or easier to pedal. Adding the E-BikeKit conversion system means you can buy a heavier bike with fewer gears and still have a quality ride. Try to focus on how well the frame is built and the overall durability of the bike instead of the weight. Be sure to talk to your sales person about your plans for the bike, you can even direct them to www.e-bikekit.com so they get a better idea of what you will be doing with the bike. Your e-bike conversion will need special considerations, some of which will save you money when buying the bike you plan to convert.
Customize: Don’t be afraid to customize your bike!!!! Making upgrades or including add-ons to your bike can really help to enhance your e-bike lifestyle. The beauty of this system is you can choose a bike that fits you and you can customize it to make it your own. Bikes are very easy to reconfigure and there is no reason to leave it stock. If you’re riding 30 miles a day then go for the nice cushy saddle and don’t be afraid to change the bull horn handle bars on your cross bike to something that is more comfortable for you. Something as simple and inexpensive as changing the knobby tires on your mountain bike to a slick city tire can make a huge difference. If you’re a serious e-bike commuter then talk to your local bike shop about customizing your gear ratios, you may be able to get more efficiency and extend the charge on your battery. Making changes to your bike will definitely help to enhance your ride but keep safety in mind. If you’re not certain you can make the changes on your own then take advantage of your local bike shop. Their technicians will make sure your upgrade is done properly and will ensure safe and happy riding.
Safety: Most people who convert their bike find they spend many more hours in the saddle. If you find that your riding extends into the evening or early morning hours be certain to fit your bike with a head light and rear blinky. Making yourself visible on the road is the best way to avoid accidents. Also follow the traffic regulations regarding cycling in your state and by all means always wear a properly fitted helmet.