I converted an old broken bicycle into a kick-ass electric bike for 2 people. Now I want to show you how you can do that for dirt cheap.
So, if you already own a bike and some old car battery then it is really cheap to turn virtually any bicycle into an electric bike. Just get the same parts as I did and you can have an electric bike that is better than any of those complete e-bikes that cost well over $2000. Now if you get a better battery like the one I got, which will give you a long range then the price will jump substantially. Also if you don’t currently own a bicycle then you can find a brand new one online that is even better than mine but then the total cost will be even more.
To convert a bicycle to an e-bike is actually a lot simpler and faster than I previously thought. That’s all thanks to this E-Bike conversion kit I got on Amazon. Included in the kit you get the 48 volts, 1000 watts electric motor. The motor is already built into a wheel and it has the tire and tube already installed. In the kit you will also get the electric controller that you connect all your wires. All the cables are included. Also the throttle and hand brakes and even a rear bike rack with a bag that you can put on to hold your batteries. The only thing that is not included is the battery. That‘s because you can use all sorts of batteries with this kit. So if you have an old car battery or smaller acid batteries for motorcycles etc you could even use those. Now I decided to spend money on the latest battery technology. These are lithium ion batteries and are similar to the same batteries that are used in modern day electric cars like Tesla. Now that’s when things can get pricey. That is because a smaller battery like that one I have here will still costs you more than the whole electric motor kit. I found my battery for best price on ebay. Price constantly change so check out my links on Amazon and eBay. Plus you can find similar batteries all over the internet, but after spending 3 weeks looking for an affordable battery the one I found was honestly the best deal. The one I got is 48 volts so it works directly with this e-bike kit. Make sure that whatever voltage you get it matches the voltage on the motor you are using. My battery contains 12Ah which right now gives me about 30 miles range (48km) when riding the bike at medium speed of around 15 miles an hour (24km/h) on even terrain. Now the range can vary drastically. If for example you are going up a lot of hills then the battery will not last you as long, or if you are constantly pushing the throttle to max. Same if you put a lot of weight on the bike. In my tests it was usually me and my son riding. I’m 155 pounds and my son is 25. So combined weight of 180 pounds. If you get a battery with more amp hours then it will increase your range. The motor itself goes pretty fast. On even ground it’s top speed is around 30 miles an hour or 48 km/h.
To install the whole kit it will take you about 2 hours. For me it took a lot longer because the bicycle I used was an old piece of junk that didn’t run at all. So I first had to disassemble most of it and clean it up just so I could see which parts need replacing. I ended up having to replace both wheels, which worked out great since the motor already comes with a wheel. Now some things to keep in mind is the kind of bicycle you will need. This kit comes with a motor and wheel that is 26 inches. So make sure your bicycle has 26 inch wheels. Also one thing I would highly recommend is that you get a bike with disc brakes, because when this electric bike goes full speed then you will want to have strong and reliable brakes. Since my bike didn’t have them I just installed a pair I bought on amazon. Another thing I would recommend is a bike with suspension. Because again, going at higher speeds with the electric motor you will feel each bump in the road a lot more. If you don’t have a bicycle then you can actually buy a good but cheap one on amazon that will work great with this electric motor. I provided the link to this bike in the description. This bike already has installed disc brakes and comes with dual suspension.
In my case I had to clean up the old bicycle and install the disc brakes plus replace a few other broken parts. Once the bike itself was fixed then installing the electric motor was fast. I put it in where the rear wheel goes. By the way, this kit is a rear wheel kit which I think is great because it means that even if you want to pedal but let’s say your chain breaks or something like that, then this electric motor will still work since everything is contained inside the rear wheel.
One problem I had, was when I tried to install the rear bicycle rack. The wires that come out of the motor have bigger plugs and it would not fit through the bolt opening in the rack. So I just took a hacksaw and cut out a piece on the left side of the rack so I could fit the wires through. Then I just tighten the two bike wheel bolts. After that I installed the throttle and the brakes on the handle bars. You will need to use their hand brakes levers even if your bike is new and has working brakes because these hand brakes have an electric sensor built into them. The way they work is that the second the brakes are pressed it sends a signal to the controller box and that cuts off the power to the motor. The last thing to do is to figure out where and how you will attach the controller box and the battery. I used a piece of aluminum that I got at Home Depot and drilled two holes in it to match the bolt openings on the controller box. Then to attach it to the bike rack I put the box on one side of the rack and the aluminum piece on the opposite side and then I bolted the two pieces together. I did the same thing to the battery mounting plate. Then the last thing is to connect all the wires from the hand brakes, the throttle, from the battery and also from the motor into the electric controller. This is easy because even though the manual that comes with the e-Bike kit is horrible, you still can’t make a mistake connecting these, since all the plugs are different types. So even if you wanted to incorrectly plug it in, you can’t. The only thing to be careful with is when connecting your battery to the controller box. It’s simple plus goes to plus wire or red to red and negative to negative. I attached those wires using simple Twist-on wire connectors. The thing I love about the battery I got is that it has a level meter so it shows you when you are running low on power. Also the battery has a key that is required to turn on the battery. It’s just an extra safety feature. Once you have it all connected you are ready to go!
So I’ve been using my new electric bike now for 2 years and everything works great. I ended up using the rear rack bag that comes with the kit to put my battery inside and to hide all the wires. In the side pocket I put the controller box. In the other side pocket I keep any spare bike parts and tools I need. This way the whole bike looks nicer and people don’t know that I have a battery in there. Usually people I come across think I put food in there or something. Most also don’t realize that it’s an electric bike since it still has regular pedals and if you are running low on battery you can help the motor by pedaling. The same if the battery completely dies on you, you can always get home by using the pedals. Of course keep in mind that the whole bike is going to be heavier so it takes a little bit more effort. But honestly it’s not that much of a difference.
In the end I am also happy that I installed the battery and the motor in the back of the bike because once I put the child seat in front, then the weight of the bike balances out. This seat I got for my son is actually pretty awesome. What I like about it is that unlike the rear mounted child seats, this one allows me to see what my son is doing at any time. He also gets more excited because he is in the front and he feels like he sees everything I see. He can also look up at me and interact with me since we are so close. I also ended up installing a front and a back light for the bike, which allows me to ride at night in pitch darkness. You can adjust the light beam and the rear light has a continuous and flashing mode. In the front of the bike I installed another bike rack which allows me to rest my backpack on it when I go to get take out food or do some minor grocery shopping. Honestly I think everyone should have one of these electric bikes. Specially if you live in a place like New York City where driving cars and then parking them is so difficult, yet where you don’t normally travel more than 30 miles a day. An electric bike is something that anyone can use without a driver’s license or having to pay insurance or parking fees. It’s clean energy. It’s cheap energy. You can even take it to work and charge. In about 2 hours you will have a fully charged battery again. It’s the best way to get around a busy city. Anyways, hope you guys liked this video! If you did don’t forget to hit the like button, subscribe and check out the links in the description to all the parts I bought. See you on the streets!
Here are the items I installed on my bike:
Other things I installed on my bike:
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