Let's figure it out!
What is the perfect e-bike for you? What conversion solution would fit your needs, budget, and riding style?
If you have already done your research you can click here to check out our ebike conversion products. To learn a little more before deciding if it is right for you and how you would go about it, you are in the right place. There is a lot of detailed info available by clicking the buttons below.
Choosing a Bike
First of all, do you have a bike? If you have one that you are certain is perfect for your e-bike conversion then skip to the next section on selecting a motor. If you don't have a bike or want to make sure you are starting with the right kind of bike a few questions to think about are: What kind of riding would you like to do? Trails mostly or just occasionally? Do you want to just ride around the neighborhood? Do you ride for exercise, enjoyment or to actually get somewhere or accomplish something? Do you want to ride to work with your ebike as primary or occasional commute transportation? Do you need to haul kids or heavy and bulky loads? There is a bike designed for almost any use you have for a bike. There are even options to replace the car and carry lots of cargo. Whether you choose mountain, cruiser, hybrid, road, folding or cargo, there are great customizing options for getting your perfect powered ride. Click on these links to see if they describe you and what you want out of an ebike.
City & Cruiser
ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE
Some like an eMTB's for getting around town and commuting. Mountain bikes are about the only bikes made with full suspension and you can't beat full suspension for comfort but it does add some weight. However, the extra weight of full suspension is not even noticed with electric assist and they do make a very comfortable commuter with the added benefit of being able to hop curbs and take shortcuts through fields and trails when available.
For the more senior riders an eMTB lets them keep riding in the mountains and wilderness places they love. It keeps them active and lets them get out and exercise more often while doing something truly fun.
Others recovering from injuries or with physical limitations find they can get out on the trails and keep moving for their health and well-being.
If the kind of riding in this section speaks to you then an electric mountain bike might be for you. Maybe you already have one in the garage or just need to go pick one out. In either case we can help you electrify it into an eMTB you will love.
Electric City Bike or Electric Cruiser Bike
Everyday cycling in Europe is still like that and they have perfected the upright city bike for getting around town or just out for a ride. In America we popularized the cruiser style and they are still very popular. An example is the Electra Townie or a beach cruiser. City bikes tend to be more for getting around and cruisers are more for pleasure but they both do both and it really comes down to preference and both make great e-bike conversions.
If you live in a flat area and have your health you may not need an ebike but if you are in your senior years, have health issues or live around hills or wind, an ebike is the answer. In the Salt Lake Valley where I live the ground slopes from the mountains on either side of the valley to the Jordan River. Wherever you are in the valley if you are going in an east/west direction you will have a hill going or coming not to mention a lot of other hills spread throughout the valley. That coupled with steady winds at different times of the year makes electric assist welcome on a majority of rides. So for the less athletic we can now add electric motor assistance to both flatten the hills and tame the wind. In fact, people find once they have converted their bike they find themselves riding a lot more often because the reasons for not riding a bike and just taking the car tend to go away.
If this section appeals to you then a city bike or a cruiser might be for you. Maybe you already have one in the garage or just need to go pick one out. In either case we can help you electrify it into an ebike you will love.
Electric Commuter Bike
So what kind of bike makes the best commuter bike? There is no right answer to that because different people commute on different styles of bike for different reasons. A city bike or even a cruiser can make a great commuter and be very comfortable on a lot of commutes. However, if the roads are rough or there are a lot of potholes they can be a little rough without full suspension. Some city bikes have front suspension and any city bike or cruiser can be upgraded with a suspension seat post that smooths out road bumps from being transferred directly from the road to your spine.
Some like an MTB's for getting around town and commuting. Mountain bikes are about the only bikes made with full suspension and you can't beat full suspension for comfort but it does add some weight. However, the extra weight of full suspension is not even noticed with electric assist and they do make a very comfortable commuter with the added benefit of being able to hop curbs and take shortcuts through fields and trails when available.
Commuting on road bikes is another opportunity for racers to get in some training on the way to work. The problem is they need a shower when they get there. This is where an electrified road bike makes a lot of sense. They can ride it to work and not break a sweat and then not use the motor on the ride home and train on the type of bike they like to ride. Of course they still need a non-motorized one for regular rides.
Folding bikes are great for split commutes where part is by public transit or car and part is on bike. For those on public transit the folding bike gets them from the station to work. For those in cars they don't have to find and pay for parking close in to town. They can park where it is easy and free or cheap and ride the rest of the way in on their bike.
Whichever kind of bike you decide is ideal for your commute, we can help you electrify it into an electric commuter bike you will love.
Electric Road Bike
The second reason for electric road bikes is that commuting on road bikes is another opportunity for racers to get some training in while commuting to work. The problem is they need a shower when they get there. This is where an electrified road bike makes a lot of sense. They can ride it to work and not break a sweat and then get as much excercise as they want on the ride home by dialing down the electric assist or not using the motor at all. This allows them to train/commute on the type of bike they like to ride. Of course they still need a non-motorized one for regular rides.
You won't find very many electric road bikes in the ebike shops but if you bring one to us we will help you pick out the perfect motor and battery to electrify it.
Electric Folding Bike
Electric Cargo Bike
Some of the coolest conversions we have done have been cargo bikes. If you are leaning in this direction we would love to help you electrify it into an electric cargo bike will make you smile and save you lots of car trips.
Choosing a Motor
First of all, do you have a bike? If you have one that you are certain is perfect for your e-bike conversion then skip to the next section on selecting a motor. If you don't have a bike or want to make sure you are starting with the right kind of bike a few questions to think about are: What kind of riding would you like to do? Trails mostly or just occasionally? Do you want to just ride around the neighborhood? Do you ride for exercise, enjoyment or to actually get somewhere or accomplish something? Do you want to ride to work with your ebike as primary or occasional commute transportation? Do you need to haul kids or heavy and bulky loads? There is a bike designed for almost any use you have for a bike. There are even options to replace the car and carry lots of cargo. Whether you choose mountain, cruiser, hybrid, road, folding or cargo, there are great customizing options for getting your perfect powered ride. Click on these links to see if they describe you and what you want out of an ebike
HOW MUCH POWER?
WHAT IS TORQUE SENSING?
Advantages: The motor is centered and low - right where you want that extra weight. The motor gets to use all of the gears you do. When you shift into the right gear for you, that is also the gear that will let the motor run most efficiently while powering up hills or going fast on the flats. Another less obvious advantage of a mid-drive motor that you will only truly appreciate if you have owned a hub motor ebike is that it leaves the wheels of the bike unchanged. They are still normal bicycle wheels that you can pop on and off easily for transport or to change a flat.
Disadvantages: The advantage of the motor using the drive-train of the bike is also one of its liabilities. You are putting a lot of extra power through the drive train which means it will wear out more quickly. Fortunately chains and sprockets are not very expensive. Also, some mid-drive motors have a gear-sensor option that cuts the motor for a split second during shifting. This protects the drivetrain from the extra power from the motor when shifting between gears.
Which mid-drive motor is best for you? Click here for detailed comparisons of the most popular mid-drive motors.
Direct drive hub motor:
Advantages: A direct drive motor is not geared and spins exactly as fast as the wheel is turning. They have the advantage of being the quietest of all of the ebike motors and are very simple with less to go wrong.
Disadvantages: Direct drive hub motors tend to be heavy and like almost all hub motors they only have a single gear which means they will use more power when accelerating from a stop, climbing hills or riding into a headwind.
Geared hub motor:
Advantages: Geared hub motors are smaller and less visible in the wheel. They are lighter weight than direct drive motors.
Disadvantages: Usually noisier than direct drive motors and more prone to overheating with less surface area to dissipate the heat.
What Electrify Bike offers: We are always striving for the sweet spot in the illusive "Goldilocks Zone". The "just right" compromise between weight, power and range. We just haven't found a direct drive hub motor in the zone we are aiming for. As a result, we only use geared hub motors that are under 5 lbs but can crank out up to 750 watts of power and are very quiet. For this motor and electronics we use the Bafang MG510 from the hub motor experts in Canada, Grin Technology. Let us know what you need and we will have a custom wheel built with exactly what you need for your hub motor conversion.
How Much Power is Enough?
We provide motors that have maximum power for US law. This is 750 watts. Most ebikes are designed for European law which is 250 watts. But on hills, with heavy loads and against headwinds this is often insufficient. If you have a motor with more power it doesn't mean you always use it. In fact most riding is done at 250 watts or below. But when you need more power it is nice to have it. Whether that is to get up a steep hill or to just go faster when you need to. Most of us riding e-bikes economize our batteries and maximize our exercise by riding with a low level of assistance most of time. However, when you need power or just need to go fast, the extra power is nice to have as long as you are not paying for it in excess weight and expense. We have found that sweet-spot with the solutions we sell.
All of our street legal 750 watt motors are between 5 and 8.5 lbs. We do have the more powerful BBSHD mid-drive that ways just over 12 lbs. but even it can be scaled back to 750 watts street legal by using the EggRider display. This display can switch the BBSHD & Ultra motors between 750 watt street legal mode and 1000+ watt off-road mode with the press of a button.
Torque sensing is an extra sensor that measures how much effort the rider is applying to the pedals so that the riders effort can be factored into how much motor power is applied.
What is basic pedal assist?
Basic pedal assist is whenever you are pedaling a certain amount of pre-selected assistance from the motor is applied. When you stop pedaling, the motor stops. As a gauge for how much assistance we are talking about, a normal adult pedaling hard is about 150 watts of power. We like to start our assistance at level one at about 100 watts of power or 2/3 of a person. We then graduate that up in levels you can select incrementing up to the maximum power the motor delivers which if it is 750 watts is 5 times the effort of the rider pedaling hard. With basic pedal assist the ebike only knows that rider is pedaling, not how hard the rider is pedaling. It will put out however much power is selected to the motor whenever it detects that the rider is pedaling whether that is 100 watts on level one or 750 watts on level nine.
How important is torque sensing?
With torque sensing the ebike has a measure of how hard you are pedaling and can give a more nuanced amount of power based on your effort. It can feel very responsive like you are very powerful. That said, you can get close to this same feeling with basic pedal assist if you are adding a lot of effort and not just letting the motor do all of the work. Some riders have a definite preference for one or the other. Not all bikes are candidates for torque sensing and you may find that you are trading off more important capabilities to get it. Our most popular mid-drive motors, the Bafang BBSHD and BBS02 are pedal assist and throttle motors. They do not have torque sensing capabilities. They are very powerful, silent and robust motors. The lighter weight TongSheng TSDZ2 does have torque sensing for those that don't need that extra power and ultra-quiet of the.Bafang motors. The new line of motors from CYC Motors all have torque sensing and have more power than the TSDZ2. If you are looking at a hub motor, torque sensing is possible using the Cycle Analyst and a torque sensor in the bottom bracket. These are limited to bikes that can be adapted to a 68mm threaded bottom bracket.
If you are new to ebikes and this is a bit confusing, don't worry. Torque sensing is much less important than other factors in making your decisions. You will actually be thrilled with any of our conversion solutions but more important than features like torque sensing are the bike you start with and the kind of riding you want to do. Just fill out our conversion questionnaire, tell us your preferences, and we can advise you on the best approach.
Choosing a Battey
1. Trusted brand. 18650 Lithium Ion cells are by far the most popular cells found in ebike batteries. This is because the energy density is very high and they are being manufactured in huge quantities. They are being used everywhere including electric cars like Teslas. There are many cheap lithium ion 18650 cells that don't last and can be very dangerous especially in the quantities found in ebike battery packs. It is not uncommon for an ebike battery to have over 50 18650 cells. All it takes is one bad cell to destroy a pack and create a fire hazard. This is why the manufacturer of the cells is extremely important.
3. How big? We always ask our customers 3 questions. What is your average ride in miles? What is your longest ride? How many miles per week do you ride? This gives us a pretty good feel for the best battery options. If your longest ride is fairly frequent then you should pick a battery with that much range. If however, the long rides are infrequent you many want to think twice about adding that weight to your bike for all of your shorter rides as well. Sometimes it makes sense to get a smaller battery that will handle 90% or more of your rides and then get a second one to throw in your pack when you take longer rides or just want to know you have a spare tank. Our most popular battery is the 52v 14ah Panasonic Super Shark. We call this our 50 mile battery. It is 728 watt hours and mounts on the down tube on water bottle mounts. It fits in most bike frames but if it won't it can sometimes be put on the bottom of the down tube or on the rear rack. A step up for those that need even more range is the 52v 17.5ah Panasonic Jumbo Shark. We call this our 70 mile battery. It is 910 watt hours and mounts just like the Super Shark. For those that want to keep it light and most of their rides are under 15 miles, we have our 52v Samsung Mini-cube battery that fits in a saddle bag under the seat.
Choosing a Charger
A few things to think about: Better chargers usually come in a metal case and are fan cooled. They come in different amperages which determines how fast your battery charges. Charging too fast at too high of an amperage can shorten the life of your battery.
If you don't know a lot about battery technology, it is best to buy your charger from the same company that you got your battery from. The amp rating of the charger must be matched to the charging rating of the pack. Not the max charge but the standard charge or lower. Consistently charging at the max charge amps will shorten the life of your battery.
Electrify bike smart chargers come in 2 amp or fast charge 4 amp sizes. 4 amp chargers charge twice as fast as 2 amp. A 52v 700 watt hour battery will charge in 3.5 hours with a 4 amp charger if it is fully drained. The same battery will charge in 7 hours with a 2 amp charger. All of the batteries sold by Electrify Bike including the mini-cubes can take a 4 amp charge without any negative impact on battery life.
The new Electrify Bike Super Charger has selectable amps from 1 to 5 as well as selectable 80/90/100% charge level. It also has a display that tells you amps as well as charge level in volts.
Increasing the number of charge cycles: A smart charger can increase the number of charge cycles of your battery dramatically. If you charge your battery to 100% every time, it will take about 400 charge cycles before the battery capacity is reduced to 85%. This is 2 charges a week for 4 years. Not bad! You may want a new battery in four years anyway. However, if you have a long commute and charge everyday you will exhaust your 400 charges in just over a year. Did you know that if you only charge your battery to 90% you can get close to 1000 charges? Or if you charge it to only 80% you will get closer to 2000 charges?
This is true of all lithium ion batteries including your cell phone. The problem is everyone is competing on talk time so they always max the charge to 100% instead of optimizing for battery life. Electric car manufacturers use this trick of only charging to 80% or so to be able to warranty the car for 5 years or more.
A smart charger is has a selectable amount of charge. For example, Electrify Bike's smart charger have a rotary switch that is selectable for 80%, 90% and 100% charges. We recommend charging to 90% unless you are planning a long ride. For long rides top it off to 100%. The occasional 100% won't have a big impact on battery life.
Choosing a Chainring
The front sprocket by the pedals is called a chainring. With a mid-drive motor you take off your front chainring(s) with the cranks and bottom bracket and slide in the motor with its own chainring. If you had more than one chainring you now only have one. Let's say you had 3 chainrings up front and 9 cogs on your rear wheel.
If your bike originally had 3 gears up front and they were 52 tooth, 42 tooth, and 38 tooth, you might want to pick the middle or gear or 42 tooth chainring as the best all around. If you still want a wide range of gears, especially low gears then you can trade out your rear cassette for a wider range cassette and have the full range you need. You can read more about that here.
As it turns out most newer mountain bikes and now many city and road bikes have only a single chainring up front and a wide range cassette in the back. This is known as a 1x drive-train. So adding a mid-drive doesn't require any of the trade offs mentioned above. In fact if you have an older bike you can look at going to a mid-drive to be a 1x drive-train upgrade as well.
If you really want more than one chainring it is possible. It is actually common with the TSDZ2 motor in fact we sell dual chainrings for that motor. It is less common with Bafang but is still possible. The problem is many front derailleurs won't go out far enough to reach the outer chainring. Since the TSDZ2 doesn't stick out quite as far as the Bafang motors more front derailleurs will work with the TSDZ2. If you just want to have it on one or the other based on city or mountain riding then you can move it by hand before you start out. The TSDZ2 comes with a 110 BCD spider. You simply mount a different chainring on either side of the spider. After-market spiders are available for the BBS02 and BBSHD as well and dual chainrings can be used with them as well. However, this is rarely done because of the cross-chain problems that arise from not using a single offset chainring.
What size chainring is ideal? The ideal chainring size can be illusive because you are making tradeoffs. The Bafang motors want to run fast and perform at their best with smaller chainrings while the TSDZ2 motors tend to top out at a cadence of 90 to 100 so a somewhat larger chainring for riders that like a fast cadence can be better. If you just want overall lower gearing for mountain biking a 30-38T chainring is ideal. However, if you have chainline issues then you may want to go with a 42T and make sure you have ultra-low gears in the back in the 40-46T range. If you are a speed demon and want to feel like you are contributing and getting a good workout at higher speeds you may want a 48-52T chainring. I say "want to feel like you are contributing" because even if you are pedaling very hard the wind resistance is so significant that the motor will be doing the lions share of the work but you will still get a good workout.
Lekkie 40T chainring with included motor gear reduction cover
Lekkie family of narrow/wide chainring upgrades for Bafang mid-drive motors
What about IGH hubs? All of the above applies to your chainring consideration except if your chain is properly tightened it won't ever pop off. You may still want a chainring upgrade to get higher or lower overall gearing or to trim weight and have a better looking bike.
How does a gear sensor work? To install the gear sensor you actually pass the shift cable through the gear sensor. When the gear sensor detects cable movement, it sends a signal to the motor to stop for 800ms. All Bafang mid-drive motors from Electrify Bike Co have a gear sensor cable coming from the motor controller so they are gear-sensor ready. If your motor does not have this cable you can hook the gear sensor up to a brake sensor cable instead. Although this does work brake sensors shut the motor off for a minimum of about 2 seconds instead of .8 seconds. This can be a bit of a nuisance to have the motor off for that long of a time.
I have a hub motor. Do I need a gear (shift) sensor? If you have a hub motor you do not need a shift sensor since the hub motor does not use the drive train.
I have a rear derailleur with a Bafang mid-drive motor. Do I need a gear (shift) sensor? Since you have to pedal through the shift on a rear derailleur drive train the motor will be on the whole time your are shifting. If you happen to be in a mid to high level of motor assistant you could be putting upwards of 450 watts through the drive train. With a BBS02 or BBSHD this could be more than 1000 watts. This is where the shift sensor is critical. If you have a mid-drive that is under 400 watts or you only shift in levels of assistance that are under 400 watts then you might get by without one.
I have a TSDZ2 mid-drive motor. Do I need a gear sensor? If you have a torque-sensing motor like the TSDZ2 then you do not need a gear sensor. Because the motor responds to the amount of torque you are applying to the pedals, you can simply ease off a bit when you pedal through the shift and the power will ease off as well. If you need to be able to shift when pedaling hard with a torque-sensing motor then you may still want one. Since the TSDZ2 does not have direct support for a gear sensor, it must be hooked up to a brake sensor. The problem with this is that instead of 800ms the brake sensor cuts power for 1500 - 2000ms which can feel like an excessive amount of time to lose power. But it does work!
Need a bottom bracket adapter?
Around 2012 many higher-end bikes started being fitted with various press-fit bottom brackets many of which can be adapted to English threaded so you can still do a mid-drive motor conversion on them. However, there are some exceptions. For an in depth article on adapting various bottom brackets and the exceptions see this thorough article by Matt Hughes
Electrify Bike Company carries threaded one piece adapters for 68 & 73mm BB30, 68 &73mm PF30. We also carry a 2 piece BB30 and PF30 for wider bottom brackets that use those standards. We also stock a 2 piece PF41/BB92 that works with a variety of bottom bracket widths that use that standard.
Some newer bikes and almost all fat tire bikes use a bottom bracket that is wider than the 68/73mm standard. In this case only the BBSHD comes in wider widths to accommodate this EBC stocks the BBSHD in 68/73mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Other widths can be accommodated with these 3 types by using bottom bracket spacers when required. TSDZ2 and BBS02 motors have after market extensions available for them to allow them to fit wider bottom brackets but these can be very difficult to install.
If you have an older style Schwinn or cruiser bike with a one piece crank and American style bottom brackets we have something for you as well. Give us a call.
We recommend using sleeve Loctite like Loctite 641 when installing the adapter into your press-fit bottom bracket. This is like thread lock but is specifically for sleeve inserts like these adapters.
The 2-piece adapters can be tapped in with a soft mallet. Tap all the way around and ensure that it goes in straight. A bottom bracket press can also be used. For the one piece adapter we recommend using a bottom bracket press. Ensure that it does not get crooked or it can bind up and be very difficult to straighten up or remove. If you do not have access to a bottom bracket press you can make one with hardware available at a hardware store. An example can be found on YouTube here.
How do you want your motor programmed?
One of the nice benefits of doing a mid-drive conversion is having the ability to optimize the motor programming for your bike and your riding style. This is typically not an option on factory ebikes. Historically this could only be done on Bafang motors but with the new OSF upgrade, the TSDZ2 is now highly programmable as well.
When you buy a Bafang motor from Electrify Bike Co., we let you select whether you want aggressive or moderate programming. Either way you still get to use the full power of the motor. However, if you select moderate programming we ramp the power and throttle slower so it is easier on your drive train and bike components. Some riders like mountain bikers want power to come on as fast as possible for demanding situations that require it. They choose aggresive. We also ask what size battery you will have so we can set up the low voltage cutoff properly and we ask what size tire you have so we can program that into the motor.
For detailed information and resources for programming Bafang mid-drive motors click here.
For detailed information and resources for programming TSDZ2 mid-drive motors click here.
Lights for your e-bike:
When you convert your bike to an e-bike and have a battery that is big enough to light a flashlight for a month, it is natural to want your bike lights to run off of that battery so you never need to worry about changing or charging the batteries in your lights.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, it is not as easy as you would expect. Let's start with the simplest solution. Both the TSDZ2 motors and Bafang mid-drive motors sold by Electrify Bike Co. have a way to hook lights up directly to the motor and turn them on and off from the display on the handle bars. Yes, that sounds both easy and great. However, the motor only puts out 6v at half an amp for the lights and that is not enough for what most people would want for e-bike lights. That is enough light to be seen by cars but not enough to light up your path if you are moving very fast. If all you want is to be seen by cars and beam a flashlights worth of light then we do sell lights for this solution. You can find them here and here. A complete plug and play head and tail light kit for TSDZ2 can be found here.
This has brought us to recommend and for many of our customers to prefer standard bicycle headlights that use replaceable or rechargable batteries. Of course this is not ideal for an e-bike.
After many years of searching for and trying to invent a solution that supports powerful lights, that uses the e-bike battery, and is easy to install, we have finally hit on what we think is the ultimate solution for e-bike lights - specifically for e-bike conversions. Partnering with another e-bike conversion company we are able to offer a new version of our Roxim headlights, coupled with a choice of taillight that fits a variety of mount options. These lights run off the battery at the full voltage of whatever your battery is from 24v to 90v and has enough amps to light a powerful light. No splicing into your ebike power wiring is required. It is plug and play with Bafang mid-drives and the TSDZ2 mid-drives that we sell. Both the headlight and tail-light can be switched on and off from the headlight.
This is actually somewhat of the holy grail of e-bike conversion light systems. Many including us have rigged relays to the 6 volt under-powered wires on the motor that switch on higher power coming directly from the battery that then went to a dc to dc converter supplying the correct voltage for the light. These attempts were labor intensive, unreliable and costly. Now we are pleased to offer a very nice powerful headlight with choice of taillights that does it all, has a great price, and installs in minutes. Click here to go to the product page.