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How to Build an Inexpensive Electric Bicycle

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An electric bike is a lot easier to build than you might think! All you need is a bike in good working order, a conversion kit, and a battery. Using a conversion kit makes the process super simple and fast. And if you shop online to find the best deal on the kit and repurpose a bike you already own, this can be an inexpensive project.


  • Choose a bike with wheels that are 26, 20, or 16 as these are the most common off-the-shelf wheel sizes. The smaller the wheels are usually found on folding bikes and will accelerate more quickly, be bumpier, and be less efficient at cruising speed.
  • Mountain bikes are most commonly converted to electric bikes, though you could use a different type as long as it has a strong frame and standard bottom bracket. Don’t use a bike with a carbon fiber frame or forks, as these aren’t strong enough to support the extra weight or handle the extra torque. [2] X Research source
  • Wider handlebars are best as they give you plenty of room for all your accessories and lights.
  • Front disc brakes will make it easier for you to stop on steep hills.
  • Ensure the kit comes with a wheel that is the same size as the existing wheels on your bike! It’s much easier to replace the front wheel than the back, due to the position of the gears, so opt for a kit in which the hub motor is on the front wheel.
  • In most cases, the battery doesn’t come with the conversion kit. For ease of installation, though, it’s best to purchase the battery and the conversion kit from the same manufacturer.
  • The capacity of the battery defines how long it’ll last. If you’ll be taking short trips, a 10Ah will suit you well, while a 20Ah battery will provide you with extra capacity for slightly longer journeys. [5] X Research source

Wheel Replacement

  • To remove the front wheel, turn the bike over so it’s sitting on the seat and handlebars, then flip the quick-release lever over to the “open” position. Then, simply lift the front wheel off of the bike. [7] X Research source
  • To remove the back wheel, crouch behind the bike. Hold the frame with your non-dominant hand and use your dominant hand to pull the derailer backward. Then lift the bike frame up and off of the rear wheel with your non-dominant hand and unhook the chain with your dominant hand. [8] X Research source

Transfer the tire and inner tube from the old wheel to the new wheel. Let the air out of the old tire and use a tire lever to separate the tire from the wheel. Pull off both the tire and the inner tube. Reverse the process to install the tire and inner tube on the wheel that came with the conversion kit. [9] X Research source

  • Adjust the brakes as needed, either by aligning the calipers (for mechanical brakes) or pumping the brake lever (for hydraulic brakes).

650 lithium cell options

18650 cells, which are used in many different consumer electronics from laptops to power tools, are one of the most common battery cells employed in electric bicycle battery packs. For many years there were only mediocre 18650 cells available, but the demand by power tool makers and even some electric vehicle manufacturers for strong, high quality cells has led to the development of a number of great 18650 options in the last few years.

These cells are distinctive due to their cylindrical shape and are about the size of a finger. Depending on the size of the battery you plan to build, you’ll need anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred of them.

There are many different types of 18650 cells out there to choose from. I prefer to use name brand cells from companies like Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and LG. These cells have well documented performance characteristics and come from reputable factories with excellent quality control standards. Name brand 18650’s cost a bit more, but trust me, they are worth it. A great entry-level cell is the Samsung ICR18650-26F cell. These 2,600 mAh cells should cost somewhere around 3-4 in any decent quantity and can handle up to 2C continuous discharge (5.2 A continuous per cell). I get my Samsung 26F cells from Aliexpress, usually from this seller but sometimes I’ve seen a better price here.

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Name brand Samsung cells (INR18650-29E cells)

Many people are tempted to use cheaper 18650’s sold under names like Ultrafire, Surefire and Trustfire. Don’t be one of those people. These cells are often marketed as up to 5,000 mAh but struggle to get more than 2,000 mAh. In actuality, these cells are just factory rejects, purchased by companies like Ultrafire and repackaged in their own branded shrink wrap. These B-quality cells are then resold for use in low power devices like flashlights where their weaker performance is less of an issue. If a cell costs less than 5000, it simply isn’t worth it. Stick to the name brand cells, like my favorite Samsung cells, if you want to build a safe, quality ebike battery.

Samsung ICR18650-26F cells straight from the factory

When it comes to buying your cells, you might be able to find a local source, or you can order them straight from Asia. I prefer the second option, as you’ll usually get a much better price going straight to the source, even when paying for international shipping. One caveat though: do your best to ensure that your source sells genuine cells and not knock-offs. Do this by checking feedback and using a payment method that ensures you can get your money back if the product isn’t as described. For this reason, I like to buy my cells on and

For this tutorial, I’ll be using the green Panasonic 18650PF cells shown above. Lately though I’ve been using 18650GA cells like these, which are a little bit more energy dense, meaning more battery in less space.

Make sure to use only pure nickel strip

When it comes to the nickel strip you’ll be using to connect the 18650 batteries together, you will have two options: nickel-plated steel strips and pure nickel strips. Go for the pure nickel. It costs a little bit more than nickel plated steel but it has much lower resistance. That will translate into less wasted heat, more range from your battery, and a longer useful battery lifetime due to less heat damage to the cells.

Be warned: some less-than-honest vendors try to pass off nickel plated steel for the pure stuff. They often get away with it because it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between to the two with the naked eye. I wrote a whole article on some methods I developed for testing nickel strip to make sure you get what you paid for. Check it out here.

When it comes to nickel strip, I also like to use Aliexpress. You can also find it on ebay or even a local source if you’re lucky. Once I started building lots of batteries I began buying pure nickel strip by the kilogram here, but in the beginning I recommend you pick up a smaller amount. You can get pure nickel strip for a good price in smaller amounts from a seller like this one, but you’ll still get the best price by buying it in kilo or half kilo quanitites.

As far as dimensions, I prefer to use 0.1 or 0.15 mm thick nickel, and usually use a 7 or 8 mm wide strip. A stronger welder can do thicker strip, but will cost a lot more. If your welder can do 0.15 mm nickel strip then go for it; thicker is always better. If you have thinner strips then that’s fine too, just lay down a couple layers on top of each other when necessary to create connections that can carry more current.

Author’s note: Hi guys, Micah here. I run this site and wrote this article. I just wanted to let you know real quick about my new book, “DIY Lithium Batteries: How To Build Your Own Battery Packs” which is available in both ebook and paperback format on Amazon and is available in most countries. It goes into much deeper detail than this article and has dozens of drawings and illustrations showing you every step of designing and building a battery. If you find this free site helpful, then taking a look at my book can help support the work I do here to benefit everyone. Thanks! Ok, now back to the article.

Do I HAVE To Use a Spot Welder?

Well, let me put it differently: Yes, if you don’t want to damage your cells.

The first thing to know about lithium battery cells is that heat kills them. The reason we spot weld them is to securely join the cells together without adding much heat.

Sure, it is possible to solder directly to the cells (though it can be tricky without the right tools). The problem with soldering is that you add a lot of heat to the cell and it doesn’t dissipate very quickly. This speeds up a chemical reaction in the cell which robs the cell of its performance. The result is a cell that delivers less capacity and dies an earlier life.

Spot welders for batteries aren’t the same as most home spot welders. Unlike the large jaw spot welders for home workshops, battery spot welders have the electrodes on the same side. I’ve never seen them for sale in the US, but they can be found pretty easily on eBay and other international commerce websites. My full time use welder is a fairly simple model that I got here. A highly recommended source for a slightly nicer spot welder design (pictured below) with both mounted and handheld electrodes can be found here.

A fairly common hobby-level Chinese spot welder

There are two main levels of spot welders currently available: hobby level and professional. A good hobby model should run about 200, while a good professional one can easily be ten times that price. I’ve never had a professional welder because I just can’t justify the cost, but I do own three different hobby models and have played around with many more. Their quality is very hit or miss, even on identical models from the same seller. Unfortunately the lemon ratio is quite high, meaning you could fork over a couple hundred bucks for a machine that just won’t work right (like my first welder!). Again, this is a good reason to use a site with buyer protection like

A professional level spot welder

I use my welders on 220V, though 110V versions are available. If you have access to 220V in your home (many 110V countries have 220V lines for clothes dryers and other high power appliances) then I’d recommend sticking with 220V. In my experience the 110V models seem to have more problems than their 220V brothers. Your mileage may vary.

The purchase price is often a turnoff for many people, but in reality 200 for a good hobby-level spot welder isn’t bad. All together, the supplies for my first battery, including the cost of the tools like the spot welder, ending up costing me about the same as if I had bought a retail battery of equal performance. That meant that in the end I had a new battery and I considered all the tools as free. Since then I’ve used them to build countless more batteries and made some huge savings!

Product Description

Application: Illuminate Devices, Miner Lamp, Search Light, etc. Electric Toys, RC Models, Model Aircraft, Backup Power, Mobile Power Supply, Hand Electric Tools, etc.

Packing Shipping

Package For Cell: 1. 2pcs in a plastic box, 35box in a carton. 2. Individual package with white box, 2 box in a bigger box,then in a carton. 3. For big quantity we use pallet to protect the battery.Package For Pack: 1. Individual package of each pack, the in a carton.

For Shipping: Within 2-3 days after receiving payment(based on actual quantity). Tracking NO. will be sent to you after delivery, and we will track the goods for you until you receive all of them. DHL/FedEx/UPS: 8-10 workdays. Air Shipping: 5-7 workdays. Sea Shipping: 20-28 days. By train: 45-55 days.

Q: Is OEM/ODM battery pack available?A: Yes, OEM/ODM battery packs are warmly welcome. Professional engineers provide technical support.

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Q: What information do you need to make a customized battery pack? A: We need the details below:1. Size of the battery pack you need in mm.2. Capacity of the Battery pack.3. Voltage of the battery pack.4. Max discharge current.5. Cable and connector types you need.6. Casing and Terminals if required.7. Any protection circuits you may need.

Q: Can you print my logo on the battery cover?A: Yes, custom logo service and branding is available.

Q: Is sample order acceptable? A: Yes, for most of the batteries, sample orders for testing quality is reasonable and acceptable.

Q: How should I place an order?A: Alibaba trade assurance order and offline orders are both acceptable.

Q: How should I pay? What modes of payment do you accept? A: T/T, Paypal, Western Union Trading Assurance acceptable.

Q: Are renowned international brand battery cells available? A: Yes international brand cells are available, please contact us for details.

Q: How do you arrange shipment for batteries? A: We have long-standing forwarder partner who arranges all our shipments to all countries. Although batteries are categorized as dangerous goods, you should rest assured that your cargo will be delivered through our experienced shipping partner(s).

Q: Do you have the documents required for battery shipments? A: Yes, we have MSDS, UN38.3, etc. and other special files needed for shipments to some regions can also be secured.

Company Introduction: Apower is an international high-tech and growing company, specializing in RD, which manufactures Li-ion battery, LiFePO4 battery, RC battery, Laptop battery, Lithium polymer battery and Battery pack.

Apower, a professional lithium battery supplier, was specialized in battery field from 2005. Our business areas are comprehensive, referring to pack production, intelligent hardware, electronic product RD, production, sales and technical support. Products include LiFePO4 battery, 18650 battery, 21700 battery, Li-ion battery pack, RC battery, along with laptop battery and button cell. We strive to provide a guaranteed one-stop service for our each customer.

Our battery factory has more than 500 employees. With an emphasis on management, research and development, APOWER manufactures leading-edge products. The modules range from Li-ion battery, LiFePO4 battery, RC battery, Laptop battery, Lithium polymer battery and Battery pack. All the batteries are approved by TUV, UN38.3, CE, IEC62133, CE.

Batteries include Lithium Battery, LiFePO4, LTO, Li-ion type which can be applied in Solar Power Plant Storage, Wind Energy Storage, Telecommunications, UPS, Fire Alarm System, Emergency Lighting, etc.

We are professional manufacturer of battery, providing complete model of different battery for partners around the world. Together with our products advantage, we can design professional battery system solutions, produce reliable system products and provide satisfying after sale service. With professional system engineer teams and battery pack installer teams, we provide professional, reliable and trustful battery system solutions for you.

With advanced hi-tech and equipments, Apower has now all automatic production line and strictly controls raw material inspection, production procedure and finished product inspection. All products have passed the German TUV IEC, SGS and CE certificates. By it′ S high quality and well-deserved reputation, Apower battery systems are delivered into more than 100countries.

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Your new e-bike could already be sitting in your garage

With the right parts and a little time, you can save a bunch of money on an electric bike.

By William Elcock | Updated Mar 5, 2022 9:53 AM EST

If you don’t think building your own electric bike is cool, we don’t know what to tell you. William Elcock

If you’ve ever been enthralled by the idea of owning a sleek, easy-to-ride electric bike, you know how quickly that charm can fade once you see the price—they average between 5000,000 and 3,000. Build your own, though, and the cost goes down significantly.

For those who have never considered an e-bike, know that they are both less effort to ride than a standard bicycle but still offer some health benefits. They can open up cycling to those unable to ride a bike due to the physical effort required, and allow people to travel farther than they could with pure leg power. Whatever your motivation is, you can transform a regular two-wheeler into an e-bike—and I can show you how.

Before we start, it goes without saying that you will need a bicycle. Beyond that, you can customize your project to suit your needs with a variety of components that will electrify your bike. The process will be slightly different for everyone, but while the exact steps may vary, the general method I used here will get you a decent, reliable e-bike for an affordable price. I’ll explain my choices in more detail within the step-by-step below, but we also have a guide about what you should consider when purchasing each part. If you’re starting from scratch, we recommend you read that first.


Get ready to install the motor. There are a few types of motor setups available. Without getting into it too much (we hash out the pros and cons in our aforementioned e-bike gear guide), these include mid-mounted, side-mounted, front wheel hub, and rear wheel hub motors.

I chose a 250-watt side-mounted motor kit from L-Faster on AliExpress—side mounts are relatively simple to install and the cheapest of the options listed above. If you’re not sure where to start looking for motors, L-Faster is a good place to start. They have a wide variety of kits and you should be able to find one that fits your bike, or at least get a good start on your search.

  • Note: When you buy a motor kit, it comes with numerous pieces that will help your e-bike project come to life. Mine included:
cordless, drill, electric, bike
  • The motor.
  • A motor mount (with mounting clasps to secure the mount and the motor to the bike frame).
  • A motor controller to change the motor’s output. This is the brain of the e-bike system and the lights, brake levers, battery, motor, switches, and throttle are all connected to this component.
  • A power switch and a throttle. The switch turns the e-bike system on and off and you gradually push the throttle with your thumb to accelerate.
  • A sprocket.
  • Friction pads, which provide a surface with a lot of grip so the sprocket can be mounted securely.
  • Friction pad plates, which provide a rigid surface and support the sprocket. My kit came with three, each with three bolt holes that allow you to fasten the sprocket to the friction pads and plates.
  • A headlight and an on-off switch.
  • A brake light.
  • Front and rear brake levers that each also activate the brake light.
  • Connectors for the switches, motor, and battery.

Mount the motor. Turn your bike upside down, resting on the handlebars. I had to take the rear wheel off to complete the motor installation, and you will too. Once it had been detached, I slid one friction pad into the center of the wheel, behind the spokes on the side opposite the gear cassette, then put the other one on the outside of the same side. Next, I put the friction pad plates behind the inner pad and the sprocket on top of the outer pad. (From the outside in, the layers should be: sprocket, pad, wheel spokes, pad, plates.) Then I fastened the sprocket onto the wheel, using the bolts, nuts, washers, and locking washers that came with the kit, and slid the chain over the sprocket (aligning the chain comes later). I set the wheel back in place on my bike, slid the motor bracket over the rear axle bolt, and began to tighten the left rear axle nut.

When the nut began to tighten, I adjusted the bracket so the bolt holes for the motor lined up in a way that the bolts could go through and allow the mounting clasps to fit tightly around the frame. While I could still slide the motor and motor bracket around, I put the chain over both the sprocket and the motor. Then I made sure the motor was positioned so the chain was straight, and tightened the axle nut. Finally, I bolted the motor on by pushing the bolts that came with the kit through the bracket and the threaded clasps, and tightening them.

  • Pro tip: There is a nice YouTube video that sums up the L-Faster kit’s installation, but the music in the video can be a bit annoying, so watch out for that.

Prepare the battery box. You can store batteries in a frame bag that hangs from the bicycle’s top tube, and if you want to do that, you can skip or adapt this and the next two steps to fit your needs. I, however, chose a waterproof, lockable ammunition box for added security. Your battery is precious and you’ll want to protect it from theft and the elements, after all.

How to Make Electric Bike with Drill Machine

Drill two holes, about ¼-inch (5 millimeters) apart, in each of the four corners at the bottom of the box for the cable ties that will secure it to the rear rack (eight holes in all). Then, test-fit your batteries and motor controller inside the box to see where all the wires that connect the battery to the motor, headlight, brake light, main power switch, and an on-off switch for the headlight should go. Finally, use a sharp box cutter to cut a rectangular hole into the left or right side of the box (depending on how you plan to run the wiring).

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