Electric Motorcycle With One Wheel – Launched By Alibaba For USD 1,850 (Rs…

This electric motorcycle on a single wheel from Alibaba can attain a top speed of 48 kmph

In case motorcycles aren’t your cup of tea because they feel too safe for you then the upcoming example will surely be of interest to you. Chinese conglomerate Alibaba is known to develop some weird and out-of-the-world vehicles that run on battery. Recently, they revealed an electric motorcycle that rolls on a single wheel.

Sounds strange right when you think from the perspective of its dynamics. However, it seems to function properly without any hiccups. From the looks of it, this one-wheeled motorcycle seems a working equivalent of an electric unicycle with an un-functional equivalent of a small naked sports bike.

Features Specifications

The body is built on a conventional Steel Trellis frame and also gets a faux fuel tank. The designer needs to be commended sheerly for his/her efforts. From a certain angle and distance, this bike also resembles a certain Ducati. However, all is not well, as things start to get tight and nervy when the rider decides to hop on board and cruise it on roads.

The first notable mention is that this thing measures only 40 kg and hence, ride stability might not be its strongest suit. However, it does provide the rider with great agility. It receives 2 kW of power which offers a top speed of 30 mph (48 km/h).

The batteries are located at a place where one would find a battery at a conventional electric motorcycle. The electric unicycle is powered by an electric motor paid with a 1.36 kWh of battery made by Panasonic.

The manufacturer claims a single-charge range of around 60-100 km. The company says it takes around 3-12 hours for its battery to get fully juiced up. These figures for a bike of this definitely look very optimistic.

Confusing Dynamics

One might wonder as to how to operate it smoothly as balancing such a thing is no small task. We suspect that like in a segway, the rider needs to lean forward or backward and the vehicle self balances.

However, the strangest aspect of this electric unicycle is that its handlebar gets a brake lever which makes us scratch our heads. If it is indeed a self-balancing vehicle and the motor always speeds up or slows down depending centre above it, then applying brakes would throw the rider towards the front.

We would certainly like to learn more about this one-wheeled bike and its mechanisms in detail. It has been priced at USD 1,850 which is equivalent to INR 1.34 lakh. Mass-market commercialisation is still a far-off dream for such kind of mobility. At this price, a proper electric scooter or motorcycle would be our preferred choice.

This post was last modified on March 24, 2021 8:21 am

Eunorau Single Wheel Electric Bike Trailer with Kickstand

For your next adventure into the wild, use this cart that is specifically designed for that. The EUNORAU fat tire trailer is able to access rougher terrain, plus narrower trails, and follows closely to your bike, while having a low profile for more cargo weight.

Specification:

EUNORAU has the right without notice to the consumer to substitute components of at least equal quality for advertised EUNORAU ebike components in the event of the unavailability of such advertised components

Estimated shipping and delivery is 3-10 business days if the product is in stock.

Eunorau products come with a limited warranty. You can access the full Eunorau Warranty by clicking here.

Eunorau has a 7 day return warranty. You can view the return details by clicking here.

Click here to view Eunorau’s full line electric bike collection.

Still confused and need help selecting the right Ebike for you? Click here to view our Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide.

Click here to view our entire line of electric bikes!

Shipping Policy

UrbanBikesDirect.com goal is to fulfil your order within 3 hours of your purchase. By Achieving this we have the quickest shipping times in the industry.

Our goal is to keep the ordering process as simple as possible. Shipping times vary from 1-3 business days if in stock and delivery time varies between 3-10 business days if your product is in stock.

All ebikes are shipped domestically.

Select Electric Skateboards can have extended lead times if they are located overseas and not in stock in the US.

Please read through this instructional guide so you can understand how the process works and what you should expect to happen once you place your order with us.

Tracking an Order

UrbanBikesDirect.com will send you automated tracking updates once we receive the tracking number for your order. You can also track your order by clicking here.

  • You will receive an order confirmation email as soon as you place your order. This means that we have authorized your credit card for the purchase and are preparing your order for shipment.
  • As soon as we receive your order, we automatically reach out to our warehouse to confirm that it is in stock and available for immediate shipment.
  • If your item is on backorder or unavailable, we will reach out to you via email.
  • If your item(s) are available for immediate shipment, we will process the charges and submit the order for shipment.
  • If your order is stock and your credit card is approved by our fraud guarantee department, the bike ordered will ship within 1-2 business days from the date of your order.
  • We will send you the tracking information within 24 hours to the email address you provided when checking out.
  • We ship daily via UPS Ground, Fed Ex Ground, and Freight to the lower 48 states. Most all orders will ship the same day as ordered if the order is submitted before 1pm PST (some exceptions apply, some part freight orders may not ship until the following day).
  • Some parts orders and freight shipments are subject to ship the following business day if the order is placed close to the 1pm cut off time.
  • Shipping costs are included with any unit going ground to the lower 48 states. AK HI ship by AIR at additional cost.
  • We do not offer Cash On Delivery.
  • A phone number is required by the freight company so a delivery appointment can be made.
  • Failure to provide this at the time of order may cause a delay in delivery as freight items will not be delivered without an appointment.
  • A delay in delivery may also cause additional storage fees to accrue that will need paid prior to delivery.
  • Customs, Duties, and Taxes: Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. The recipient of an international shipment may be subject to customs brokerage fees, import duties, and taxes after the shipment reaches the destination country. Additional charges are the responsibility of the recipient because we have no control over these government-imposed charges and cannot determine what they may be. Customs policies vary greatly among countries. Therefore, we cannot, and will not, offer advice about taxes in your country. We report the amount of the sale on the Customs form. Please do not ask us to claim less than the actual purchase amount. It is the customers responsibility to know the legality of the electric bike ordered in their country. Do not order items that are illegal to import into your country. Laws are different in every country and we cannot keep up with them all. It is your responsibility to check with your Customs office to see if your country permits the shipment of our electric bikes to your country.
  • As the buyer, it is your responsibility to find out that information before you order. Please contact your local customs office for information.
  • To avoid a delay in receiving your order from customs, consider the following:
  • Provide us with a phone number where you can be reached by customs when your bike arrives. This phone number will be listed on the commercial invoice so customs can reach you to clear your order.
  • Please do not refuse a shipment or ignore requests from carriers regarding duty and/or tax liability charges. Be aware that most carriers will hold a shipment for 5 days after arrival in your country before they return it to the sender.
  • We do not refund original shipping charges for goods that are refused for delivery at customs.
  • We will deduct all additional fees resulting from refused international shipments from your refund.
  • If we are charged for YOUR taxes and duties on the shipment or incur any penalty or lawsuit related to your order or shipment, we will post the charge to your credit card.
  • If the package is seized by Customs for any reason and we do not receive the package back, we will NOT issue you a refund since, obviously, local laws and regulations determine the fate of the package. If we do receive the package back after being seized, you are still responsible for the shipping charges and any other fees plus penalties incurred.
  • We ship via UPS and Fedex for most electric bikes, USPS for small parts and accessories, and freight for large bikes.
  • If you don’t receive tracking information from us within six business days of your order confirmation, feel free to follow up with us at support@urbanbikesdirect.com
  • Please inspect the packaging of your items when they arrive.
  • If there are any bike damaged upon arrival, you can file a warranty claim to get replacement parts for anything that’s damaged.
  • If your item(s) do arrive damaged, please send photos to support@urbanbikesdirect.com and we will process an insurance claim on your behalf.

Cancellations Refunds:

  • All orders canceled are subject to an administration fee equal to 15% of the total order amount, whether or not your order has shipped. This is a fee that covers administrative and personnel fees.
  • If your item is on backorder and you accept the backorder, we will hold your payment until the bike ships. If you decide to cancel before a backorder arrives and is processed for shipping, we will not charge a fee.
  • If you order has shipped, you (the buyer) will be responsible for actual return shipping charges. Refunds will only be issued to the original credit card that you use when placing your order.
  • From time to time, a bike may run out of stock at our warehouse and the website wasn’t updated when you placed your order. In that case, we will send you an email right after you place your order notifying you of the backorder, what the expected time for arrival is, and what substitutes are available in case you are interested in getting a bike sooner.
  • The expected arrival time may change due to unforeseen circumstances like a shipment getting held up at the port upon arrival or the factory missing a certain part needed to complete the manufacturing process.
  • If the arrival time changes on your order, you can let us know whether you would like to keep the order, substitute for a different electric bike, or cancel the order altogether.
  • Once back orders arrive, we will notify you by email with your estimated ship date and you will receive an email with tracking information within 1-3 business days.

This section will give you the essential information about what to expect with the delivery of your item. If you purchased one of our large and heavy items your item will ship freight LTL will be delivered via a lift gate truck.

Important Freight LTL Shipment

How to Handle Damages, Exceptions or Discrepancies at time of Product Delivery (Carton packaging appears to have some damage such as ripped, holes, large dents, open carton, or items are missing):

  • Carton damage requires visual inspection of contents of the unit.
  • UrbanBikesDirect recommends IMMEDIATE inspection, with driver present, to verify damage. If contents are damaged, indicate damage on carrier’s paperwork and notify UrbanBikesDirect immediately.
  • IMPORTANT: If contents cannot be inspected immediately, notation on carrier’s paperwork must state: “Carton damage, subject to inspection” and list type of damage.
  • Contents must be inspected within 48 hours of arrival and actual damage reported to the carrier

Carton packaging has excessive damage with the exposed electric bike:

  • Refuse shipment
  • Sign carrier paperwork: “Carton damaged and refused”
  • Notify Urbanbikesdirect.com immediately.

If you have any further questions about the ordering and shipping process, feel free to contact us by email at support@urbanbikesdirect.com

Onewheel, E-Scooter, E-Bike, EUC, E-Skate: Which is the Best Micromobility Personal Electric Vehicle

Are you looking for the best all around micromobility device or personal electric vehicle (PEV)? While the definition of a portable PEV may vary, my simple definition is this:

  • Lightweight enough that you can lift on your own: portable
  • Small enough to fit in the trunk of a car: compact
  • Will transport me from point A to point B: range
  • Runs on electricity: electric

For the purposes of our discussion, I’ll be hitting what I think are the most popular and effective personal electric vehicles out there that can legitimately be used for transportation and recreation. So let’s get rolling.

Types of Personal Electric Mobility Devices

I will be giving an overview of the most popular personal electric vehicles, going from most wheels to least wheels. Here are the criteria that I will be exploring in detail:

  • Portability: size, weight, and easy of carry.
  • Size: can you fit it in your trunk? Locker? Under your desk?
  • Range: can you get where you need to go without range anxiety?
  • Learning curve: how hard is it to master?
  • Safety: am I going to get hurt riding this thing?

Electric Skateboard (e-skate)

Electric Skateboard: a skateboard, often a longboard, that has the electronic components attached to the bottom of the board and is controlled with a hand control.

Portability: Carrying the longboard style of most electric skateboards will be familiar and easy to carry.

Size: Skateboards and longboards have been around for ages so stowing it away in your locker or under a desk should be no problem. Just don’t misplace the hand controller!

Range: The range depends on the type and model of e-skate that you get which can vary from 10-20 miles. If you run out of batteries, you can ride it like a normal skateboard.

Learning curve: Those familiar with riding skateboards will have no problems picking it up. If you’ve never been on a skateboard, the learning curve is moderate but have no fear. Most people who buy eskate have never been on a skateboard and the hand control is pretty easy to learn.

Electric Bicycle: a bicycle with an electric motor. The electric motor may be small for pedal assistance while riding or the motor may be powerful enough to ride like a moped or motorcycle.

Portability: Electric bicycles tend to be larger and more unwieldy when compared to most other micromobility devices. If weight is important to you, lighter e-bikes with carbon fiber frames are available but will cost you.

Size: Most e-bikes won’t fit in the trunk of your car unless you have a foldable electric bike at which point you start sacrificing performance and comfort for size and portability.

Range: Range with each model varies but in many models the motor is mainly used as a pedal assist to make the ride easier on your body so you don’t have to show up to work or class sweaty and out of breath. Even when you run out of batteries, you can still ride e-bikes as a regular bike.

Learning curve: The e-bike learning curse is super easy, assuming you know how to ride a bike.

Safety: Riding an ebike is like riding a regular bicycle, only with a powerful electric motor. Respect the power and understand how to use your e-bike so you don’t end up like Simon Cowell.

Fun: People who enjoy riding bicycles will absolutely love riding e-bikes. E-bikes open a whole new world allowing folks to do things and go places that they otherwise wouldn’t. Folding e-bikes tend to be less comfortable and have lower performance and therefore tend to be less fun and more for commuting.

Electric Scooter (e-scooter)

Electric Scooter: the classic kids scooter has grown up, now with an electric motor and often with pneumatic tires and sometime suspension.

Portability: Most commuter electric scooters are highly portable. They fold nicely and most are easy to lift.

Size: Once folded, electric scooters can easily be put away in the trunk of your car or stowed away under your desk.

Range: Again, range will vary wildly depending on the make and model of your e-scooter. Get one that fits your range requirements.

Learning curve: The scooter learning curve is the easiest of the personal electric mobility devices. The handle bars, standing position, and feet close to the ground gives riders a sense of security that allows just about anyone to learn how to ride very quickly.

Safety: The sense of security of the scooter and easy learning curve can lead to a false sense of security that may lead to reckless riding. Electric scooters, like all PEV, need to be ridden responsibly.

Fun: Electric scooters are surprisingly fun. Mainly because it’s always been considered a form of transportation and recreation for children. If 10 years ago you would have told me that in the future a bunch of adults would be riding scooters to get around, I would have giggled. Today, many adults are commuting on their electric scooters, giggling the entire way.

E-scooters come in all forms from slim and portable commuting scooters to big and powerful off road speed electric scooters. For a great slim, portable, and POWERFUL electric scooter, check out my review on the E-Twow GT!

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Portability: The Onewheel Pint weighs 23 lbs and the Onewheel XR weighs 27 lbs. The weight is densely compacted into the small size of the device which can make it feel heavier than it looks. Carrying it for long distances can be awkward because of the big wheel in the middle.

Size: The compact size of the Onewheel makes it an easy PEV to store away in your car trunk or in an office. If you are thinking about using the Onewheel to commute to school, the Onewheel’s width makes it a little too large for most lockers. If you plan on keeping it in your car trunk, the propensity of the device to roll around is high so get one of these.

Range: The Onewheel Pint range is advertised at 8 miles and the Onewheel XR range is about 18 miles. Results will vary depending on the terrain, rider weight, and speed. While 8 miles on the Pint may seem like it would be enough, once you experience the floaty feeling of riding a Onewheel, you never want to get off and you will find yourself craving more range.

Learning curve: The Onewheel is moderately easy to figure out how to get on and ride. If you have an experience with board sports, the Onewheel will be easy to figure out. Just watch a few YouTube videos on how to ride and you’ll be off in no time. I’ve taught people how to ride and they’ve figured it out in less than 5 minutes. Just make sure you know how to ride safely as most serious injuries happen to beginners in the first few weeks of riding.

Safety: The Onewheel is the most dangerous of the portable electric vehicles. Why? Because it is so easy to learn and grow overconfident, it has very few safety features to warn the rider when they are coming close to overpowering the motor, and the physics of the fulcrum design along with the relatively small motor makes it easy to overpower and cause a nosedive. From my observation, in the hands of beginners within the first 100 miles of ownership, the Onewheel has more injuries per mile than any other PEV. In my first week I had bumps, bruises, abrasions, and sprains. Make sure to wear safety gear and to understand these rules before riding. There are some nuances of the board that beginner riders can really get in trouble with which often results in head injuries, broken clavicles, and trips to the ER. Be sure to understand the Onewheel fully and to respect its limitations.

Fun: While the Onewheel may be dangerous, it sure is fun! Once you figure out how to comfortably ride, the hands free, nimble, intuitive and effortless floaty feeling you will understand why so many people call the Onewheel the funnest PEV around. Whether it be just messing around in your driveway, cruising around town, or shredding off road trails, the Onewheel is a great way to destroy boredom.

Electric Unicycle (EUC)

Electric Unicycle: similar to the Onewheel, the EUC is a single wheeled device that uses gyroscopes to keep you upright. The stance is more like a snow skier or water skier and the EUCs are made and produced in all shapes and sizes by several companies.

Portability: EUCs are extremely portable. Most have trolley handles that extend up to roll the EUC around while you walk, just as if it were a piece of luggage. The Gotway Mten3 weighs 23 lbs while the Veteran Sherman weighs 77 lbs and there is everything in between; so some EUCs are more portable than others.

Size: The size and handle of most EUCs make carrying it up and down stairs fairly easy. The trolly handle makes walking with your EUC for those times when you can’t ride, super simple. EUCs fit great in your trunk and you can lay it flat so there’s no rolling around like with the Onewheel.

Range: The range is amazing on mid to high tier EUCs. An extreme example is the Veteran Sherman which boasts over 100 miles of range on a single charge. Very few people need that type of range. Even mid tier EUCs have ranges well over 20 to 30 miles on a single charge. With most of the modern EUCs, it is nice to be able to ride more and spend less time charging.

Learning curve: The EUC has the steepest learning curve of any PEV but don’t let that dissuade you. If you are motivated and are willing to spend the time to learn, the EUC will quickly become the most rewarding PEV to ride.

Safety: Because of the steep learning curve of the EUC, riders usually understand to respect the device once they have learned how to ride. This helps to keep riders safe as opposed to the Onewheel which is so easy to learn and grow overconfident that most serious Onewheel injuries occur within the first few weeks of ownership. Another reason EUCs tend to be safe is the more powerful motor which makes overpowering the device very difficult. There are also other built in safety measures like audible alerts and tilt back to notify the rider when they are pushing the EUC too hard.

Fun: The EUC is tough to learn, but once you figure it out you will realize that it is the most rewarding PEV to ride. Amazing hands free speed and range that is unmatched by any other PEV. Competition between EUC companies has resulted in the release of multiple new models each year with new innovations like suspension to make your ride buttery smooth. On road or off road, fast or slow, long distance or short rides, the EUC is great fun!

Conclusion

The best PEV for you will vary by budget and intended use. We love all our PEVs from our Onewheel to our e-skate and EUCs and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

If I could only have one PEV, it would have to be my EUC because I love being able to ride hands free and it has the best range and speed for the price.

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The best electric bike conversion kits 2023 and how to fit them

The best electric bike conversion kits can give you an extra boost of power without the expense of purchasing a new electric bike. We’ve fitted some of the best e-bike conversion kits ourselves, so will walk you through the process, how easy it is and how the different systems perform.

E-bikes are soaring in popularity – and for good reason. The best electric bikes replace a car for running errands around town and greatly increase the distances it’s possible to ride on one of the best commuter bikes. An e-bike can also be a great tool for boosting your fitness, whether that’s enabling you to ride with a greater range of people or offering the motivation of a greater range of roads to explore.

But is an e-bike worth it,? As the best ebike conversion kits promise to add power to an ‘analogue’ bike for a lot less than a full ebike, it’s an easy, cheaper way to get an electric boost.

In this guide we’ll take you through the surprisingly broad range of benefits an e-bike conversion kit has to offer and – most importantly – how to perform an e-bike conversion, based on our hands-on experience. For a walk-through on how to do it, you can check out the video above or read on for a step-by-step guide – it genuinely is so much simpler than you would think.

When buying an ebike conversion kit there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider. Most importantly you’ll need a kit that will fit your bike. To help with this it pays to take a few frame measurements, notably the width of your forks and the width of the rear stays, as well as noting the wheel size and the type of brakes. You can then match these details to the kit specifications.

Naturally you’ll also need to consider the cost and how much you chose to spend on an ebike conversion kit will be dictated by not only your budget but also your needs. If you’re unsure of just how much you’ll use the converted bike then it’s prudent to opt for a cheaper kit. you can always upgrade down the road.

You’ll also want to consider where the motor will be located, and match this to your bike and your mechanical prowess. Front hub motors are typically the easiest to fit, while mid-drive motors require more effort. A rear hub motor lies somewhere in between the two, and like a front hub option is applicable to a wide range of bikes.

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Other considerations include the type of battery and the wattage rating. 36 or 48 volt battery is standard, with wattage usually running from 300 to 600 watts.

The Swytch kit is super-simple: just swap out your front wheel, wire up the controller and battery and you’re off. The battery is also very compact, allowing you to remove it from the bike easily to carry with you.

The TongSheng kit positions the motor at the centre of the bike, so it will fit to a wide range of designs. It’s lightweight for its high torque and power output, although you’ll need to buy the battery separately.

The Voilamart kit is an inexpensive rear wheel conversion option, although you’ll have to source a battery separately. It’s slightly fiddly to fit as well and requires additional waterproofing if you plan to ride in wet weather.

The best electric bike conversion kits

You can trust Cycling Weekly.

Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

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Specifications

Wheel sizes: Each wheel is custom built – specify your required size at checkout (Bromptons also catered for)

Reasons to avoid

The newly updated Swytch system is one of the simplest conversion kits to fit out there. The latest version, launched in August 2022, has a smaller, neater battery pack that improves the bike’s dynamics and lowers its weight. There’s the choice of the Air battery (700g, range 15km) or the Max battery (1,100g, range 30km). Both use the same mount, which places the battery to the front of the handlebar.

The motor sits in the front hub and we found it to be pretty discreet. Incidentally, the new batteries will work with the original motor and pedal sensor, so if you already own the original kit you can upgrade it with just a new battery without having to buy the whole kit again.

The Swytch kit is incredibly easy to fit. It took us around 30 minutes working at a steady pace.

We tested it on both a reasonably light two-speed steel bike and a heavier Pinnacle utility bike. It transformed the ride of the two-speed bike, making it fast, nimble and responsive. We also found the stated range to be conservative: after 20 miles on setting number two (medium assist) it had only used two bars out of five on the battery.

With the heavier Pinnacle on maximum assist (and on draggy routes) we were getting slightly under the 30km for the Max battery. As with all e-bike batteries, range depends on the terrain, weight of bike and level of assist.

Great customer support makes this one of the best kits for people who are new to working on their bike and who aren’t familiar with electrics. And even if you do have a strong background in both those areas, a simple system is always appreciated.

Reasons to avoid

Like the Bafang mid-drive system below, the TongSheng offers the same benefits of compatibility with a wide range of bike designs and a high torque for steep hills and off-road terrain. However, the TongSheng mid-drive does manage to be a little lighter than the Bafang for approximately the same power.

This model doesn’t come with a battery included, so you’ll have to source your own 36v item. As a rule of thumb, around 10Ah will give a range of 29km / 18mi, whereas going up to 18Ah will typically give around 53km / 33mi, so be sure to factor that in when you’re making your choice.

There’s a huge range of batteries sold on Amazon, but Green Cell is a particular brand we’d recommend.

We found fitting to be reasonably easy. As with most mid-drive systems, you replace your crank and chainring with the one provided in the kit. There’s an LCD display for attaching to your handlebars and you’ll need a battery to be hooked up to the motor.

Read more: TongSheng TSDZ2 conversion kit review

Reasons to avoid

A mid-motor drive system offers a number of benefits over hub-driven conversion kits. With the power delivered at the cranks it can produce more torque, making it more effective on particularly steep and bumpy terrain.

Another perk is that the compatibility is much greater – no concern about wheel diameters, hub widths, axle standards and brake type. No matter whether you’re running rim brakes or disc, quick release or thru-axle, the crank driven system is compatible with all.

The only proviso is that the frame material must be alloy and the bottom bracket width is 68–73mm – but that covers most bikes you’re likely to be fitting this system to.

There are a few aspects to be aware of, the first being that this system doesn’t include a battery and that typically makes up about half the cost of a conversion kit. Finding an e-bike battery is quite straightforward with many being sold on Amazon, with Green Cell being among those we’d recommend.

Just make sure to get a 36V one for this motor as a higher voltage can damage it. Also you should be aware that capacity of 10Ah will give you a range of about 29km / 18mi, while a capacity of 18Ah typically gives about 53km / 33mi – so be sure to factor in the distances you’re planning on riding.

Reasons to avoid

This radically different approach from Rubbee makes for an e-bike conversion with much fewer parts. The battery and motor are housed in a single unit which powers the bike directly turning the rear wheel with its integrated roller.

Not only is the initial installation notably fast and easy, the quick release system means that you can take off the unit for rides that you don’t wish to be assisted on. At 2.8kg, it doesn’t add much weight to that of the bike, making the bike easier to handle.

The range of this model is quite low, limited to Eco mode it only offers a range of 16km / 10mi – although taking the device off to charge at the other end is easy to do and it only takes an hour to top up. There is the option to increase your range by buying additional battery modules that fit into the base unit.

Up to three can be accommodated, which in turn increases the maximum range to 48km / 30mi, or around 23km / 14mi with moderately heavy use. However, unlike many other e-bike systems, the Rubbee X supports regenerative braking, allowing you to scrub back some power on the descents.

Reasons to avoid

Bafang is a well established maker of electric bike motors and offers a front hub based motor, if you’re not a fan of the bulky profile a mid motor conversion system creates. You can buy this kit without a battery – although why would you? – but if you sensibly also opt for a power-pack there’s a choice of amp hours, and you can select either a downtube or a rear-rack mounted version.

The setup follows the same principles as most front-wheel e-bike conversions. First you need to set up the wheel with a disc rotor, tyre and inner tube and install that into the bike. Then attach the cadence sensor – so it can tell when you’re pedalling and need assistance – then attach the battery and the LCD display and you’re essentially good to go!

It’s worth bearing in mind that although this conversion kit comes in many different wheel sizes, it is only compatible with bikes that have a front disc brake and a Quick-Release axle. If your disc brake bike is a newer, more expensive model, it might not be compatible, so worth checking first.

Remember, that in the UK electric bike laws mean that e-bikes are not permitted to have a power output of more than 250w and shouldn’t propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph – you’ll have to make sure you select the right model with the relevant limitations.

Reasons to avoid

We’ve also tested the Voilamart kit, which comes with six main parts: the replacement rear wheel, the replacement brake levers, the control screen, pedal sensor, throttle and the control box. It doesn’t come with a battery however.

On review we found the kit pretty straightforward to fit, although you’ll need to remove the bike’s crank to fit the pedal sensor and this element of the conversion was a bit fiddly. Another potential drawback is that the connectors, which link to control unit, aren’t waterproof, with only a bag supplied to house the delicate electronics. While it does a good job of keeping everything tidy, we decided to buy a plastic enclosure, cut the wires to length, solder the connections and then heat shrink for added protection.

As for the ride, the rear wheel kit delivers plenty of power. However, since the pedal sensor only detects when you’re pedalling rather than how hard you’re pedalling it delivers the power as soon as your start to turn the crank arms. Fortunately, you can quickly adjust the level assistance, with five power options available.

All in all the Voliamart rear wheel kit is an affordable way to ‘go electric’, although it requires you to be mechanical competent to fit it and you’ll need to factor in the additional cost of a battery.

How to convert your bike to an e-bike in four steps

Here’s our step-by-step guide to how to add an electric bike conversion kit to your pedal-powered bike.

Swap the tyre and tube

Firstly, remove the tyre and tube from your current front wheel and then install them on the new wheel from the kit. Make sure to check if the tyre is directional, if it is, ensure that the tyre is mounted so that the cable sticking out of the hub is on the left-hand side (non-driveside) when the wheel is installed in the bike – otherwise it’ll be powered in the opposite direction to your direction of travel!

To swap the tyre and tube over, you will need some tyre levers and a pump. If you want to go over how to do these, we have a guide that can be accessed here.

Final points are to do up the nuts on the wheel’s axle to keep it firmly in place in the forks and to check that the brakes are correctly adjusted for the new wheel. If you’re unsure how to do that, we have another guide here.

Attach the bracket to the handlebars

There is a strap that needs to be attached to the bars to keep the bracket in place and stop it rotating around. There are also some adaptors included in the kit which can be used if your handlebars are a little skinnier.

But essentially all that’s needed to be done here is a couple of screws to clamp the bracket tightly to the bars.

Attach magnet disc and sensor

The magnet disc has a split design so it can just clip around the inside of the left (non-driveside crank) and is then held in place by its retention ring. Next, stick the sensor on the frame directly in line with the magnets – this will ensure that the sensor can tell when the cranks are moving.

Plug in the cables

The thickest one is the main power cable and that just needs to be plugged into the cable extending from the hub. The other orange cable attaches to the cadence sensor and this just needs plugging in as well.

It’s then a good idea to use some cable ties to tidy up the lengths of the cables a little bit, so they aren’t flapping about and risk getting caught on the spokes or on the cranks.

The blue cables, you don’t need to worry about, these are for an optional brake sensor upgrade kit.

Why convert your bike to an e-bike?

What types of conversion kit are available?

You can get conversion kits that power your front or rear wheel or power the bikes via the cranks.

Wheel-based systems usually have a hub motor and require replacement of your existing wheel with a compatible motorised one.

The alternative is a system like the Rubbee that drives your wheel by pushing on the tyre. Tyre wear can be an issue here though.

Finally, there are systems that power the e-bike via the bottom bracket.

Usually the e-bike’s battery will bolt onto your frame or be attached to your handlebars, although sometimes you can fit a battery pack to a rear rack.

We’ve more on compatibility. which can be an issue. below.

How much does it cost to convert a bike to an e-bike?

vary depending on the type of conversion kit and the size of the battery. To give a rough Band, you can expect to pay a total of between £500 and £800 from a reputable brand, but there will be outliers at either end.

Is it worth converting a bike to an e-bike?

There are many reasons to upgrade your bike to offer a little e-assistance. On the one hand, it can greatly increase the usefulness of your bike, enabling you to replace short car journeys – such as around town, to the shops, or to work – with going by bike instead.

It’s a lot more environmentally friendly getting about on two wheels than in a two-ton metal box. It can also save you time – bikes are able to take more direct routes and are less affected by traffic, as well as eliminating the need to search for a parking space at the other end.

But beyond just their practical benefits, e-bikes can also be a potent tool for boosting your fitness. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise, so making commitments with friends is a great way to ensure you’re heading out the door. Previously, differing fitness levels could make it difficult to find a riding partner but with an e-bike levelling the playing field, getting in a productive workout (for both of you) with a friend is much easier to do.

Added to that, an e-bike can be much more motivating in that it opens up a far greater range of roads than you’d be able to access just under the power of your own two legs. Exploring new roads is part of the fun of riding a bike and an e-bike can help preserve that.

Can you convert any regular bike to an e-bike?

Most bikes can be converted to an e-bike – it just requires getting the matching the right conversion kit to match the specification.

For conversion kits where the motor is located at the wheel’s hub, you’ll need to consider the wheel’s diameter, the width and axle standard of the hub and whether it uses rim or disc brakes. For instance, a 700c (AKA, 28”) disc brake wheel with a 100mm wide quick-release hub is a relatively common spec. Once you’ve determined what type of wheel you need, the conversion is quite a straightforward process

Crank driven systems are generally easier in terms of determining compatibility; the requirements are typically just an alloy frame and a bottom bracket width of between 68 and 73mm – which is the standard for all road and mountain bikes, it’s only specialist bikes that have a different spacing there. In replacing the crankset, these systems are a bit more involved to fit than a hub system, but still well within the remit of a home mechanic.

Other kits, such as those that directly drive the rear tyre, have almost universal compatibility – provided your tyres aren’t too heavily treaded.

Are electric bike conversion kits any good?

You won’t be getting the very best motors and the largest, seamlessly integrated batteries with an e-bike conversion kit. But with that said, e-bike conversion kits are much cheaper than purchasing a whole new e-bike and they do deliver many of the same benefits.

Converted e-bikes are great for commuting and utility cycling, giving that extra boost to help flatten hills, motor along the flat and lug about heavy loads. E-bike conversions are also good for leisure cycling, helping to moderate your effort level as needed and greatly extending the range you can explore.

For more specialist utility needs, buying a new cargo e-bike would help boost your carrying capacity and range. Equally, for the aesthetically conscious, the latest breed of e-road bikes are almost indistinguishable from a non-powered bike at first glance. Then again, both those options are much more expensive than a conversion.

How we test

Where we’ve been able to link to a review, it means that we’ve put the ebike conversion kit through its paces. We’ve assessed how easy it is to fit and maintain as well other factors such as quality of the components and battery life and charge time. Riding the bike once fitted with the kit, we’ve taken into account the ride quality, the ease of use and the battery range.

Where we haven’t yet had the chance to review an item, we’re still confident in recommending it as one of the best, because we either know the brand really well, and have probably tested another product or the previous version and can still happily recommend it as one of the best.

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