Should You Buy a Brand New E-Bike or Use a Conversion Kit?December 17, 2022
Did you know that in some parts of Europe e-bike sales have grown 24%? And it’s even catching on in the UK where people have always hesitated to give up their cars. In the UK alone, e-bike sales are forecasted to grow by 22% by 2023!
So you’re on board but where do you sign up? What’s the fastest way to get going on those electric bicycles you’ve been hearing so much about? Well, the good news is the power is in your hands. There are two (legal) ways you can obtain an electric bike. You can make a DIY electric bike thanks to all the e-bike conversion kits out there or can simply buy one. But which is the better option? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each…
The Benefits of Buying a Brand New E-bike
Why would you want to buy an e-bike? Easy, you are not very handy and you’re likely to injure yourself. OK, so that was a bit drastic, but realistically, you’re probably just a very busy person with a job, an active social life and just don’t have the time to spend tinkering in the garage. And it does take time to convert your bicycle into an e-bike.
Therefore, it’s likely that the fastest way to get your e-bicycle is going to be to buy it, especially if you live in close proximity to a dealer. Amazon does sell them and, yes, they’re eligible for expedited shipping but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. Not to mention, one of the most important things you’re going to want to do before buying an electric bike is to try it out. You wouldn’t buy a car before test-driving it so why would you buy a bike any differently? We highly recommended that you find yourself a local e-bike shop and give one a spin. This, of course, will take some time but making an informed decision on such a large purchase is primary to all else.
And don’t forget, it is a large purchase. Most quality e-bikes are going to run you between £1,000 and £4,000 (of course, top-of-the-line models will get all the way up to a whopping £10K+) and anything less than that is basically a toy. Buying an electric bike is no joke and there is a lot to consider.
The Benefits of Buying an E-bike Conversion Kit
So you’re one of those weekend-warrior, handy-dandy, hash-it-out-in-the-woodshop types of people. You change your own oil and aren’t afraid of a little grease or grime. Okay, even if you’re not one of those, you can still build your own electric bike. It’s as easy or as difficult as you want it to be and, yes, even if you struggle to put together an IKEA desk, you can still do it!
First of all, starting a DIY electric bike is much cheaper than buying one. Conversion kits go for a couple of hundred quid and the best part is you can use your old bike. Yes, that old roadster you got in college but don’t use much anymore can become new and fancy again!
Building your own electric bike also allows for greater customization. Want to go further, faster or go electric for your daily commute? Get a bigger battery. Just want to go to the store and back? No worries. Pay a little less for less wattage.
Be warned though, buying conversion kits carries the same issues as buying a complete e-bike: Consider the source. Some of these parts mass manufactured from China aren’t worth the box they’re shipped in, so make sure you’re buying from some place reputable or you’re going to be plugging more and more money into the pit. Make sure it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty too.
Of course, you can really go down the rabbit hole with a project like this. There are endless ways to customize your e-bike aesthetically or to throttle it. Some of the best places to find assistance in building an electric bicycle are right here on the good ol’ Internet, or even better on Youtube.
Don’t feel left out if you’re a buyer and try and keep that chip off your shoulder if you’re a builder. The point is that both types of people are hoping to help our fragile environment and save some coin too. Whichever you decide, just know you’re doing something good and are almost guaranteed to have some serious fun riding it.