Electric bicycle - buying new vs. conversion
In the last few years the demand for ready-made pedelecs and retrofitted e-bikes has continuously increased. Cycling industry reacted and flooded the market with an overwhelming selection. For you not to loose track, we have put together the following decision-making aids: The first question before buying a pedelec or e-bike is: Shall I buy a ready-made electric bicycle or a conversion kit? As soon as the decision is made, the fitting electric is fast to be found.
Electric bicycle comparison: Buy vs. retrofit
Basically ready-made and retrofitted electric bikes offer the same selection of components. In case of a conversion the properties of the existing bike determine which motor and battery can be used. Mostly there is several options to choose from.
Also, buying a conversion kit offers the possibility to match technical properties to one's own needs: In addition to maximum current and undervoltage switch off, the maximum power of support levels can individually be adjusted. While buying a ready-made pedelec usually means banning the old bike to the cellar or garage, with a conversion kit it can still be used. This is not only a matter of sustainability but also one of emotional value.
Yet if buying a new bike was already planned, it's of course obvious to directly buy a ready-made pedelec. These electric bicycles offer the advantage their design being fitted of all electric components. So, many ready-made pedelecs feature inner cable routing. This way its electric character is less obvious. But this look has its price. While EBS Conversion Kits start at around 800€ a complete electric bike with e-components of similar quality start at 1700€. Another difference often overlooked is the costs of replacement parts. Since even the best battery will reach its maximum lifespan and have to be replaced. Replacement parts and service of large brand manufacturers are often very expensive and without a battery no electric bicycle will work. These follow-up costs need to taken into account with these suppliers.
Another difference is the possibility to reconverting a retrofitted pedelec: All electric components can be removed from the bike. Afterwards you only need to reinstall the original wheel. With a ready made pedelec this is not possible.
|Advantage conversion||Advantages buying new|
|- low prices||- special design for electric bikes|
|- existing bike can be kept using||- free choice of components|
|- cheaper replacement parts|
|- possibilities for personalization|
|- reconversion to normal bike possible|
When buying a conversion kit a rugged frame with sturdy dropouts for the wheels is important. Lightweight or carbon frames especially carbon dropouts usually are not suited for e-conversion. In cases like these, contact the manufacturer to discuss if e-conversion is possible. Brakes and shifting has to work flawlessly in order to safely participate in public road traffic. Detailed information about compatibility of frames, brakes, shifting to the respective motor types can be taken from our suitability chart. In case a bike does not fulfill these requirements, we advice you to buy a new one.
Electric bicycle, buying new or retrofit - a little decision-making support
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Three methods to retrofit an electric bicycle
1. Convert at home
All conversion kits come with installation instructions and can be installed at home. Depending on model of motor and bike, respectively conversion takes about 3 to 5 hours. This time span refers to a conversion kit with a complete wheel. We generally recommend this set-up for everyone. Except for mechanics and hobby craftsmen owning the appropriate equipment. To remove the cranks and attach the magnet disc, special tools are required. Who doesn't own the appropriate tools doesn't need to by them new, he can take advantage of our tool rental. For a small rental fee the appropriate tools will be delivered together with the conversion kit.
2. Conversion in the EBS work shop
Those who do not want to convert their bike themselves can drop it off at the EBS work shop. In addition to the professional conversion a free safety check (with a 50€ value) is included in the purchase price. So your bike will not only be assembled but also checked professionally. The price for conversion is calculated based on the customer's wishes and on the bike's requirements. In average the bike will spend two weeks in the work shop.
3. Electric bike services EBS Plug & Drive
In addition to the conversion service we offer two further services. if you want to have your bike retrofitted with an EBS Plug & Drive Conversion Kit, your best option is the EBS Plug & Drive Complete Conversion. The fixed price for this conversion kit includes a 9.6Ah battery and safety inspection.
If you don't live nearby and you also do not want to make the journey to visit us in person, you can use our EBS delivery service. Your bike will be picked-up from your place on a scheduled date and brought to our work shop. After the conversion with our EBS Plug & Drive Conversion Kit is complete ew will send your bike back to you within 10 business days. This service is available for Germany only.
Buying electric bicycle components: This is what you should make sure of
Buying the right e-drive
Before buying an electric bike please consider which type of bike is suited for your purposes. Meanwhile almost all bike varieties are available in an e-bike or pedelec version. Make sure you buy a bike with the right frames size, so you can sit in the saddle safely and comfortably. Sometimes cheap electric bikes are advertised as great bargains. Here take a very careful look at the individual components like shifting and brakes. In most cases manufacturers save on the quality of these components to keep the price low. High-quality specs are more robust and better suited to withstand the wear and tear caused by a motor. Before the purchase it is highly recommended to test ride the electric bike. This way to get to know the bike's geometry and handling and the motor's responsiveness and power.
Buying the right e-drive
Depending on what distances you want to ride you need to take care of battery size, since this is one major factor to determine range. For you to get there safely, you can easily calculate range using the following formula: Range (km) = Energy (Wh) / consumption (Wh/km) You can also buy a back-up or replacement battery to preserve battery capacity and double the range. Most systems nowadays work with a system voltage of 36V or 48V, weaker 24V systems have almost completely disappeared from the market. Always consider a possible failure of components. Inform yourself about the service the manufacturer will provide in cases like these. Ask about prices and availability of replacement parts like batteries, motors and charging devices. A good bike dealer will take the time and can give advice about all these aspects.