Conversion e-bike kits vs a specialist e-bike

What are the pros and cons of conversion e-bike kits vs a specialist e-bike?

Are you considering upgrading your regular bike to an electric bike? There are two ways to do this: using a conversion e-bike kit or purchasing a complete "ready-to-ride e-bike". Both options have advantages and disadvantages, so weighing your options up is essential before purchasing. 

Full Electric Bike


  • Easy and Convenient: Full electric bikes come ready to ride, with all components already integrated and tested for optimal performance.
  • Advanced Features: Full electric bikes often have advanced features like integrated lights.
  • Integrated components: Motors are either in the rear wheel or between the pedals (central hub), meaning the bikes are balanced and provide smoother power assistance. Batteries are now either semi-integrated or built into the frame, meaning the designs are sleek, the batteries are easily accessible, usually larger, and offer greater range.
  • Wide Selection: There are a wide variety of full-electric bikes available on the market, with different styles, designs, and features to choose from.
  • Warranties: Most full electric bikes come with warranties from the manufacturer, giving you peace of mind.


  • Cost: Full electric bikes are generally more expensive than conversion kits.
  • Limited Customisation: While a wide selection of electric bikes is available, you may need help customising them to meet your needs and preferences.

Conversion E-Bike Kits


  • Affordable: Conversion e-bike kits are generally cheaper than full electric bikes.
  • Versatility: You can choose the type of conversion kit that best suits your needs, including front-wheel, rear-wheel, or mid-drive systems.
  • DIY: Conversion kits allow you to modify your bike yourself, which can be a fun and rewarding experience (although not always easy)
  • Compatibility: Conversion kits can be used on almost any bike, making them versatile.


  • Limited Support: If you are not mechanically inclined, you may need help installing the conversion kit. There may be little support from the manufacturer or retailer, which can be frustrating.
  • Compatibility Issues: You may encounter compatibility issues using an older or less common bike model. Some kits may not fit your bike's frame or require additional modifications.
  • Limited Features: Conversion kits may not include some features that full electric bikes offer, such as integrated lighting systems.
  • Limited after-sales support: fixing issues with conversion kits can prove challenging, particularly once they are out of warranty. Fewer bike mechanics are able to help with conversion kit repairs.
  • Some kits require you to fit a new front wheel, meaning switching between an e-bike and a regular bike is a fiddly process.
  • The more popular conversion kits include a motor in the front wheel, affecting your bike balance and riding options. Having so much weight in your front wheel isn't ideal and you will find it a very different bike to ride vs pre-conversion.

In summary, full electric bikes and conversion e-bike kits both have advantages and disadvantages. Full electric bikes offer ease and convenience, advanced features, and a wide selection, but they usually come with a higher cost. Conversion e-bike kits offer affordability, versatility, and DIY satisfaction but may require more mechanical skill and have limited support and features. Ultimately, the decision depends on your budget, needs, and preferences.

Find out what ebike is right for you