Do you make your own electric bike? Because if so, this article may interest you a lot of knowledge about best bike us is the best cycling. In the paragraphs that follow, I will explain several ways to electrify a conventional self-build an electric bike, giving you the advantages and disadvantages of each of these ways.
You may also wonder how much it costs to make your own electric bike. Or how fast it can be reached, or if making your own electric bike is legal.
To know the answer to all these questions, read the rest of this article-
Different ways to make your electric bike
In this section, I will introduce you to the most popular ways to make your own electric bike. For each of these ways, I will indicate the costs as well as the difficulty of installation and maintenance.
1 – Rool’in Kit
- Difficulty: easy
- Price: from 500 to 700€
- Battery included
The first way to convert your normal bike into an electric bike, and the simplest one, is to use an ultra-simplified kit like the one from Rool’In. The ease of installation of the Rool’In is definitely his strong point. However, we are still not 5 minutes of installation time that the company puts forward on its site.
In fact, the installation time of the Rool’In is 20 to 40 minutes depending on whether you are more or less comfortable with DIY. It’s more than 5 minutes, but it’s much less than the installation time of the other kits available on the market.
There are two versions of this kit: the version connected via Bluetooth and the cable version.
Overall, the only thing that differentiates these two versions is the way the speed sensor communicates with the wheel. In the case of the “Smart” version, it is via Bluetooth, and in the “Classic” version, it is by cable.
Very sincerely, I find the Bluetooth version purely gadget. The Rool’In kit is the only one to offer this technology, and if all other manufacturers have chosen to use good old cables rather than a wireless connection, it’s for a good and simple reason: it’s better.
With its Bluetooth kit, Rool’In has chosen to accentuate even more than it already is the ease of installation of its wheel. However, as for the rest, this emphasis on ease comes with sacrifices.
On the Bluetooth version, you have to connect to the wheel with your smartphone to change the level of assistance. Take out your phone, open the Rool’In application, select the assistance mode, tidy up your phone, and finally get on your bike. Whenever you want to use it.
Do not forget also the joys of Bluetooth connection, known for its instability and low level of security. With the Rool’In, you run the risk of someone taking control of your wheel at any time since security is almost non-existent.
Another sacrifice that comes with the ultra-simplified Rool’In concept is that the battery is not removable. Indeed, it is directly integrated into the wheel, and if you want to move it, you have to move the whole wheel with it.
Unlike kits whose battery is easily removable, it is, therefore, necessary to recharge the Rool’In where the bike is located, which is not necessarily practical if you live in an apartment.
The power and functionality are also not comparable to those that more complete kits offer. It takes a lot of effort to climb the steep slopes and, downhill, it does not benefit from the regeneration of motor energy.
On the other hand, it must be admitted that the battery life is correct despite being integrated into the wheel. With 9 amps, the wheel is 30 to 50 km long without needing to be charged.
The Rool’In also has the advantage of being legal since it is activated only when pedaling, assistance is cut from 25 km/h and the engine does not exceed 250 Watts. So we can borrow the bike paths and public roads with, unlike the more powerful kits available on the market.
Finally, it is important to talk about the clutter that the wheel causes. Indeed, the wheel is very heavy since the battery is there. So you have a front wheel of 6 kg while the rear wheel is only 2, which unbalance the entire bike.
Overall, the Rool’In has therefore chosen to focus on ease of installation, and it is true that it is by far the fastest and easiest kit to set up.
However, this ease of installation comes with many sacrifices. Too many, in my opinion, for this kit really worth the cost of being bought. Rool’In is a very interesting concept on paper, but impractical in reality.
The strong points
- Easy installation
The weak spots
- No energy recovery
- Battery impractical to charge
- High price despite the simplicity
- Cycling imbalance
The Rool’In is certainly the way to make self-build an electric bike to your best cycling as easy as possible, but too many sacrifices had to be made to achieve this simplicity of installation.
I advise you to go your way and to interest you rather to more complete solutions like those resumed in the continuation of this article.
2 – Kit with the motor at the wheel
- Difficulty: average
- Price: from 350 to 500 €
- Battery not included
Between the ultra-simplification of the Rollin and the normal level of difficulty of the kits on the pedal, wheel kits are usually a good alternative to electrify your bike without much difficulty.
These kits include different parts that allow you to build your electric bike in 3 to 5 hours.
As with Rool’In, it’s important to choose a wheel size that matches your bike’s size. But unlike the Rool’In, wheel kit builders typically come in many sizes, making it easy to fit almost any model.
So what do these famous kits contain? In general, they take all the same categories of parts that are essential for the electrification of a bike:
- A wheel containing an engine
- A controller
- A trigger to accelerate
- A display screen
- A speed sensor
As well as all the cables those go with these parts. The cables are numerous, which can be impressive and scary, but connecting them correctly is not very complicated. Just arm yourself with patience, take your time, and go step by step.
In addition, the connection of the cables of an electric conversion kit is generally simplified by the manufacturer because each cable can only fit with the right part that corresponds to it. Thus, there is no chance of being wrong and making a wrong manipulation.
While browsing through this list of parts, you may have noticed the lack of the main element in the electrification of a bike: the battery.
This absence is in fact desired because kit manufacturers often prefer to leave the buyer the choice of his battery. If you wish, you can buy your kit from one seller and your battery from another. In France, you can find kits with the motor in the wheel around 500€
If you want to save money, you can also buy your kit from a Chinese seller in a marketplace like Aliexpress. The kit of Pasion eBike, for example, is less than 350 € and received more than 200 positive comments.
The kits with the motor in the wheel are really a good solution to make your electric bike. Depending on the kit you choose, you can opt for a simple, low-power 250-watt motor that can reach 25 km / h, or a 1500-watt monster that rises to 60 km/h.
Since you also choose your own battery, you can decide on its amperage and its autonomy. In short, these kits can really electrify a bike according to his preferences and specific needs.
3 – Kit with pedal motor
- Difficulty: advanced
- Price: from 500 to 1000 €
- Battery not included
The most complex way but also the best, technically speaking, to make your electric bike is with a pedal kit.
As the name suggests, this type of kit has its engine not in the wheel but in the pedal. So, what does it mean exactly as a difference to a wheel kit?
First of all, it means that a pedal kit is more complex to install. Indeed, it will be necessary to replace the pedal and make sure that the new is compatible. It will, therefore, be necessary to look at the engine torque, the number of teeth of the pedal, etc. In short, if you are not comfortable with the stuff, the choice of a pedal kit is not recommended and the self-build an electric bike.
In addition to the increased complexity compared to a wheel kit, a pedal kit is also more expensive. In France, the prices vary between 500€ for the cheapest and 1000€ for the most powerful.
The difference is also technical. When the engine is in the crankset, the platform on which you are going will directly influence the effect of the engine on the rotation of the wheel. Conversely, when the engine is in the wheel, it does not matter whether you are on the first, second or third plate, the engine always delivers the same power.
In general, the pedal motor is preferred by mountain bikers or simply wanting the top of the line in electric bikes. Because yes, when a pedal engine is well optimized, it is able to provide more power than a wheel motor in certain situations.
However, in standard use as for example to get to work or for leisure, a simple wheel motor is largely sufficient.
Is making your own electric bike legal?
To manufacture, yes. After all, you can make just about anything you want legally (except perhaps a nuclear bomb).
It is not so much the manufacture of an electric bike that is a legal problem, it is its use.
Indeed, electric bicycles are subject to best bike us that require any bicycle with electric assistance (EVA) to respect these three rules:
- Its engine must be limited to 250 watts of power
- Electric assist should only be activated when pedaling (ie there can be no accelerator)
- The electric assistance must be cut automatically at 25 km/h
Is it possible to make your own electric bike using a kit and respect these three rules? Totally. And that’s what I recommend you do if you want to limit your risk and respect the law.
Make a legal electric bike
The big advantage of having a legal electric bike is that it is considered by law in a similar way to a conventional bike. So you can take the bike lanes with the public roads, and you do not have to ensure it or have a license.
In theory, you do not even have to wear a helmet on a pedelec, but it is strongly recommended. Even at about twenty kilometers an hour, it is possible to make serious accidents, especially if one falls on the head.
If you want to take advantage of the legal advantages of a pedelec, you will need to make sure to choose a kit whose engine is limited to 250 watts and whose assistance is cut at 25 km/h. The kit should also not contain an accelerator.
On the other hand, on the battery side, you can choose what you want because there is no legal limit. The most important unit of measure in choosing a battery is amperage. The higher it is, the longer the battery life.
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Make an electric bike for private use
If you like speed and want a bike more powerful than 250 watts, making your own electric bike is one of the best solutions.
Indeed, very few bikes available for purchase in Europe exceed legal limits because it is hardly profitable for a manufacturer to sell an electric bike exceeding these limits.
Buying an electric bike that does not respect European limitations is therefore complicated. On the other hand, buying and installing a kit that does not respect European limitations is about as simple as a kit that respects them.
The price is, of course, different, because the more powerful the kit is, the more expensive it is, but the installation process is almost the same and the price difference is not that great.
If you make an electric bike and make money the bicycle to see an example- 2 Ways to Earn money by recycling your bike battery
If you choose to install such an electric conversion kit, in theory, you cannot use public roads or bike lanes with your bike because it is considered an unapproved moped.
In practice, however, you will probably not limit yourself to private land when you use your bike. And that’s understandable.
Even if your bike is able to reach 40 km/h, you are a thousand times less dangerous than any car driver. Your bike weighs up to 30 kg, while a car makes 1500. In addition, you do not reject any harmful exhaust fumes unlike the millions of diesel engines that poison the air of cities all day long.
In conclusion, if you decide to take the public road with your electric bike despite that does not respect the European limitations, just be careful to avoid the main roads, to always wear a helmet, and to show the example of a community of respectful electric cyclists and make self-build an electric bike the best cycling mission.