How to Convert Mountain Bike to Electric

Christine H. Groce10 Apr 2022

Electric bikes are taking over the commuter world! Everybody is rushing to get their latest model of the e-bike, hoping to enjoy the overall convenience they offer to the urban dweller. Unfortunately, they don’t come cheap! You might have to cough up a couple of hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a decent unit. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the budget buyer. If you already have a conventional bike, you can still taste the e-bike experience without spending an arm and a leg at the bike shop. Here is a guide on converting your regular mountain bike into an electric MTB.

Converting a regular bike into an e-bike

Creating your own e-bike is a fulfilling endeavor that promises to be a lot of fun. But before you even get down to business, here are a few major components of the electric bike you’d like to know:

The motor

An electric bike motor is an integral part of an electric bike. The motor is what provides the power to move the bike forward. A battery can power the electric bike motor or use a rechargeable battery as its power source. This battery may be charged through a standard electrical outlet or solar power.

The battery

This is a rechargeable battery for an electric bicycle. It stores electricity from the power grid or solar panels to power the electric motor and assists the rider. The e-bike batteries are usually made up of lithium-ion cells, and they can be either lead-acid or lithium-ion. The lead-acid batteries are cheaper but cannot withstand as many discharge cycles as the lithium-ion ones.

The controller

An e-bike controller is a device that manages the power of an electric bicycle. It allows you to control the speed and acceleration of your bike. This device is usually connected to a battery, which stores electricity generated by a motor.

How do you convert a mountain bike to electric?

To transform your regular mountain bike into an eMTB, follow the steps below:

Step 1- Choose a bike

If you already have an old mountain bike, this should be easy for you. However, be sure to select a bicycle with a solid frame to accommodate the extra weight of the electric components. Also, opt for a bike with smaller wheels (26”) and disc brakes to handle the sheer speed of e-bikes.

Step 2- Select your r-bike conversion kit

An e-bike conversion kit is what will transform your ordinary MTB into a battery-powered two-wheeler. The kit usually comes fitted with bolt-on components, including the motor, controller, and throttle. In most cases, you’ll need to buy the battery separately.

Step 3- Purchase the battery pack

Buying the e-bike battery is a crucial step that could make or break your final creation. It takes a fair share of due diligence to find a battery that fits the other electronic components. Ideally, choose a battery rated between 36 and 48 volts, with a capacity of 10Ah to 20Ah. This offers the optimum range for the operation of an e-bike. Anything lower will die relatively quickly, and anything higher will probably result in mal-functionality or even destroy the entire e-system.

Step 4- Remove the brackets

You’ll need to give your bike a dress-down before you start installing the electric components. To do this: -Flip your bike and set it on the ground firmly -Depending on the type of motor you bought (front or rear hub), locate the quick-release lever to remove the wheel -Remove the brake pads with needle-nose pliers -Remove the chain and other attachments to the wheel

Step 5- Install the motor

The conversion kit comes with a rear hub or front hub wheel with a motor attached, which should replace the wheel you just removed. When fitting a new tire, be sure to close any levers that have been opened. If the pads have been moved, you may need to make sure they have clamped into place again. This may involve tightening them down with clips or securing them by inserting a pin on top of the pad.

Step 6- Mount the battery

The conversion kit will have a manual on how to mount the battery. Once mounted, plug it into the connectors on the wheels. The connection to the speed gauge will go to the battery, which then connects to the throttle. You might need pliers, so don’t be afraid to get extra tools or ask for backup.

Step 7- Connect all the components

Connect your battery to the throttle with a cable. Ensure that any cables that appear loose are also secured to the battery and the throttle. The start and stop functions are usually attached to your handlebars, so the wires from the wheel, battery pack, and handlebars have to be linked.

Step 8- Enjoy the e-bike experience

Once everything is set up, you can now take your newly converted eMTB on its maiden ride. Remember to brace yourself for a small speed injection and enjoy the ride!

How much does an e-bike conversion kit cost?

An e-bike conversion kit can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000. The price will depend on the brand, the quality of the kit, and whether or not you need to buy a new bike. Be sure to consider the brand when purchasing your conversion kit.

How fast are electric bikes?

Electric bikes are faster than the average bike. The top speed for most battery-powered bikes is around 20mph, about twice as fast as a regular bicycle. However, some will go as fast as 28mph.

Final thought

It is never too late to get on the electric bike bandwagon, and the best part is that you don’t have to blow a fortune to do this. If you already own a mountain bike, all you need is an e-bike conversion kit and the precise guidelines above to have a fresh eMTB. Happy electric biking!

Christine H. Groce

Christine H. Groce

Christine formed a passion for cycling back when she still had training wheels as a kid. She wants to write about her adventures, along with tips and tricks for beginner cycling fans.

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