You can convert cruiser bike to electric by fitting it with an e-bike conversion kit. These conversion kits allow you to add a battery, motor and electric controls to a non-electric, conventional cruiser bike. If you choose the right conversion kit and take care to install it properly, the new e-bike will let you cruise around with minimal pedaling for longer durations.
Steps to Convert Cruiser Bike to Electric
Here are the simple steps to follow to convert your conventional bike to an electric bike:
1 – Swap the tire and tube
The first step is to remove the tire and tube of the current front wheel. You will then need to install the tire and tube on the new wheel from the e-bike kit. Make sure that the tire is directional and mounted such that the cable is sticking out of the hub on the left-hand side when the wheel is installed. Else, the wheel will work in the opposite direction.
Get some tire levers and a pump to remove the tire and tube. Finally, you will need to tighten the nuts on the wheel’s axle to hold it firmly in place between the forks. Make sure to fix and adjust the brakes correctly for the new wheel.
2 – Fix the Bracket to Handlebars
You will find a strap that needs to be fixed to the handlebars so the bracket stays firmly in place and does not rotate with gear-change. You can find some adaptors included in conversion kits which can be used if your handlebars are thinner.
All you need to do here is to simply tighten a couple of screws to fix the bracket firmly to the handlebars.
3 – Fix the Magnet Disc and Sensor
The next step involves fixing the magnetic disc. This disc has a split design so it can be simply clipped around the inside of the non-drive side crank. A retention ring is then used to hold the magnetic disc in place.
Next, you will need to install the sensor on the frame, accurately in line with the magnets. This way, the sensor knows when the cranks are moving.
4 – Plug in the Cables
The main power cable is the thickest one in the e-bike conversion kit. This cable needs to be plugged into the cable that extends out from the hub. Then you will need to attach the orange-colored cable which connects the cadence sensor.
Experts advise to use good cable ties to tighten the lengths of the cable so they do not hinder your pedaling or get caught in the cranks or spokes. If you find blue-colored cables, then these are part of the optional brake sensor upgrade kit.
Different Types of E-Bike Conversion Kits
There are several different types of electric bike conversion kits available in the market today. For instance, you will find e-bike conversion kits that power your front or rear wheel or power the bike using cranks.
Any wheel-based conversion system will have a hub motor. You usually have to replace the existing conventional wheel of the bike with a compatible motorized wheel. An alternate to this is the system that drives your wheels by pushing on the tire. However, this often causes tires to wear out sooner. You can also find e-bike conversion kits that power the e-bike through the bottom bracket.
Normally, the battery of e-bike conversion kits can be fixed with a bolt on to the bicycle frame. You can also attach the battery to the handlebars and sometimes on to the rear rack.
Cost of Converting Cruiser Bike to Electric
The specific cost of converting cruiser bike to electric varies, depending on the type of conversion kit and the battery size.
On an average, a reputed brand’s e-bike conversion kit comes anywhere between USD 600 to USD 900.
However, before you decide to buy a conversion kit, it is important to know everything about them.
Advantages of E-Bike Conversion Kits
There are several advantages and benefits of using e-bike conversion kits to transform your normal bicycle into an electric-assisted bike.
1 – Enhancing your current bike
You like your bike and want to add a bit of power assistance to your favorite non-electric without compromising its performance.
2 – Create a unique bike
You might not necessarily find the type of bikes you prefer in electric versions. Hence, electric bike conversion kits are useful to make your bike even more unique.
3 – Easy to swap
Electric bike conversion kits are easy to swap between bikes. This lets you to try electric-assist on several different bikes. Similarly, if the kit is easy to remove front hub wheel kit, then you can ride your bike normally any time by swapping the wheel back to the original and leaving the battery off the bike. With such efficient systems, you can easily convert any other bike into an electric bike and make full use of the battery.
Disadvantages of E-Bike Conversion Kits
Let’s look at the other aspects of choosing to convert your cruiser bike to electric:
1 – May be complicated
Some e-bike conversion kits are easier to attach than others and most require basic DIY skills. Still, you may find it difficult at times, such as when you are filing our fork dropouts that are too narrow to fit.
2 – Can be limiting
If you wish to install a mid-drive motor your choices are restricted and they are also more difficult to fit than most other types of hub-driven motor systems.
3 – Aesthetics change
Often, e-bike conversion kits don’t look as tidy as off-the-rack electric bikes. You conversion kit’s cables may need to be tied with cable-ties while most electric bike have their cables hidden expertly within the frame.
You can easily convert cruiser bike to electric bike using several different types of e-bike conversion kits available in the market. However, you will need to ensure the quality and compatibility of the chosen conversion kit to ensure that you get the most for your money.