The basis for the best electric bike conversion has to be a durable, well-built bicycle. The choice is ultimately up to the rider, and whether they pick a tough mountain bike or a lightweight folding bike is completely subjective. However, certain aspects of the bicycle can be advantageous for the final product, including the weight, position, comfort, and style of the original bike.
We'll usually put an electric bike conversion kit on a trusty commuter bike, one that the rider is familiar with after years of tough commuting through city streets. This is a good idea because the position and style of the ride remains the same, and the rider can simply add an electric assist to their favorite bike.
Many times, however, we'll encounter a rider that wants us to install an electric bike conversion kit on one of our own bikes, and build something for them from the ground up. As specialists in folding bikes and electric bikes, we can create some of the most lightweight, compact commuter bikes using the BionX electric motor kit and a Dahon folding bike. Why these brands? They're probably two of the best quality companies out there, and together they make a super-lightweight electric bike. Our favorite build? The Dahon MuP8 with a BionX electric motor kit.
An electric folding bike is the best electric bike conversion for city commuters that need to conserve space. It's lighter than other ebike models, can be stored easily, and can be carried into trains, cabs, and high-rise apartments. When we chose the Dahon MuP8 folding bike as our guinea pig for an electric bike conversion, we didn't know just how great the finished product would turn out to be.
The MuP8 has eight gears, making it somewhat of a workhorse (for a folding bike). It's arched frame is sturdier than other 20" folding bikes, and it's considered to be one of Dahon's stronger bikes. Because of this, it makes for a great electric bike conversion. Even with a motor and battery, the MuP8 retains its original, compact folded size. An adjustable handlebar and seat mean that almost any size rider can enjoy this bike.
Building the best electric bike conversion involves the use of the best electric bike conversion kit. The BionX electric bike motor, with a customizable motor and versatile mounting system, is widely considered to be the best electric bike kit on the market. Using four torque-sensitive pedal-assist modes, plus a high-powered throttle, BionX has more options than most electric bike kits. It's also one of the most lightweight kits, adding only 18 pounds to a bike!
Do the math and the Dahon MuP8 with BionX is about 43 lbs. This is one of the lightest electric bike conversion builds we've ever done. The Lithium battery can mount to the middle of the frame, or sit on the rear rack. With regenerative braking, this setup can go 30 or 40 miles on a single battery charge. That's pretty impressive compared to most 15-mile electric bikes out there.
Though BionX allows for different motor sizes, we find the best fit for the Dahon MuP8 to be the BionX PL250. A lighter, low-powered motor keeps this small folding electric bike a safe alternative to driving, and isn't too crazy with speed on its small wheels. It's the perfect alternative transportation vehicle for the dedicated city commuter.
Want a compact electric folder? Check out some other electric folding bikes!