PedalX | Electric bicycle technology

Advantages and Disadvantages of Converting your Bicycle to Electric

PedalX PowerUp! electric cycle conversion kit is easy to install

The world is fast moving shifting to sustainable living and one of the first areas of life being altered to suit this change has been that of commute. India is not far behind in this regard. In the period starting from April 2023 to March 2024, a total of 4,135,077 electric 2 wheelers were sold in India (55% of all EV sales in the country) (India Times). While the e-bicycle industry is not close to this number when it comes to adoption rate, it is fast growing with an estimated 100,000 units sold in the same period. With e-bicycle prices starting at INR 25,000, the vehicle remains slightly out of reach for the market at large. A good alternative to the problem comes in the form of electric cycle conversion kits. These are after-market products that can attach to regular pedal bicycles and give them the power of a battery-run powertrain. Conversion kits with advantages and disadvantages of their own when compared to a factory-fit electric bicycle.

Let’s begin with the advantages

  1. Cost-effective solution

One of the primary advantages of going for a conversion kit instead of buying a factory-fit e-cycle is to save money that you would spend on purchasing a completely new bicycle. This, of course, assumes that you already own a bicycle which is not of the best use in its current form. A good conversion kit can cost as little as 60% of a new bicycle including the installation. This makes e-bicycling accessible to more people who may have recently purchased a regular cycle and looking for an upgrade.

2. Eco-friendly transportation

E-bikes are an eco-friendly alternative to petrol scooters/ mopeds or any conventional fueled vehicles. With the added power of the motor, you can go farther, and faster without getting tired. Doing so reduces your carbon footprint, while still saving you time on short trips around the city.

3. Enhanced riding experience

Do you find yourself not using your bicycle as much anymore since there are too many uphill inclinations in your area? Maybe, it has become too difficult to keep up with the traffic on the busy roads of your city on a pedal cycle. By converting your bicycle to electric, you can solve multiple such problems at once. India traffic rules allow the attachment of a throttle/ accelerator on your bicycle, making it easier to zip around.

4. Health benefits

Contrary to popular belief, riding an e-bicycle is immensely beneficial to the health. While it may reduce the amount of effort required to ride compared to a pedal cycle, it significantly increases the frequency of the bicycle being used. Converting your bicycle to electric may just make you use the e-bicycle more than you have ever done before.

5. Versatility and convenience

Electric cycles offer versatility and convenience that traditional bicycles can never match. The act of conversion usually means that all original functions of the bicycle are retained. The bicycle can be used as a regular cycle whenever needed. The existence of pedals also ensures that you can reach back home in the event of your battery running out.

6. Low maintenance

Any good electric bicycle conversion kit uses a Brushless DC motor along with a lithium-ion battery to supply energy. This combination stays stable over a period without the requirement of much maintenance. As long as proper precautions are taken, e-bicycles are known to last as long as 5 years!

7. Reversible change

Conversion kits should have minimum impact on the original design of the bicycle. If you find yourself welding or drilling on the frame for any part installation, you are probably trying to install the incorrect kind of electric conversion kit on your bicycle. Conversion kits usually only make reversible changes on your bicycle so that you can go back to having your bicycle as it was before the installation.

While there are numerous smaller advantages of converting your existing bicycle to electric, there are some disadvantages as well.

  1. Original bicycle not designed for electric

An electric powertrain does exert more load on all the components of a bicycle. The original cycle may not be designed to bear such loads. One common area of failure in a converted e-bicycle is the brake pads. Due to a higher stopping force, the brake pads tend to wear out sooner than they would on a conventional bike.

2. Multi-point warranty servicing

Typically, the bicycle and the electric cycle conversion kit come from different brands and may need the user to approach the appropriate company in case something goes wrong with one of the components.

3. Aesthetics

Buying an after-market e-bike conversion kit can mean adding clunky components to various parts of the bicycle, spoiling its overall look. The PedalX PowerUp! electric bicycle conversion kit gives its users all the advantages of an electric cycle while still minimizing the disadvantages of a conversion. It is installable within 2 hours with the help of just a screwdriver. The PowerUp! is compatible with almost all bicycles available in the market without needing to make any non-reversible changes. Head over to the technology page on our website to learn more about it.

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