Generally speaking, an Ebike conversion kit is generally cheaper than a new factory-built electric bike, at least partly because you’re just buying the electric bike parts and not the entire bike. If you can get some really low quality kits (which are definitely out there), you could end up spending more than you would on a new bike. However, even though it’s cheaper, the quality of a kit (if it even works) is questionable. There’s some overlap in price, particularly if you’re comparing a ridiculously cheap factory-make ebike below $1000 (such as an Ancheer or a Motosignal ebike) to a more expensive aftermarket electric bike conversion kit. In either case, you’re usually just throwing money away.
What is an Electric Bike Conversion Kit?
OK, let’s talk about quality for a second. First, a cheap e-bikes conversion kit usually just has steel brake handles. You look at it and see how much you can bend them, then bend them some more and so on until you break them. Then you notice that when you go to change the battery, you have to take the levers out to remove the pedals (because they were glued on there). It’s really clumsy, and I don’t recommend using one of these bikes.
On the other hand, high quality electric bike conversion kits use plastic or aluminum wiring and hoses. They also have good, sturdy, rubber wheels that are designed not to break or bend. That means you can easily change the speedometer, the braking mechanism, etc… and have nothing to lose because your electric motor doesn’t burn through the rubber. With quality kits, you’ll also probably have a long-lasting electronic speed controller that won’t get destroyed within weeks of purchase.