Part 5 of eBike Conversions For Beginners series

Heavy eBike riders have a hard time of it. One complaint that keeps popping up when reading about eBikes on forums and various social media is the lack of eBikes or eBike conversion kits that are available for  heavy people.

As the average maximum weight a bike can carry is around 250 pounds,  it can be pretty challenging to find a conversion kit outside of the more expensive mid drives, that can comfortably support anybody who exceeds this weight.

So this review focuses on the 7 best wheel hub motor eBike conversion kits for heavy people who weigh more than 280 pounds. These inexpensive kits can also be used for pulling trailers or carrying toddlers.

For a comprehensive overview on eBike conversions  please refer to An Introduction to eBike Conversions as it covers topics such as safety considerations that you need to think about particularly regarding hub wheel motor conversions.

If you’re in a hurry, jump to Which Is The Best Hub Motor Kit For You at the end of this post.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

  1. Know the laws on eBikes within the country you’re going to be riding.

 2. Use steel front forks on your bike if you fit a hub motor of 500W upwards and fit steel torque arms to your forks. They prevent the power of the motor from ripping up your forks, snapping off your dropouts and breaking your face! Read more information here.

3. As a number of these conversion kits can hit speeds of 28mph it makes some sense to invest in a proper eBike specific helmet. You can read a review on the best eBike helmets here.

Components Summary

All the hub conversion kits outlined – both front and rear – have the following components unless otherwise stated

  • 26″ front wheel direct drive/gearless hub motors – known for their speed on the flat 
  • Brushless motors – which are the latest technology and more efficient than brushed motors
  • Heavy gauge spokes – helps in maintaining the strength and form of the wheel. NB you do need to check the tightness of the spokes before using the wheel
  • E-brakes – these cut off the motor when you brake and is an added safety feature
  • No battery or charger included –
    • NB The voltage of any battery you buy must match the voltage of the motor. If the battery voltage is less than the motor then the motor won’t run. If the battery voltage is higher you risk burning out the controller.
    • Lastly lithium batteries are better than lead. They last longer and are significantly lighter in weight. However, they are more expensive.

Best Front Wheel Hub Motor Kits For Heavy eBike Riders

Swipe the table! <——–>

Maximum LoadWheel WeightMaximum SpeedThrottle Type / PASBattery Requirements
REASEJOY 48V 1000W330lbs/150kg21.7lbs / 9.9kg28mphThumb Only48V 17Ah
JAXPETY
36V 500W
330lbs/150kg16.5/bs / 7.5kg19.8 mph restricted 23mph unrestrictedTwist / PAS36V 12Ah
VOILAMART 48V 1000W330-440lbs /
150-200kg
22lb/10kg24mph restricted 28mph unrestrictedTwist / PAS48V 11.6Ah
IMORTOR WIRELESS 3.0 36V 350W369lbs / 167kg28lbs/13kg25mph / 40km/hPAS in-built36V 7.2Ah PROVIDED
LEEDSBIKES 500 Series 36V 350Wunstated11lbs/5kg15mph (25km/h)Thumb / PAS36V 11 – 17Ah PROVIDED

REASEJOY 48V 1000W

ReaseJoy 48V 1000W Front Wheel Conversion for heavy eBike riders

REASEJOY 48V 1000W FRONT WHEEL HUB MOTOR

The ReaseJoy 26″ front wheel hub motor kit is one of the popular sellers on Amazon UK and comes with a 1000W 48V brushless motor, thumb throttle with battery indicator,  e-brake, disc brake mounts and fitted tire. With these specs you’ll end up with a speed pedelec capable of reaching 28mph without much effort. 

Its two unique selling points are i) its maximum load capacity of 330lbs (150kg / 23.5stone) can carry heavy eBike riders with ease for a fraction of the cost of any retail eBike. ii) its dual mode controller has in effect a backup, meaning that if the Hall effect breaks down for any reason the controller can switch over to a non-Hall effect enabling you to continue riding your eBike with the motor. 

At 21.7/bs /9.9kg the ReaseJoy wheel is almost the heaviest hub motor kit in the list so probably unsurprising that it can carry a lot of weight. 

To keep things simple for eBike conversion beginners there is no pedal assist system included. This means no faffing about with the crank arms and less time needed to convert your bike therefore more time to ride it. This is probably a key reason for it’s popularity. There’s also no LCD and of course no battery. 

The battery needs to be 48V with a nominal capacity of not less than 17Ah to be compatible with the motor.

The ReaseJoy focuses on one thing only and that is converting your bike to a fast eBike without any frills.

Pros

Cons

Easy to install as it is throttle only

No display unit – LCD

Ideal for heavy eBike riders with its maximum load capacity of 330lbs

Enclosed manual needs a lot of work

Comfortably hits speeds of 20mph on the flat with maximum load

Makes for a great commuting bike 

Gives great value for money

JAXPETY 36V 500W

jaxpety front wheel hub motor kit for heavy eBike riders
 JAXPETY 36V 500W FRONT WHEEL HUB MOTOR

The 36V 500W Jaxpety is a cheap and cheerful 26″ front wheel with basic solid motor that hits speeds of up to 23mph when unrestricted. 

Similar to the ReaseJoy, the Jaxpety has a maximum load capacity of 330lbs (150kg / 23.5stone) so again, great for heavy eBike riders, but with a reduced weight of  just 16.5lbs / 7.48k for the wheel itself. It maintains its strength with iron spokes.

The Jaxpety kit also comes with an intelligent controller allowing the rider to restrict or derestrict the maximum speed. The maximum speed  when restricted is around 19.5mph well within road legal limits (depending on the country you’re in)

Simply connecting the blue wires on the controller will restrict the bike.

It comes with it’s own basic road tire which is easily replaceable with one that is more suitable for your needs. It also has disc brake mounts.

The Jaxpety kit comes with a full pedal assist system (PAS) – pedal sensor and magnetic disc –  as well as the twist throttle giving you the most flexibility on riding styles and the ability to build up your fitness levels with the use of the PAS.

While it’s a little bit more complex to install, it’s still a great first project for eBike conversion newbies. The pedal assist makes it even better for daily commuting.

Like all the kits here you get ebrakes as a safety feature.

There’s no LCD and of course no battery. 

The battery needs to be 36V with a nominal capacity of not less than 12Ah.

Pros

Cons

Comes with PAS as well as twist throttle giving the best of both worlds

Controller bag can be a bit small to hold both the controller and excess wires with ease

Ideal for heavy eBike riders with its maximum load capacity of 330lbs

No display unit

Great fun and suitable for daily commuting

Enclosed manual is next to useless

Not too difficult to install for beginners

VOILAMART 48V 1000W

Voilamart Front Wheel Hub Motor Kit for heavy eBike Riders

VOILAMART 48V 1000W FRONT WHEEL HUB MOTOR

The Voilamart front wheel hub with its 48V 1000W brushless gearless motor and top speed of 28mph (45km/h) can be restricted to a road-legal 750W and 24mph (38km/h) with a single blue switch wire embedded in the controller.
 
With a maximum load capacity of 330-440lbs (150-200kg / 23.5-31stone) and 12 gauge spokes the Voilamart wheel is the strongest of the front wheel hub kits in this list (just a smidge above the ReaseJoy) and will comfortably support the heaviest of eBike riders without effort. The 26″wheel weighs a hefty 22lb /10kg and has an alloy double wall around the rim for extra durability and rigidity. This also helps in preventing the spoke ends from piercing the inner tube.
 
The power of the Voilamart is enough to take a heavy eBike rider up certain hills at a good 20mph according to several riders. This will depend on lots of mitigating factors such as weight, wind, tire pressure etc. The PAS in combination with the throttle will give enough variety for riders who are looking to get fit or strong.
 
Like the less powerful  Jaxpety, the Voilamart comes with full PAS (pedal assist system) and e-brakes which will cut off the motor when braking for added safety.
 
It also comes with a tire which can be easily replaced with something more to your liking.
 
Like a lot of eBike conversion kits, you will need to buy a battery separately. The battery needs to be 48V with a nominal capacity of not less than  11.6Ah. The throttle has a simple battery indicator which tells you if it is full, half or empty.
 

Pros

Cons

Heavy eBike riders are able to climb hills with little effort on daily commutes

Controller bag is too small to hold the controller and excess wires

With the largest maximum load capacity of 440lbs this kit can carry the heaviest of eBike riders with ease

Included manual isn’t great

Has both PAS and throttle for different styles of riding

No display unit.

Great fun to ride with some riders hitting top speeds in excess of 30mph

iMORTOR 3.0 WIRELESS 36V 350W

The iMortor app wheel  is possibly the most unusual and easiest front wheel hub kit to install and is great for heavy eBike riders as it has a maximum load of 369lbs (167.4kg /26stone).  With no need to worry about various wires, connections and other parts, you simply slip this wheel in place and you’re virtually done. The easiest and fastest install for a complete beginner to eBike conversions.

The iMortor wireless wheel has the controller built into the hub itself which explains the huge weight.  The included 36V 7.2Ah lithium battery slides on to the hub within a crescent shaped casing. What could be easier?

Despite it’s relatively low wattage compared to other kits in this review, the combination of the iMortor’s weight and torque from the motor means that you do need to add a couple of torque arms to keep the wheel in place and to ensure that your forks or dropouts do not snap. 

It has a top speed of 25mph /40km/h. The battery should give a maximum range of 25 -31 miles (40 – 50km)

The iMortor wireless kit comes with no obvious pedal assist, throttle control or brake switches. Instead it has a built-in internal sensor system which can pick up how hard you’re pedaling, whether you’re climbing hills or braking and adjust its motor accordingly – a very clever piece of kit.

To operate the wheel wirelessly, you need to pair the system with your phone using bluetooth and then set your parameters like speed, level of assist etc. on the phone. You install the iMortor app using the QR code sticker on the hub or download it from your phone’s app store. It works on both android and iphone. Your phone acts as the LCD.

It has five levels of assist with interesting category names and expected top speeds for each level:

  1. Physical exercise 6-25-9.38mph (10-15km/h)
  2. ECO 9.38-12.5mph (15-20km/h)
  3. Economy 12.5-18.75mph (20-30km/h)
  4. Sports 18.75-21.88mph (30-35km/h)
  5. Climbing 21.88-25mph (35-40km/h)

The iMortor comes in several sizes including:

  • 24″x 1.75″ with disc brake
  • 26″ x 1.95″ with disc brake
  • 700 x 23c with V brake

It will fit front forks between 85mm – 110mm in width. Once converted this eBike can be used for carrying kids, towing a small trailer and such like.

Pros

Cons

The wheel is strong enough to take a heavy eBike rider comfortably at 15mph

It can be tricky initally to pair your phone with the iMortor.

LCD built into your phone

Some inaccuracies on total distance travelled

Fitting the iMortor is ridiculously easy.

Despite the weight of the wheel the bike is still easy to peddle with the motor turned off.

Overall the iMortor is a good steady fun bike and great for commuting.

LEEDS BIKES 500 Series

Leeds eBike Kit 36V 500W 13Ah
Leeds eBike Kit 36V 500W 13Ah Front wheel hub motor

The 500 series is geared specifically at heavier eBike riders, fat bikes and load bearing tasks. It is the only kit in this review that comes fully complete and is strictly road-legal offering a top speed of 22mph and a maximum range of around 30 miles. It is also the lightest wheel at just 11lbs /5kg. The 500 series is made up of three different front wheel hub kits all of which are 36V 500W.

Each kit comes with a proprietary controller and included Samsung battery offering 36V at 11Ah, 13Ah or 17Ah, a complete pedal assist system, an LCD kit which measures speed, battery power, distance etc, a thumb throttle and even a torque arm. 

It is also the only one to offer a geared hub motor.  Geared motors are known for their incredible torque and hill-climbing abilities.  

The 500 series come in a wide range of wheel sizes including 20″, 24″, 26″, 27.5″ 650b ,700cc 29er. LeedsBikes will even install the hub motor into your existing wheel if possible.

All the kits come with a warranty of 2 years for the motor, 1 year for the battery and controller and 6 months warranty on the LCD.

Pros

Cons

Everything needed for a conversion is included in the kit.

The manual can be a little confusing and not detailed enough

Uses a geared hub motor which is great for hill-climbing

The motor can be a little noisy emitting a constant hum.

Customer service is second to none.

As its a proprietary controller you may lose some flexibility if you want to upgrade the eBike later on

Great way to exercise using the pedal assist at the lowest level

Best Rear Wheel Hub Motor Kits For Heavy eBike Riders

Swipe the table! <——–>

Maximum LoadWheel WeightMax SpeedThrottle Type /PASBattery RequirementsSprocket
VOILAMART 48V 1000W330-440LB / 150-200KG22lb / 10kg24mph / 38km/h restricted 28mph /45km/h unrestrictedTwist / PAS48V 11.6Ah7 speed sprocket
REASEJOY 48V 1000W330lbs/150kg21.7lbs / 9.9kg28mph /45km/hThumb only48V 17Ah7 speed sprocket

Quick Tips For Rear Wheel Hub Motors

  • Due to the added weight of a rear wheel hub motor it’s a good idea especially as a heavy ebike rider to squeeze some super sealant into the inner tube to prevent or slow down punctures.
  • Also fitting a rim liner round the wheel,  a stronger inner tube and tougher tire will all help in extending the life of the wheel.
  • To distribute the weight it’s a good idea to place your battery (not provided) somewhere on the frame like the downtube, rather than on a rear rack.
  • It bears repeating, make sure you check and tighten the spokes.

VOILAMART 48V 1000W REAR WHEEL HUB MOTOR

voilamart rear wheel hub motor for heavy eBike ridersVOILAMART 48v 1000w REAR WHEEL HUB MOTOR

Like its front wheel hub motor kit, the Voilamart rear wheel  is built to hold a maximum load of 330-440lbs (150-200kg / 23.5-31stone) certainly strong enough to carry the heaviest of eBike riders.
 
With its Intelligent Motor Controller you have the option to ride hell for leather at 28mph or switch to road legal limits simply by switching on a single blue switch wire depending on whether you’re using the throttle or pedal assist.
 
The Voilamart gives you a full peddle assist system with five levels of assist, level 1 being where you work the hardest.  The kit comes with full twist throttle and display unit  so you always know how much juice you have left.
 
The completed eBike has plenty of power to climb hills and can carry heavy eBike riders at a reasonable speed of around 20mph according to Voilamart owners.
 
Because of the rear wheel hub motor’s torque and grip, you can ride this on any terrain (within reason)
 
Depending on skill level conversions can be completed between 1hr to 10 hrs.
 
Again, you will need to buy a battery separately. The battery needs to be 48V with a nominal capacity of not less than  11.6Ah.

Pros

Cons

Has PAS, throttle and LCD so no need to buy anything else for the eBike

Instructions as usual are mediocre

Great customer service via email

No additional manual on how to properly setup and use the LCD and you have to rely on external sources for information.

Motor is quiet

Can be difficult to control the amount power when using PAS.

Installation very straighforward but will take longer because of the PAS install

Great fun to ride

REASEJOY 48V 1000W REAR WHEEL HUB MOTOR

Reasejoy rear wheel hub motor kit for heavy eBike riders 

REASEJOY 48V 1000W REAR WHEEL HUB MOTOR

The ReaseJoy 48V 1000W rear wheel hub motor kit is as strong as its front wheel hub kit with a maximum load capacity of 330lbs/150kg/23stone making it equally suitable for heavy eBike riders.
 
Like most rear wheel kits it comes with a 7 speed freewheel (including tire).  It also comes with its dual mode controller which works in the same way as its front wheel cousin  – essentially offering a backup if the hall effect (sensor) stops working on the motor ensuring that you can still ride.
 
There’s no bells and whistles with the ReaseJoy.
 

It does not come with pedal assist which will suit some as it makes it all the easier to install.  It is strictly thumb  throttle only with battery indicator and e-brakes. An LCD screen is also not included. And it goes without saying – no battery.

Pros

Cons

Feedback from users is that the ReaseJoy rear wheel hub is very easy and straightforward to install even for a complete beginner to eBike conversions.

No display unit – LCD

Very powerful, reliable and quiet motor

Might be a little heavy for some riders.

Makes for a great commuting bike 

Makes for a great commuting bike 

Gives great value for money

Conclusion

So there you have it, 7 of the best front and rear wheel hub motor conversion kits for heavy eBike riders. Use the dropdown boxes below to help you decide which of the eBike kits is most appropriate for you.

WHICH IS THE BEST HUB MOTOR KIT FOR YOU?

Yes they are. All the eBike conversion kits listed here (with the exception of Leeds Bikes)  state that they can support a maximum load of between 330lbs(150kg) and 440lbs (200kg). The maximum load for most wheel hub motor conversion kits is around 250lbs.

The 500 series from Leeds Bikes includes the front wheel hub motor, battery and display unit.

The iMortor 3.0 includes battery which slots on to the hub motor fascia and uses your cellphone as the display unit. 

The Voilamart rear wheel hub motor at 48V 1000W includes PAS, throttle and display unit

With the minimum of tools or skills required the iMortor 3.0 wins hands down as the easiest of all street legal eBike conversion kits to install. Why? – because everything is built-in.

If you don’t like the idea of an all-in-one setup and want to keep street legal the Jaxpety is a very good option with its 36V 500W front wheel hub motor and PAS.

The 500 Series from Leeds Bikes is an equally good option providing a 36V 500W geared hub motor, PAS, battery and LCD.

Yes – the ReaseJoy front and rear wheel kits will provide just a throttle only kit with an unrestricted top speed of 28mph (45km/h). Of course, with the other kits, you can leave off the PAS and add it later as your riding needs change.

The Voilamart and ReaseJoy both come with 48V 1000W motors in both their front and rear wheel kits offering a top speed of 28mph. The Voilamart rear wheel includes PAS, LCD and throttle.

Compatible Batteries

LCD Display Units / Cycle Analysts

For step by step instructions on how to install a front or rear wheel conversion kit please refer to the eBike Conversions for Beginners series in the yellow box below

eBike Conversions for Beginners series

You might also be interested in reading Bike Accessories You Didn’t Know You Wanted which covers tips and tools to keep your eBike and yourself safe on the roads or learning about the best eBike helmets for fast eBikes.

Related Posts

Beginners Guide on How to Convert a Regular Bike to an eBike

Part 1 of eBike Conversions for Beginners series – 5 reasons to convert a normal bike to electric. Differences between wheel hub motor and mid drive kits.

6 Simple Steps to Convert A Regular Bike To An eBike

Part 4 of eBike Conversions For Beginners. Step by step guide for intermediate beginners to build an eBike with a mid drive motor kit in six simple steps.

Complete Beginners Guide – eBike Conversion In 6 Easy Steps

Part 2 of eBike Conversions for Beginners – Step by step guide for complete beginners to build an eBike with a front wheel hub motor kit in six easy steps.

Rear Wheel eBike Conversion – 5 Easy Stages – Newbie Guide

Part 3 of eBike Conversions For Beginners. Step by step guide for complete beginners to build an eBike with a rear wheel hub motor kit in five easy stages.

Last update on 2020-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API