Electric bikes, or eBikes, have been gaining popularity in recent years. They offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around town. However, buying a new and decent eBike can be expensive.

Fortunately for us, there’s a more affordable option: converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike. In this article, we’ll explore 10 reasons why this is probably a smart choice.

1. Affordability

One of the biggest advantages of converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike is affordability. A brand new electric bike can cost literally thousands of dollars, but converting a secondhand bicycle can be done for a mere fraction of the price.

You can buy a used bike for a low cost, then add an eBike conversion kit for a few hundred dollars. This makes eBikes accessible to more people, regardless of their financial status.

However, the cost of converting a bike into an eBike can vary depending on factors such as

  • The type and quality of the bike. For example, if you buy a high-end carbon framed road bike, the cost of the conversion kit may be higher than if you buy a basic steel framed commuter bike that can take any “bog-standard” eBike kit
  • The type and quality of the eBike conversion kit you choose. For example, a mid-drive motor system can be much more expensive than a hub motor system, in return for  better performance and efficiency.
  • Whether you install the conversion kit yourself or have a professional do it for you.

On average, the cost of a basic eBike conversion kit can range from $500 to $800. This would typically include a motor, battery, controller, and maybe a throttle, which are the basic essential components needed to convert a bike into an eBike.

However, there are more advanced eBike conversion kits available that can cost upwards of $1,000 or more such as the Bafang BBSHD mid drive kit. These kits may include additional features such as higher-powered motors, larger batteries, and advanced control systems.

If you choose to have a professional install the conversion kit for you, this can add to the overall cost. Installation fees can vary depending on the complexity of the installation and the hourly rate of the installer.

To give you an idea of how much each of these factors can affect the cost of converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike, here are some sample costs:

  • Basic eBike conversion kit: $500 to $800
  • Mid-drive motor system: $800 to $1,500
  • Professional installation: $100 to $200 per hour

Of course, these are just rough estimates, and the actual cost can vary depending on your specific circumstances.

It’s always a good idea to do your research and get quotes from different conversion kit providers and installers to get a better idea of how much it will cost to convert your bike into an eBike.

2. Environmentally Friendly

Converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike is a great way to make an environmentally friendly choice. Unlike cars, eBikes produce no emissions, which means you are not contributing to air pollution. This can be especially important in urban areas, where air pollution can have serious health consequences.

By repurposing an existing bicycle, you’re preventing or delaying it from ending up in a landfill

In addition, using an eBike instead of a car can help reduce traffic congestion, which in turn reduces air pollution. By choosing to ride an eBike for short trips or your daily commute, you are helping to reduce the number of cars on the road, which can have a positive impact on the environment.

By choosing to convert a secondhand bike, you are doing your small part to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.

3. Customizability

Another advantage of converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike is customizability. If you buy a new electric bike, you’re limited to the features and specifications and particular components it comes with. 

While you have a range of choices between different models and brands, you just may not be able to find the exact specifications you’re looking for.

However, when you convert a secondhand bike, you can choose the exact components and specifications you want. This includes the motor, battery, and other accessories. 

For example, you can choose a motor with a specific power output or a battery with a particular range.  You can choose the level of pedal assist that you prefer. Different eBike conversion kits offer varying levels of assistance, which can range from low to high. 

If you prefer a more challenging workout, you can choose a kit with lower assistance levels, for example 3 levels of pedal assist. On the other hand, if you want to reduce the amount of effort required for pedaling, you can choose a kit with higher assistance levels like maybe 5 levels of pedal assist plus a throttle option and if you can’t be bothered to pedal you can choose a throttle only kit. 

This level of customization can help you achieve your fitness goals more effectively.

You can also choose other accessories such as specific types of lights, racks, and fenders that are relevant to your needs and desires. 

This level of customization allows you to build an eBike that is perfectly suited to your riding style and preferences.

4. Increased Range

No matter how fit you are there is a limit to how far you can ride in one go and how fast you can ride up a steep hill. 

Converting your secondhand bike into an eBike allows you to travel longer distances without getting exhausted. 

Commuting to work or running errands on a traditional bike can sometimes be challenging, especially if you have a long commute or need to carry heavy loads. 

With an eBike, you can easily tackle hills, headwinds, and other challenging terrains without breaking into too much of a sweat. This can make your daily commute or errands much more enjoyable and less stressful.

Simply because of the motor, an eBike can give you the opportunity to explore new areas and see more of the world around you without sacrificing your energy or comfort.

5. Improved Health and Fitness

eBikes can help improve your fitness level. While the motor assists with pedaling, you still need to pedal to move the bike forward. By converting your secondhand bike into an eBike, you can gradually increase the amount of effort you put into pedaling. This allows you to improve your fitness level without overexerting yourself.

If you’re simply new to cycling or haven’t cycled in a long while, you may find it difficult to ride long distances let alone tackle hills. However, the motor on an eBike, can get you started allowing you to gradually increase the amount of effort you put into pedaling. 

eBikes give you the freedom to travel further and explore more on your own. They are also great at providing a low-impact enjoyable workout.

According to the VeryWell Mind organisation  “There is growing research evidence that regular aerobic exercise (such as running, cycling or swimming) is associated with better psychological health” so what better way to achieve that than by riding an eBike?

In short, by converting a secondhand bike to an eBike, you’re creating a vehicle that promotes exercise and improved health.

6. Accessibility

Converting a secondhand bike to an eBike can open up cycling to a wider range of individuals who may have physical limitations. 

One common complaint from older riders especially, is pain in the knees with the effort of pedaling. If you’re an older rider or someone who finds traditional bikes difficult to ride, you’ll appreciate how the motor assistance can help you pedal with less stress on your knees, while improving endurance and building up leg strength over time.

Similarly, individuals with disabilities or limited mobility may find it easier to ride an eBike, as they can choose to pedal as much or as little as they feel comfortable with, while still enjoying the benefits of being outdoors and getting exercise.

7. Versatility

eBikes are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities. You can use an eBike for commuting, running errands or for leisurely rides. With the added motor assistance, eBikes are capable of handling various terrains, including hills and rough roads, making them suitable for a wider range of activities.

For instance, if you live in an area with many hills, an eBike can help you navigate those inclines with ease, allowing you to go further and faster than you might have been able to with a regular bike. 

In addition to their adaptability on different surfacess, eBikes are also flexible in terms of their purpose. Whether you need a bike for daily commutes, occasional rides,  mountain biking and all it’s variations, an eBike can serve these purposes equally well depending on the kit and and type of bike you converted. 

They are also a cost-effective alternative to cars for short trips or a fun way to explore the outdoors on the weekends on two wheels, without the physical strain of traditional cycling.

Overall, converting your secondhand bike into an eBike can provide you with a versatile and practical mode of transportation that can meet your needs in a variety of situations.

8. Fun Factor

Finally, converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike is a fun and challenging project giving a great sense of achievement! 

It can be a great way to spend time with friends or family and you’ll end up with a unique bike that you can be proud of. Plus, riding an eBike is just plain unadulterated fun. 

You’ll be able to explore your city or town in a new way, and you’ll enjoy the feeling of the wind in your hair as you zoom down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

It can be a bit challenging, but there are many resources available online to help you including the Beginner’s Guide on How to Convert a Regular Bike to an eBike. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to do the conversion for you.

Most bicycles can be converted to an eBike. However, you'll want to make sure that the frame is sturdy enough to handle the additional weight of the motor and battery. You can get further information on the 7 steps you need to do before buying any eBike conversion kit here

The speed of an eBike depends on the motor and battery. Most eBikes can go up to 20 mph, but some can go beyond 28mph. For the legal ramifications read Newbies Guide to Speed Pedelecs in the UK. Worth the hassle?


Converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike is a genius idea for many reasons. It’s cost-effective, customizable, promotes improved health, great for the environment and it’s just fantastic fun!

By converting a secondhand bicycle, you can create a unique vehicle that’s tailored to what you need and want. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to protect the environment by reducing waste and emissions. 

If you’re thinking about buying a new electric bike, consider converting a secondhand bicycle to an eBike instead.

It’s a smart choice that offers many advantages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab an old bike and start your conversion project today!

eBike Conversions for Beginners series