The Mid Drive Ebike Kit You Should Never Buy (and the 3 Best)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Eco-Friendly Natural Products | December 30, 2022

Man looking at his regular bicycle and holding the parts for a mid drive ebike hit in his hands wonders what’s the best mid drive e-bike kit to use on his current bike.

E-bike kits, which generally refer to the mid-drive ebike kit and the hub-drive e-bike kit, have come a long way since the days of Michael Kutter who created a throttle-less E-bike controlled by pedaling in the early 1990s.

These days, the E-bike conversation has evolved into debates about the mid-drive E-bike kit vs the hub-drive E-bike kit, and which of the string of E-bike options available today has the best features and the most power.

But, which mid-drive e-bike kit is the best? And, is there one you should never buy?

This review outlines three of the best mid drive ebike kits and offers insight into costly, low-performance ones you should avoid.

Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits: Reviews

The best performing and favorite overall e-bike conversion kit with battery to date in 2022 is the Bafang BBS02B 48V 500W Mid Drive Conversion kit.5

The others are listed below.

Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits: Reviews

1

Best overall: Bafang BBS02B 48V 500W

Also ranks for best offroad ebike for it’s outstanding performance and reliability.

2

Most Powerful: AW 26” x1.75 Rear Wheel 48V 1000W

Uncomplicated speed control, durable, stable with improved safety due to hand brakes.

3

Best Premium Ebike: Ebikeling Waterproof 36V 500W 700C, Geared

Can be installed in the front or the rear and this kit goes faster and further than most thanks to the 500W motor.

4

Best Affordable: Bafang E-bike Front Hub Motor 48V 500W Bafang Brushless Gear 20/26/27.5/700C inch

Affordable, and ready to go in one hour. Includes pedal assist.

5

Best Mountain Terrain: Jaxpety 48V 1000W Electric Bicycle Cycle E-bike 26” Wheel Hub Motor

Top speed 28mph. Works very well with 26” mountain bike tires. E-bike mode and pedal assistance. Front or rear wheel installation.

6

Best for Commuting: Swytch Universal

Lightweight and easy to install, but very powerful.

What Mid Drive Ebike Kit Should You Never Buy?

When considering a conversion kit, understand that the types that rely on “friction drive” should be avoided. Once the tires become wet, the friction won’t work.

For mid-drive solutions, the worst kit is also the one that doesn’t work with your current bike. So, pay close attention to the mounting and other requirements before buying.

Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits Ranked

Over the years, slow and bulky E-bikes have paved the way for the manufacturing of several powerful E-bike options that provide a faster alternative to navigating grid-locked traffic and help reduce the heavy carbon footprint brought about by cars and even some electric vehicles. Aside from e-bikes, purchasing carbon offset programs like a daily driver carbon offset has helped reduce the environmental impact of cars.

Related Reading: Carbon Footprint of Electric Cars vs Gasoline (The Truth No One Admits)

E-Bike Classes

  • Class 1 – E-bikes with pedal assistance and a top speed of 20mph.
  • Class 2 – E-bikes with continuous throttle assistance and a top speed of 20mph
  • Class 3 – E-bikes with pedal assistance and a top speed of 28mph.1,23

Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits

While custom-made E-bikes are the most popular and sought-after, electric bicycle conversion kits allow for non-electric bikes to be converted into e-bikes. This is done by adding a battery, motor, and electric controls to a traditional bicycle.

Photo of a customer-made electric ebike made out of a traditional bicycle with brown seat, and gray aluminum bike frame.

All types of bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and hybrid bikes can be converted to E-bikes with the help of an electric bicycle conversion kit.

E-Bike Conversion Kit With Battery

E-bike conversion kits include a motor and a battery to power it, as well as a bar-mounted display to control the output level.

E-bike conversion kits must cut out when not pedaling and the automatic speed limit must be 25kph in Australia, Europe, and the UK. In the US, E-bikes must be speed-limited to 20mph.

1
Bafang 48V 500W Mid Drive Kit

Rated Voltage: 48V
Rated Power: 500W
Motor Type: Brushless Gear Motor
Shaft Standard: JIS
Frame material: Carbon Fiber
Suspension: Rear
Chainwheel: 44T/46T/48T/52
Price: $400-$700
Rating: 5 out of 5

Bafang Mid Drive Kit With Battery

Bafang also provides batteries and replacement batteries for their mid drive kits. Most of the complete kits include the battery.

Mid Drive Ebike Kit

Along with the highly sought after Bafang mid drive E-bike kit, the company also offers rear motors and front motors of the same high quality.19

Bafang BBSHD

The Bafang BBSHD E-bike kit is the best option for hill climbing and is mounted in the bottom bracket of a bike.29 It replaces the crankset and front derailleur. The motor offers throttle and pedal assist power.

Bafang BBSHD 1500w

The 1000W Bafang BBSHD mid-drive E-bike kit will top out at a 1500W peak and works with fat bikes.

Bafang 250w Mid Drive Kit

The Bafang (M820) 250W mid-drive kit is one of the most popular E-bike kits manufactured by the company. It is a lightweight option for E-mountain bikes and controls the exact power according to pedaling force.

Bafang Mid Drive Kit 750w

Most E-bike riders agree that the Bafang mid-drive kit 750W is superior to both the rear and front hub motor options, as it offers a balanced and low center of gravity and subsequently an improved riding experience.

Bafang 1000w

The M620 Bafang 1000W E-bike mid-drive kit is well known for its powerful performance. The motor is perfect for premium electric mountain bikes, electric tandems, and electric cargo bikes, and doesn’t slow on inclines. The dual sensors always allow the rider full control.

Bafang 1000w Mid Drive 52v

With a near-perfect rating on Amazon, the Bafang 1000W mid-drive 52V E-bike kit has been designed to fit most bikes and includes one of the most powerful motors on the market today.

Bafang 1000w Mid Drive Kit With Battery

The battery is generally included in the complete Bafang 1000W mid-drive E-bike kits, with replacements available from Bafang as well.

Bafang 1000w Top Speed

The average top speed of the Bafang 1000W is around 35 miles per hour and the motor will hold steady at 20mph on an incline.

Bafang 1500w Mid Drive Kit

The Bafang 1500W mid-drive kit produces a maximum torque of 160Nm and operates silently, with the max drive system keeping the ride in control. The kit includes a torque sensor and two-speed sensors.

Bafang 1500w Top Speed

The 1500W Bafang motor yields around 40mph over a level surface.

Bafang 2000w Mid Drive

The Bafang M615 system proves up to 2000W of geared power with minimal pedaling effort.

Bafang Ultra Max

The Bafang company is also the mind behind the Bafang Ultra Max, which is the most powerful E-bike drive system available. It can run at 2000W or more, with the stator containing 12 concentrated coils and the rotor holding 8 magnets.

Close-up photo of a black Bafang motor for Ultramax.

At the time it was introduced to the market in 2019, it was more affordable but less expensive than the Bosch mid-drive system.20

Bafang Mid Drive Kit

Bafang is the overall most popular mid-drive E-bike kit manufacturer this year. They have several mid-drive kit options under their M-series as laid out in the following table:18

Bafang Mid Drive KitRatedMax TorqueWeight
M820250W75Nm2.3kg
M800200W55Nm2.3kg
M6201000W160Nm5.3kg
M6151000W160Nm5.6kg
M600500W120Nm3.9kg
M510250W95Nm3kg
M500250W95Nm3.4kg
M445250W50Nm5kg
M420250W80Nm3.6kg
M410250W80Nm3.4kg
M400250W80Nm3.9kg
M315500W100Nm4.3kg
M300250W80Nm3.6kg
M215250W80Nm3.8kg
M200250W65Nm3.2kg

2
AW 26” x1.75 Rear Wheel 48V 1000W

Rated Voltage: 48V
Rated Power: 1000W
Motor Type: Brushless and Gearless Hub Motor
Shaft Standard: 26" Bicycle Frame With 3 15/16" Front Dropout Spacing
Frame material: Aluminum
Suspension:: Front, Dual
Chainwheel: N/A
Price: $299-$400
Rating: 5 out of 5

Ebike Conversion Kit With Torque Sensor

Torque sensors are included in E-bike conversion kits for the purpose of measuring and multiplying the pedaling power of the converted E-bike. Torque sensors come with 5 assist levels for E-bikes with different-sized wheels and different powered batteries.2

Rear Wheel E-Bike Conversion Kit

A rear wheel E-bike conversion kit comes with a rear-hub motor that is clipped or attached to the rear wheel of a bicycle. A rear-hub motor uses derailleurs with three chainrings, giving the E-bike a wide selection of gear ratios.

The Rubbee E-bike conversion kit is a rear wheel conversion kit that weighs 2.8kg and can reach 48km with the premium 4kg version.

Photo of the rubbee conversion kit with its black casing and a mixture of aluminum of plastic coverage for lightweight and easy mobility.

It works with wheels that are between 16” and 29” in diameter and comes with a carrying handle and an easy clip-on/clip-off function.3

E-bikes are all the rage right now as the conversion towards greener efficiencies continues around the globe.25

The demand for electric bicycle kits is increasing year after year, the latest round of ‘best E-bike conversion kits’ have been ranked according to the benefits and features they offer.4

Related Reading: 8 Top Ebike Conversion Kits (Mid Drive vs. Rear Hub vs. Front Wheel) – 2022

3
Ebikeling Waterproof 36V 500W 700C, Geared

Rated Voltage: 36V
Rated Power: 500W
Motor Type: Geared Hub
Shaft Standard: 28C, 32C
Frame material: Aluminum
Suspension: Rear/Front
Chainwheel: N/A
Price: $199-$400
Rating: 4 out of 5

Mid Drive Ebike Kit

Whether shopping for a mid-drive E-bike kit, hub-drive conversion kit or friction drive conversion kit, the most crucial factors to take into consideration is the power of the motor, whether the battery is included and what the local laws are regarding E-bikes in the relevant city or town.6

Mid Drive Ebike Conversion Kit

A mid-drive E-bike conversion kit allows for the motor to be positioned between the pedals at the bottom bracket of the bike.26 The position of the motor allows for even load balancing, and the stability of the motor without the weight being felt.

Close-up image of the installation of the Pedal Assistance System on a red, traditional bike.

Mid-drive E-bike conversion kits are instrumental in working in tandem with a bike’s gears to allow for higher efficiency and increased range with every charge.

4
Bafang E-bike Front Hub Motor 48V 500W Bafang Brushless Gear 20/26/27.5/700C inch

Rated Voltage: 48V
Rated Power: 500W
Motor Type: Brushless Front Motor
Shaft Standard: 26inch wheel+Display C18
Frame material: Aluminum
Suspension: Front
Chainwheel: N/A
Price: $616-$674
Rating: 4 out of 5

Mid Drive Ebike Kit Bosch

Bosch only uses mid-drive motors for their mid-drive E-bike systems, which include three sensors that measure speed, cadence, and pedal power and a smart system that connects an E-bike’s components with digital functions.

Bosch Mid Drive Kit

Bosch offers 7 different mid-drive E-bike motors, each with its own benefits:

  • Active Line – lightweight and quiet
  • Active Line Plus – mobility
  • Cargo Line – powerful support for eCargo bikes and heavy loads
  • Performance Line – sport cycling-friendly
  • Performance Line Speed – top speed of 28mph
  • Performance Line Sport (NZ/US) – sporty riding
  • Performance Line CX – compact and connected7

Bosch Mid Drive Kit Price

Bosch mid-drive kit prices are in the higher bracket, because of the quality of the drive systems the company manufactures.

In 2019, an E-bike was created with a Bosch Active Line motor in the Class 1 E-bike range with pedal assist and a top speed of 20mph, for $1999. This was the exception to the rule as the cost of the systems far exceed this figure.8

Best Electric Bike With Bosch Motor

There are several electric bikes with Bosch motors that are at the top of the stack when it comes to rankings. The following table highlights the type of electric bike containing a Bosch drive system.9

Best Electric Bike With Bosch MotorBosch Drive System
Electric Mountain BikeBosch Performance Line CX
Cargo BikeCargo Line
Road BikeActive Line Plus
Folding BikeActive Line

48v 2000w Electric Bike Kit

A 48V 2000W electric bike kit allows for a peak power of 2000W and an average rated speed of 4300rpm/min. A 2000W E-bike can reach a maximum speed of 43mph on level terrain and have an average riding range of 15-35 miles per charge.

48v 1000w Electric Bike Kit With Battery

The charged battery of a 48V 1000W electric bike kit should last around 30 minutes at a time. This means the battery allows for a riding distance of up to 60 miles on a single charge.10

72v Mid Drive Motor

E-bikes fitted with a 72V mid-drive motor are generally 50% faster than those fitted with a 48V motor. These motors are limited to 20mph and electronically limited to a 750W street mode, in keeping with E-bike laws.27

Mid Drive Ebike Kit 2000w

A mid-drive E-bike kit that produces 2000W power will allow an E-bike to reach speeds of up to 43mph on level terrain.

2000w Electric Bike Kit

Scoring 4½ stars on Amazon is the Electric Brushless DC Motor Complete Kit with a 48V, 2000W 4300RPM high-speed motor.

Most of the positive reviews state that this conversion kit allows for good speed while holding up under pressure.

2000w Ebike Kit With Battery

2000W E-bike kits usually include the battery. Batteries can also be purchased separately.11

5
Jaxpety 48V 1000W Electric Bicycle Cycle E-bike 26” Wheel Hub Motor

Rated Voltage: 48V
Rated Power: 1000W
Motor Type: Brushless Hub Motor
Shaft Standard: 26"x1.75"
Frame Material: Aluminum
Suspension: Rear
Chainwheel: N/A
Price: $195-$399
Rating: 4 out of 5

Mid Drive Ebike Kit 1500w

The Bafang range of E-bike kits includes the M620 1000 – 1500W mid-drive 160nm motor kit. The motor digests relevant information at 80k Hz with the help of a torque sensor and two speed sensors.

Furthermore, the motor, which provides a maximum torque of more than 160N.m is virtually silent and easy to install.12

3000w Mid Drive Kit

The Cyclone Mid Drive 3000W Planetary E-bike Kit is the perfect 3000w mid-drive kit for experienced off-road E-bikers.

It requires a high amp battery (not included) to power its 40-amp high-performance E-bike controller and includes a 6 to 1 planetary gear reduction.

The 3000W mid-drive kit is a far cry from the BBSHD 1000W which is usually recommended for beginners. However, there are some buyers who are unhappy with the noise from the motor and the complex drivetrain on the BBSHD 1000W.13

3000w Mid Drive Motor

Many E-bike riders prefer a 3000W mid-drive motor for their conversion kit over any other. 3000W mid-drive motors are great for cargo bikes, which are on the heavier side.

3000w Ebike Kit

Another, very popular, 3000W E-bike kit that scored a full five-star rating on Amazon is the programmable 3000W Electric Bike Conversion Kit with Brushless DC Motor / E-Bike Conversion Kit, 72V, 80A Sabvoton Controller with PAS and Alarm.

Buyers are mostly highly impressed with the motor and controller combined function, the power of the motor, and the color digital display screen.

Mid Drive Ebike Kit 5000w

A 5000W mid-drive E-bike kit will allow an E-bike to travel at a top speed of 65mph. It is important to note at this point that some E-bikes, which have their speed limit lifted, can exceed the highest legal speed of 28mph.

The following table indicates the max speed of electric bikes.14

Chart that shows the relationship of the type or class of ebike to its speed. Class 1 is the slowest while 5000W is the fastest.

Mid Drive Ebike Kit With Battery

A popular mid-drive E-bike kit with battery options is the Bafang BBS02B 750W 1000W mid-drive with optional tracking function battery 8fun conversion kit with LCD Display.

The Tong Sheng mid-drive kit with battery is an E-biker favorite because of its natural acceleration and torque sensor-based pedal assist.28

Mid Drive Ebike Kit With Torque Sensor

The Pendix eDrive 300 is a torque-sensing mid-drive E-bike kit that is on the higher tier when it comes to pricing but fits most bikes and is installed by a dealer.

Cheap Mid Drive Ebike Kit

While a more expensive mid-drive E-bike kit is in greater demand because of its extensive features, there are those who would be satisfied with a balance of features and price.

While a cheap mid-drive E-bike kit can be found in abundance on websites such as eBay, they usually include cheap controllers that won’t last under off-road riding.

Close-up photo of an ebike torque sensor.

Cheaper hub motors, like the Bafang geared hubs, are sturdier, but when it comes to the mid-drive kits, the Bafang 48V 500W kits are around the middle range of price and performance.

The Swytch Universal conversion kit is usually panned for being the kit that should be overlooked in favor of a better, higher-performing option.15

Yamaha Mid Drive Kit Price

In 2018 Yamaha entered the US market with its own series of four pedal-assist electric bikes namely:

  • Urban Rush
  • Cross Connect
  • Cross Core
  • YDX Torc

In 2022 they unveiled two new 28mph electric bikes for road and gravel riding. These bikes include their new mid-drive motor and come at an average cost of $3,099 and $4,099, respectively.16

Mid Drive Ebike Kit

Yamaha also manufactures drive units for those who want to convert their non-electric bike with a Yamaha mid-drive E-bike kit.

These are available as follows:17

Type of BikeYamaha Mid Drive E-bike Kit
Mountain BikePW-X3 – 85Nm
Sports & Trail BikePWseries S2 – 75Nm
Trekking & Adventure Bike / Commuting BikePWseries TE – 60Nm
Daily Ride BikePWseries CE – 50Nm

CYC X1 Pro vs Cyclone

The CYC X1 Pro Gen 2 is a high-powered mid-drive E-bike conversion kit,30 which offers up to 5000W of power and 250Nm of torque.

The Cyclone mid-drive kit motor allows for power up to 3000W and comes in single and double chainring versions. The Cyclone motor is said to put out power comparable to an 8000W hub motor when considering gear ration utilization.

CYC X1 Pro Gen 2 Battery

The best battery for use with the C X1 Pro Gen is one of the X-Series batteries. These batteries are available for the following Cyc kits:

  • X1 Stealth Gen 1 (1500W)
  • X1 Pro Gen 2 (3000W)
  • X1 Pro Gen 2 (5000W)

Cyc X1 Pro Gen 2 Top Speed

The Cyc X1 Pro Gen motor can reach a top speed of more than 49mph.

Cyc X1 Pro vs Stealth

As mentioned above, the Cyc X1 Pro has a power output of up to 5000W and a torque of 250Nm.

The Cyc X1 Stealth on the other hand is a lightweight mid-drive conversion system that offers 1500W power output, torque sensing abilities and 9 assist levels to complement the two rider modes: street and off-road.21

Cyc X1 Pro Gen 2 Review

E-bikers and reviewers agree that the high-powered, mid-drive E-bike kit,31 the Cyc X1 Pro Gen 2, comes with an improved motor core and rotor over its predecessor. The more powerful system now includes waterproof Julet connectors and cable shielding, while remaining lightweight.

Close up photo of Julet connectors with colors black, green, blue, yellow, and red with black cable.

The controller options allow for two set modes and 9 assist gears, and the system comes with a torque sensor and throttle.

Tongsheng TSDZ2

Tongsheng is the manufacturer of the following E-bike kits:

  • TSDZ5 mid-drive system
  • TSDZ3H
  • TSDZ5
  • TSDZ5H
  • TSDZ10

The company also manufactures the affordable Tongsheng TSDZ2 mid-drive e-bike conversion kit.

Tongsheng TSDZ2 Ebike Kit

The Tongsheng TSDZ2 mid-drive E-bike kit is waterproof and easy to install and there is no need for a separate controller box. The downside to the kit being more affordable than most is the untidy cabling, unattractive display, and the additional requirement of a crank arm and bottom bracket removal tools to make the kit fit.22

Tongsheng Mid-Drive Kit With Battery

The Tongsheng mid-drive kit usually includes the battery – much the same as the other types of mid-drive kits discussed above.

Electric Bike Kits With Battery

Electric bike conversion kits including a battery are available worldwide, with one of the most popular in the UK being the Swytch conversion kit which the company claims is the lightest in the world weighing in at 3kg. 24

6
Swytch Universal

Rated Volatage: 36.6V
Rated Power: 250W
Motor Type: Brushless Front Hub Geared Motor
Shaft Standard: Universal
Frame material: Aluminum
Suspension: Front
Price: $999-$1250
Rating: 3 out of 5

Another hub-motor-based E-bike conversion kit namely Cytronex comes with a battery that fits inside a bike bottle cage. This kit can convert a regular bicycle into an E-bike within the span of half an hour and the battery life lasts for up to 48 miles.

Consequently, the batteries of the more expensive types of kits will last longer, as will the overall more expensive mid-drive e-bike kit.

It is clear that the more expensive mid-drive e-bike kit is the favored option for E-bikers, and that their components last longer than the cheaper kits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mid Drive Ebike Kit

What Are the Most Important Things To Consider When Buying an E-Bike Conversion Kit?

Compatibility with the non-electric bike, whether a front hub, rear hub, or mid-drive motor will work best and what the desired power output is.

What Exactly Is an E-Bike?

E-bikes have battery-powered motors that provide pedal assistance.

What Kind of Maintenance Is Necessary for an E-Bike?

The same as a regular bike, an E-bike requires tire and brake checks and regular cleaning. The battery should be kept charged to ensure longevity.

Is a Driving License Needed To Ride an E-Bike?

Generally speaking – no. However, exceptions might apply for E-bikes with a higher-than-average top speed.

What Is the Best Mid Drive E-Bike Kit in 2022?

Any of the options offered by the Bafang company, including the highly popular Bafang 250W mid drive ebike kit.


References

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26Sustainable Transport. (2022). Conversion of Bicycles to Pedelecs. Land. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from   <https://www.transport.gov.mt/land/sustainable-transport/financial-incentives-2022conversion-of-bicycles-to-pedelecs-5451>

27National Park Service. (2020, November 2). General Provisions; Electric Bicycles. Federal Register. Retrieved 2022, from   <https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/02/2020-22129/general-provisions-electric-bicycles>

28Bernhardt, D. (2019, August 29). E-Bikes on Public Lands. Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 2022, from   <https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/e-bikes>

29National Park Service. (2022). Electric Bicycles (E-Bikes) in National Parks. Biking. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from   <https://www.nps.gov/subjects/biking/e-bikes.htm>

30Government of South Australia. (2022). Riding a Power-Assisted Bicycle. Driving and Transport. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from   <https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/cycling/riding-a-power-assisted-bicycle>

31Washington Department of Natural Resources. (2022). E-Bike Rules and Regulations. Recreation Planning. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from   <https://www.dnr.wa.gov/ebikes>