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If you are thinking of converting your bicycle to electric power, there are several essential factors to consider when choosing an appropriate conversion kit.

First, how will you be using it? What types of terrain will you be encountering and what distances do you plan on traveling? For instance, will you be riding more in hilly areas or on level ground? Will you be using it for short 10 minute trips to the video store, or for longer commutes to work or school?

If you will be using it consistently on hills, you will want to find a bike kit that has a motor with more torque. Extra torque will help keep you moving up the hills without slowing to a snail's pace. If you will be using your bike for longer trips, then you will want a kit that has a greater range or you will need to add batteries that have a greater amp hour (AH) capacity. Amp hours are a rating of how much useful energy the battery has available to provide power – the larger the number the more energy is available.

Reliability of the electric motor is also a very important factor. Higher quality motors and kits do cost more, but they worth it in the long run. If you buy an economy kit, initially you will save money, but may need to repair or replace it much sooner. Would you rather pay $ 200 for a product that ends up in the landfill in a year, or $ 500 for one that you can still use years from now? It makes better environmental and financial sense to purchase a product that is more durable for the long term.

Do some research to compare the various kits that you are considering. Higher quality products will usually have replacement parts and / or service available, whereas lower quality products may not.

One other often overlooked thing to consider is the bicycle that you are planning to convert to electric. After people electrify their bike, they often end up using it more frequently. That's great for the environment, but is your original bike up for it? Many of the budget bikes available at department or box stores are not designed for heavy or frequent use. These bikes have wheel bearings which will often start to wear out within 500 – 1000 miles. Although most casual cyclists would take some time to put that many miles on their bikes, it is reliably easy (and fun) to do once you have electrified your bike and start to use it more frequently. So, check your bike, and if necessary have your local bike shop replace the bearings with more dust ones.

Additionally, if you choose an electric motor that mounts on the hub or wheel of your bike, make sure that the wheel assembly (rim, spokes and hub) is strong enough to safely withstand the added forces of the electric motor.

It is also extremely important to make sure that your brakes function perfectly. Electric bikes can reach greater speeds than pedaling alone, and at the higher speeds, stopping becomes much more critical.

A final consideration is local laws. Federal and state laws vary on what is allowed for maximum power and speed of electric bikes. Find out what your local limits are before investing the money in a bike that will get you a ticket.

Converting your bike to run on electric power is an important decision which can provide you with long-term use and enjoyment. So take the time to review some potential products and carefully select one that best fits your needs and lets you safely enjoy your electric bike.

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Source by David Ocean