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Electric bicycles are fast, efficient and fun! And now you can convert your own bicycle into an electric bicycle with my e-bike kit! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 4.

Electric bicycles are fast, efficient and fun! And now you can convert your own bicycle into an electric bicycle with my e-bike kit!

About this project

Well time is up and the Kickstarter campaign is over. I want to thank all of my backers who supported my project! I'm excited to get your rewards out to you, whether it's the book, video course or full ebike kits!

For anyone who is just now stumbling upon this page, because the Kickstarter campaign is over, you will no longer be able to get the ebike kit I assembled here. However, that doesn't mean you can't still build yourself an awesome ebike! There are many other options for sourcing a great quality kit to match your needs. I want to highlight my favorites here so that you can see a few other options for building an ebike in the future. They might not have the same low price as my kits, but each is worth it and you can find some even more powerful kits than what I offer.

Grin Technology (www.Ebikes.ca) - I might as well start with the best, and the best is Ebikes.ca thanks to their quality parts and their unmatched service. There is a consensus among the DIY ebike community that Ebikes.ca is essentially the high water mark of the industry, and the golden standard by which most other ebike suppliers are judged. Whether you need a small geared motor, a medium sized direct drive or a big powerful motor, they've got you covered. Ebikes.ca is also home of the Cycle Analyst, which is a great electric bicycle wattmeter and diagnostic tool that functions like an instrument panel for your ebike. Anyone looking for a quality North American parts supplier can find everything they need with Grin Technologies.

Electric Rider (www.ElectricRider.com) - Electric Rider is a great US company for someone who wants a powerful ebike. Between their geared and gearless kits, Electric Rider offers some of the most powerful ebike kits available for beginners and experienced ebike builders alike. Their service is also great, they have an amazing packing method to get your parts to you safely, and the quality of their kits is excellent. I recommend Electric Rider to those who are looking for a powerful ebike kit. 

Hill Topper (www.electric-bike-kit.com) - The Hill Topper kit by Clean Republic is what you want if you're looking for an affordable way to get into electric biking. Their kits are some of the most affordable options around. The downside is that they aren't the most powerful kits out there. But that's ok, because what they lack in raw power they easily make up for in price and ease of install/use. The different power levels they offer are adequate for most people, and it's hard to beat their prices. I'd recommend going for a larger battery upgrade if you can swing it, as you'll always wish you could get just a few more miles. The Hill Topper kit is also one of the easiest to install, making it one of the best kits for absolute beginners and those that don't feel as confident with their 'tech' skills. A few basic tools and 20 minutes is all you need to install this kit on your bike.

EM3EV (EM3EV.com) - EM3EV has great quality mac motors, which are geared motors of a higher power level than most other geared motors. Their kits are excellent quality, but where they really shine are their batteries. These don't come cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. They use the highest quality cells and also build triangle shaped battery packs that fit perfectly in the front section of your bicycle frame. Shipping is from China, but the great customer service makes you feel like they are located in your own state. Also their shipping is very fair, especially compared to other Chinese companies that gouge on shipping costs. If you're looking for a powerful geared motor or great quality batteries, check out EM3EV.com.

Falco E-motors (www.falcoemotors.com) - Falco is doing something innovative in the ebike industry with their 5-phase motors and great quality batteries. Falco is a little less well known on the retail sign but they come from a long line of great ebikes and ebike parts and have a proven track record of great quality and matching service. If you're looking for a unique, worry free system that will work well for many years than you can't skip Falco.

Ping Batteries (www.PingBattery.com) - Ping makes great lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that have been proven to last many years. My first Ping battery was install on a bike with a motor that was over twice the rated power. Even at that abuse my battery was still going strong two years later when I sold the bike. Ping batteries are rated at 2,000 cycles and are worth every penny.

Ebay kits - Ebay kits can be hit or miss, and I'm including this here partially as a recommendation and partly as a warning. I've gotten some great deals by finding ebay kits, and I've also seem some garbage too. Some sellers are known to be reputable. For example, the seller Sun-Thing28 is known to sell good, reasonably priced batteries and the seller xcceries is a well known provider of good quality direct drive kits.

The important thing is to search around and look at many options before buying. Do your research to make sure you find a kit that is best suited for you. Some companies overcharge for parts that you can find cheaper elsewhere. I haven't listed those companies. Any companies I've listed above are well worth their prices and have the customer support that you'd expect when you're making an investment like this. There are some great options out there and I'm sure everyone can find an ebike kit perfect for their own needs.

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Small update: People have been asking me a ton of great questions via private messages, so I'm trying to put new info on the page and the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom as fast as possible to respond to common questions. I recommend checking out the FAQ if you don't see your question answered below.

Hi internet, My name is Micah Toll. I'm a mechanical engineer, an electric bicycle designer/builder, and the author of the Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Ebike Guide, a book that teaches anyone how to convert their bicycle into an electric bike. 

For years I've been teaching beginners how to make their own electric bicycle and showing them how to find the best parts at affordable prices. The book I wrote (which you can get for the lowest pledge level) covers all of these topics and more in great detail. But now I've decided to go a step further and use my experience and industry connections to assemble a great quality, simple to use and affordable electric bicycle conversion kit! 

With the Barak electric bicycle kit that I've been testing and assembling over the past year, you'll be able to convert nearly any bicycle into a fast, powerful electric bicycle! 

What's an Electric Bicycle?

Electric bicycles are like normal bicycles, except that they have a motor in the wheel which means you can travel faster and farther without needing to pedal. It basically turns a bicycle into a clean, green moped that requires absolutely no license, registration, insurance or other costs.

Why Should I Use An Electric Bicycle?

Electric bicycles are an excellent alternative form of transportation. Cars are expensive, they pollute our cities and are always getting stuck in traffic. Buses are inconvenient and limit your schedule and route. Bicycles are eco-friendly and cheap, but require a lot of physical exertion. Electric bicycles take the advantages of all of these forms of transportation and roll them into one! 

Electric bicycles require no gas and can go 100 miles on just 25 cents of electricity. They can travel at city speeds for long distances, taking you everywhere you need to go. Parking is free and plentiful. And if those reasons weren't enough for you, electric bicycles take your commute from boring to exhilarating!

It's important to remember though, at the end of the day an electric bike is still a bike. You can always pedal it just like a normal bike, which makes it a great way to get some exercise as well. In fact, the motor I've included in my kit is designed to freewheel when not in use, meaning it doesn't cause any extra resistance when you ride the bike without power. Turn off the battery and you're back to a normal bicycle!

How Does an Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit Work?

An electric bicycle conversion kit allows you to convert your regular bicycle into an electric bicycle. My Barak Ebike Conversion Kit consists of only four parts which are easily bolted onto any bicycle to convert it into an electric bicycle. The kit consists of a hub motor wheel, battery, controller and throttle. 

The hub motor wheel contains the motor in the center of the wheel. The whole wheel simply replaces the front wheel of your bicycle.

The battery is bolted onto the frame of the bicycle (either to the water bottle bolts or the seat post depending on the size of your bicycle). All the needed hardware is included.

The controller is held inside of the battery holder and out of view.

Lastly, the throttle simply slides over the end of your handlebars. 

Everything you need is included, from the wiring to the hardware and even the zip ties! You just follow the instructions and install it on your bike.

How easy is it to install the kit on my bike?

My kit is designed to be super simple to install. You don't need to be a handyman or even be skilled with tools. As long as you can turn a wrench or a screwdriver, you can put my ebike kit on your bicycle. The kit is designed for complete beginners to be able to handle easily.

The whole process can be done in less than 15 minutes with only a few simple hand tools. The conversion process is not complicated - if you can put together an ikea coffee table then you can install this ebike kit on your bicycle.

Every kit will come with both written and video instructions to guide you through the conversion. If you like to read and follow along with pictures, use the written instructions. If seeing the conversion done in front of your own eyes you makes it easier, use the video instructions. I designed this kit to be the SIMPLEST electric bicycle conversion kit out there.

As an added bonus, while you are waiting for the kit to come in the mail, I'll go ahead and send you the written and video instructions to download. That way you can familiarize yourself with the kit and be ready to rock and roll when it gets there!

(controller hidden inside battery holder)
(controller hidden inside battery holder)

350 Watt and 500 Watt Versions

I created two different versions of my kit with different power levels. The low power version is the 350 watt kit, and the more powerful version is the 500 watt kit. These kits both get approximately the same range and same top speed (18-20 mph and 20-30 mile range), the main difference is the power and acceleration you'll feel. The high power version is the 500 watt kit. You can really feels the power in this kit. The 500 watt kit has much stronger acceleration (such as when starting from rest at stop signs and red lights) and much better hill climbing performance. 

The 350 watt low power kit is great for flat areas and people not needing a large amount of power (or people that plan to help out the motor by pedaling often). Because of the lower power motor, the 350 watt kit is also better for lighter weight riders. The 350 watt kit is great for my 110 pound wife, though we live in a very flat city. I weigh about 160 lbs and the 350 watt kit is just slightly underwhelming in terms of power, though definitely still gets me around (I've put about 600 miles on one of my 350 watt prototypes so far). The 500 watt kit feels much more powerful, and is better for those looking for more performance, live in a hilly city or for heavier riders.

Each version of my kit comes with the same great quality parts. Each motor is a precision made, efficient planetary geared motor. Each battery is made of powerful lithium cells similar to those found in your laptop computer. Each battery is designed to be easily removed from the rest of the bicycle to be brought inside for simple charging. Each controller is designed to be hidden away on the bike, giving the cleanest, sleekest look possible. Each throttle is a comfort designed, ergonomic thumb throttle that allows you still use your gear shifters on your handlebars with no interference.

The Three Big Questions:

How Far? How Fast? How Much?

The first two questions have a long answer and a short answer. The short answers are: 

All-Electric Range: 20-30 miles (32-49 km)

Top Speed: 18-20 mph (29-32 km/hr)

Cost: from $585 to $655, depending on power level

The long answers take some explaining. Both the range and the speed of an electric bicycle (or any electric vehicle for that matter) can vary greatly dependent on things like vehicle and rider weight, terrain, speed, wind etc. The two biggest factors affecting the ultimate range of the Barak electric bicycle conversion kit are whether or not the rider is also pedaling and how fast the rider is going. By pedaling a little bit, you help the motor not use as much power. With absolutely no pedaling whatsoever and on flat ground, a 150 pound rider can go about 20 miles on a charge. With just a small amount of pedaling, that range can be drastically increased. With more pedaling, you more than double the range. In some of my tests, I achieved extrapolated ranges of over 100 miles per charge by assisting the motor with pedaling. Of course, this game can go on forever: if you do 99% of the work and the motor does 1% of the work, you'll probably get a range of 1,000 miles. At a certain point when you do enough pedaling, it stops being an electric bike and just becomes a bike. That's why I don't claim "50 miles or more!" like some ebike kit manufacturers do, even though with decent pedaling you could easily achieve a 50 mile range with my kit.

Also, speed plays a huge factor in the range of your ebike. Tests using my Barak kit showed a dramatic increase in range when top speed is reduced. This makes sense, because the faster you go, the more power is needed to overcome friction and wind resistance. As an engineer, it helps me to visualize information like this in graphs. Here are the results of the range tests: 

Add some pedaling and you can double these distances
Add some pedaling and you can double these distances

Quality Components

I've been working in the electric bicycle industry for the better part of a decade. This has given me experience working with hundreds of different types of electric bicycle parts. My work has helped me build relationships with electric bicycle component suppliers all over the world. I know who makes great quality components and who cuts corners. I'm working with the best vendors to not only bring you a great quality electric bicycle kit, but to do it at a price that is finally affordable. 

Note for International backers: Part of the way I am able to offer such a great quality kit for an affordable price is by bringing my kits into the US in bulk by sea, reducing my costs for shipping. However, any backers located outside the US will receive their kits directly by airmail, which will bypass the US and arrive faster. Unfortunately, shipping a large box internationally is really expensive. This is why international backers will be asked to add $190 to their pledge to make up for not being able to take advantage of the cheaper bulk shipping. I know this is a steep increase and I apologize for this. 

Kit Tech Specs:

350 watt 20 inch wheel kit

  • 24V 10AH lithium battery (seat post mounted)
  • 3 hour charging time
  • 350 watt geared front hub motor
  • Electronic speed controller (fits inside battery holder)
  • Thumb throttle included
  • Hub motor wheel fits any 20 inch bicycle (usually folding bikes)

350 watt 26 inch wheel kit

  • 24V 10AH lithium battery (frame bag mounted) 
  • 3 hour charging time 
  • 350 watt geared front hub motor 
  • Electronic speed controller (fits inside battery bag) 
  • Thumb throttle included 
  • Hub motor wheel fits any 26 inch bicycle (mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, beach cruisers, etc)

500 watt 20 inch wheel kit (identical in appearance to the 350 watt 20 inch kit)

  • 36V 10AH lithium battery (seat post mounted)
  • 3 hour charging time
  • 500 watt geared front hub motor
  • Electronic speed controller (fits inside battery holder)
  • Thumb throttle included
  • Hub motor wheel fits any 20 inch bicycle (usually folding bikes)
500 watt 26 inch wheel kit
  • 36V 10AH lithium battery (mounts to frame using water bottle bosses)
  • 3 hour charging time
  • 500 watt geared front hub motor
  • Electronic speed controller (hidden inside battery holder)
  • Thumb throttle included
  • Hub motor wheel fits any 26 inch bicycle (mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, beach cruisers, etc)

logo design Andrew Tindall, PEV0 video clips by Nick Blom & Adam MacDonald

I want to give a shoutout to some great ebike companies that have helped support my projects especially including the ebike video course offered in one of my rewards, including Electric Rider, Ping Batteries, Lyen Controllers, Grin Technology, and others.

Something else you might find cool, this family is planning on breaking the world record for longest electric bicycle trip with a 6,000 mile trip around the United States! Check out their campaign here

Risks and challenges

I want to make sure that I under-promise and over-deliver, so I've left enough lead time to make sure everyone will get their Barak electric bicycle kits on time. I've already made arrangements with the manufacturer for a production timetable that will ensure speedy fulfillment of the rewards to all of my backers.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • The answer is almost always "Yes", though you need to check your local laws to be sure. In the United States a federal law covers electric bicycles up to 750 watts. Individual states sometimes have more laws such as which bicycle paths are open to ebikes, whether you must wear a helmet, etc, so you'll need to check your local laws. For the European Union, ebikes are similarly allowed, though the limit includes a motor with continuous rated power of 0.25 kW. While the motors in my ebike kit have a peak power rating of 350 and 500 watts, their continuous power rating is 0.25 kW and so they are legal for the European Union as well. For other countries you'll need to check your own laws, as I'm only familiar with the US and EU ebike laws.

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  • I've designed my kit with two different wheel sizes, 20 and 26 inches. These are the most popular wheel sizes found on standard bicycles. 20 inches wheels are more common on folding bicycles (though there are also folding bicycles with 26 inch wheels). Most mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bicycles, etc have 26 inch wheels. These are what many people consider "regular" bicycles. If you don't know your wheel size, you can check your tire. It will say something like "20x1.95" or "26x2.25) on the side of the tire. The first number is the wheel size in inches. For example, a tire that says "20x1.95" means it is on a 20 inch wheel. If you don't have a bike yet, and plan to buy a bike to use with my ebike kit, just make sure you plan on whether you want to get a regular, full size bicycle or a smaller folding bicycle. That will determine if you get a 26 inch kit or a 20 inch kit.

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  • The kit can also be made in a 16" wheel or in a 700c or 28" wheel. If you'd like this option, select the kit with closest wheel size (e.g. choose 20" wheel if you want a 16" wheel) and then send me a message updating me on your preferred alternative wheel size. I'll also confirm the wheel sizes with everyone at the completion of the Kickstarter campaign.

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  • Nope! At least not in the United States, European Union, Canada, Australia and most other countries. You should check your local laws though for other countries.

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  • 3 hours. You just plug it into the included charger in the same way you plug in your laptop or cell phone.

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  • The batteries are a high quality lithium rated to retain 80% battery health for 900 charging cycles. That means that if you entirely drain your battery everyday, 5 days a week, then after 3 and a half years the battery will still be able to drive 80% of it's original distance when new. I will also include information with the kit on how to obtain a replacement battery in the future.

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  • Sure! Adding a second battery will double your range. Message me and I can set your kit up with a second battery.

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  • Yes, the motor is designed to accept disc brakes just like any bicycle hub. Simply remove the disc from your bicycle wheel and bolt it onto the motor. It's that simple!

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  • I wouldn't say it is water"proof" but it is definitely water resistant. I've ridden the prototypes through seriously heavy rain, including semi flooding conditions where I was riding through 3-4 inches of standing water on the road. The kit worked perfectly. The motor connector is a sealed waterproof connector and the controller is concealed in such a way as to minimize water contact. You still don't want to leave the kit outside for hours or days in the rain though. If you have a garage, it's best to bring it inside when it is raining. Alternatively, you can get a cheap bicycle or motorcycle cover, or a plastic tarp, if you don't have the option of bringing it inside.

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  • Haha, no it is not. Nothing against the president, but name has no relation. "Barak" means lightning in Hebrew, a term that I felt was a cool association - a surge of electrons creating immense power in a split second. These kits aren't as powerful as lightning (Ok, or even close to be as powerful as lightning) but I thought the symbolism was nice, hence the name!

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  • The 350 watt kit should work well for anyone up to about 190 lbs, while the 500 watt kit should be good up to about 220 lbs. Much more than that and the motor can begin to get bogged down. While the kit will still work, you'll suffer decreased performance and a chance of wearing out parts earlier than expected. A great kit for folks over about 220 lbs is the Phoenix II kit sold by ElectricRider (www.electricrider.com). I have a lot of experience with this kit so I can vouch that it is a great quality kit and that it is one of the most powerful kits available on the market, making it great for heavy riders.

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  • Yes, there is a one year warranty against manufacturer defects and non-abuse type failures. If you drive it off a 10 foot jump and something breaks, that's not covered - but if during normal everyday use you have a problem, that is covered. In addition to however many kits are pledged for at the end of the campaign, I will be having extras shipped to me just in case anyone does have any issue in the future. This way I'll be able to quickly send a replacement part if need be. I've worked with my suppliers to ensure quality though, so I expect to not even need the extra kits.

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  • $12,000 was the minimum amount required to buy these components in sufficient bulk to make seamail shipping a possibility, thus drastically reducing the price to you guys. In addition, there is a small buffer included in that figure to cover things like KS fees, my time for lacing all these wheels, customs fees and shipping the kits to you guys, among a few other small costs. A goal any lower would have meant I'd either be skimping on quality or using more expensive shipping options, neither of which I wanted to do. A much higher goal would have meant I'd basically be starting my own one man ebike kit business, which isn't my goal. There are many ebike kit companies already that are full time business - my goal is to supply a kit that makes a nice middle ground.

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  • You might have noticed that the CEO of another ebike kit company has been publicly attacking me around the internet ever since my Kickstarter campaign started (I'm not using names because I'm trying to avoid speaking ill of him in return). The issue, as I've learned, is that my Kickstarter page has moved him from the 3rd position on google results to the 4th position. This is very unfortunate as I of course don't want to hurt anyone else's traffic to their sites, and I hope that after my KS campaign is over, the page will disappear down the ranking on google and his page will move back up one spot. In the meantime though, the CEO of this company has reacted very aggressively to this competition and has been trying to smear my name and the Barak kit I've assembled. If anybody is looking for an ebike kit that is approximately double the power of the Barak kit I've assembled for my KS campaign (though also double the price - you get what you pay for), you can get one from that gentleman's site. I've used his kit and can confirm it works. However, I would just like to state for the record that his publicly declared personal attacks against me and his questioning of my character/integrity/manhood etc are baseless. Hopefully soon the nastiness will subside.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    15 backers

    Receive a copy of my e-book "The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide". Perhaps you aren't ready to make the dive into a full electric bicycle kit, but you still want to learn how to build your own ebike and prepare for the process. This reward is for you! My ebook will teach you everything you need to know about converting a bicycle into an electric bike. The ebook comes as a PDF download, so you can read it on your computer, phone, tablet or print it out and take it anywhere!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    11 backers

    Get access to my Ebike Video Course, which includes 18 online video lessons covering everything you need to know about making an electric bicycle. PLUS, you'll also get my ebook from the $15 reward level!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $585 or more

    0 backers

    Get the 350 watt 20 inch wheel bicycle kit. This includes everything you need to convert a bicycle with 20 inch wheels into an electric bicycle. This is the lower power version kit. For the higher power version, check out the 500 watt kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $590 or more

    0 backers

    Get the 350 watt 26 inch wheel kit kit. This includes everything you need to convert a bicycle with 26 inch wheels into an electric bicycle. This is the lower power version kit. For the higher power version, check out the 500 watt kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $640 or more

    4 backers

    Get the 500 watt 20 inch kit. This includes everything you need to convert a bicycle with 20 inch wheels into an electric bicycle. This is the higher power version kit. For the lower power version, check out the 350 watt kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $655 or more

    45 backers

    Get the 500 watt 26 inch kit. This includes everything you need to convert a bicycle with 26 inch wheels into an electric bicycle. This is the higher power version kit. For the lower power version, check out the 350 watt kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (24 days)