Why Buying an Electric Bike is Better Than Building Your Own | Macfox
    Buying an electric bike offers superior safety, performance, and legal compliance compared to DIY conversions. Discover why it's the better choice.

    Why Buying an Electric Bike is Better Than Building Your Own

    • By Macfox Bike
    • Jul 09

    In the age of technological advancements and eco-conscious commuting, electric bikes (e-bikes) have emerged as a popular choice for many.

    The idea of zipping through city streets or conquering challenging terrains with minimal effort is indeed alluring.

    However, when it comes to getting an e-bike, the question remains: should you purchase a ready-made model or convert your traditional bike with a conversion kit?

    Battery Quality and Safety

    One of the primary considerations with DIY e-bike conversions is battery quality and safety.

    High-quality batteries are vital to both safety and performance. Low-cost conversion kits often use inferior-quality batteries that pose serious risks such as overheating, explosions and fires.

    On the other hand, e-bikes such as those produced by Macfox come with premium batteries that have been rigorously tested for UI safety standards and reliability to give you maximum peace of mind.

    Buy Electric Bike | Macfox

    Component Integration and Performance

    Integration and performance of components is also of utmost importance.

    Ready-made e-bikes feature motors, batteries and controllers designed to work seamlessly together for optimal performance, reliability and an enjoyable riding experience.

    This seamless integration guarantees optimal performance while creating an unparalleled riding experience.

    Diy conversions often include mismatched parts that might cause mechanical issues and make for an unpleasant ride experience.

    Cost Considerations (Part Two) Finally, cost should also be considered an essential factor.

    DIY conversion kits might seem cheaper initially, but hidden costs can quickly accumulate. High-quality kits with reliable batteries and motors can become very pricey over time.

    When considering ready-made e-bikes, consider the costs associated with tools, professional installation, and ongoing maintenance. These often offer better value in terms of warranties, customer support, and lower maintenance expenses.

    Cost Considerations

    Commercial e-bikes outshone other forms of transport in terms of performance and reliability.

    These bikes have been rigorously tested and certified to meet stringent performance and safety standards.

    They often boast features like regenerative braking, torque sensors, and optimized weight distribution.

    DIY conversions might omit these advanced technologies, resulting in less efficient and enjoyable rides.

    Read more: 12 Ideas for Converting Your Electric Bike

    Performance and Reliability

    E-bikes are designed to fit this purpose and excel at usability and convenience.

    These bikes are built for ease of use right out of the box, including features such as built-in cable management and intuitive control systems. They also often come preassembled.

    Conversely, DIY conversions can be more time-intensive and complex to install, often necessitating significant troubleshooting efforts to ensure proper functionality and seamless operation.

    Legal Compliance

    Compliance is often neglected during DIY projects.

    Commercial e-bikes must comply with local regulations regarding speed limits and power ratings.

    In the US, e-bikes are often limited to 20 mph for assist only with pedal assist (Class 1 and 2) or 28 mph (Class 3) with pedal assist only.

    DIY conversions may easily exceed these limitations, mainly if higher-power motors are utilized.

    This could turn an e-bike into an S-Pedelec (Speed Pedelec), with speeds reaching 45 km/h (about 28 mph).

    Operating an S-Pedelec requires special registration and licensing; failure to abide by regulations could result in fines, legal action and liability concerns should an accident occur.

    High-powered bikes can be dangerous if managed appropriately, as their increased speed and power require more robust components and safety features that DIY kits may need to supply adequately.

    Commercially manufactured e-bikes provide another critical benefit of riding within legal restrictions and enjoying a safer, more compliant riding experience.

    Safety Features

    Available-made e-bikes also boast additional safety features that may make for safer rides.

    These bikes feature integrated lights, reflectors, and advanced braking systems to enhance road safety.

    DIY kits often require additional purchases and installations to comply with industry safety standards, which adds complexity and cost.

    Environmental Impact

    While converting an old bike into an e-bike may seem like an environmentally friendly solution, commercially produced e-bikes often have a lower environmental impact due to more efficient manufacturing processes and the longer lifespan of high-quality components.

    Additionally, the practical advantages of purchasing an existing e-bike often outweigh its sentimental value, particularly for daily commuters or long-distance riders.

    Ready Made Electric Bike | Macfox

    Conversion Kit Limitations

    Engine Selection: There are various conversion engines to consider when choosing one for your conversion project; front-wheel, rear-wheel and mid-drive motors all present unique challenges and are worth careful consideration before making your selection.

    Rear-wheel motors cannot be installed on bikes with hub gears, while front-wheel motors can only be used with hub dynamos if their battery will power their lighting system.

    Complexity can impede finding a straightforward solution, making their search easier.

    Replacing the Rear Wheel: For ease and effectiveness in installing an electric motor on a bike, one of the simplest and most common methods is replacing its rear wheel with one equipped with electric propulsion.

    Pendix and Maxon provide these systems, offering various sizes to convert city, mountain, or cargo bikes.

    Although popular, these systems require precise installation and alignment to work efficiently.

    Mid-Drive Motor Installation: Mounting a mid-drive motor at the bottom bracket can be more invasive than other installation methods.

    While providing superior weight distribution and efficiency, this option tends to be more costly and requires extensive modifications to the frame—it is not recommended for DIY enthusiasts without advanced mechanical knowledge.


    While customizing an electric bike with a conversion kit may be exciting and fulfilling for those with the required skills and tools, purchasing an assembled e-bike may be the better option for most people.

    Ready-made e-bikes offer superior quality, safety, convenience, and overall value. Their designs aim to provide reliable riding experiences right out of the box without worry or stress.

    For cyclists looking to enhance their cycling experience with minimal hassle and maximum reliability, investing in an electric bike from an established brand may be the right move.


    Why is buying an electric bike better than building one?

    Buying ensures better safety, performance, and legal compliance compared to DIY conversions.

    Are DIY e-bike conversions legal in the US?

    DIY conversions can exceed legal speed limits, potentially transforming them into S-Pedelecs, requiring special licenses.

    What are the main risks of DIY e-bike conversions?

    Risks include poor battery quality, component incompatibility, increased maintenance costs, and legal issues.

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