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Convert Your Old Bike With An Electric Motor Or Buy A New One?

Updated on July 11, 2013

Upgrade Your Old Bike To Electric Or Buy A New One?

When I was exploring electric bicycles, I wanted to know if it was more economical to just buy an electric bike or whether I should try to install a electric conversion kit on my old one. So, I looked around at both and found what I think is the best kit, and ready made electric bicycles.

I finally found what I believe is the best electric bike kit made, and it's from a great little company in the Pacific Northwest, called Clean Republic. They have highly rated conversion kit that installs in just a few minutes. After looking at a lot of kits available I bought one of theirs, because in the end, I wanted to keep my old bike if I could, and an expensive complicated kit, was not for me.

I bought the Hill Topper standard $399 kit, and now I have no problem getting up hills or going longer distances which is important because I live in a rural area. I can pedal to and from the store when I have a few things to buy and don't have to waste the gas, and I get a good exercise workout to boot.

(If you click on any of the Clean Republic/Hill Topper links in this article that take you to the site, and purchase a kit, you will automatically get a $5 discount at check out)

However, if you don't already own a bike, or want to buy a ready made one, you will want to check out the best and most affordable electric assisted bikes, and electric scooters, from Curry Tech. I will go through my recommendations on those in this article.

The Electric Bike Conversion Kit

The kit comes with a replacement front wheel for your old bike, with the simple attachments to the battery pack.  It only takes a few minutes to install.
The kit comes with a replacement front wheel for your old bike, with the simple attachments to the battery pack. It only takes a few minutes to install. | Source

The Hill Topper Conversion Kit

The Hill Topper bike kit comes with a replacement front wheel, matching the size you give them when you order. It has the little motor already attached, and the hook up cable that goes to your handle bar with the on switch. There is also the cable to the rechargeable lithium battery that you attach behind your seat.

It's really simple to put together. The "on" switch you put in a easy to reach spot on your handle bars, and you can always see the charge meter so you know when it's needed. The standard battery like I have goes about a total of 15 miles of use. Of course, you are only using it when you need a boost, like going up hills, or if you get really tired, so the miles per charge lasts longer than you might think.

It also comes with a charger that you plug into your standard outlet for recharging. I usually just leave mine in overnight.

Clean Republic Hill Topper Kit Types

Electric Bike Type
Battery/Distance Per Charge
Hill Topper Kit Standard
10 mile 11 lb Lithium
Hill Topper Kit Sprinter
10 mile 2 lb Lithium
Hill Topper 20 Mile Kit
20 mile 4 lb Lithuim
Hill Topper 40 Mile Kit
40 mile 6 lb Lithium (USA made)

A Bike Converted With A Hill Topper Kit

This bike was converted with a Hill Topper Kit from Clean Republic
This bike was converted with a Hill Topper Kit from Clean Republic | Source

Hill Topper Kit Installation Video

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Would You Ride A Bike More If It Had An Electric Motor To Assist You?

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Who Can Benefit Most From An Assisted Bike?

For me, having a little pedal assistant at my finger tips, means I ride my bike, and get more exercise than I normally would. But, I am older, and have a bad back, so peddling my old bike was a difficult, sometimes very painful experience.

Benefits from a electric motor assisted bike are:

  • Mature adults who physically need a little assistance to fully enjoy bicycling.
  • Commuters in cities and towns who want to avoid traffic and the high cost of parking, while getting their daily exercise in.
  • Couples who want to ride together, but one isn't up to the physical task of pedaling up hills or long distances.
  • Parents who want to ride with their children. Family cycling is great recreation.
  • Bicycling festivals, and tours where distance can be a challenge.
  • Quick trips to the local store so you don't have to waste gas driving.
  • Daily exercise that is fun!

There are many excuses we all give for not getting on our bikes and riding them, but with a little added help from an electric bike, most of those excuses disappear.

Currie Men's eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle


Perfect for In Town Commute or Trail Riding

The eZip Trailz line of electric bikes from Curry are the least expensive, most reliable and versatile ebikes I found. They have the SLA (sealed lead acid) battery that the Hill Topper standard bike uses, with about the same range and power:

  • 450 watt magnetic motor
  • choice of handle grip twist power or peddle assisted
  • speed up to 15 mph
  • 240 lb capacity
  • includes charger and battery status display

Free shipping through Amazon

A Tricycle Converted With A Hill Topper Clean Republic Kit

A Clean Republic Converted Tricycle
A Clean Republic Converted Tricycle | Source

The Currie Electric Scooter

This little scooter is perfect for getting around town. It's speedy, up to 18 mph and has an 8 mile range per charge.

  • 500 watt magnetic motor
  • 12.5 inch wheels
  • Flat resistant, street designed tires
  • Lightweight 56lbs
  • Weight capacity 180 lbs
  • Battery charges in 6-8 hrs

The Electric Scooter From Curry


Have You Tried An Electric Bicycle?

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    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Great article on electric bikes and conversion. What a wonderful healthy, green, and economical alternative to cars! Voted up!

    • profile image

      Barbie 3 years ago

      This is the ideal answer. Evyreone should read this