Have you every wonder if it would be better to buy or build an e-bike? I have. So I built an e-bike using an old Cannondale road bike and a Bafang conversion kit. After I was done building the conversion bike, I used the lessons I learned to buy the most cost effective high quality e-bike that I could find at the time. Here are the results.
Motor: Bafang 750 watts
Class: Configurable as a class 1, 2, or 3
Battery: 840Watt Hour
Chainring: 1X 52T
Display: Bafang C961 LCD Display
Cost: $1,100 + Cost of Bicycle
Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus 350W
Class: Class 3 e-bike
Battery: 500Watt Hour Bosch PowerTube
Chainring: 2X 50/34T
Display: Bosch Purion
Cost: $3,799 – MSRP $4,725
Prices – A Bafang conversion is a fraction of the cost even if a new bike is purchased for the conversion
Configurability – The Bafang can be configured as a class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike.
Power – The Bafang has a much larger motor and battery.
Gearing – The 2X Chainring with a 50/34T is a game changer for me. It gives a wide range of gears like my traditional bicycle.
Quality – The bike is designed as a system and fits seamlessly together.
Appearance – Likes likes a traditional bike.
Final Analysis: I’ve put hundreds of mile on both bikes and both are great e-bikes. So let your budget be your guide. The Bafang kit is very affordable but does need a little tinkering once in a while. The Cannondale Synapse Neo 1 with its Bosch system is a quality e-bike but considerably more expensive. In retrospect I should have used a bike with wider tires and disc brakes for the Bafang build considering its power, weight and speed.