As much as I love e-bikes, I think the best electric bikes are still quite pricey: the Pure Flux One, one of the more affordable options, is still coming in at £999. Boost has an alternative: take your existing bike and make it electric. As you can see from the photo above, you're looking at £645 for the whole kit. The kit has been available for some time, albeit with a bit of a waiting list, but with delivery times down to just 1-4 weeks – good for a custom-built product – Boost is now shouting about its product, and showing it off this week at the (UK) Cycle Show.
Kits make a lot of sense if you already have a great bike that you don't want to part with, and the most efficient ones replace one of your wheels – in this case, the rear one. It's designed to be relatively simple to install but if like me you're a menace when it comes to practical things, Boost's shop partners will fit one for you for £50.
So what do you get for just under seven hundred quid?
Does the boost kit make your bike into a good e-bike?
It does, provided your bike is compatible: the kit is made for non-folding bikes with 26", 27.5", 28", 29" and 700c wheels and either single speed or 7 to 11 speed rear cogs. Your bike also needs to have standard bottle cage mounts and a quick-release or 9.5/10mm solid axle. Versions for folding and high spec road and gravel bikes are promised soon.
It certainly looks good – the battery bit looks like a relatively small bottle rather than a big battery housing – and you should be able to get about 25 to 30 miles (50Km) from a single charge, or more if you're fairly light and keep it in eco mode. The motor here is a 250W model powered by a 6Ah, 36V battery. It adds around 4kg to the weight of your bike.
The big rivals here are Swytch and Cytronex. The latter is a better system but it's also a lot more expensive, starting at around £883, while the £999 Swytch – which replaces your front wheel rather than the rear – is still operating with long waiting lists. I think I prefer the Boost, both in terms of design and availability: the Swytch is pretty bulky and makes its presence obvious, and you currently have to wait months for one.