This could be the perfect e-bike conversion kit

Boost's custom kits will turn any bike into an e-bike, and you don't need to be a bike expert to fit it

Boost e-bike conversion kit
(Image credit: Boost)

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.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (