Alien 36v electric conversion kit £399

Power up your bike

BikeRadar score 4/5

This electric kit from Alien is front wheel driven, making it quick to fit and compatible with any gearing system, including hub gears. 

It comes with everything you need for electric-assisted riding, including a strong pre-built wheel and a rack to house its substantial 5kg Li-Ion battery. 

Two models are available, both of which are rim brake only – we opted for the more powerful 36V system to provide extra juice when carrying cargo.

In use, the motor provided ample oomph to propel bike, rider and up to 100kg of payload up some of Bristol’s steeper inclines, with far less sweaty back syndrome than usual. 

Range depends on terrain, load and how frugal you are with the throttle, though 20-40 miles should be possible. The charge time of the lithium battery is four to six hours; topping up is considerably quicker. 

A simple thumb throttle takes the pressure off your knees when pulling away from lights, and the compact brushless 250W motor offers little resistance when pedalling unassisted, though its 3.4kg weight does slow down steering. 

There’s no technical knowledge needed to set the system up – it’s just a case of plugging in a spaghetti junction of cables housed in a flimsy frame pouch, which despite our initial scepticism, handled heavy rain well.

Price-wise, it’s worth noting that a replacement battery is £210 (good for two to three years), though even with this cost factored in, it’s still a good value piece of kit to help cut down car use yet still carry out those heavy duty, around-town chores you need to do, particularly in hilly locales. 

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