Testing the iMortor 2.0 conversion kit: Converting a bike into an e-bike in 15 minutes The iMortor 2.0 e-bike retrofit kit offers a motor, electronics and battery combined in the front wheel. TechStage tests the complete set from China. 12:00 p.m. tech stage

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testing the imortor 20 conversion kit converting a bike into.png
testing the imortor 20 conversion kit converting a bike into.png

The iMortor 2.0 e-bike retrofit kit offers a motor, electronics and battery combined in the front wheel. Is that enough for a fully-fledged e-bike? We test the complete set from China.

If you want to convert your bike to an e-bike, you don’t have to dig deep into your pocket. Engines for front, rear or mid-wheel drive are available from as little as 250 euros. With regard to legality, however, you have to pay attention to a few things, as we show in the article Legally retrofitting an e-bike: Motor & battery from 300 euros .

After the tests of middle and rear drives such as Pendix Edrive (test report) , Bafang MM G340 (test report) , Bafang BBS-01B (test report) and Bikight SW900 (test report) , a front motor now follows. The kit called iMortor has been on the market for almost two years and avoids unnecessary cable clutter – all components including the battery and electronics are in the front wheel.

The scope of delivery includes the front wheel with integrated hub motor (240 watts), controller, smartphone holder, battery (130 watt hours), power supply unit (note: Chinese plug) as well as tools and screws. Our test device is designed for bicycles with disc brakes – a brake disc is included accordingly. There is no version for rim brakes.

The exchange succeeds inexperienced hobbyists in 30 minutes, experienced in a good 15 minutes. First, the old front wheel comes off the bike. Then you screw the supplied brake disc to the new wheel and insert it into the bicycle fork. In our case, not all of the holes for attaching the brake disc were milled cleanly. The result: only five out of six screws fitted. This is sufficient, but indicates inferior workmanship.

We fasten the new wheel in the fork with washers and nuts. It’s tight and feels secure. The battery is located directly on the motor unit in the wheel. We then pull the cables from the wheel to the handlebars and fasten them with the two cable ties provided. Incidentally, the motor unit in the middle of the tire does not turn with it – so the cable stays clean in one place.

Next comes the controller and smartphone holder. Both can be attached to the handlebars. If you don’t have space here, you will find an additional clamp and aluminum rod in the iMortor packaging to attach the components. Then you connect the cables from the controller and smartphone holder to the motor – a color coding makes the work easy. Two connections remain free. Here users can retrofit other sensors or a display for the speed display.

Now comes the exciting part, the commissioning. Because where assembly is easy, activating our new pedelec turns out to be a stress test. The set only works with an active app. That’s why there’s also the smartphone holder, which at least feeds the smartphone with electricity so that it doesn’t run empty when you use it. The power comes directly from the iMortor battery, you have to bring your own charging cable. For comparison: Kits with a mid-engine such as the inexpensive Bafang BBS-01B (test report) or the significantly more expensive Pendix kit (test report) do not require an app.

The iMortor provider gave little thought to the app. The given password is not correct, the connection only works with a trick and the menus are designed carelessly.

According to the instructions, users should download the iMortor app . But it doesn’t work anymore. Instead, there is the iMortor 2 app for Android and iOS; You can easily find them using the search mask in the app stores. To pair the bike and the app, first switch on the controller and then start the app. This recognizes the bike immediately and wants to know a password. The instructions say “0000”, which is wrong. We found the alternative password “6666” via Reddit. It is working.

Then comes the next hurdle. The app reports “Controller failure” – nothing happens. To fix the error, we press and hold the on/off button on the controller for a good ten seconds. Then the error message disappears. The bike is now ready for use.

The iMortor does not automatically support you when you first step on the pedals. Anyone who knows this behavior from expensive e-bikes: A torque sensor in the hub of the crank is responsible for this. This variant doesn’t have that; we only had to replace the front wheel. Depending on the motor, electronics in the drive recognize the desire to accelerate after a certain rotation of the front tire and provide support – and the support continues a little when you stop pedaling. This helps wonderfully in everyday life, but is a different behavior than what is known from significantly more expensive modern e-bikes with mid-motor drives from Bosch, Yamaha or Panasonic.

The kit is elegant, but unfortunately hardly usable. Image: TechStage.de

The iMortor solves it even easier. There is no automatic detection of the desired propulsion here. The cyclist presses the throttle – hard or hard, depending on the desired support. This causes cramps in the fingers on longer tours. But a ride with motor support doesn’t take that long either. At full power and without pedaling yourself, the battery lasts for almost 10 kilometers. If you also step on the pedals and only let the motor assist you halfway, you will cover around 15 kilometers. If that’s not enough, you can get an additional battery; at a good 100 euros, it is relatively cheap.

Driving with the iMortor is a pleasure despite the lack of pedal assistance. The engine is barely audible. Anyone who has ever ridden a pedelec knows the softly audible “frrrrr” while driving. With a motor output of 240 watts, well-built men can reach around 20 km/h without additional pedaling on level routes. That’s great, but illegal in this country.

You have to pedal uphill, the motor is too weak for that. But if you upgrade your old mountain bike with iMortor, you will have a pleasant ride up the mountain with gears and motor support, even in high gears.

China shops like Banggood regularly sell the set for around 300 euros . However, it is currently not available there. At Amazon you pay more than 600 euros for the successor iMortor 3.0 . And at Geekbuying there is iMortor 3.0 . It’s supposed to have a longer range, but it also has an app requirement and, according to the data sheet, reaches 35 km/h – that’s far too much money for an illegal retrofit kit.

Alternatively, you can opt for another retrofit kit. Many cheap sets come from China and cost around 600 to 700 euros including the battery as a legal version (without throttle lever). We can recommend the already tested sets with central or rear motor Bafang MM G340 (test report) , Bafang BBS-01B (test report) and Bikight SW900 (test report) . If you are specifically looking for a set for the front wheel, you will find solutions for around 500 euros including the battery at Amazon or at Banggood for around 280 euros without the battery.

The set from iMortor is the front runner when it comes to assembly. A layman needs less than 30 minutes to retrofit the bike. So much for the benefit. The disadvantages outweigh the disadvantages: the throttle is illegal, the app requirement is lousy and the range is ridiculous. We strongly advise that you look at alternatives. They are hardly more expensive and much better.

We have already tested the Pendix Edrive (test report) , Bafang MM G340 (test report) , Bafang BBS-01B (test report) and Bikight SW900 (test report) kits . If you want to read up on the topic of retrofitting, you will find an overview elsewhere in the article Legally retrofitting a bicycle to an e-bike: Motor & battery from 300 euros .