Boost’s e-bike conversion kit offers sleek, understated power

There are a number of electric bike conversion kits on the market, all offering ways to electrify your existing wheels. Boost is shaping up to be an option with a more elegant and simpler way of doing things than some of its rivals. Instead of plugging in controllers, drum hardware and a Hall effect sensor, almost all of the necessary equipment is built into a custom built rear hub motor. Everything else, meanwhile, is packed into a circular battery pack that sits inside a bottle cage, or something that looks a lot like it, that’s mounted to the down tube.

Whereas with, say, Swytch selling you a custom front wheel to put on your bike, Boost goes for the rear. That means the initial setup is a bit more intensive, as you’ll need to add your cassette, hook up your chain, and set up all your analog stuff right. Or, you know, ask the techies at your local bike repair shop to do it for you if you’re an engineering menace like me. But, after that point, all you’ll have to do is bolt on the bottle cage and tie a cable running from the rear wheel to the down tube and you’re good to go.

It has no display, and part of this is because all the torque sensors are included within the motor and also to help keep costs down. Users can, if needed, connect to the companion app where they can set the power assist to Eco or Boost modes. You’ll also get a short speed boost option to help you pull away from traffic, which maxes out your engine for a very short amount of time. The app also has a dash mode, so if you mount your phone on the handlebars, you can monitor your speed, distance, and battery level.

And the battery itself has a USB-A port hidden under a dust cover, allowing you to charge your device or power up a USB-powered light kit while you ride.

Since Boost was installed today at the UK Cycle Show, I was able to test it while hooked up to a turbo trainer. I found that it wasn’t long before the level of boost that eco mode offered seemed like it would be more than enough to get you across town every day. When boost mode kicked in, it quickly felt like too much power, an option you’d only need when you’re tackling steep hills and little else.

In terms of pricing, Boost is currently available in the UK, costing £695 when fitted by a local cycling shop. If you want to do the installation yourself, you can also pick up the kit for £645, although the company also offers the motor and battery kit for people to build their own wheels. It’s certainly an interesting twist on electric bike conversion kits, and I’d be very interested in trying it out myself in the future.

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