Bionx Electric Bike Kit Review

I have ridden many different bikes with the Bionx electric bike conversion kit and I have to say that it is probably the most refined ebike kit that you can buy.

To compare it to cars, it is like the Mercedes Benz of electric bike kits.

This is a review based on a number of rides on the Bionx electric bike kit.  This is not an in depth review based on hundreds of miles of use, etc.

I just wanted to let you know what I think of the system based on some ride experiences.

Here is a video about the Bionx system:

What I like about the Bionx ebike kit:

  • The way the system adds assistance is so seamless it just feels like you have a strong tailwind the whole time you are riding
  • The motor is nearly silent
  • The Bionx ebike kit is relatively light weight compared to other kits out there. They have a few different models to choose from with different weights.
  • The quality of the components are very good.  It makes the kit feel “solid”.
  • It is a very “clean” kit.  There is not a mess of wires going everywhere
  • It is very easy to install for the do it yourselfer
  • The LCD display is very easy to see and understand and provides 4 different levels of assist
  • The battery is housed in  a nice plastic case that can be locked to the bike, yet easily removed.  Can be on the downtube of the bike frame or the rear rack.
  • There is a way to plug the system into a computer and run a diagnostics program on the kit to see how everything is performing
  • You can have the option of pedal assist and/or throttle (throttle only available in US & Canadian markets)
  • It has regenerative braking (the battery is charged when you use the brakes) and the display shows you how much the battery is being charged
  • Uses a lithium magnesium battery chemistry, which according to Bionx is the safest battery chemistry available
  • You can charge the battery by switching the system to training mode where you have to pedal harder to charge the battery. Great if you want an extra tough workout!
  • Bionx is a kit that can be used well for sport cyclists that may want to add some assist to their mountain or road bike for a little extra help on the hills and wind in the wind.

What I don’t like about the Bionx electric bicycle kit:

  • The price!  Bionx is a well refined electric bike conversion kit, but with that comes the price tag. You can buy a whole electric bike for the price of just this kit. But if you want the best, most streamlined kit, the higher price is all part of the deal.
  • If you plan on hauling heavy loads up steep hills with a cargo bike or trailer then the Bionx system may not be as helpful as a mid drive kit.  A mid drive electric kit positions the motor so that it can power your bicycle through it gears (drivetrain).  This allows you to get the electric assist in the lower gears of your bicycle to pull heavier loads up hill more effectively.   Checkout this guide if you are interested in mid drive electric bike kits.  The Bionx kit will still help with hauling heavier loads, but if you see yourself hauling heavy loads consistently then you may want to consider a mid drive kit.

Other notes:

  • Bionx is owned by Magna which is a big automobile parts manufacturer.  Nice to see ebike funding from the auto industry.
  • Bionx is the kit being speced on a lot of new electric bikes from Trek, Ohm, Kilowatt, Villiger, KTM, BiXS, Diamant, Matra, Wheeler, riese und müller
  • Bionx has been making electric bike kits since 1998.

Conclusion:

To wrap it up, you can see that I like the Bionx kit.  I think it is a great kit if you want a solid dependable system that is very clean and can quietly give you that extra assist.  You will pay a premium for a kit like this, but it is what you can expect to pay for this level of quality components and a well refined electric bike system.

If you are interested in buying the Bionx kit you should check with your local bike shop.  If they don’t offer the kits you could purchase the Bionx system online.

Do you have any comments or questions about the Bionx electric bike kit?  Please leave them below.

Thanks!

-Pete

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips! (upper right hand corner of this site)


Other Articles You Might Like!

Stores I recommend: Amazon, REI, Jenson USA, Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop, and Bike Kid Shop.

Tags: , , , ,

28 Comments

Leave a comment
  1. Sanderskd November 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Peter has covered the Bion X system, well in his report. It’s exactly what i have been saying about the product for years as being a Dealer for the product here in Saskatchewan Canada .

  2. Dan Woodard November 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Nice review, thanks. It looks like a nice kit for a commuter bike. A couple of questions:

    Is the computer interface available for everyone, not just IBDs?

    Do you notice what happens above the 20mph limit? Does it feel like you hit a wall and the motor kicks into regen mode when you instead want it to get out of the way so you can pedal above 20 without the drag of the motor?

    • Pete at Electric Bike Report November 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi Dan! I just heard from Alex at Bionx and he said that the computer diagnostics are only available for Bionx and Trek dealers at the moment.

      I agree with what peteathome said above. It is a smooth transition to no additional assist above 20 mph. As long as you are not fighting a head wind I think it is pretty easy to be cruising in that 20+ area.

  3. peteathome November 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I’ve been using a Bionx 350PL kit for three years now and still love it. I’m a very long-time bike commuter and recreational cyclist who was having some neurological problems and wanted to keep riding and this kit fit the bill. It is light enough that even turned off the bike still rides and handles nicely – I don’t even notice it is there, although I do live in flat terrain. Pop the battery off and all that is on the bike is the hub motor, which weighs very little.

    I actually ride much more now with the kit than I did at the peak of my health.

    In the older models, the assist drops off pretty quickly as you exceed 20 mph. But, no, the motor does not go into regen! Some people said it felt like you suddenly got a flat or hit a wall when the assist dropped off. The newer models have a more ramped reduction of assist near 20 mph that is not noticible. I have the older model and ride faster than 20 mph all the time and do not notice the assist dropping off.

    My main complaint is the cost of battery replacement. For a daily long-distance rider like me the battery will probably poop out at about 4 years. It is the most expensive component of the kit. However, Bionx recently told me they will rebuild the battery at half the replacement cost. That’s a lot more acceptable.

  4. Harley Accessories November 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    It seems that it would be easy to fit this kit to your e-bike, I had never got a chance to use Bionx kit as I am less used to e-bike, but as I am planning for e-bike, would love to use this.

  5. Swngdncr November 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Just came across this blog.. I have the BionX 350PL system, got it back in Feb/March. Installed it ourselves on a recumbent trike. The install was pretty easy, but not a total cakewalk. You do need a special tool to get the rear wheel on correctly with the notch pointed correctly. I have had problems with mine, and at this point, the entire system, save the console, has been replaced under warranty. It is really fabulous on the hills. I keep it in level 1 most of the time It’s a hill climbing monster. The 20MPH speed limit is a real downside though. We got it as an alternative to a tandem so my husband and I could ride together at his pace. One of routes we take is a slight uphill outbound, and a slight downhill back. On the return trip, especially with a tail wind, I’m really limited speed wise. The assist starts to drop off at about 15-16mph.. Even putting it on Level 4 doesn’t do any good. At that point, with all the weight of the system, I’m pretty much pussing a 60lb bike on my own power — 17mph is about all I can do. While it was being fixed, I was riding my 2 wheel recumbent, and though I couldn’t come close to keeping pace with husband on the hills, without the weight, I was flying on anything with any downgrade. There is no longer any way to disable the speed limit, as could be done on earlier models. The trick of changing the wheel size does not work on current models. One important note, BionX does not deal directly with the consumer. YOu have to go through a dealer. So, I ended up paying $140 to local dealers (if you call 90 miles local) to troubleshoot and deal with the warranty repairs because we are in California, we bought it online from a NY dealer, and didn’t want to take the time to first ship it to NY before they then shipped it to BionX. (we were on time constraints when we originally bought it, and they were the only ones who could get us one by the time we needed it.) But, it does work great when it is working, and so long as you are not pushing into the 16mph+ range.

    • Pete at Electric Bike Report November 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks letting us know about your experience. It is great to hear from people who have used the Bionx kit a lot. Sorry to hear that you have had some troubles, but it sounds like you still like the system.

  6. ebikeguru November 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    No argument from me there EBP! Bionx is defo the best out there at the moment. I just clicked 3,000 kms with mine. No problems whatsoever (except I once lost the little white regen magnet switch down by the brake lever which locked it in regen mode…)

  7. Guest February 13, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    Bionx doesn’t make a kit for 130mm drop outs so this rules out a huge portion of road bikes.

  8. Motorcycle Tail Light March 1, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    The entire electrical system of bike weights 6.6 kg. The motor, controller, cables and the screen weighs 2.5 kg and 4.1 kg battery. This makes the system BionX energy pedelecs more compact sensor, which is not Japan. Not only does riding easier in the G-modes can also be used as a training tool.

  9. Dave June 16, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    I have never seen a BionX to examine it and I have some questions about the kit.
    Does the kit replace the rear wheel?
    If so, are all the rear gears gone?
    If all the rear gears are gone, how does one control cadence with varying speeds?

    • Pete at Electric Bike Report June 16, 2011 at 2:40 am #

      Hi Dave, the Bionx kit does replace the rear wheel and it does allow
      you to have the same gears on the rear wheel.

  10. Glen June 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Bionx warranty is non existent. Their product is okay but they skirt any attempts to get service or replacement parts. I would never do business with them again.

  11. MIKE MURHPY November 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I agree about the “hitting the wall ” comment . What is up with that ? Is it necessary ? And what about the cost of a battery if it goes bad . Their warrenty is useless ! Lots of room for competition !

  12. Michael July 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Pete: I have a Bionx system on my Catrike Expedition and it works great. I have no trouble reaching 18.5 mph on the level and have gotten as high as 22+ on short downhills. Unfortunately, my normal rid is on relatively flat land so I haven’t experienced long downhill stretches. You mention a computer adaptor to get ride info from the system. How can I get that? I have been dependent on my local dealer (100 miles away) to get upgrades.

  13. Paul Stevens July 27, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Hello,

    Can a dynamo powered headlight be connected, such as the Lumotec IQ CYO T Licht 24, which is what I have or will I need to get a new lighting system. I was going to upgrade to a dynamo hub system but am considering this instead. Not needing to purchase a wheel and dynamo hub to run the headlight savings makes the cost easier to digest.

    The lighting system is critical for me in Chicago. Also, I would like the option to add a USB charger for my iPhone as I use the GPS quite a bit.

    Thanks.

  14. Hal Mangen September 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Is there a limit on the top speed? Can I turn off the assist and go down hill at top speed?

    • Pete October 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Hal,

      The BionX kit will stop assisting at 20 mph but it won’t limit you going faster downhill.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Electric Bike Kit Guide | Electric Bike Report - November 14, 2010

    […] is one of the “cleanest” electric bike conversion kits.  Here are my thoughts on the Bionx electric bike […]

  2. Electric Bike News Week of 11-8-10 | Electric Bike Report - November 14, 2010

    […] is my initial review of the Bionx electric bike […]

  3. Tweets that mention Bionx Electric Bike Kit Review | Electric Bike Report -- Topsy.com - November 14, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Electric Bike Report and Electric Bike Report, eBikePlus. eBikePlus said: Bionx Electric Bike Kit Review http://dlvr.it/8Wkb2 […]

  4. ‘Don’t Be a Jerk’ | Commute by Bike - November 24, 2010

    […] we liked it–nobody here actually owns one. Fortunately, our friend Pete at Electric Bike Report has this favorable review, thus saving our endorsement. I have ridden many different bikes with the Bionx electric bike […]

  5. Rolling with the Ebikes at the Flagstaff Farmers Market | Bike Shop Hub | Bike Shop Hub - July 18, 2011

    […] in taking a real spin. It also worked well to demonstrate the different power modes of the Bionix Electric Bike Kit of the Ohm XU700 that we had hooked up to it. Ted Demonstrating an Ohm XU700 Urban – Kid Struggling […]

  6. Tips on Keeping Your Electric Bike Safe & Secure | Electric Bike Report | Electric Bike, Ebikes, Electric Bicycles, E Bike, Reviews - January 25, 2012

    […] your e-bike display is detachable take it with you.  Some displays (like Bionx) easily detach from the handlebars and will not allow the thief to ride away on your bike with […]

  7. Understanding Electric Bike Modes: Throttle vs. Pedal Assist (Pedelec) | Electric Bike Report | Electric Bike, Ebikes, Electric Bicycles, E Bike, Reviews - May 8, 2013

    […] Bionx Kit […]

Leave a Reply