DIY Blacktrail rival – Retro-fit electric bicycle motor gives 50mph

The German-designed Blacktrail carbon fibre electric bicycle last summer stole headlines with its 60mph top speed and eye-watering £50,000 price tag, but a new design of retro-fit electric motor will give a similar performance for a fraction of the price.

The EGO Boost aims to make downhill mountain bikes a practical option for cyclists without access to chair lifts. The kit costs £2,000 and boasts a 2400Watt motor and weighs only 3.1kg – the battery is carried by the rider in a rucksack. Mating the electric motor kit with an exotic frame and wheel set would result in a Blacktrail rivalling bike for a tenth of the price.

Who is the EGO kit aimed at?

Downhill bikes use over-engineered frames and forks to survive the abuse of being hurled down mountainsides, but the resulting additional weight makes riding back up the slopes near impossible.

The EGO Boost motor is ten times more powerful than many of the electric bicycles on sale in Britain today and the torque it delivers enables it climb some of the steepest slopes.

The manufacturers claim the kit, which mounts at the crank, is compatible with 70 per cent of bicycles and that the battery can be re-charged 1000 before it needs to be replaced.

It is expected to cost £2000 when it goes on sale.

The bike’s nearest rival is the Stealth Fighter, a ready-built electric mountain bike with a top speed of 35mph and a price tag of £3,000

On the flat, a bicycle fitted with an Ego boost kit can reach 50mph. This performance means it would need to be registered as a motorcycle to be legal on British roads. In order to be exempt from motor vehicle legislation, an electric bicycle must not exceed 250w and the electric motor must cut out at 15 mph

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “The performance delivered by the Ego Boost shows the potential of electric bicycles.”

EGO Boost kit | Retro-fit electric bicycle motor
| Basic specs

  • 2400Watt motor
  • 3.1kg (motor only)
  • 50mph on the flat
  • £2000 (manufacturer’s estimate)

Cycle insurance that covers electric bikes, too

Road-legal electric bicycles are eligible for cycle insurance from the ETA. Every policy covers against theft, accidental damage and vandalism – even at race events. It also includes third party insurance, bicycle breakdown recovery and worldwide cover. Get an instant online quote below.


  1. David George


    You say the motor must not exceed 250w for bicycles but this only applies to trikes or tandems. The limit for a bicycle appears to be 200w.
    If this is the case, every ebike in the UK is illegal. I have yet to find an ebike on sale that is only 200w.
    In addition, the so-called “pedelec” only functions correctly for a few miles before it fails.
    It would appear that the current UK law is unfit for purpose and I would like to see something less restrictive and more imaginative enacted.

    • Yannick Read


      The EU directive regulating pedelecs states that ‘Pedelecs that have powered assistance to a maximum of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) using a motor of no more than 250 Watts rated output are considered bicycles.’ Type approval is not required. British law does not coincide with European law, in Europe 250W motors are allowed whereas in Britain we are currently restricted to 200W. The DfT have announced that Britain will eventually align with Europe law and will also permit 250W this is expected to happen by mid 2013. The British Electric Bicycle Association (BEBA) has been told that the police will not be targeting electric bikes that have motors of not more than 250W. As far as they are aware no prosecutions have taken place of anyone riding a 250W motored electric bike in the UK. Crucially, cycle insurers such as ETA cover any mechanically or electronically-assisted bicycle weighing less than 60kg and with an output not exceeding 250w/15.5mph.

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