Swytch Bike makes it easy to convert your existing wheels to electric
Avid hardcore cyclists often balk at the mention of electric bikes, claiming that they are not traditional pedal bikes, it doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a market for pedal-assist type transportation. Now, what if you could keep your traditional pedal bike, with an added option to convert it to an e-bike for that additional push power when it’s most needed?
Swytch Bike has just the solution with their easy to install conversion kit. The world’s smallest and lightest e-bike conversion kit allows you to convert your current pedal bicycle into an electric powered one, saving you the cost of having to buy a separate full bike.
I was particularly interested in this conversion kit for a couple of reasons – ease of installation, savings from having to purchase a separate e-bike, and flexibility to change between my road and mountain bikes. In the end, I was satisfied on all levels.
Assembly took a couple of hours, by the time I read all the instructions that were included, as well as pertinent details on the website, and watching a couple short videos. Once started, everything was fairly simple. Basically it’s swapping out your original rim for the one included with the kit, then putting the tube and tire back on. Hooking up the battery back with the handlebar connector and pedal sensor was easy, which also makes it easy to uninstall and use on another bike.
As for distance, I was able to get a full day of riding in with distances up to 60 or 70 kms when using it mostly for inclines. When cycling on flat surfaces, I put it on the lowest level to save power. Charging overnight is the best option, as you’re ready to go the next day should you wish, which makes it great for multi-day trips. The ease of removing the battery pack makes it great for those short stops to pick up items, or grab a bite somewhere. Unlike traditional e-bikes that have a more clunkier, and obvious, battery pack on the frame, this kit is small and looks like a handlebar carry pack. Sleek and simple, this Swytch Bike kit is all you need to add a bit of extra power to your ride without having to buy a new bike!
The universal kit is easy-to-fit, both rim and disc-brake compatible, and works on both road and mountain bikes, and there’s even a kit for foldies and trikes. All kits are built to order, allowing you to customize the hub motor to fit any size rim. All parts within the kit are user-upgradable with no specialist tools required.
There are two tiers of product specifications for the Power Pack; ECO and PRO, both offering 5 levels of power assist, and easily removeable for when locking your bike outdoors. The PRO contains higher-capacity cells than the ECO, increasing the total range by 30% from 35km to 50km based on a medium use power range, with no added weight (1.5kg for either the ECO or the PRO). The added weight of the wheel with motor weight is approximately another 1.5kg, which is the motor hub weight, and the weight of rims and spokes.
All-in-all, this is a very light conversion kit that won’t slow you down. If you pedal harder and put the power down or use it only on inclines, you can expect a 50% longer range. If you don’t pedal at all, expect a 50% less range, and if you don’t pedal and put the power up to maximum, expect 75% less range. So, basically use it as a pedal assist option for maximum enjoyment.
The internal system uses sophisticated, bespoke software to decide how much power to deliver while you cycle. The controller in the Power Pack measures your cadence, the motor speed, temperature, acceleration, battery voltage, throttle sensor and brake sensor to generate a sine-wave signal for a smooth, quiet ride. The current-based control algorithm ensures that the acceleration is smooth and responsive to changes in riding conditions. The display on the top shows the battery level and allows the user to change power level as necessary.
The Swytch Bike kit includes absolutely everything you need to convert your bike. It includes a complete motor wheel in any size, built to order. The battery is included inside the power pack, which also contains the controller and electronics. You also get the handlebar connector, the pedal sensor, battery charger, and an instructions manual. Just take off your old wheel and replace it with the new Swytch motor wheel. Then fit the pedal sensor by the pedals, and put the connector onto the handlebars. Then, simply click on the power pack and you’re good to go! Installation typically takes 10 minutes and then you can Swytch instantly between bike and eBike thanks to the patented quick-connect bracket mechanism and removable lightweight power pack. NOTE: I’d allow a couple hours for installation.
Any size wheel can be pre-ordered and custom made, however the most common 26″ and 28″ wheel sizes are typically in stock at any given time, as these cover 80% of bikes in the market. There is a 1-year warranty, and lifetime support on the conversion kits, giving you plenty of time, and peace of mind to enjoy your new purchase. Pre-ordering your kit in advance will often save you up to half the price. Watch for specials on the website. Also available from their Canadian distributor, Venture Outfitters, and on eBay.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.