Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit Review: Elegant and Simple Bike Electrification

Swytch Power Pack

Switch electric bike conversion kit

4.0/5 Buy from Swytch

The Swytch Bike Electric Bike Conversion Kit is a great and relatively easy way to convert your bike into an e-bike, even if you're not used to maintaining it..

Attractiveness The advantage of an electric bicycle is that it is equipped with an electric drive, allowing you to travel further and faster than on your own power. In theory, you can easily climb hills with it, saving you the embarrassment of dismounting and pushing the car.

However, purchasing an electric bicycle is associated with certain problems. Let's start with the fact that if you want an e-bike that's similar to a traditional human-powered bike like the Urtopia Carbon 1s, you'll have to pay a lot of money for the privilege.

There are cheaper options on the market, but chances are that the cheaper you go, the more likely it is that obvious items like a motor or battery will be added to the bike, and at minimal cost. tries to hide them in the design of the bicycle.

Not to mention, you may be able to get an e-bike at a price that suits your needs, but the design or functionality is not quite the same. An uncomfortable bike is not good to ride, regardless of whether it is electric or not.

If you already have a bike that you like, there is an option to use a conversion kit. Instead of replacing the bike, you can add parts to turn it into an e-bike.

However, a quick look at the various online stores selling such kits will reveal packages where you get a really obvious battery and motor bolted to your two-wheeler. Even if you get lucky and get a good kit, it will also be a rather heavy addition to the bike itself.

And this is where Swytch comes into play.

What is Swytch Bike?

In early 2017, UK company Swytch created a crowdfunded kit that aimed to make it as easy as possible for cyclists to convert their bikes into e-bikes. The idea was to make it as small and light as possible, so that it would take up as little space as possible on the bike itself.

It has also been designed to be easy to install and maintain, and to allow users to charge the easily removable battery at any time.

The result is a conversion kit in which the bike's front wheel receives an engine in a fairly sizable hub. It is connected to a battery mounted where you can place the basket, which in turn receives signals from the pedal sensor.

In theory, this should be a simple kit to purchase, install and use. In practice, this is quite close to the company's intentions.

Electric bike conversion kit Switch – Package

When you order your Swytch Bike kit, you'll need to answer a few questions. Besides the obvious things like kit color and battery size, you are also asked for various details about the bike itself.

Since Swytch makes a custom wheel with a 250W gear motor inside, the company needs to know information about your existing front wheel. This means you won't be able to move the entire set from one bike to another unless they use virtually identical wheels, but for most people this won't be a problem.

The box basically contains a replacement wheel with motor holder, ready for a new tire to be installed.

After ordering, you will receive a package containing your custom motor-wheel-holder, mount and bracket to hold the battery and connect everything together, the battery itself, a pedal sensor, a display for controlling the system, as well as magnetic disks and other accessories for installing the kit on a bicycle.

Switch Electric Bike Conversion Kit – Installation

You get an installation guide, but there are also some helpful videos about the installation process itself if you need a more visual guide. A small set of tools will be required, but mainly for working with the wheel.

The installation process generally involves removing the front wheel from the bike, either moving the tire and tube from the original wheel to the supplied wheel, or purchasing and installing new ones and reinstalling the wheel. .

For someone who is not mechanically inclined, the process of moving the tire and tube can require a lot of effort. It's safe to say that you can take a Swytch wheel to a bike shop and have them install the tire since the rest of the installation process is much simpler.

Attached to the pedal are magnetic discs that activate the motor.

This also uses the simplest tools, so if you have screwdrivers and hex keys, you are golden. Swytch also offers several cable ties for securing and managing cables.

Once the handlebars are turned on, you need to attach the mount and display to the handlebars, attach the magnetic disks to the pedals, place the pedal sensor close enough to the disks to detect its movement, and connect all the cables together. .

Even the process of connecting the cable is simple: color coding is used next to the arrows that need to be pushed together to ensure a sufficient connection.

After performing a few checks and securing some well-placed cable ties to keep your cables under control, you're ready to hit the open road.

Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit – Styling

Once you've installed the conversion kit on your bike, you're left with a setup that doesn't really look like anything has changed on the car at all. There are a few changes, but not many additions that scream from a distance that this is an electric powered bike.

To begin with, the design of the motor built into the hub is compact compared to the overall size of the wheel, so visually it does not take up much space on the wheel itself. A small wire running from the side of the steering wheel hints that there's something special about all this.

Another element is the battery, which is attached to the front of the handlebar using a quick-release clamp system where a basket can usually be placed. When looked at directly, the Swytch branding hints that this is a power supply, but otherwise people might just wonder why someone would put a power supply on the front of their bike.

Top down view of the installed Swytch kit

Approximately nine inches across, four inches tall and up to an inch and a half thick, depending on the container, The battery definitely looks like a power bank, even with the rubberized surround. Swytch also claims that at 700 grams (24.7 ounces) it is the smallest and lightest e-bike battery you can

The key here is that this is a compact battery that is not like some of the larger batteries. the ones you find in aftermarket conversion kits.

Of course, if you find the handlebars a little cluttered, there are accessories you can pick up to change the location of the battery, such as where the bottle cage is mounted, or hide it under the seatpost. , For example.

The Power Pack mount is pretty neat, but cable management can be a challenge for people who want a perfectly neat solution. You have more than enough cable to run various components around your bike frame, but for some frames it may be too much.

This causes wires to accumulate under the mount, so skillful use of zip ties will be required to keep them clean. It doesn't help that there are extra connection points hanging down for other accessories like brake or throttle sensors, but they're thankfully short and fairly unobtrusive.

The magnetic discs and electric sensor surrounding the pedal on one side are utilitarian in nature, but not too irritating to the eye. While riding, the user's feet will in any case block the components from view.

OLED display is an additional option.

The display attached to the handlebar is the main controller of the Swytch Bike system. The basic display shows how much charge is left in the battery and also allows users to switch the amount of assistance the motor provides during rides.

Two other displays are also available: an LED display shows speed and offers customizable parameters. The OLED display that was provided for review goes even further, adding ride data and acting as a basic cycling computer for the user.

While it would be handy to connect them to an iPhone in some way, for example to record workouts and the amount of assistance the engine provides, the system is closed to external inputs and outputs other than pressing buttons on the display.

Electric bike conversion kit Switch – In Use

The off-road-ready Swytch Bike kit had high expectations with excellent build quality and a fairly simple installation process.

The motorized wheel has a claimed torque of 40 Nm and a top speed of 32 km/h or 20 mph, which is possible when used in tandem with cycling. In some regions, the maximum speed is limited to 25 km/h or 15.5 mph due to e-bike laws, but this does not prevent the rider from going faster under their own power.

With the battery in the holder, you press a button on the display to turn on the system, and then press one of the up and down buttons to change the power level.

The display doesn't let you control your speed with five power levels, but instead each level depends on how much assistance you get when turning the pedals. At higher levels, the level of assistance also increases.

The motor is hidden in the middle of the front wheel.

If local laws don't allow throttle installation, you have to keep pedaling to get the boost, otherwise it will stop and you'll end up coasting.

Additionally, the pedal sensor is configured so that it only triggers when you pedal forward, not when you pedal backward. This means you can't just use it like a scooter without pedaling at all, but disabling the chain allows it to operate without the assistance of human muscles.

At 250W of power and 40Nm of torque, the engine's key numbers don't sound exciting, but it's more than enough to get the job done for most users.

For this review, it was mounted on a heavy mountain bike, used by a huge and completely unfit guy, in a city with a lot of varying terrain. This is a completely unfair set of circumstances for testing purposes and it certainly strained the Swytch system, but outside of some terribly steep hills it was able to make climbs.

Under more ideal conditions, such as on a lighter bike and with a leaner, fitter rider, he could probably handle the steeper sections of the city better.

Sometimes, when going from the flat to a small hill where the rider would normally be able to shift gears for a climb, Swytch offers the option to simply increase the power assist level to get up the hill without it. gear shift. On flat ground, this is similar to acceleration, allowing you to reach high speeds faster without expending too much energy.

Electric bike conversion kit Switch – Power Supplies

Swytch offers two power supplies: the 90 Wh Air provides 15 km (9.3 miles) of range, while the Max reviewed has 180 Wh and 30 Wh of range. km (18.6 miles).

Obviously, these ranges vary depending on how much assistance is provided to the user. Based on our usage, the numbers seem fairly accurate, but you'll probably want to use lower power levels to achieve them.

It is also possible to turn off Swytch when it is not needed, for example on flat roads, and save it for inclines.

To recharge the power banks, Swytch provides its own charger since its connections are not standard ones like USB-C or barrel. A standard 2A charger can charge the Air Power Pack in about an hour, reaching maximum power in about 2.5 hours.

The display may show additional information about your trip and additional configuration options.

A 3A fast charger is available as an upgrade. Working only with the Max version, charging time can be reduced to 1.5 hours.

The chargers themselves are about a third the size of the Power Pack, so they're not exactly small, but they're not too inconvenient either. If you're going on a long bike ride and plan to recharge the Power Pack battery at some point, it will take up valuable space in your luggage, even though it will be a necessity.

It would be nice if it had a USB-C connection for charging, if only to reduce the number of chargers a cyclist might need to carry and carry. Since it's essentially a portable battery, it could also be useful for powering other devices, such as a regular power bank, but it's not designed for that purpose.

Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit – Prices and Delivery

Shopping for a Swytch Bike is a bit tricky as you can't buy a pre-made kit due to the wheel being made for your specific bike. There is also the issue of accessibility because since the company uses a drop system, you will have to register and wait for the email to be included in the next wave of releases.

When you receive this email, you will have to go through the full purchasing process, which includes informing the company about the specifications of your bike and what package you ultimately want. Part of this complexity also relates to price.

The kit can cost as little as $499 for the Air power supply version and up to $649 for the Max version, while the Downgrade Upgrade Kit costs $324.

The “maybe” part is the tricky part, since these values ​​are based on a discount for being willing to wait longer. The full prices for each kit are $1,199, $1,599, and $799 respectively, and this is based on the kit being received as quickly as Swytch can ship it.

Because Swytch releases its kits in batches, the company offers a significant discount if you're willing to wait a while for the kit to be ready so others can get it first. This can increase the wait time for your package to actually ship by several months.

Many users may benefit from waiting a few months, especially since the discount is sufficient.

Best E-Bike Converter

The Swytch Bike System has the ultimate goal of making it as easy as possible for cyclists installing electric assistance on your bike. On many levels, Swytch has achieved just that.

Swytch has created a device that is easy to set up and use with most bikes, and that works comfortably while riding. If you're handing the bike over to someone else for a quick test ride, they'll only need minimal instruction before they can get started.

Fully installed Swytch conversion kit.

It's also a pretty good-looking system with fewer obvious elements than other DIY e-bike conversion kits. The motor in the wheel hub essentially leaves the Swytch powerplant on the steering wheel as the only real indication that there's anything unusual about a foot-powered car.

This system isn't necessarily the cheapest option, as you can certainly purchase the previously mentioned kits for less money, but you won't get the style or ease of use that Swytch offers here. . Especially if you're willing to wait a little while for your kit to arrive.

Similarly, you can buy an electric bike for the full price of the kit, and perhaps a model that hides the power a little more.

Buying a Swytch kit is not for everyone, especially those who want to try out an electric bike without having to do any manual labor. For those who want an electric bike and already have a bike that they already like and don't want to replace, the Swytch Bike conversion kit is a pretty easy way to add the “e-” to the bike you want. I have already received.

Swytch electric bike conversion kit – pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable while riding
  • Quite inconspicuous appearance

Swytch electric bike conversion kit – cons

  • Bundle of wires
  • Price if you are not willing to wait.
  • Slow delivery times.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy the Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit available on Swytch website, sold in batches to customers who have registered in advance.

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