When it comes to eco-friendly modes of transport, it’s hard to compete with the good ol’ bicycle. Most of us had them when we were kids, but once we get a car, we tend to move away from bikes. They’re good exercise, though, and can be a great way to commute short distances. If you don’t want to get to your train stop all sweaty, though, you might be thinking of an eBike. Those can be quite pricey, however. And what if you already have a bicycle? Enter Swytch.
While Swytch has a folding eBike kit, what we want to focus on is their eBike conversion kit. This setup is built to fit the 28″ / 700C that most adult bikes have these days, with a 10cm gap between the forks. In this kit, you’ve got the new rim, a motor that is built into that wheel, and then a battery pack. So, to get things setup, you’ll need to be comfortable doing some basic work on your bike. In other words, if you’ve ever changed out a blown tube, you’ll be able to do this pretty easily:
Now, given where the speeds top out for this motor (looks like here in the States we’re limited to 20 MPH) this is not something you’re going to just stop pedaling. This is more to assist you getting up to speed as you pedal, so you’re not working quite as hard. Which makes this the perfect thing for commuting places, just popping the battery pack off when you get to where you’re going.
On the other hand, if you’re headed out for exercise, you could just not put the battery pack on, or not turn the pedal assist on at all. Since it doesn’t rely on any regenerative braking, the brushless motor introduces no drag at all. So really, you’re just working against the extra weight (about three pounds for the hub motor, and another 3 for the battery pack) of the kit, and not the motor itself.
Right now, Switch has a pre-order tiers with different delivery dates. You can get one for $599 (with 50% discount applied, delivery in January/February) or from as little as $499 (with a 60% discount applied, delivery in March/April). If you’re feeling impatient, though, you can pay full price and reach out to them about that option. It looks like an interesting way to tiptoe into electric bikes, especially if you already have a regular pedal bike. Check out the full range of options over at swytchbike.com
2 thoughts on “Swytch wants to help you electrify your bike”
This company has been horrible at communicating. I purchased my Switch in early May (it is late November as I type this). I’ve received very little communication about the order. No response to my emails or social media complaints. I’m worried my money is gone and I’ll never get my Swytch. Beware!
FWIW, I had a similar experience with the PR arm trying to get details, I just assumed it was an issue in their marketing department.