Swytch is a relatively new company building small and lightweight electric bicycle kits. Like most other electric bicycles, it offers a bit of a boost while pedaling, with hardly any noise or extra complexity of messy liquid fuels. So why might you want an assist from a Swytch kit installation..?
- It’s not a random Chinese import – Look at sites like Alibaba you will find kits that fraudulently sell 700+watt kits with “250w” labels, you will find random cheaper kits that have little or no mention of water proofing and quality… In contrast, this is a Swytch brand motor hub and Swytch brand controller+battery box… which is built in China for a European company.
- Commute better, faster – Especially if you are going around your neighborhood streets, the 20mph kit should make it much easier to get their faster, without coming to work sweaty, without annoying drivers by going 10mph on your local 25mph streets.
- Handy – The kit is designed to quickly pop off – make sure it is fully popped on when you get back to it, I find it’s good to partially press the eject and then push the pack onto the pack mount, til it will not come off when picking it up by the pack handle. If you just want exercise going around the block no reason not to leave it at home.
- A little more theft proof? – Even when locked up, electric bike rental programs have had problems with people hack-sawing the valuable lithium-ion batteries from parked bikes. If you pop off the ebike controller and batteries with press of a button and take it with you along with your helmet and pack, this is much more of a theft deterrent.
- Efficient shipping and production – Many are wanting local transportation to be transformed to be more electric and less wasteful in the coming years, although switching to all electric cars means a massive amount of production, mining of chemicals that are dangerous to mining workers. An electric vehicle can be made easier and with less natural resources by just building a universal ebike kit that fits various bicycles people already have and use. (Just be sure to use a sturdy and well working one, not the $50 Walmart special!)
However there are a few reasons you might not want to get one…
- Bulky – it is marginally noticeable on a bicycle being on the front handle, and it would be hard to set a front basket on while using this!
- 250w – 250 watt hub is the limit in Europe where these are manufactured. Although most users won’t need anything more, if you regularly load heaving things up a hill at speed you might opt for a 500w bike or kit.
- Older bike / lever shifters? Lever shifters might get in the way of the throttle option if you opt for that. Some bikes have narrow forks or carbon forks and may need an adapter, or filing on the axle to install.
- No bike? – If you were already looking for a bike and need a bit more range and versatility, perhaps you may want to just buy a Rad power bike or a Surface604 or one from some other well known company that will be around for years, for parts availability. A Swtych kit bike may be more cost effective if there are a good number of second hand bicycles in your area though.
- Shipping – From Indigogo, this took over a year to get my kit, but it is well built kit and well worth it.
Having used one for months, I would recommend Swytch eco (or better yet, PRO which has a bit more battery and a light up front light). Please check it out and consider using this affiliate link. They will soon be on sale for the next production batch!
One final suggestion – when you order, opt for the brake cutoff which is a safety feature – the throttle option might be useful too as you can set pedal assist to 0 and only press it when you need it while pedaling.