Swytch has launched a new e-bike conversion kit (opens in new tab) that features a 700g battery that it says is similar in size to a large smartphone and will turn any bike into an electric bike (opens in new tab). The battery provides 250W of power and has a claimed range of nine miles (15km) with a recharge time of one hour.
The UK brand is also offering a slightly bigger battery which weighs 1,100g and has a claimed range of 17 miles (30km).
Swytch’s existing kit, the Universal eBike Conversion Kit, which we reviewed this year (opens in new tab), has a battery that weighs 2kg.
Along with the battery, Swytch kits consist of a motor front wheel which replaces the bike’s original front wheel and comes in various sizes to fit your bike; a pedal sensor and a battery connector. As we found in our hands-on review, they're simple to fit and take around an hour and that’s it - your bike has been ‘Swytched’ and is now an e-bike (opens in new tab).
As well as the new kit’s battery being pocket sized, which Swytch says is something that’s never been seen before in the e-bike market, it is also flight safe and can be taken on planes in hand luggage.
One advantage of an e-bike conversion kit is that existing non-electric bikes get upcycled, rather than being scrapped for a brand new dedicated e-bike. Another, according to Swytch, is that its new kit will be around four times cheaper than an e-bike with equivalent specifications, though no pricing is available as yet.
The existing kit retails at £999 or £1,249 for the upgraded ‘Pro’ kit, but is available at a 50% discount if you sign up for it on Swytch’s website.
Swytch says the new kit will be available to pre-order following the official public launch in May.
How the Swytch Kit works
The Swytch kit is pedal assist, meaning that it provides power as you pedal. The pedal sensor detects when you are pedalling, and the motor controller (contained inside the handlebar connector) draws power from the pocket-sized Swytch battery and powers a 250W hub motor contained inside a front motor wheel.
All Swytch kits are cross compatible and are backwards compatible with previous versions so that Swytch riders can use the new pocket sized power pack without needing to buy a whole new kit.
Additionally, Swytch makes all parts user upgradeable with no specialist tools or knowledge necessary. The brand says it does this so that no components need to be thrown away or needlessly made obsolete.
Swytch's success story
Swytch is already a big success story, with its original e-bike conversion kit having launched in 2019, selling 9,000 units in the UK making up over 5% of the entire bike market by volume, according to the brand.
To date it says it says it has sold almost 40,000 units of the original Swytch kit to customers all over the world, with over 50% of sales being to international customers, primarily in the EU and USA.
Swytch says its kits have been delivered to customers in over 50 countries and Swytch bikes have ridden a total of over 1.5 million miles, saving over 17,000 tonnes of CO2 as a result of the embodied carbon emissions savings associated with “up-cycling” an existing bicycle, plus the emissions saved by cycling more instead of driving.
Now, with the introduction of the new kit with its smaller, lighter battery, Swytch anticipates that global sales volumes will grow to over 50,000 units annually by 2023.
Swytch’s CTO and co-founder, Dmitro Khroma, said: “Our new improved Swytch Kit is a game-changer. It is going to totally disrupt the eBike industry because it is so much lighter, smaller and more affordable than anything else out there”.
CEO and co-founder, Oliver Montague, said: “Our job as innovators is to make environmentally-friendly technology that people want to use because it is cool! That way, a global change to a more sustainable way of life will happen naturally”.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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