New e-bike conversion kit is said to be world's smallest and lightest
Instead of switching right over to a full-time electric bicycle, many people are now opting to simply add an electric-assist setup to their existing bike when needed. The newly-updated Swytch Kit is claimed to be the lightest and smallest such system available.
It was two years ago that the original Swytch eBike Conversion Kit came out. Like the new version, it consists of three main parts: a 250-watt hub-motor-equipped front wheel that stays on the bike full-time, a handlebar-mounted docking station, and a battery/electronics-containing waterproof "power pack" that quickly clicks in and out of that housing.
When users want a regular human-powered bike, they just pull the power pack out. When they want an electric boost, they just pop it back on. It certainly is a more convenient setup than systems in which an entire battery-and-motor-equipped wheel has to be swapped back and forth with a normal one, which we have seen quite a few of.
The new Swytch Kit – which hit the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform this Monday – incorporates a power pack that's claimed to be 70 percent smaller than that of the original, and (at 1.5 kg/3.3 lb) 50 percent lighter. An LED display on top of the pack allows users to select between five levels of electrical assistance.
One 3-hour charge of the Pro model's lithium-ion battery should be good for up to 50 km (31 miles) of motor-boosted riding, taking the rider to a top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) in the UK or 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US. These are the same figures that are quoted for the higher-capacity version of the original kit.
As is the case with many crowdfunding projects, there are different versions of the Swytch Kit to choose from. The Pro model can be had for a pledge of US$490 (planned retail $1,000), a slower and shorter-range Eco model is up for $394 (retail $800), and a 100 km/62 mile-capable Tour version will set you back $738 (retail $1,300). Assuming they reach production, they should ship next March.
There's more information in the following video.