Would you make the Swytch?
The Swytch electric wheel went live on crowdfunding site Indiegogo and has broken its crowdfunding target within the first day.
A newly launched electric bike conversion kit claims to be able to convert any existing bike into an eBike – in seconds – for just £225.
For those that don’t have a bike already – or like their bike how it is thanks – Swytch offer a complete electric bike option with the Swytch system already fitted, for under £500 making it very probably the best value eBike on the market.
Before we get carried away, it’s more aimed at leisure bikes and commuters than mountain bikers. The front wheel drive nature of the Swytch will have implication for off-road use (both potentially positive and negative affects) and the placing of battery weight high and forward on the bike (handlebars) doesn’t initially sound ideal for MTB.
Nevertheless it is still an interesting concept whose apparent success appears to have really chimed in with a desire for cut-price electric assist power that you can slot into an existing bike, particularly among older riders. The Swytch reached its crowdfunding target within 24 hours(!) and who knows if they’ll go on to make a more MTB-focussed design..?
It’s already got us thinking of converting our old, dust-gathering QR-wheeled winter hack bike MTBs into e-bikes for winter playtime duties.
The Swytch is essentially a front wheel with an electric motor in it. This wheel links to removable power pack that sits on your handlebars. Up on the power pack is where the controls and display reside, along with a built-in front light and a USB output that can be used to power/charge external devices. With the powerpack removed from the bars the remaining installed Swytch system adds around 2kg to your bike.
The manufacturers claim the initial installation only takes ten minutes and once installed, swapping from regular to power-assist guises takes a few seconds. Basically plop the power pack in place and ride. There are actually two Swytchs: a 25 mile range one and a 50 mile range one.
Oliver Montague, inventor of the Swytch, has been running a successful e-bike conversion company for over four years: “I’ve wanted to design a simple, inexpensive, and convenient to install and use e-bike system for several years now. I’ve gone through many prototypes and visited many suppliers and am now ready to launch what I believe is a ground-breaking product.”