Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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hondated
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hondated » 30 Dec 2018, 9:11pm

Forget electric I am getting one of these. My son spoke to the owner & took the photo.
He said the fella was gushing about it and kept on about how cheap it was.
Not sure he's going to get away with it for long as he lives in Bromley.
IMG-20181230-WA0001.jpg

hemo
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hemo » 30 Dec 2018, 11:01pm

Old Bill will stop and nick you if they see you, most likely points on your licence and a fine.
The bike will definitely be classed as a light moped needing number plates, insurance, tax and a proper helmet.
Above all the noise will be a give away.

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hondated
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hondated » 31 Dec 2018, 10:19am

hemo wrote:Old Bill will stop and nick you if they see you, most likely points on your licence and a fine.
The bike will definitely be classed as a light moped needing number plates, insurance, tax and a proper helmet.
Above all the noise will be a give away.

hemo Definitely. I'd be very surprised if he hasn't got nicked yet.

Brigueil
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby Brigueil » 8 Feb 2019, 8:15am

I ordered my SWYTCH kit (£540) last August and am still waiting now in February with an anticipated delivery mid March. This is a long long time. There are UK based outfits out there who supply kits within days. It is obvious that this startup company is underfunded and makes to order rather than builds up stock which is fine if you are prepared to wait and wait. When it arrives, in March, this will be a lead time of eight months!
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hemo
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hemo » 8 Feb 2019, 11:07am

Swytch is operated I believe by the same people who retail as Panda Bikes UK kit bike supplier, at least two of the directors afaict are the same people. Oliver Montague is the main man behind it.

On both accounts contact can be abysmal in the fact of any replies, not enough staff and a massive bank balance going by the numbers of orders placed. I think last I saw at end of 2017 nearly 400K was raised on a crowd funding site.

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philg
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby philg » 8 Feb 2019, 12:49pm

Mine (Swytch 250W 50mile 700c) arrived via DPD on Tuesday (ordered in May) and immediate impressions were extremely positive.
There has obviously been a lot of thought given to the design, i.e. the controller integrated with the battery pack on a QR handlebar bag resulting in a very minimalist layout - just the bar bag, motor wheel and the crank mounted pedal sensor and cable. The packaging was also first class.

Installation was very straightforward apart from the PAS disc which wouldn't fit between the LH crank and the axle due to insufficient clearance (it needs >5mm) - I believe this is common to other e-kits. My solution (as recommended in the very throrough online installation guide) was to enlarge the central hole to 37mm to fit over the crank boss itself. I then secured it with Silastic RTV which seems to work and the disc is firmly held.
Swytch replied to my web helpdesk query about this (in 1 day) and they offer a slightly thinner (4mm) disc, but I think that would also be too wide.

I built it up on my Spa Touring as it was my heaviest bike, so the additional 5kg would seem less of a penalty. The battery bag is very quickly removable so in human only mode the penalty reduces to a couple of kg. Replacing the front wheel reduces it further to a few 100 gm though not being QR (has 17mm axle nuts) I doubt whether I will bother.

It had it's maiden outing yesterday, 23km around Exmoor with 600m or so of climbing. I used the assistance only for climbs, it is very easy to adjust the power setting as there are just 3 buttons on the top of the battery bag, + and - to cycle through the 7 level (this is adjustable somewhere in the menu structure but seemed fine to me) where 0 is Off, and the mode button to cycle through the ride data. All very easy.
There were 3-4 bars out of 5 left at the end, so range anxiety reduced here.

The motor was surprisingly quiet, certainly much quieter than I was expecting and I doubt it was louder than a hub gear, certainly not a Rohloff on it's nosiest ratio. The power delivery was very smooth and the bike seemed well balanced. On an aesthetic level, I kept my Ortlieb panniers on the rear rack and at a quick glance it looked just like another touring bike with a bar bag, the cables mostly hide behind the bar bag - just the motor gives it away!

The build quality (IMHO) is first rate, the fixtures and cables are sturdy, and mating the connectors requires a very firm push so the waterproofing is probably pretty good.

Subject to a long term reliability test, my opinion is that at £375 this was an absolute bargain, at the full RRP of £749, maybe not so much.
HTH




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rfryer
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby rfryer » 12 Oct 2019, 8:03am

philg wrote:Mine (Swytch 250W 50mile 700c) arrived via DPD on Tuesday (ordered in May) and immediate impressions were extremely positive.

Thanks for the review, interesting as I'm thinking about funding their latest campaign.

Do you have any longer-term thoughts now you've lived with it for a while?

rjb
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby rjb » 12 Oct 2019, 8:43am

Why are electric kits so expensive? You can buy a cordless drill for upwards of £50 which comprises a motor, charger and li-ion battery. All the items you need for an electric bike including a simple power controller built in to the drill.
Here's an idea, mount a drill on a front rack with a toothed drive belt to a sprocket mounted instead of a disc on the hub. Remove the power switch and extend the wiring to mount it on your bars. Various powers are available :twisted:
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

stodd
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby stodd » 12 Oct 2019, 9:50am

A bike motor is more powerful than the average cordless drill, at least its ability to generate continuous power. (I can't see continuous power ratings for drills in a quick search).

The bike battery has much higher capacity. eg a £50 B&D comes with 2x 1.5Ah 18V battery, 54wh. A typical lowish end bike battery is around 300wh, though some ultra-lightweight or very cheap kits are lower. A quick search indicates the equivalent in drill batteries would be £100 for cheap brands, £300 for Makita.

There is more need for control circuity on a bike; though as you say a drill has a basic controller.

The market for drills is much higher than the market for electric bike kits.

I don't know if that adds up to the difference you see, but it certainly goes a long way towards it.

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philg
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby philg » 15 Oct 2019, 8:48am

rfryer wrote:
philg wrote:Mine (Swytch 250W 50mile 700c) arrived via DPD on Tuesday (ordered in May) and immediate impressions were extremely positive.

Thanks for the review, interesting as I'm thinking about funding their latest campaign.

Do you have any longer-term thoughts now you've lived with it for a while?


I am still very impressed by this kit and it continues to work faultlessly, albeit on very steep climbs the loss of traction due to the front wheel lifting has necessitated use of the 24" gear (a general problem with FWD not of this particular kit).

I see they have launched a new smaller battery kit with another round of crowd funding at 50% discount. Although that is how I bought my kit I maybe wouldn't recommend this as the wait turned out to be 9 months and in any case, once launched discounts of 40% were available anyway.

I would also want to be certain that my money was safeguarded under the credit card protection when using this method, as the financial data on for Swytch Technology (via Companycheck) would cause me some concerns.

HTH

hercule
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hercule » 15 Oct 2019, 8:02pm

I got very frustrated with Panda after buying a kit a couple of years ago, mismatched connectors, a battery that was entirely unsuited to my application (which I had discussed extensively by email beforehand), and the charger stopped working shortly after purchase. They were very prompt in replying to presale emails but aftersales did not impress, although they did send a replacement charger. The battery expired last winter despite keeping it topped up. I wouldn’t buy from them again.

hemo
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby hemo » 16 Oct 2019, 12:29am

hercule wrote:I got very frustrated with Panda after buying a kit a couple of years ago, mismatched connectors, a battery that was entirely unsuited to my application (which I had discussed extensively by email beforehand), and the charger stopped working shortly after purchase. They were very prompt in replying to presale emails but aftersales did not impress, although they did send a replacement charger. The battery expired last winter despite keeping it topped up. I wouldn’t buy from them again.


Part of lithium's downfall keeping a battery at 100%/topped up, they should only be charged prior to use so 6 -12 hrs or so before needed. Other wise should be left/kept at 40 - 80% SOC if used often, if not should be stored at 3.8 - 3.85v per cell/group.

rfryer
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Re: Add-on e-bike conversion kit - Swytch or eBay kit?

Postby rfryer » 16 Oct 2019, 12:34pm

philg wrote:
rfryer wrote:
philg wrote:Mine (Swytch 250W 50mile 700c) arrived via DPD on Tuesday (ordered in May) and immediate impressions were extremely positive.

Do you have any longer-term thoughts now you've lived with it for a while?

I am still very impressed by this kit and it continues to work faultlessly, albeit on very steep climbs the loss of traction due to the front wheel lifting has necessitated use of the 24" gear (a general problem with FWD not of this particular kit).

I see they have launched a new smaller battery kit with another round of crowd funding at 50% discount. Although that is how I bought my kit I maybe wouldn't recommend this as the wait turned out to be 9 months and in any case, once launched discounts of 40% were available anyway.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I've funded one of the new, smaller ones for my Brompton. Hopefully there'll be fewer delays now that they have experience from the previous campaign. Fingers crossed!