Some hard-toiling cyclists will tell you that using an e-bike is cheating. In some instances, like when a rider was caught employing one at the Cyclocross World Champs a few years back, wed be inclined to agree. However, in most others, wed say; ‘Not only are you wrong sir, but you both look and smell a mess!’ Our opinion is that it’s almost 2020 and, in a world where traffic pollution needs to be drastically reduced, using an e-bike to make certain journeys isn’t just acceptable, it’s downright sensible.
Helping more people do just that is East London start-up Swytch Technology. In 2017, it raised £500,000 on funding site Indiegogo to develop and manufacture its first kit. Converting any bike into an e-bike, this comprised a 250-watt motor pre-built into a wheel along with a battery unit featuring an integrated display and e-bike controller.
Requiring nothing more than a 5 mm Allen key and perhaps a 15 mm spanner to fit, the original kit has since shifted over 3,000 units worldwide. Well, following a fair bit of tinkering, it’s now had a makeover. Formally weighing around 3 kg, its powerpack has shrunk down to a slimline 1.5kg. Its size is also radically smaller, having decreased by 70%.
Meaning it can be easily removed and carried for security plus it won’t add excess weight to either bike or backpack. Providing a range of up to 25 miles, it’s still powerful enough for most daily commutes, charges quickly, and won’t take up too much space off the bike. You can even get a discount of up to 50% if you order one in advance through the brand’s funding website.