Electric bike conversion kits don’t really get the attention they deserve on many e-bike review sites; the best ones offer an economic and easy way into e-biking and a way to keep riding an existing bike, possibly your old-time favorite, that could do with a lease of life thanks to electric assist. I tested the Swytch Universal eBike conversion kit to see if it really did prove to be as easy and effective as it looked on paper.
Last Updated: March 17, 2021
Review and photos: Richard Peace
Tested By: Richard Peace
Swytch are a UK-based company and since their formation in 2017 has been on a mission; to produce the most versatile, lightweight retrofit electric assist system out there. They have chosen a straightforward-looking system of front hub motor ready-spoked into a rim, handlebar-mounted battery and controller and a pedal sensing disc to provide motor power when the rider starts pedaling (there is also a throttle option, not tested here).
Swytch’s big selling point is the very wide range of bikes that their kit will convert to electric assist; in fact, they boast they can convert any bike to electric assist with the exception of those whose front wheels feature hub brakes or thru-axles, both relatively unusual designs. They even say the kit can be made to fit most recumbents, trikes and tandems though they request you contact [email protected] to discuss exact details of how it will fit your particular bike if it’s a relatively unusual design like these examples.
It also claims to be the world’s smallest and lightest electric assist kit. Whilst there are a few other kits out there that would contest this claim it certainly is one of the lightest electrification options out there.
Our bottom line on the Swytch retrofit system: Should convert the vast majority of ‘unpowered’ bikes out there to electric assist relatively simply and, if you order in advance, should do it at a great price.