What are conversion kits?
An electric bike conversion kit is a set of components that allows a conventional bicycle to be converted into an pedal assist electric bike.
These kits typically include an electric motor, a battery, and a controller, as well as various other components such as a throttle, pedals, and a display screen. The motor is typically mounted on the front or rear wheel of the bike, and is powered by the battery. The controller manages how electricity flows from the battery to the motor, allowing the rider to control the speed and power of the bike.
Ebike conversion kits can be used to upgrade an existing bicycle, or to convert a new frame into an electric bike. They offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to buying a new electric bike.
Why choose conversion kits?
There are several benefits to using an electric bike conversion kit compared to buying a new electric bike. Some of the main benefits include:
- Cost: Electric bike conversion kits are generally less expensive than buying a new electric bike. This makes them a more affordable option for those who want to experience the benefits of electric biking without breaking the bank.
- Customization: With an electric bike conversion kit, you can choose the specific components that you want to use and install them on a bicycle that you already own or a new frame that you have built. This allows you to customize your electric bike to suit your specific needs and preferences.
- Environmentally friendly: conversion kits allow you to convert a conventional bicycle into an electric bike, reducing the amount of resources and energy that would be required to produce a new electric bike.
- Easy to install: Many electric bike conversion kits are designed to be easy to install, even for those who are not mechanically inclined. This means that you can often install the kit yourself, without the need for professional help.
- Versatility: Electric bike conversion kits can be used to convert a wide range of bicycles, including mountain bikes, road bikes, and even cargo bikes. This allows you to convert the type of bicycle that you already have or prefer, rather than having to buy a new electric bike that may not suit your needs or preferences.
Who is Swytch?
Swytch is a London-based startup founded in 2017 by engineers Oliver Montague and Dmitro Khroma. Swytch started as a crowd funded startup and is now an established player in conversion kit market.
Who is ENVO?
Envo, a company dedicated to promoting a greener future through its e-mobility products, it was founded in 2015 in Vancouver. Starting as a one-person business in a small flat, the team at Envo has grown to include individuals who are committed to reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuels. By evolving new ideas in e-mobility, Envo is leading the way towards a sustainable future.
In this blog, we will be comparing ENVO and Swytch ebike conversion kits to help customers make an informed decision about which product is best for them. By providing a thorough comparison, we hope to make it easier for customers to choose the conversion kit that best meets their needs.
Swytch offers a 250W geared hub motor. On the other hand, ENVO offers different power levels for conversion kits including 350W, 500W, and 750W versions allowing customers to choose a motor with the power they need.
Power and torque are closely related, but they are not the same thing. Torque is a measure of the rotational force exerted by a motor, and it is particularly important for climbing hills or carrying heavy loads.
Swytch claims that its conversion kits have a torque value of 40Nm, which may be sufficient for moderate hills but may not be enough for steep or difficult terrain. In contrast, ENVO's conversion kits offer higher torque values of up to 100Nm, which may be more suitable for challenging conditions or heavy payloads. Customers who need strong torque for their electric bikes may want to consider ENVO's conversion kits over those offered by Swytch.
Swytch offers two battery pack options: a 15km range swytch battery pack with a 98Wh capacity and a 30km range pack with a 180Wh capacity. ENVO, on the other hand, offers more options with a range of battery sizes. The smallest ENVO battery has a 460Wh capacity and offers a range of 60+ km, while the largest has a 940Wh capacity and can get you 100+ km on a single charge. This allows customers to choose the battery size and range that best meets their needs and preferences.
While Swytch claims to offer reasonable range with its conversion kits, there are reasons to be skeptical of this claim. Based on the battery capacity and power consumption of the kit, it is unlikely that the smaller battery pack would last more than 30 minutes, and the larger pack would last no more than an hour even under ideal conditions.
If the rider is using the motor at full power, especially while going uphill, this will further reduce the range of the kit. These limitations may make Swytch's kits less appealing to customers who need longer range or more power for their electric bikes.
Rear vs Front Wheel
Swytch only offers front hub motor, which makes for easy assembly but may not be suitable for all bike types (eg: recumbent tricycle). In contrast, ENVO offers both front and rear wheel conversion kits, allowing customers to choose the option that best meets their needs.
The front wheel kits are just as easy to assemble as Swytch's, and the rear wheel option gives customers the flexibility to use the conversion kit on any type of bike. This added versatility makes ENVO's conversion kits suitable for a wider range of bike types and uses.
ACCESS TO THE SERVICE CENTRE
ENVO has a more extensive physical footprint than Swytch, with more than 100 dealers across North America. This means that customers have more options for accessing service centers, which can be convenient if they need repairs or maintenance for their electric bicycle.
In contrast, Swytch operates on a direct-to-consumer model, which means that they have a limited number of service centers. This could make it more difficult for customers to access repairs or maintenance if they need it, which could be a disadvantage compared to the ENVO conversion kits.
It’s important for consumers to carefully consider their access to service centers when choosing an electric bike kit to ensure that they can easily get the support they need if they need it.
SERVICEABILITY AND SPARE PARTS
ENVO's conversion kits are designed with modularity in mind, making them easy to repair and service. Furthermore, spare parts for ENVO kits are readily available on the market, allowing customers to customize and repair their kits to meet their individual needs. This design philosophy makes ENVO's ebike kits more user-friendly and flexible than those offered by competitors.
In contrast to ENVO's modular design, Swytch uses a proprietary design for its conversion kits. This means that Swytch's controller and battery are only compatible with each other, and if something breaks it may not be repairable. This can be frustrating for customers who prefer to have the option to repair or customize their products, and it may make Swytch's conversion kits less appealing to those who value flexibility and serviceability.
One advantage of ENVO's conversion kits is that they allow customers to add both front and rear light to their bikes. This makes it easier to see and be safe when riding at night or when it's not very light outside. In contrast, Swytch's conversion kits do not offer this option, so customers who want to add lights to their bike may need to look elsewhere.
Swytch advertises its conversion kits at a price point of $999 and $1249 for two versions, but there are often sales that can bring the cost down. Similarly, ENVO's conversion kits have a broader range of prices, starting at $1300 CAD and going up to $1980 CAD for the larger battery versions. However, ENVO also offers holiday sales that customers can take advantage of to bring the cost down.
This means that while ENVO's kits may be more expensive than Swytch's on average, customers can potentially save money by taking advantage of sales and promotions. Overall, both companies offer a range of options to meet different customer needs and budgets, and it is worth comparing prices and promotions to find the best deal.
Swytch; Who is it good for?
Swytch's conversion kits may be a good option for customers who want to use their electric bike as a recreational toy or tool with limited practical functionality. The limited power, range, and torque of Swytch's kits may not be sufficient for commuting, exploring trails, or other practical uses.
In contrast, ENVO's conversion kits offer a wider range of power and torque options, as well as the ability to customize and repair the kit, making them more suitable for practical, everyday use. Customers who need an electric bike for commuting or other purposes may want to consider ENVO's kits over those offered by Swytch.
In conclusion, both Swytch and ENVO offer electric bike conversion kits that can help converting your bike into an ebike. However, they differ in terms of the features and options they offer.
Swytch's kits are more affordable and easy to assemble, but they may not be as flexible or repairable as ENVO's modular kits. ENVO's kits offer a wider range of power and battery options, as well as the ability to add lights and customize the kit to meet individual needs. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on the customer's priorities and preferences. It is worth considering the pros and cons of each option carefully before making a decision.