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Saturday, 9 January 2021

Swytch E-Bike

My kit finally arrived 2 days ago so here is a short summary from today : 

 First decent ride today with the kit fitted. If anyone fancies a read of my first experience. 

 Not the easiest of starts yesterday - new wheel so new tyre and inner tube only to get a puncture instantly (also fitting the tyre on the wheel is awful, either the wheel is a tiny but small or the tyre (admittedly cheap tyre) is a little large so seating it and keeping it seated was difficult, luckily I was able to use my belly as a third hand to pin it in place) and then my front brake (hydraulic) had stopped working so I had to "burp" it - turns out to be easy but another delay meaning I didn't get out until mid morning today - which is a shame because turns out there were some amazing formations from the ice on the wind on top of the Downs. 

 Anyway, somewhat different riding experience to what my I am seeing on "proper" ebikes that I have tried (delivery has been so long most of my friends now have ebikes :-(), it's a much more gentle assist but I'm glad to say that I managed Streat Bostal without stopping which is only the third time I have managed it. 

Was an interesting challenge, new front tyre was all slippery on the slightly icy surface and near the top at its steepest the fat bloke in the saddle causes the front wheel to barely stay on the ground.

I am a little disappointed with the level of assist but on the other hand I didn't buy it to make a motorbike, I've got one of those, so I still have to be fully involved in the propulsion process (I also have a throttle, yes it can propel me at walking pace on the flat) - disappointed but actually rather glad because it means I will still be going out for a bike ride and making some effort. 

 Anyway, yes, a gentle assist meant I got to the top and was a puffy, sweaty mess but unlike previous attempts I was still functional. I did 12 miles in total, unremarkable speed overall. It's interesting because the aforementioned ebike owners complain about drag when the battery isn't on but this is not too bad although it is really noticeable on a downhill where there should be plenty off momentum but the front wheel just doesn't spin freely enough and that really impacts progress. 

 I experimented with the battery off, some on the lowest power and some on highest power (not sure what the point of the middle ones is :-)) and over 12 miles used roughly 80% of the battery (pro pack) which feels disappointing. I was trying to work out how far I had gone on each setting but will have to try again - the plan was to use one setting but I was having fun changing things around as I went. 

 I took my camera and it stayed in the bag the whole way, I didn't take my front light, it was quite misty in places and I can safely say that the light on the battery pack is squarely beaten by my the lights I have from Poundland, mood lighting is my current assessment. 

 The only other things learned is that while the bike works just fine without assist it really needs an on / off button that is more convenient so battery life can easily be turned off because it really isn't needed all the time.

One thing the throttle did confirm, and I had noticed this when I tested the bike on a stand, the motor doesn't seems to roll constantly, it seems to pulse which means the ride is like going over tiny corrugations on the road all the - any one else had this? I thought initially it was perhaps a malfunction in how I had mounted the PAS / sensor because the disk clearly isn't perfectly flag and sure enough as predicted the momemt the bike encounted any off road I found the sensor moved but the throttles show that isn't the case - slightly concerning, more testing tomorrow.

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