I used to ride this 1939 Royal Enfield Ladies Loop frame bicycle around Brighton back in the Eighties, before putting it out to pasture and hanging it up from the workshop roof .
So when the desire for an electric bicycle was kindled, and I heard about the Swytch conversion kits ( https://www.swytchbike.com ) I glimpsed the rusty wreck out of the corner of my eye and got a-wondering. Sure, it’s really rusty, it’s bearings are all knackered and its brakes will be a death-trap in modern traffic: but apart from that?
So I ordered a Swytch kit.
First things first, completely strip it down to its individual components.
Purists can (or should) look away at this point because you’re not going to like the rest of this.
Once dismantled all frame parts were sent away to be shot blasted, zinc sprayed and powder coated to RAL 3003 gloss (currently my favourite colour), and on its return, all reassembled with new ball bearings in steering head and crank.
Unfortunately the wheel rims were riddled with rust holes (which the sand blasting had exposed), so some new rims of the right profile had to be sourced. These in turn had to be built into wheels (with stainless steel spokes), the front wheel built with the Swytch motor as its hub, the rear with the original Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Rayment Cycles of Brighton obliged.
And obviously , white tyres are a must!
Various amounts of fiddling later, mainly with replacing worn threads on nuts and bolts, some modified rod brake mechanisms and new brake blocks, it’s time for the Swytch kit.
A lack of space on the handlebars because of the rod brake lever mechanisms, meant fabricating a bracket to clamp to the bikes original lamp holder to support the battery pack. This might prove a bit weak and need some extra strength in the future, as it bounces around, (assuming Brighton’s roads are even more potholed than they were in the Eighties), but is more than sufficient for the time being.
The Swytch pedal sensor required a mm or so grinding off the back face of the pedal in order to get the cotter pin back in once the sensor was in position.
My first pedal out of the workshop and I almost went straight into a wall… before even trying the brakes; I’ll do that next.