We don't perhaps mention conversion kits as much as we should here on ebiketips - after all they are a great way to get an e-bike, usually at a very competitive cost. One of the latest launches, from Hong Kong-based CYC, is the exciting sounding Photon mid-drive kit, which makes some big claims for itself.
The Photon claims to weigh around 3.3kg (motor only), which is considerably lighter than competitor mid-drive conversion kits from the likes of Bafang and Tongsin. The Photon also claims an astounding 110Nm of torque - higher than even the top performing Bosch mid-drives (the Bosch Performance Line CX claims 85Nm torque from a motor weight of 2.9kg). The many cooling fins on the outside of the Photon certainly hint at large amounts of power being generated, with heat needing to be dissipated accordingly.
The Photon's other vital stats look impressive too. Its small size means chain rings down to 34 teeth can be fitted (usually not possible on bigger sized mid-drive conversion kits) which should give amazing hill-climbing performance if that torque figure is accurate, whilst CYC also boast a simple system of slot-in spacers which allow it to fit bottom bracket widths between 68mm and 120mm, as well as splined crank arm mountings.
It sounds pretty cutting edge and CYC certainly like to portray themselves as that, saying they are, "a team of ebike and EV enthusiasts who simply like making awesome things that others haven't made yet."
There does appear to be solid experience behind CYC. Apparently the company was started in 2018 as a university project by Jon Chan. They have clearly specialised in mid-drives with several iterations behind them, going from the X1 Pro Gen 1 to the X1 Pro Gen 2 (the latter claiming to be one of the first e-bike conversion kits equipped with torque sensing) and are currently on Gen 3 models. CYC say they have also come up with their own controllers, a smart display and an app, plus "there's always more projects happening behind the scenes...."
CYC appear to operate mainly in the North American market. However, intriguingly, the Photon's software looks to be fully programmable, meaning a 250W pedelec version might be legal in the UK. The system can be programmed up to 750W, the usual US legal e-bike standard, and also has a connector for throttle-only power, which is not legal here, but is legal in the US on so-called 'Class 2' e-bikes. Many of CYC's previous kits have been of the super-powerful 'off-road only' type, so the Photon is also an interesting development from that angle, bringing them into competition with mass-produced and factory-fitted mid-drives.
We couldn't see any word on availability or pricing on the Photon webpage but this retailers page recently had them for pre-order with availability stated as mid-January, though at the time of writing they appeared to be sold out.