The SWFT BMX electric bike doesn’t try to be all flashy with extra features or gizmos. All it does is combine a simple but effective e-bike setup with the versatile and time-tested BMX bike design. And in doing so, it creates something simple yet effective: a low-cost e-bike that you can toss around for fun yet still use for a commute to school or work.
It’s definitely not going to be for everyone, but I’m still excited about a fairly authentic return to BMX bikes in the e-bike space, at least in terms of appearance. Bar spins are still not recommended.
Just how low-cost are we talking?
Want to see just what you’re getting for that low price? Check out my video review to watch the e-bike in action, then keep reading for the full specs and all of my other thoughts on this small format e-bike.
SWFT BMX e-bike video review
SWFT BMX tech specs
- Motor: 350W rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
- Range: 32-56 km (20-35 mi) depending on pedal assist level
- Battery: 36V 7.5Ah (270 Wh)
- Weight: 18 kg (39.7 lb)
- Frame: Aluminum alloy
- Tires: 20? x 2.35? Wanda
- Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes
- Extras: LCD display with speedometer, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, front and rear foot pegs, front LED light, kickstand
- Price: $999 from SWFT or $735 from BestBuy
What does it offer?
Ok, so let’s start by managing expectations. This isn’t a real BMX bike, in that it isn’t really designed to hit big jumps or anything. And all of those wires and cables coming from the brakes, throttle and display aren’t going to appreciate any bar spins (though I did find you can get a single rotation if you’re very careful – something that many BMX riders aren’t known for being).
So it’s more of a BMX-style electric bike, but that still lends it some cool features.
The small size keeps it fairly lightweight at under 40 lbs and the small 20? tires mean it won’t take up much space in your garage, bike room, closet, trunk, or wherever you stash your bike.
The single-speed drivetrain is either a pro or a con depending on whether you favor simplicity or pedalability. For those that are used to single-speed BMX bikes, though, it will feel like par for the course.
A set of solid axles make it possible to mount the included foot pegs both front and rear, which means you can get your tricks on or carry a friend standing on back. The bike has a 265 lb (120 kg) weight limit, though, so make sure it’s one of your smaller friends.
Much like most BMX e-bikes that only have a rear brake, the SWFT BMX comes with a single rear stopper. But they do turn it into a disc brake, unlike most rim brake-enabled BMX bikes out there.
Another departure from other BMX bikes is the built-in lighting, with a single front headlight built right into the head tube. It runs off the main battery so you’ll never need to worry about a head light when you’re riding home at night – at least as long as your main battery still has charge.
But what about the electrics?
The 350W continuous-rated rear hub motor isn’t a powerhouse, so don’t expect to burn rubber on this thing. But even though it takes you a bit longer to get up to speed, you’ll get all the way up to nearly 20 mph (32 km/h). I found that I was usually a mile and hour or so short of that 20 mph top speed, but it also depends on how charged your battery is. Near the end of the charge, you won’t have as much power to hit those higher speeds.
And it’s not a particularly large battery either, at just 270 Wh. In fact, it’s downright small. The advantage is that it’s built right into the bike’s downtube so you don’t have to worry about anyone stealing it, unless they steal the whole bike. The disadvantage is that it would be harder to replace at its end of life in a few years, and you can’t pull it out for charging – you have to take the bike to an outlet or bring an extension cord.
There’s also an annoying little switch under the battery where the downtube meets the bottom bracket. I generally just leave it on, but you can turn off the battery from that switch by bending around and blindly feeling for it between the pedals. If you won’t be using the bike for a few days, it’s probably a good idea to turn that off.
The rest of the actual controls are found on the SWFT BMX display mounted on the handlebars. There you’ve got the usual suspects of pedal assist adjustments, LED light activation and a readout for your important info like speed and battery charge level.
So what’s this e-bike good for?
To me, this feels like a nice around-the-town type of e-bike. It’s not going to be as good of a commuter as a true urban e-bike. It’s not going to climb hills like a mid-drive with a multi-speed drivetrain, and it won’t eat up the trails like a fat tire e-bike. But it’s going to be able to do a bit of all of those things, if you don’t mind compromising somewhat.
And it will do it for a song since the bike is so affordably priced.
I would have loved to see a rack and fender set offered as accessories, especially since there are already mounting points for a rear rack. Since there aren’t any fenders, I don’t think of this as a prime commuter e-bike. But with that throttle and pedal assist always at the ready, it gets the commuter job done on dry days. And of course the fenders and rack would admittedly ruin the BMX look.
I probably wouldn’t recommend this for anyone in a super hilly city since the single-speed and lower power motor won’t perform as well as they did for me in my flat city. But I can see it cruising up and down the coast all day, hopping curbs along the way.
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