You know those sleeper cars that roll up looking like any other bucket on the road and then proceed to shred a set of tires right before your eyes? The Biktrix Swift Step-Thru is pretty much the electric bicycle equivalent.
It’s a fine-looking e-bike, though nothing fancy initially jumps out at you. But when you start to examine it deeper, you realize all of the hidden high performance that makes this an electric wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Biktrix Swift Step-Thru tech specs
- Motor: 1,000W MXUS rear hub motor
- Top speed: 45 km/h (28 mph)
- Range: 50-85 km (30-55 mi) depending on user input
- Battery: 48V 17.5Ah (840 Wh) with upgrade options for up to 1,008 Wh
- Weight: 27 kg (59 lb)
- Suspension: Suntour 60mm travel fork
- Brakes: Dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes
- Extras: Shimano Altus 7-speed transmission, large cruiser saddle, included rack and fenders, adjustable reach brake levers, highly customizable (tire width, battery size, brake type, etc.)
Biktrix Swift Step-Thru video review
Not your typical cruiser e-bike
When the bike first rolls up, you’d never guess that it is packing so much power.
It looks (and feels) like something between a cruiser and a city commuter bike. The forward pedals, step-through frame, high bars, and plush saddle all contribute to the easygoing, comfortable feel of the bike.
The 1.95″ tires also give it a nice city bike feel, and don’t give that same heavy sense like with fat tire e-bikes.
But that 1,000W motor hiding in the rear wheel is all business, and it came to work.
When you saddle up and hit the throttle, you’ll blast up to 28 mph (45 km/h) with surprising ease. Trying to control my inner racer, I resisted the temptation of the easy throttle-riding as much as possible so that I could enjoy the torque-sensor-based pedal assist as well.
With both a cadence and torque sensor controlling the pedal assist function, power delivery is smooth and comes on without delay.
In the lower settings, the motor doesn’t feel overly powerful, and you actually get a nice, calm ride that feels like it better matches the appearance of the bike. In high pedal assist levels, that 1,000W motor comes alive and you’re back to that kid-in-a-candy-store grin as you fly along your path.
There are multiple large battery options ranging from 840 Wh to 1,008 Wh, providing more range than most people will ever need. Even with the smallest option, you’ll likely never see less than 30 miles (48 km) of range, and you’ll easily get more than double that with even moderate pedal assist. The largest battery option will likely last you for days of casual riding.
It’s not just about the power
The power is great, but the loadout is where the price comes in. That price – by the way – is $2,599.
The higher than normal power motor and higher than normal capacity battery certainly play a role in that price, but the bike’s loadout is where it all comes together.
Features like the dual piston hydraulic brakes, torque sensor pedal assist, color display, and 60 mm front suspension all add to the upgraded feel compared to typical mid-level e-bikes in the $1.5K-$2K range.
The rear rack is also a nice touch. It’s color matched and bolted along the length of the seat stays, meaning it basically becomes part of the frame. It doesn’t look like those flimsy racks that get added to a lot of budget e-bikes. Instead, it becomes part of the bike. And there’s even a mounting bracket up front for a large front rack or basket that rigidly mounts to the frame instead of turning with the fork. Unlike the rear rack that comes standard, a front rack or basket will cost you extra.
While I love these front rack mounts on the headtube, this style doesn’t look nearly as nice as we’ve seen elsewhere. The mounts seem to just be blocks that are drilled and tapped. When you don’t have the basket or rack on the front, they look a bit funny. I’m not normally an asthetics guy, and to be honest I don’t really care whether the front rack mounts look nice or not (I judge a bike by how it rides), but it’s worth pointing out for those that do.
And then you’ve got your basic niceties, things like LED lights and included fenders. They’re nice to have but they don’t wow me on their own. At this price level, companies pretty much have to include them as standard equipment or I’m going to roast their bike. Fortunately Biktrix checks those boxes for me.
The bike had a Microshift transmission when I tested it, but it seems now they’ve switched to a Shimano Altus 7-speed derailleur, which is a bit of a bummer in my opinion. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with this derailleur and it’s just fine. But it’s Shimano’s entry-level derailleur and I would have hoped to step up to a Shimano Alivio at this price point, which is just a nicer version. For a bike like this that is such a fun one to actually pedal, any drivetrain upgrades are certainly appreciated. But the worldwide bike component market is turned on its head right now and many companies are in a pinch to get any components whatsoever, so I imagine that you take what you can get at a certain point.
While the entry-level bicycle transmission doesn’t wow me, it’s perfectly fine for everyday riding – it just isn’t as fancy as the rest of the bike.
The only other complaint I have, which is admittedly superficial, is the Champagne color doesn’t really do it for me. Check it out in Classic Blue below. Mmm, now that’s an e-bike!
Wrap it up for me
The take-home message about the Biktrix for me was the interesting combination of comfort and power in a city-style electric bike. I’ve ridden plenty of comfortable city e-bikes and I’ve ridden plenty of 1,000 W e-bikes, but they rarely overlap like this. Biktrix has gotten great at providing e-bikes with excellent rides and that pack in more power than you’d expect.
In this case, the Biktrix Swift Step-Thru has managed to take a comfortable geometry frame, outfit it with great components, and then pack it full of more power and battery capacity than you probably need (but that you’ll absolutely be grateful for once you try it).
While it looks like a casual e-bike that you’d take on a Sunday cruise, it has the muscle to keep up with the best of them.
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