SWFT Fleet review: no-frills e-bike cruiser doesn’t even use vowels

The SWFT brand is relatively young in the electric mobility space, but it’s coming out swinging with a variety of options. Casting a wide net, SWFT sells direct and through Best Buy, both online and in 10 stores in the US. Today we’ll be reviewing an offering right in the middle with their electric cruiser, which is called the Fleet.

SWFT Fleet specs

  • Motor: 500w rear hub drive
  • Battery: 48v 10Ah (480wh)
  • Engagement: 3 level pedal assist, throttle
  • Stated Range: 37.2 miles
  • Top Speed: 20mph
  • Gearing: Single speed
  • Tires: 26″ x 2″
  • Price: $999 + flat shipping $99
  • Availability: Online direct, and BestBuy
  • Brakes: Mechanical rim brakes (single pull v-brake)
  • Extras: integrated front headlight, comfort saddle, ergonomic grips
  • Additional Services: Assembly services (for a price, I’m sure), 15-day return policy (not common for direct order e-bikes)

Yup, $999. For this kind of price, it’s common to see an electric bike promise a steak and deliver chicken nuggets. In the case of the Fleet, we have a very clear use case with tailored components to save some serious cash. Obviously, the bike isn’t made for off-road, racing, or tight urban transport, but instead for easygoing cruising, and simple commuting in fair weather.

Easy does it

The Fleet is a full-sized, comfortable electric bicycle with easy controls. In this price range, it’s common to see small folding e-bikes with telescoping handlebars, telescoping seat posts, and controls that require a bit of a learning curve. With the Fleet, it’s very easy for any rider to jump on and use it with proficiency. The frame proved a solid build and a classic look. While it’s a bit cramped for someone over 6 feet, the medium frame will fit any rider that can swing their leg up and over the frame.

Fleet 48v 10Ah battery

Surprise benefit

One relative strength of the Fleet is the electric system. The Fleet has both a pedal assist and throttle operation, which itself offers great versatility on the ride. The pedal assist is activated with the small display on the handlebars, which is small in itself and adjusts to three levels of assist. The limited pedal assist is supported by the throttle, which can give a boost of riding at the flick of the wrist. I did notice that the throttle wouldn’t begin at a dead stop. After nudging the bike a couple feet forward, the throttle would propel the bike as long as it was twisted.

Fleet cockpit

SWFT commuter

The 48v 10Ah battery is advertised for a rather precise max range of 37.2 miles. In my experience, I’ve ridden a bike very similar using only the throttle, and did 20 miles without using the pedals. With this kind of range, it’s quite possible to complete some simple commuting with the Fleet. I say “simple” commuting because the Fleet does not have complete mounting points for a rear rack, and other accessories would have to come third party. Still, with a backpack and nice weather, the Fleet could easily become a daily driver for almost any need around town.

Fleet Single Speed

Trade-offs on Fleet

The biggest drawback for the Fleet should come as no surprise: rim brakes and a single-speed mechanical gear. This combination makes for a really good-looking bike, with a clean-looking set of wheels and a straight chain. On the business side, this combination of parts doesn’t do very well on steep hills. Since it’s an electric bike, a gentle slope can easily be overcome, but going up the local hill could pose a challenge. To be brief, if the bike doesn’t make it up the hill, then you need not worry about going down.

Fleet Headlight

Big store, big boost

The bike can be ordered from BestBuy.com to earn reward points, and is also available in 10 stores in the US. The ones I know of are: Austin, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Miami, Tampa and Orlando, New York City, and Seattle. Big store representation is a major step toward legitimacy for any brand, and for e-bikes in general. This shows a lot of confidence in the product for both SWFT and for Best Buy.

Electrek’s Take

The price is hard to beat, and the drawbacks are clear. The Fleet is an affordable simple cruiser that looks good, feels good, and has enough power to flaunt both. For some reason, a lot of cruiser electric bikes carry a high price tag (I’ve seen many for over $3,000), but the Fleet really boils it down to the necessities and gives the cost savings back to the user. If you ride on steep hills often, then you may want to look for a bike with a range of gearing, maybe even a mid-drive to magnify that output.

Lookin’ good

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