It seems like there’s an electric version of just about every type of bicycle out there. There are eMTBs, e-cruisers, e-folders, and even e-road bikes. But somehow, BMX bikes missed the electric memo. Or at least they had until SWFT came along with an old-school classic sporting a new-school take. And at just $999, the SWFT BMX won’t break the bank.
We’ve occasionally seen some e-bikes get close, but none have carried quite the same skatepark nostalgia as this one.
The bike seems to check most of the classic BMX boxes. It’s all there with a short frame, tall bars, 20-inch wheels, rigid fork, front and rear pegs, single-speed drivetrain and flat black paint job.
Of course, there’s more than just meets the eye, and that includes a complete Class 2 electric bicycle drivetrain hidden in the SWFT BMX.
The rear hub houses a 350W motor that can be controlled using either the handlebar-mounted half-twist throttle or pedal assist.
A cadence sensor at the wheels helps measure pedaling speed if you want to get your pedaling on, or the throttle makes it easy to sit back and relax while the bike speeds off at up to 20 mph (32 km/h).
There’s a lithium-ion battery built right into the frame’s downtube that is said to offer a maximum range of 35 miles (56 km). But considering it’s just a 36V 7.5Ah battery with a mere 270 Wh of capacity, that 35-mile range estimate is starting to sound a bit lofty. If you plan to throttle around at a higher speed often, there’s a decent chance you’ll cut that range in half or more.
Still, the small battery and lower power motor help keep the weight down to just 39.7 pounds (18 kg). I say “just” because that’s quite lightweight compared to most electric bicycles. And remember that the SWFT BMX comes with heavy components, like a steel fork, steel handlebars, four foot pegs, and thick 14mm axles. So that sub-40-pound weight is fairly admirable, all things considered.
Considering that you’ll have to bring the entire e-bike inside to charge due to the lack of a removable battery, it’s a good thing it’s fairly lightweight.
In addition to the usual suspects, there are a few extra parts you won’t find on most old school BMX bikes, like the rear disc brake, front LED headlight, or even the kickstand.
But then again, while this may look like a classic BMX bike, it’s not really meant for going totally wild. Before you snag that saddle between your knees and go for a double barspin, know that the company isn’t suggesting you really push it too far with the stunts:
Because of throttle and display wires, the handlebar cannot spin 360 degrees. This e-bike is in the BMX style, but not designed for professional tricks or stunts.
The SWFT BMX likely won’t be heading for the X-Games any time soon, but the launch video still shows it getting some pretty decent air (for an e-bike) in a skate park.
Considering that the bike is likely designed for those who grew up on BMX bikes and just want a similarly-styled, lightweight, and maneuverable ride with the benefit of electric assist, that’s probably good enough.
Yes! This thing looks awesome! Sure, it’s low power and low battery capacity, but that’s not really the point of a bike like this. If you’re looking for a BMX-style bike, then you obviously aren’t afraid of spinning a pedal or two. So the modest assistance is going to feel like a major upgrade to the BMX from your younger days.
And when it comes to just having something simple that you can ride to the park and back before tossing in the corner of your garage or back of your truck, this is hard to beat. With few parts to wear out (no suspension, no shifter, only one brake), there’s just less to fuss with or worry about.
This certainly will be a niche product for a certain type of rider, but it’s cool to see that it exists (and that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg).
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