A few days ago, I had a chance to ride the new 20″ SWFT BMX e-bike. It’s my son’s bike, and given both my and his own connections in the e-mobility world, I’m sure he didn’t pay for it. Still, it’s worth noting that this isn’t technically a paid review — but it might read like one, if you don’t have sufficient context.
So, here’s some context.
Pizza & Sex
For those of you that haven’t been following my posts over the last few years: I’ve ridden a lot of bikes. “Bikes,” in this case, covers both bicycles and motorcycles. Now, some of those bikes I’ve really liked, and some I haven’t, but bikes are, for the most part, kind of like pizza and sex, in that having really mediocre pizza and sex is still pretty good.
This isn’t a story about mediocre pizza and sex, though. That’s because, every once in a great while, you can have really incredible, mind-blowing, knee-buckling, life-altering pizza (and, if you’re lucky, sex), and it’s so good that it makes you start looking at all the other pizza and sex you’ve have in a new context.
After riding the SWFT BMX E-bike, I think it might be time to start looking at my other bikes in a new context.
“Most e-bikes feel like mopeds with pedals, and they’re a little too heavy to make them comfortable while pedaling without assist,” explained my oldest boy, Hobbes, when I texted him to ask what he thought of his own bike. “The SWFT just feels like a normal bike. It weighs less than 40 lb, so it’s easy to pick up and get into the Jeep.” (He drives a vintage TJ Wrangler. –Ed.)
My phone kept buzzing. “You can ride it up and down curbs like any other BMX. The thing is super maneuverable, which makes sense for a BMX bike, but it’s appreciated nonetheless.”
“Again, the weight and smaller size help here,” he continues, “it navigates tight spaces easily, and is light enough that you can take drops without feeling like you’re going to break something. The seat’s a bit uncomfortable, but you’re standing a lot of the time (again: it’s a BMX bike), so it’s fine.”
Indeed, it is.
In the past, I’ve written about that “e-bike smile” that people get the first time they ride an e-bike, and about Serial 1’s brand manager, Aaron Frank, who once said that e-bikes, “take the ‘suck’ out of cycling.” As for me, I tend to explain the appeal of e-bikes in terms of childhood – riding an e-bike is just like you remember riding a bike as a kid. You don’t remember getting tired, or feeling winded and sore the next day. You only remember the thrill of freedom, the wind in your hair, and the fun.
That was always just slightly bulls**t, though, because I never really rode a bike as a kid. I was in my teens when I first really started riding, and the bike I rode wasn’t a mountain bike or a cruiser or even one of the roadies I’d eventually fall for. It was a 20″ Huffy Freestyle Pro, straight out of the Sears catalog.
The SWFT BMX? This e-bike feels like my childhood — and I am way too smitten with it to say anything objective. Luckily, Hobbes is a halfway decent writer, and his thumbs are good for at least 80 or 90 wpm by text.
“The SWFT looks incredible, too,” he writes. “I love the clean matte black paint job, and I’m especially a fan of the in-frame front headlight, which helps the look.”
He goes on, “It’s got a 350W rear hub motor, which isn’t much, but good for 20 MPH on level ground (I managed to get it up to around 24). The bike also accelerates smoothly, partly because the bike has such low mass.”
To sum it up, Hobbes wrote, “All in all, this bike is amazing. Maybe not comfortable enough for an every-day commuter bike, but the fun-factor definitely makes up for it.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Check out the new SWFT BMX e-bike for yourself in the company’s promo video below, then let us know if you have any fond BMX memories in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
SWFT BMW E-Bike Skatepark
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