Home Classic motorcycle SWFT’s Volt Ebike brings back single-speed simplicity and cool urban style at...

SWFT’s Volt Ebike brings back single-speed simplicity and cool urban style at a great price

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I get a lot of emails from companies wanting me to test and review their e-bikes, and a lot of them are pretty similar, so I’m always on the lookout for something new – or just different.

Recently I was contacted by e-bike maker SWFT about new e-bikes that were quite similar to other bikes that I have reviewed before, but an e-bike they already offer, the 999 Volt, caught my attention. The Volt is not the last big bike, quite the contrary. This is a single speed (not a fixie) single freewheel machine, with a classic profile and 350 watt rear hub motor.

For many years, I commuted on a blazing red single-speed regular bike (not an e-bike) from a craftsman bike maker that is long gone in history. Built from thin-walled steel and fitted with lightweight wheels, flat bars, mountain bike rim brakes and not much else, it was a slasher for urban commuting and weighed next to nothing. I still have him, but it’s been a minute or two since he was seen on the sidewalk. SWFT Volt immediately reminded me of that red scalpel, and after a few email exchanges, SWFT was kind enough to send me one (below).

The Volt arrived largely assembled, and within ten minutes I had the handlebars, front wheel and pedals attached, it’s easy. The Volt is the opposite of fancy and at $ 999 (hint: you can find it for less) it’s not entirely unexpected, but it’s also in line with expectations for this “kind” of. bike. Bikes like the Volt should to be stripped down, simple affairs. While the Light Makes Right crowd might want a carbon frame and everything in carbon to keep weight down, I was more than happy with the Volt’s solid old-skool steel frame, steel forks and complete absence of well-known bicycle component brands. And it came in black, with unpainted aluminum spoked wheels wearing skinny 700x28mm roadie tires, classic but reliable V-type rim brakes and not much else other than a very cool LED headlight. light and a crutch. And I even removed the crutch, just in principle (hipster)! The Volt is also available in a neat silver scheme with orange highlights.

As I typed a story on my laptop the battery was charging and as the sun went down towards the end of a rare dry fall day in Oregon, I steered the Volt towards the streets of downtown. city ​​of Portland.

First impressions: The expectations of a single speed were met, although I continued to look for the shifter out of habit. At 44 pounds, the Volt is light enough for an e-bike, in part because it packs a small 36-volt, 10-Ah battery housed inside the lower down tube. Quick warning: you’ll need a decent crotch (around 32 inches) to comfortably clear the top tube, and SWFT says the Volt is suitable for most riders over 5ft 10in.

The power system offers three levels of pedaling assistance via a small LCD pad on the left bar, and three are enough for this bike. Surprisingly, instead of a thumb throttle (or no throttle), there is a turn throttle on the right grip to roll on electrons alone, and it powers the Volt up to 20 mph (possibly) at full throttle in the dish. At this speed, pedaling is pretty inefficient, but again, dragging other e-bikes is not the Volt’s mission – it’s about light and precise city transport. The combination of pedal power through the single gear and the hamster in the rear hub gives the Volt over 30 miles of electric range and if the battery drains no worries it’s not like you had to pedal a 90 pound fat bike at home at six miles an hour. This thing takes place in double digits on the pedals alone, and the hills pull your butt out of the saddle where it belongs for a more intense workout. It all seems so familiar, so Well, so much more like what the default bike was – but with that electric boost in reserve.

And that’s the real charm of the SWFT Volt. It is also the cake you can eat. Nirvana has one speed when you want it, pedal assist and even freewheel motor when you need it. Fancy? No, but that’s okay in this case. Maybe add disc brakes, please? But effective and fun? Absoutely. SWFT’s single Volt takes me back to those younger, more daring days in the saddle, when “e-bikes” weren’t even a word yet. It’s a great mix of both worlds. He’s a keeper.

SWFT Volt Electric Bike, MSRP of $ 999 and as tested.


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