The benefits of an electric bike are manifold. There are no harmful fumes, it’s kind to the environment, and it’s much better exercise than simply walking (as this literature review of contemporary research confirms).
It’s also much easier on your joints because there’s little to no impact when you’re riding. The best part about an electric bike is that it can ascend steep slopes without any problem, which makes it appeal to individuals that live in hilly or mountainous regions or that may have previously avoided cycling for fear of difficult inclines.
Swifty electric bikes can be considered entry/mid-level e-bikes and are therefore a lot more affordable than many of their competitors. But does that mean they are substandard?
In this Swifty Electric Bike review, we will explore the features of the three Swifty bikes currently on the market, compare their differences and evaluate their suitability. Also, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ below the reviews.
|BEST OVERALL||BEST FOLDABLE|
|SWIFTY AT656||SWIFTY LIBERTE|
|Mountain bike||Road bike|
|3-hour charge time||3-hour charge time|
|35 miles per charge||30 miles per charge|
|Blue or Black||Black or Pink|
|around £800||around £700|
Table of Contents
- Comparison table
- The Best Swifty Electric Bikes
- Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide
The Best Swifty Electric Bikes
All three Swifty bikes in the current range are reviewed in detail below.
The Swifty AT656 is their flagship product and is available in two colours; Midnight Black and Azure Blue. It is a mountain bike, designed for off-road terrain, however, it can also be used for road cycling.
The battery is semi-integrated and situated on the downtube of the lightweight aluminium frame. It is a 36-volt Panasonic battery, with a capacity of 9.6ah (ampere-hours). A full charge takes 3 hours and this provides power for 35 miles of cycling.
Power-assist is controlled using buttons on the handlebars. There are four modes to choose from:
- 25% assistance
- 50% assistance
- 100% assistance
- Walk mode – engages from a standing start to make the bike easier to push
There is also a ‘0%’ mode, where the motor will provide no assistance and you can cycle just as you would a regular bike.
World-leading Shimano 7-speed gears, zoom forks, disc brakes, double-wall rims and 27.5″ CST tyres provide an impressive and durable specification, without even taking the ‘electric’ aspect into account.
In addition, the saddle and front-wheel have quick-release mechanisms and there is a built-in bike stand included.
The Swifty AT656 is priced at £800.
The AT650 is very, very similar to the AT656 in specification.
It uses the same battery type and has Shimano 7-speed gearing, disc brakes zoom forks, CST tyres, double-wall rims, quick release front wheel and saddle, a lightweight aluminium frame and a bike stand.
So, what exactly are the differences?
Well, the battery is not semi-integrated into the frame, which means it has a larger profile as you can see from the images. In addition, a full charge only provides power for about 30 miles, so it is not as efficient as the AT656.
The other primary difference is with the colour options. With the AT650, you have a choice of Burnt Orange or Sunset Yellow. Personally, I prefer the colour options of the AT656 but some people do prefer brighter yellows and oranges.
The AT650 costs between £758 and £810, with the Burnt Orange colour option often being priced higher than the Sunburst Yellow. It is also worth noting that the Burnt Orange currently costs more than the higher-spec AT656.
The Swifty Liberte is different from the previous two models because it is a foldable bike, designed for road cycling and commuting.
The two colours available are Noir (black) and Rouge (pink).
The same Panasonic 36V 9.6ah battery is used and provides power for around 30 miles following a 3 hour charge.
The battery is located on the rear fender/pannier rack and can be secured with a locking mechanism and key. The pannier rack also comes with bungee cords for securing luggage/packages.
The frame folds in half horizontally, the handlebars fold down and the pedals fold in to make the Liberte easy to store and transport.
Like the other bikes in the range, the Liberte has Shimano gears, double-wall rims and an alloy frame. The same three power-assist modes are available.
The wheels are smaller at 20″, which means it can be quicker and nippier through urban areas.
The price of the Swifty Liberte is between £700 and £734, with the Rouge option tending to be more expensive.
Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide
Electric bikes (or E-Bikes) have a built-in motor that is powered by a battery. A control switch on the handlebars allows you to set the level of assistance you require, depending on the difficulty of the terrain. You can also choose to not utilise the power assist at all and use your e-bike like a regular bicycle.
E-bikes can take the strain out of cycling, whilst still having health and fitness benefits, however, there are a couple of factors to consider before making a purchase. These are discussed below:
Before buying, you should make a realistic estimate of how far you will be travelling on your e-bike before you recharge. Swifty bikes give you around 30-35 miles, which is fine for most people, however, if you plan on making longer journeys, a different e-bike might be better for you.
The motor can be situated in three places; front-wheel hub, rear-wheel hub and crank.
Front-wheel hub motors provide power to the front-wheel and can feel a little like you are being dragged. Cheaper, lower-quality e-bikes tend to use this system, whilst higher quality e-bikes use one of the other two systems.
Rear-wheel hub motors provide more traction and stability. The entire Swifty range use rear-wheel hub motors.
Central drive motors are situated around the pedal crank and have can a more natural feel as the mechanism is in line with the rider’s centre of gravity.
- Can you ride an e-bike without a licence?
Yes, a licence is not required as it is limited to 15mph
- Is there an age restriction to ride an e-bike?
Legally, you must be 14 years or older to ride an electric bike
- Can you buy spare batteries?
Yes, spare batteries are available direct from the manufacturer
- Is there a warranty?
Yes, Swifty provides a 2-year manufacturer's warranty on all their bikes, however, this excludes tyres and inner tubes.
- Does the battery need to be removed to charge it?
No, the battery can be charged on or off the bike
- Is the speed restricted?
Yes, it is restricted to 15mph to adhere to legislation
- How do you engage walk-mode from a standing start?
Hold down the '-' button for a few seconds
Swifty offers a range of e-bikes for different needs and budgets.
The AT656 is their top-range model, with the AT650 making a slight sacrifice in build quality for a more affordable price. For the sake of about £40, however, we wouldn’t recommend bothering with the AT650. Both these models are mountain bikes and designed for track and terrain.
In contrast, the Liberte is designed for road cycling and commuting and can fold away neatly, making storage easy. All bikes in the Swifty range have a decent spec and come with a two-year warranty on parts (excluding tyres and inner tubes).
We hope you have found this Swifty E-bike review useful and if you have any questions or recommendations for improvement, please let us know :