Xtracycle Swoop E-Bike Review 2024

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Choosing the appropriate e-bike, particularly for family transportation, can be overwhelming due to the multitude of options available. As someone who tests many e-bikes, I was eager to try the Xtracycle Swoop, given the numerous positive reviews about the Xtracycle and its customer service. This review is a comprehensive look at my experience with the Swoop, highlighting its strengths and areas where it falls short, based on my firsthand experience.

Key e-bike details


Motor & Electronics

  • Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8 or EP6
  • Torque: 85 Nm
  • Motor location: Mid-drive
  • Battery: Shimano 630 Wh
  • PAS Sensor: Torque
  • Throttle: No
  • Display: Shimano


  • Brakes: Tektro M745
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX 11-S trigger shifter or Shimano M4100-R 10-S rapidfire shifter
  • Belt Drive: No
  • Tires: Schwalbe Super Moto-X HS 26″ x 2.4″ & 20″ x 2.4″


  • Recommended Rider Height: 4’11” – 6’7″
  • Max Rider Weight: not listed
  • Payload Capacity: 470 lbs
  • Safety Certification: Yes, EN 15194

What we like about it

  • Top-Notch Components: The Swoop sets itself apart with high-quality, name-brand components. Featuring a robust Shimano mid-drive motor, SRAM rear derailleur, and torque sensor, it stands out from less pricey counterparts like the Radwagon.
  • Hill Climber: The Shimano mid-drive motor, which boasts 85 Nm of torque, is paired with an 11-speed cassette that has a wide range of gears. This combination makes it easy to climb steep hills. Unlike the Rad Wagon, I was able to maintain a high cadence on a 15% gradient and felt very comfortable riding uphill.
  • Design and Comfort: The Swoop has an easy step-through frame and an upright seating position that can fit a variety of rider heights from 4’11” to 6’7”. This design not only enhances comfort but also safety and stability, especially when carrying kids.
  • Kid Capacity: The rear deck at 30 inches is slightly longer than competitors (Radwagon: 28”, Abound: 26.5”) giving you the ability to fit up to three kids (though snugly) and the integration of accessories like MagicCarpet padded seat and the PorterPack make it a versatile family carrier.
  • Range and Battery: With a 630 watt-hour Shimano battery, it promises an impressive range of up to 60 miles under ideal conditions. When I had it fully loaded and on max pedal assist, I found it’s range to be closer to 25 or 30 miles.
  • EN 15194 certified: Although Xtracycle is not UL 2849 certified, it does have EN 15194 certification which is the EU standard. Unlike the UL certification that examines just the electrical system, the EN certification assesses not only the electrical system but also key aspects of the bike such as its braking performance, stability, and durability.
  • Customer Support: Xtracycle has an outstanding customer support team. Online forums like Reddit are full of customers sharing their positive experiences with this team. In an era where many online retailers are faceless drop-shippers, it’s refreshing to purchase directly from a company committed to customer service.

Where it falls short

  • Limited Cargo Space for Groceries: When ferrying kids, the rear cargo bags can be cramped with, making it difficult to fit groceries near the kids feet without damaging fragile items such as eggs.
  • Lack of Front Suspension: The absence of front suspension makes for a slightly bumpier ride on rough roads.
  • Size and Storage: Its considerable size, while a boon for stability and cargo capacity, could pose challenges for storage or maneuvering in tight spaces, making it less ideal than say the Tern GSD for those with limited storage options.
  • Lack of throttle: While a throttle isn’t essential, it can be useful for quickly crossing busy intersections or starting on an uphill.

In-depth review

From the start, the Xtracycle Swoop stands out not just as another e-bike, but as a carefully engineered solution for riders seeking premium components, versatility, and comfort. The bike’s design and specifications show a strong attention to detail, catering to a broad range of riders, from solo adventurers to parents transporting their children.

Xtracycle offers the Swoop in two versions: 20mph and 28mph, each with slightly different components. It’s unclear why Xtracycle chose to offer separate versions instead of a single bike that could be configured for either speed. The 20mph version uses a SRAM NX 11-S trigger shifter, while the 28mph version uses a Shimano SL-M4100-R 10-S Rapidfire Plus with an optical gear display. Additionally, the 20mph version has a SRAM 11-speed cassette, while the 28mph version has a Shimano 10-speed cassette. The most significant difference lies in the motor; the 20mph version utilizes the Shimano STEPS EP8 motor, and the 28mph version uses the Shimano STEPS EP6 motor.

One of the standout features of the Swoop is its high-quality components. The bike comes with a powerful Shimano mid-drive motor, a significant improvement from cheaper alternatives that come with rear hub drives. This motor, generating an impressive 85 Nm of torque, works with an 10 or 11-speed cassette to provide a wide variety of gears.

This combination greatly enhances hill climbing. Unlike my experience with the Rad Wagon, where steep inclines were difficult, the Swoop allowed me to keep a high cadence even on a 15% slope. Its exceptional hill-climbing ability sets it apart from many competitors.

closeup of the Swoop's Shimano mid drive motor and battery pack

Another notable feature is the design and comfort of Swoop. The step-through frame and upright seating position accommodate a range of rider heights, suitable for people from 4’11” to 6’7″, which is a wide range. This design doesn’t only prioritize comfort, but also enhances safety and stability, which is especially vital when transporting valuable cargo like children.

Below you can see the wide range that the seat post has which gives this e-bike a lot of flexibility in rider heights.

closeup of the seat and seatpost

The e-bike’s capacity to carry children is excellent. Its rear deck, at 30 inches long, is slightly longer than those of its competitors. Of all brands that claim their back deck can fit three children, this one comes closest to actually making it possible. The integration of accessories such as the MagicCarpet padded seat ($75) and the BoomBox cargo bag ($125) enhances its versatility as a family carrier, making every ride, whether a short school drop-off or a longer leisurely outing, a breeze.

side view of the rear bench seat with Hooptie bars, padded seat, and cargo bag

I’d also recommend that you opt for their front rack and the PorterPack ($150). This bag was of high quality. I really liked it’s roll top closure, which increases it’s carrying capacity. Plus it’s waterproof.

closeup of the Xtracycle PorterPack bag

The Swoop’s range and battery life are noteworthy. It comes with a 630 watt-hour Shimano battery, offering a potential range of up to 60 miles under perfect conditions. In my tests, with maximum load and pedal assist, the range was approximately 25 to 30 miles. Even at the lower end of its range, the Swoop performs well, supplying sufficient power for most everyday requirements.

The battery is located near the bottom of the frame, just behind the mid-drive motor, contributing to the good weight distribution of the e-bike.

closeup of the Shimano battery located behind the motor in the center of the frame keeping it low to the ground

Customer support is another area where Xtracycle excels. The positive experiences shared by customers on online forums such as Reddit are testament to the company’s commitment to customer service. In an era dominated by impersonal online shopping experiences, Xtracycle’s direct engagement and support stand out, adding an invaluable layer of confidence in the purchase.

However, the Swoop does have some limitations. The e-bike’s cargo space can feel restricted, especially when transporting children and additional loads like groceries. Fitting fragile items near the children’s feet without risking damage can be challenging. This isn’t necessarily a drawback of the Swoop alone, as all longtail cargo e-bikes face this issue when children ride on the bench seat with their feet near the cargo bags.

Additionally, the lack of front suspension can make rides on rougher roads less comfortable, which is a consideration for those frequently traversing uneven terrains. However, the Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, which are very thick, can make up for the lack of suspension by absorbing some of the bumps.

The Swoop’s considerable size, although beneficial for stability and cargo capacity, could make storage or maneuvering in tight spaces difficult. Therefore, the Swoop might not be ideal for those with limited storage space. In such cases, a more compact option like the Tern GSD could be a better choice.

It’s worth noting that the Swoop does not include a throttle. While it’s not a critical part for e-bike operation, a throttle can enhance your experience in certain situations. For instance, it can provide a speed boost when crossing busy intersections or starting on an uphill gradient. Despite the Swoop not coming with a throttle, considering its potential benefits in these scenarios is important. You might even think about adding an aftermarket one.

It does come with a nice sounding bell though.

closeup of the Swoop handlebar with bell

Recently, there has been considerable attention paid to the UL 2849 certification for e-bikes. The Swoop is not UL 2849 certified, although they are exploring this. However, they do hold the EN 15194 certification. This EU standard evaluates not only the electrical system but also the e-bike’s braking performance, stability, and durability. This thorough approach to safety is comforting, emphasizing the Swoop’s dependability and build quality.

In summary, the Xtracycle Swoop is an exceptional electric bike that combines high-quality components with a well-thought-out design. Its hill-climbing ability, comfort, and safety make it a great choice for both families. Despite some limitations in cargo space and suspension, the overall package is impressive. The Swoop exemplifies what an e-bike can be with careful engineering, attention to detail, and a focus on the rider’s experience. Whether for daily commutes, family outings, or solo adventures, the Swoop delivers reliable performance, comfort, and enjoyment.