Ultimate Urban Commuter and Family Electric Cargo Bike

Are you in search of a versatile and reliable mode of transportation that can replace your car? Look no further than the Xtracycle Swoop electric cargo bike. Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or transporting kids to school, the Swoop can handle it all. We’ve been putting it to the test for the past few months and we’re excited to share our thoughts with you.

Who is Xtracycle?

Founded in 1996, Xtracycle has been creating solutions to satisfy everyday transportation needs beings used as a car replacement. They’ve come a long way since their first bike the Freeradical, and now have innovated and improved their designs, incorporating electric pedal assist motors.

The Swoop targets families and urban commuters looking for a sustainable and efficient mode of transportation. With a mixed wheel size, steel frame and ergonomic geometry this Class 1 Long Tail Electric Cargo bike delivers the power and carrying capacity to transport everything you need.

The Lab

The Swoop is powered by a Shimano Steps EP8 motor and has a maximum range of 30-60 miles per charge depending on which power mode you’re in and of course how much cargo you have. Xtracycle claims 10.5 hours for a full charge (0-100%), and 7.5 hours up to 80%. The Swoop is a Class 1 electric bike with pedal assist up to 20 mph and comes equipped with a Shimano 630wH battery which is easily accessible behind the seat tube. The frame is made from 4130 Chromoly Steel. For some of us the old “steel is real” phrase comes to mind, a steel bike like this is able to absorb a lot of the harsh road chatter that a stiff aluminum framed bike would just transfer to you as the rider.

There’s a lot to say about the Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires that come on the Swoop, which are one of our favorite tires here at EBJ. In short, the tires help carry that extra weight that an electric cargo bike is capable of carrying and the 2.4” width helps to absorb even more of the bumps and chatter of the road, all while delivering great performance all around from traction to protection.

The stopping power comes from Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 4 piston calipers and 180mm rotors f+r. Having large rotors and 4 piston brakes is nice on any bike, specifically for a cargo bike that you’re likely to be carrying a load and not have to worry about brake fade or being underpowered when you need to make a sudden stop.

A quality SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain and 11-42 cassette is a great gear ratio to navigate steep hills and cruise those flat roads with ease.

Additionally, the Swoop comes with a front light located under the front rack and a rear light as well, to help keep you seen and able to see when the sun goes down.

Quick Specs

  • 250w Motor

  • 630Wh Battery

  • Class 1

  • SRAM NX 11 Speed

  • 26″x2.4″ – Front; 20″x2.4″ – Rear

  • 4999

Electric Cargo Bike Advantages

Overall, we were very impressed with the Xtracycle Swoop. It’s a well-designed electric cargo bike that is perfect for urban commuters and families looking to transport all kinds of cargo around town. Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or just taking a leisurely ride, the Swoop is a great choice. As far as ride feel goes, the steel frame and the Schwalbe tires really make this bike comfortable to ride. The geometry of the Swoop and the rider position are what make a huge difference when riding this bike. The super low step-thru frame sets you up for greater success especially when you’ve got it heavily loaded. Cargo bikes aren’t necessarily sport performance machines, nor are they cross-country touring bikes. That being said, as a rider you’re likely to be in your everyday clothes and doing short distances throughout the day. With my average commute of about 5 miles one way, pedaling in casual wear didn’t phase me, at 6’ tall I found the reach and pull-back bars to really put me in a comfortable upright position. It has a lot of adjustability in the seat height as well and our others testers found it easy for them to quickly drop the seat height and be off and going.

This brings me to my last outstanding detail on our impression of the Swoop. As a cargo bike how does it pedal loaded? Well for one its a long bike, mainly a lot of length behind you. I’m sure for most, you would think that navigating tight turns and balancing a long bike would be tricky, but to no surprise its hardly noticeable, and when mentioning adjusting seat height for other riders, none of them commented on feeling the additional length behind them. The Swoop being rather low helps to keep things balanced and comfortable when riding.

Not exclusive to the feel of riding the Swoop, but the support from Xtracycle with their wide range of accessories really is a standout feature of buying into the Xtracycle world. From various bags and racks to handrails and pads for carrying kiddos around, it shows that they have put a lot of thought into the ecosystem of their bikes and that it doesn’t stop with the bike itself and expands to the endless ways to use it.

Xtracycle Swoop long-tail electric cargo bike carrying bags on the front and rear racks

Disadvantages of Xtracycle Swoop Cargo Bike

When loading up and getting close to that maximum carrying capacity you definitely feel the weight, but the performance of the bike stayed constant and it handled it very well. I would note that if you are approaching that limit to pay attention to weight distribution, this will help set you up for success. If your weight is not evenly distributed you will definitely feel the bike pull to the heavier side. 

Although the Shimano EP8 motor is a great motor, we would be curious to see the Cargo specific one. This may be an update in the future, but in this current setup, the tune felt great when unloaded but definitely seemed to not reveal the same characteristics under load. Xtracycle put a lot of thought into comfort and has their own grips and saddle on their bikes, the grips are very familiar to the Ergon GA3 grips, and are very comfortable. However, the comfort saddle was a bit too wide and spongy, which made the longer rides less comfortable over time.

If this were a personal bike added to the quiver we wouldn’t change a whole lot aside from pedals, a different saddle, and likely relocate the headlight to mount to the rack instead of the fender, to keep the light on center.

Xtracycle Swoop long-tail electric cargo bike top cap detail on the stem

Final Thoughts about Swoop Electric Cargo Bike

A $5k price tag definitely is an investment, but Xtracycle holds up the value with quality from front to back. A quality component selection, Shimano drive unit, SRAM drivetrain lights, Tektro brakes, full fenders, racks, and Schwalbe tires, and a quality frame construction fit very appropriately on the scale of value. 

We like that Xtracycle has such a full catalog of accessories for the Swoop and when considering a “car replacement” having these options available help to navigate the day-to-day demands is crucial to feeling prepared and capable. For the enthusiast, it’s a great way to mix up the status quo and bring two-wheeled fun to family outings and enable considering a grocery run or commuting in general as more of a reality. For the committed,  it’s ready to haul the kids to school, run the daily errands and transform your weekly transportation to two wheels.

Price: $4999
Sizes: One Size
Weight: 63lbs
Website: xtracycle.com

Xtracycle Swoop long-tail electric cargo bike in front of a covered bridge in the country