This weekend, at the Bentonville Bike Festival, Serial 1 is launching its first eBike that is not fully rigid; the Serial 1 SWITCH/MTN. Following in the tracks of their /CTY eBikes and the rigid BASH/MTN rigid eMTB, the new SWITCH/MTN looks to take riders on rougher back-country adventures with more comfort thanks to a 120mm travel fork and high volume Michelin E-Wild Tires. And, like all Serial 1 eBikes, this one boasts Cloud Connectivity, developed in partnership with Google Cloud, allowing riders to capture essential ride data.
Serial 1 SWITCH/MTN eMTB
The new SWITCH/MTN from Serial 1 is built on a hydroformed aluminum frameset engineered to be both lightweight and strong to handle the demands of off-road riding. Like all eMTBs from Harley-Davidson’s eBike brand, this one is also powered by a Brose S Mag mid-drive motor. It is more powerful than most, with a 90 Nm maximum torque output, paired with an integrated 529 Wh battery that is removable for charging off the bike.
The SWITCH/MTN is limited to a maximum assistance speed of 20 mph in the US, 25 km/h in the EU) and 32 km/h in Canada. Claimed range is stated as 30-95 miles/48-153 km, terrain dependent. Claimed charging time is as follows: 0-75% charge = 2.6 hrs, 75-100% charge= 2.1 hrs.
The new eMTB shares a very similar silhouette to other Serial 1 eBikes, but lacks the downtube-to-top tube brace across the front triangle. The front triangle is, instead, completely open allowing for the possibility of carrying a frame bag. There are no bottle bosses to be found anywhere on the frame, so riders will have to carry water on their person, or indeed inside a frame bag.
Serial 1 tell us the SWITCH/MTN geometry is extremely off-road capable, with the performance to satisfy an expert rider, while remaining accessible and accommodating enough for riders who are new to the sport (actual geometry chart to follow). The bike gets a 120mm travel SR Suntour ZERON35 fork, air sprung to allow riders of different weights to get a setup that suits them best.
The most striking feature of the SWITCH/MTN is the way in which the Brose S Mag motor is mounted to the bottom bracket region. On most eMTBs, the front-facing portion of the motor curves down and rearwards, a design feature that should help deflect trail debris like rocks in very rough sections of trail. On the SWITCH/MTN, the geometry of the motor integration is quite different, presenting something of a wall to oncoming features, with the potential for any impacts to stop the bike dead in its tracks.
All that said, Serial 1 aren’t positioning the SWITCH/MTN as a bike you’d ride extremely gnarly terrain on. “The vast majority of our world is unpaved,” said Aaron Frank, Brand Director at Serial 1. “Fire roads, Jeep trails, singletrack paths, terrain parks, ski hills, state forests—there are so many great destinations to explore on two wheels and SWITCH/MTN, with its powerful motor, large-capacity battery, fully adjustable front suspension, and wide-ratio 1×12 drivetrain, has the all the performance and capability to take you anywhere you want to go.”
The SWITCH/MTN is appropriately spec’d with 4-Piston Brakes in the form of the TRP Slate T4, with 203mm diameter rotors that are 2.3mm thick (thicker than most). That should help prevent brake fade on long, fast descents. The drivetrain is the SRAM SX 12-speed (11-50t cassette) with a single click trigger shifter. A Transz X dropper seat post will help get the saddle out of the way when the rider needs more clearance on steeper descents.
Improving this eMTB’s versatility are integrated lights (front and rear) with a rear brake light that should help traffic behind the rider to better anticipate the road ahead. Serial 1 call this their proprietary BAF (Bright As F***) headlamp and high-viz RAT (Rearward Awareness Technology). From the bike, the rider can also charge a mobile device (up to 10 W) using the integrated USB-C port.
Pricing & Availability
The Serial 1 SWITCH/MTB is available in sizes S,M L and XL, and weighs a claimed 24.0 kg in size large. This one retails at $4,499 USD and is available in Wasatch Green/Gloss Orange and Uinta Gray/Gloss White colorways. Find out more on the Serial 1 website.