Swagtron EB12 electrical bike assessment: The naked requirements
“Swagtron’s EB12 pushes reasonably priced ebikes to a brand new frontier.”
Enticing, basic type
Simple to maneuver
Lacks disc brakes
Low worth means finances construct high quality
Right here’s the Swagtron EB12’s elevator pitch. It’s $1,000, and you should buy it now from choose Finest Purchase shops.
That’s an excellent pitch. A grand isn’t a lot for an electrical bike. You’ll find cheaper choices on-line, however they’re not available in shops. Swagtron’s partnership with Finest Purchase provides the possibility to see the bike before you purchase it.
Which will or might not work in Swagtron’s favor. The EB12’s design acquired blended critiques within the Digital Tendencies workplace. A number of staffers (myself included) appreciated its basic profile and blackout paintjob. Others thought it seemed too generic and wore its worth on its sleeve.
The indicators of cost-cutting are apparent on shut inspection. All cables are routed externally. The skinny wheels and tires lack any model identifier. The solid steel pedals wouldn’t look misplaced on a motorcycle three many years previous.
My greatest gripe is the steel field that sits beneath the underside brake and incorporates some electronics. It’s a weak place to retailer delicate , and whereas bike is rated IPX4 waterproof, or “splashproof,” I’m skeptical it will maintain up in moist climate. It’d additionally take a beating should you mistakenly rode over a steep curb.
Regardless of these nitpicks, the Swagtron EB12 gave us no bother in our exams. It labored precisely because it ought to. That may appear faint reward, however hey. It’s $1,000. Swagtron makes sacrifices to hit that worth, however these sacrifices didn’t create issues on the street.
Simply sufficient energy
A 250-watt rear hub motor linked to a 7-speed drivetrain propels the Swagtron to its prime velocity of 16 miles per hour, obtainable with pedal help or throttle alone. That’s not loads of energy. You gained’t have bother within the flats, however modest hills can sluggish your swagger.
You gained’t have bother within the flats, however modest hills can sluggish your swagger.
The meager motor is little doubt answerable for the Swagtron EB12’s low prime velocity. The Pedego Metropolis Commuter Lite can hit 20 miles per hour, whereas the Propella three.zero maxes out at 18 miles per hour. Clearly, the EB12 gained’t win a race.
That’s maybe for the very best, as a result of the Swagtron EB12 comes with rim brakes as a substitute of discs, a telltale signal of the cost-cutting essential to promote an electrical bike for $1,000. Most electrical bikes, and most standard bikes offered for $1,000 or extra, have discs. The rim brakes seize advantageous however lack the safe really feel of disc brakes, and shall be much less efficient when moist.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
Swagtron guarantees the EB12 can cruise for 28 miles, and that determine proved correct. Vary is at all times topic to circumstances like temperature and elevation, however most of our rides had been quick commutes underneath 5 miles every method. The bike might deal with a number of days earlier than needing a cost. The EB12’s vary is on the low finish for an electrical bike, however commonplace for the value level. Propella’s three.zero lists comparable vary.
There’s a silver lining to the vary: a small battery. Small batteries weigh lower than huge ones, which retains the bike’s complete weight just below 40 kilos. Propella’s bike is lighter, however most alternate options are heavier, typically considerably so. Ecotric’s cut-rate fats tire bike is 58 kilos, Pedego’s Metropolis Commuter Lite is 55 kilos, and Schwinn’s Monroe 250 is 42 kilos. You’ll love its lack of heft should you ever have to haul the EB12 up a flight of stairs.
Swagtron advertises the EB12 as a metropolis bike. Most individuals will simply name it a motorcycle. Its flat handlebars, semi-upright place, and skinny 25c tires gained’t flip heads. In reality, bikes generally offered at bike outlets immediately don’t appear like this. The Swagtron’s type is, if something, a bit retro.
That makes the Swagtron EB12 a simple bike to trip. Its controls are easy, and it encourages a largely upright place that retains your head up and centered on visitors. The body felt strong, providing good management over bumps with minimal chatter and dampened vibration.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
The EB12’s skinny tires are the largest impediment to complete consolation. Bikes have veered in the direction of fatter tires lately. Riders choose their consolation and confidence over bumpy surfaces. Most electrical bikes provide thicker tires than the Swagtron. The Propella three.zero has 32c tires, as does Schwinn’s Monroe line.
It’s not quick, however it’s agile, and that matches the town bike theme.
Nonetheless, the trip is nice sufficient even on damaged pavement, and the bike tracks properly. It’s not quick, however it’s agile, and that matches the town bike theme. It is a bike you possibly can confidently weave between pedestrians or thread by way of a slim side-street.
The Swagtron EB12 isn’t an incredible electrical bike, but it surely does the job for considerably lower than you’d usually anticipate to pay. Should you want an ebike for a every day commute, it is best to fork out the additional $500 to $1,000 to purchase a mannequin with higher tools. Nonetheless, the EB12 is a strong decide should you solely take a number of quick journeys every week.
Are there higher alternate options?
Propella’s three.zero is a superb choice. Our personal Kraig Becker beloved the Propella 2.2, and the newer three.zero mannequin is identical electrical bike with a number of tweaks. The Propella three.zero is lighter, extra engaging, and has disc brakes. The catch? The $1,000 mannequin is single-speed. The 7-speed mannequin is a $300 improve.
You’ll find extra reasonably priced bikes on Amazon from manufacturers like Ecotric and Ancheer. The costs go as little as $600 for a full-size bike. These bikes are usually heavy, nonetheless, and sometimes have flaws you may not discover till you personal them. The $625 Ancheer quotes a spread of solely 25 to 50 kilometers. That works out to between 15 and 31 miles.
Our information to the very best electrical bikes provides extra suggestions.
How lengthy will it final?
The Swagtron EB12 is a straightforward ebike that must be straightforward to take care of. It might final 10 years or extra if handled properly. I do fear concerning the electronics field underneath the underside bracket. Leaping the fallacious curb might harm it, and I doubt repairs could be straightforward.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. The Swagtron EB12 pushes the frontiers of ebike affordability, providing a full-featured electrical bike that’s straightforward to trip for simply $1,000.