Swagtron EB12 electrical bike evaluate: The naked requirements
“Swagtron’s EB12 pushes inexpensive ebikes to a brand new frontier.”
Engaging, basic fashion
Straightforward to maneuver
Lacks disc brakes
Low worth means funds construct high quality
Right here’s the Swagtron EB12’s elevator pitch. It’s $1,000, and you should purchase it now from choose Finest Purchase shops.
That’s pitch. A grand isn’t a lot for an electrical bike. You could find cheaper choices on-line, however they’re not stocked in shops. Swagtron’s partnership with Finest Purchase provides the prospect to see the bike before you purchase it.
Which will or could not work in Swagtron’s favor. The EB12’s design acquired combined evaluations within the Digital Traits workplace. A number of staffers (myself included) preferred its basic profile and blackout paintjob. Others thought it appeared 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 The solid steel pedals wouldn’t look misplaced on a motorbike three a long time outdated.
My greatest gripe is the steel field that sits beneath the underside brake and comprises 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 if you happen to 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 high pace of 16 miles per hour, obtainable with pedal help or throttle alone. That’s not lots of energy. You received’t have bother within the flats, however modest hills can gradual your swagger.
You received’t have bother within the flats, however modest hills can gradual your swagger.
The meager motor is little doubt liable for the Swagtron EB12’s low high pace. 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 received’t win a race.
That’s maybe for the perfect, as a result of the Swagtron EB12 comes with rim brakes as an alternative of discs, a telltale signal of the cost-cutting essential to promote an electrical bike for $1,000. Most electrical bikes, and most typical bikes bought for $1,000 or extra, have discs. The rim brakes seize fantastic however lack the safe really feel of disc brakes, and can be much less efficient when moist.
Riley Younger/Digital Traits
Swagtron guarantees the EB12 can cruise for 28 miles, and that determine proved correct. Vary is all the time topic to circumstances like temperature and elevation, however most of our rides have been brief commutes below 5 miles every approach. The bike may 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 common for the worth level. Propella’s three.zero lists related 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 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 if you happen to 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 motorbike. Its flat handlebars, semi-upright place, and skinny 25c tires received’t flip heads. In fact, bikes generally bought at bike outlets as we speak don’t appear to be this. The Swagtron’s fashion is, if something, a bit retro.
That makes the Swagtron EB12 a simple bike to journey. 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 Traits
The EB12’s skinny tires are the most important impediment to complete consolation. Bikes have veered in direction of fatter tires in recent times. 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 journey is nice sufficient even on damaged pavement, and the bike tracks effectively. 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 means of a slender side-street.
The Swagtron EB12 isn’t an excellent electrical bike, but it surely does the job for considerably lower than you’d usually anticipate to pay. In case you want an ebike for a every day commute, you must fork out the additional $500 to $1,000 to purchase a mannequin with higher tools. Nonetheless, the EB12 is a strong choose if you happen to solely take just a few brief journeys every week.
Are there higher options?
Propella’s three.zero is a superb possibility. Our personal Kraig Becker liked the Propella 2.2, and the newer three.zero mannequin is identical electrical bike with just a few tweaks. The Propella three.zero is lighter, extra enticing, and has disc brakes. The catch? The $1,000 mannequin is single-speed. The 7-speed mannequin is a $300 improve.
You could find extra inexpensive bikes on Amazon from manufacturers like Ecotric and Ancheer. The costs go as little as $600 for a full-size bike. These bikes are typically heavy, nonetheless, and infrequently 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 perfect electrical bikes provides extra suggestions.
How lengthy will it final?
The Swagtron EB12 is a straightforward ebike that ought to be simple to keep up. It may final 10 years or extra if handled effectively. I do fear concerning the electronics field below the underside bracket. Leaping the incorrect curb may harm it, and I doubt repairs could be simple.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. The Swagtron EB12 pushes the frontiers of ebike affordability, providing a full-featured electrical bike that’s simple to journey for simply $1,000.