Swagtron EB12 electrical bike evaluation: The naked requirements
“Swagtron’s EB12 pushes reasonably priced ebikes to a brand new frontier.”
Enticing, traditional fashion
Straightforward to maneuver
Lacks disc brakes
Low value 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 a very good pitch. A grand isn’t a lot for an electrical bike. You will discover inexpensive 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 could not work in Swagtron’s favor. The EB12’s design obtained blended evaluations within the Digital Developments workplace. A number of staffers (myself included) appreciated its traditional profile and blackout paintjob. Others thought it regarded too generic and wore its value 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 The solid steel pedals wouldn’t look misplaced on a motorcycle three a long time outdated.
My greatest gripe is the steel field that sits beneath the underside brake and incorporates some electronics. It’s a susceptible place to retailer delicate , and whereas bike is rated IPX4 water-resistant, or “splashproof,” I’m skeptical it could maintain up in moist climate. It’d additionally take a beating when you mistakenly rode over a steep curb.
Regardless of these nitpicks, the Swagtron EB12 gave us no hassle in our checks. It labored precisely because it ought to. That may appear faint reward, however hey. It’s $1,000. Swagtron makes sacrifices to hit that value, however these sacrifices didn’t create issues on the highway.
Simply sufficient energy
A 250-watt rear hub motor linked to a 7-speed drivetrain propels the Swagtron to its high velocity of 16 miles per hour, obtainable with pedal help or throttle alone. That’s not lots of energy. You received’t have hassle within the flats, however modest hills can gradual your swagger.
You received’t have hassle within the flats, however modest hills can gradual your swagger.
The meager motor is little doubt accountable for the Swagtron EB12’s low high 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 received’t win a race.
That’s maybe for one of the 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 typical bikes bought for $1,000 or extra, have discs. The rim brakes seize high-quality however lack the safe really feel of disc brakes, and might be much less efficient when moist.
Riley Younger/Digital Developments
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 have been brief commutes below 5 miles every manner. 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 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 massive ones, which retains the bike’s whole weight just below 40 kilos. Propella’s bike is lighter, however most options are heavier, usually 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 when 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 received’t flip heads. In reality, bikes generally bought at bike outlets at present don’t seem like this. The Swagtron’s fashion is, if something, a bit retro.
That makes the Swagtron EB12 a straightforward bike to experience. Its controls are easy, and it encourages a largely upright place that retains your head up and targeted on visitors. The body felt stable, providing good management over bumps with minimal chatter and dampened vibration.
Riley Younger/Digital Developments
The EB12’s skinny tires are the most important impediment to whole consolation. Bikes have veered in 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 experience is nice sufficient even on damaged pavement, and the bike tracks nicely. It’s not quick, however it’s agile, and that matches the town bike theme. It is a bike you’ll be able to confidently weave between pedestrians or thread by means of a slim side-street.
The Swagtron EB12 isn’t an incredible electrical bike, nevertheless it does the job for considerably lower than you’d usually count on to pay. If you happen to want an ebike for a every day commute, you need to fork out the additional $500 to $1,000 to purchase a mannequin with higher gear. Nonetheless, the EB12 is a stable decide when you solely take a number of brief journeys every week.
Are there higher options?
Propella’s three.zero is a wonderful choice. Our personal Kraig Becker cherished 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 will discover 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 typically heavy, nevertheless, 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 one of the best 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 nicely. I do fear in regards to the electronics field below the underside bracket. Leaping the fallacious curb may injury it, and I doubt repairs could be simple.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. The Swagtron EB12 pushes the frontiers of ebike affordability, providing a full-featured electrical bike that’s simple to experience for simply $1,000.