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The sale of e-bikes has exploded in recent years. In some countries, for the first time, e-bike sales are now outstripping the sale of normal bikes. This is a mind-boggling statistic.
So, why the recent surge in the e-bike’s popularity?
An increasing number of older cyclists, particularly in the over 55 categories, are returning to cycling and opting for e-bikes. As towns and cities become more bike-friendly and car unfriendly, e-bikes have become a very viable option.
Additionally, given their environmentally friendly credentials, the fact that no license is required, and even better their huge potential cost savings, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
So, how does the Swagcycle fit into this market, and is it any good?
Let’s get this Swagcycle Classic Pedal-Less Electric Bike Review underway and find out.
The Swagcycle has an all-aluminum frame that’s sturdy and undoubtedly up to the job. The bike weighs 29lb and has a weight limit of 264lbs. That’s more than enough for a small bike. Frankly, if you’re much over 200lbs, you’re likely to look slightly ridiculous riding this.
Although the Swagcycle has a sturdy frame, but unfortunately, some of the accessories are not up to the same standard. The LED lights look cool, but they are a little flimsy. The same criticism can fairly be leveled at the battery cover.
Watch out if it starts to rain…
The overall build quality of the Swagcycle is very reasonable for the price. However, there is one aspect of the Swagcycle’s build quality that we’re far from happy with. Our biggest criticism is that it’s not weather-proof.
Not being able to use it in the rain is a real downer. There’s no doubt that we probably wouldn’t set out on the Swagcycle in the rain. But, heading out somewhere in good weather and then not being able to return, if the weather turns, makes it a lot less versatile than it otherwise could be.
We think this is something that Swagcycle should look to sort out in the future.
Design and Features
This is an interesting one. The Swagcycle doesn’t have any pedals, so we feel that this is more of a scooter than an electric bike. Possibly, it could be defined as somewhere between the two.
Because it doesn’t have pedals, you’re solely reliant on the battery holding out and doing its job. If it doesn’t, you’re going to be pushing it home. Or, you’ll be having an uncomfortable conversation with someone who has to come and pick you up.
Plenty of light…
The Swagcycle has disc brakes front and rear that do a great job of stopping you quickly. Ironically, they work well in the wet too! For your added safety, there are integrated LED lights, front, and rear, that put out plenty of light. There’s also a horn, though it isn’t particularly loud, it’s better than nothing, but not by much.
Other handy features include an integrated kickstand and a USB port to charge your mobile or electronic device. Depending on your journey plan, you might choose to not use the USB charging port in case you run out of juice.
Riding and Handling
Don’t expect to experience anything like the same feeling you get when riding a bike. If you go in with this mindset, you won’t be disappointed. Frankly, riding the Swagcycle takes a bit of getting used to.
Swagcycle suggests a height limit of 6’ or around 183cms. We think about 4 inches or around 10cms under this is more realistic. Even then, it liable to feel uncomfortable.
Could do with more adjustment…
Part of the problem is that there’s no height adjustment on the saddle. For tall riders, it’s likely to make for an unpleasant ride. There is some handlebar adjustment, but it doesn’t compensate for the overall lack of adjustability.
The riding position forces you to place your feet on the two pegs attached to the front wheel. It’s an unnatural place to have to place your feet and makes balancing and riding the bike appreciably harder. Taller riders, again, will find it harder still.
Because the bike has small wheels, you’re also going to feel every bump and pothole in the road. Just as well that you’re unlikely to take this for long rides. Which is as good a point as any to take a closer look at its performance.
Let’s take a quick look at the technical stuff first. It has a 36v high capacity battery. And can be charged through a standard domestic power source. A full charge can be reached in as little as 2.5 hours. However, best to plan for a little longer.
The top speed is 10 mph. However, using the mobile app, this can be modified, in theory, to achieve a top speed of 18 mph. The range is advertised as being between 12 to 15 miles on a full charge.
So, how does this translate during everyday riding, and what’s the reality?
The top speed of 10 mph is certainly achievable. We honestly think this kind of speed is more than adequate, given the riding and handling limitations. If you do choose to use the mobile app to increase the top speed, it’s likely to fall short, by a couple of mph, to the rather ambitious 18 mph claimed top speed.
Other than handling issues, another reason not to go for a higher top speed is the significantly increased drain you’ll put on the battery. At a top speed close to 18 mph, presuming you can go that fast, trying to get a range of 12 mph is laughable. You can expect a lot less.
Built for cities, flat cities…
If you live in a hilly area and you’re a heavier rider, you can expect less again. This is not a bike, regardless of your weight, that should be taken off predominantly flat terrain.
To keep you informed of the battery life, you can either rely on the LED bar indicator on the handlebars or use the app. If you’re just going short distances, then the LED bar indicator should suffice. On longer rides, we’d use the app.
The app is much more accurate than the LED bar light system. At times the LED lights seem to read rather erratically. They give you a general idea, but they’re far from perfect.
The app can also help you to keep track of your performance. You can check things like your distances traveled, average time, and speeds. Frankly, we don’t see the point, but if you think it might be useful, then why not?
The Swagcycle can be folded into a smaller space for storage or transport. The handlebars and stem can be easily folded down, which makes it small enough to place in even a compact car’s trunk.
What it doesn’t do is fold away into a space that’s small enough so you can take it on a bus or train. So, don’t expect the same kind of foldability you get from a Brompton.
This would be a great option for car hire companies delivering cars in an area not too far from their base. It would also be great to put in your trunk if you’re going to a party or out somewhere for a couple of drinks.
That, of course, presumes that you’re not breaking any laws wherever you live. It also presumes that you’re happy with taking on a little extra risk!
Swagcycle Classic Pedal-Less Electric Bike Review Pros and Cons
- Good build quality.
- Good brakes.
- Integrated lights.
- Rechargeable from a standard domestic power outlet.
- Can into the trunk of a small sedan.
- Uncomfortable riding position.
- Not suitable for use in the rain.
- Low battery range.
- Not suitable in hilly areas.
- No pedals.
Looking for more options to Scoot around?
If so, check out our reviews of the Best Fastest Electric Scooters, the Best Electric Scooters for Adults, the Best 50cc Scooters, the Best Folding Electric Scooters, or even the Best Gas Powered Scooters currently available.
Swagcycle Classic Pedal-Less Electric Bike Review – Final Thoughts
The Swagcycle is not your typical e-bike.
The major factor that sets it apart is that it doesn’t have any pedals. This makes it more of a scooter than an e-bike. Regardless it has a lot of the other features you’d expect from an e-bike. What’s more, and most importantly, it still doesn’t require a license or any special insurance, and it is fully street legal.
For short commutes, it’s a great and inexpensive alternative to using public transport or using your car. The riding position will take a bit of getting used to it. However, once you’ve got the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun to ride.
In the right conditions, the Swagcycle Classic Pedal-less Electric Bike is a great option.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides.