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Foldable electronic bikes are a fast-growing segment in the world of cycling. When we consider the increasing restrictions placed upon private transport in major cities around the world, it’s not difficult to see why.
Foldable e-bikes have the advantage of offering high levels of versatility in an urban environment. Plus, they give the rider plenty of options as to how they want to go about their ride or their daily commute.
So, just how good a job has Swagtron done with their latest foldable electronic bike?
Let’s get this SWAGTRON EB5 Pro Review started and find out…
Swagtron has come on in leaps and bounds as they’ve continued their push into the e-bike and scooter market. The technology and design have all improved. But we’re sure you’ll agree, just as importantly so has the quality of their products.
For an affordable e-bike, we think that Swagtron has done a great job with the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro.
Very well designed…
It has a solid aluminum frame as its base. It sits upon a pair of strong mag style wheels. They’re tough enough to support the weight of an adult, and they look cool into the bargain.
Minor details, like the quality of the battery connection, and the high durability of the adjustable levers, have not been overlooked. These are all built to last.
The only minor criticisms we have relates to a rather cheap set of brake levers and a seat that we think could be better. On the positive side, these can be easily switched out at a later date.
Design and Features
The elongated chunky rectangular top tube should give the game away. However, if that’s not enough, don’t worry, the large black lever in the center of the frame leaves zero doubt. This is a foldable bicycle.
The SWAGTRON EB5 Pro is also an electric bike, but this is much more difficult to see. The battery is hidden in the frame, so there is no clue there. Additionally, the motor is integrated around the rear wheel and is very easy to miss unless you look closely.
A big red start button…
The only real telltale signs are that it has a small LED display at the cockpit. Plus, it also has a big red start button. Admittedly, it does have a decal on the side that says “E-BIKE,” but again, you have to be pretty close to be able to read it.
It’s all a good start. It’s an e-bike that looks like a standard foldable bike. It also does itself more favors by the simple and classic color choice of either all white or all black. We think the black one looks best, but whatever floats your boat.
Ride and Handling
A big plus for the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro is the amount of adjustability. The seat post and the handlebars can be raised and lowered within a huge range. This makes it suitable for children of around seven years old and above.
When we say above, we mean anyone over this age, including adults. The bike is perfectly suitable for mums and dads, even for people up to 6’ and maybe a couple of inches over.
The weight limit is a generous 120 kgs.
So, how’s the ride?
This is a foldable bike with small wheels, and it rides exactly how you’d expect it to ride and handle.
But, prepare yourself for some compromises…
The first thing is that it doesn’t handle road irregularities as well as a normal-sized bike. This is a commonly recurring problem with all bikes that have small wheels. However, after saying that, the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro is better than a lot of similar foldable bikes.
This is because they’ve booted it with decent wide tires both front and back. Also, though the wheels are relatively small, choosing 14” diameter tires make a difference. There’s no doubt that they’ve made a couple of good calls to make things a little less bumpy over uneven surfaces.
Unfortunately, not all is sweetness and light…
You can still expect some squirrelly handling and a ton of frame flex. This is, to a large extent, thanks to the lack of the classic diamond frame design.
Don’t expect any great degree of responsiveness or comfort, and you won’t be disappointed. However, for the price and the class of bike, it is about on par, if not a little better, than we’d expect.
Nicely designed handlebars…
One thing we wouldn’t change is the design of the handlebars. They have flat ends that help to take away the pressure on the hands around the ulnar nerve. This prevents numbness and tingling. It’s another good call.
One thing we would change is the saddle. Since you’re forced into a very upright riding position, you’re also forced to put a large amount of pressure on the seat. We think the seat could be better. We’d consider swapping it out for a thicker padded cruiser style seat. This would be ideal for shorter journeys. In fact, we would seriously think about a sprung saddle as a second option.
How fast can it go?
It’s the most commonly asked question with all e-bikes. It can go 15.5 mph. Is that fast enough for you? This is, of course, completely unassisted, without any rider pedaling power.
The bike has a single gear that his hooked to the motor and the 250 watts battery pack. If you want to engage power, it’s as simple as pushing the big red power button on the handlebars. This is the kind of design simplicity we love.
A couple of choices…
Once you’ve turned on the power, you have a couple of choices for transferring the power from the motor. You can either just pedal like a normal bicycle or use the motorcycle-style throttle on the handlebars.
Pedaling normally, with power on, gives you an instant and perceivable boost. You can quickly increase your speed or just choose to decrease your intensity and let the motor take up the slack. The great thing about using this option is that you’ll significantly increase the bike’s range.
One level of pedal assist…
Unfortunately, the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro only has one level of pedal assist. This makes controlling the speed in built-up areas a little tricky. Some e-bikes have variable assist levels. It would be nice to have, but we accept that given the bike’s price point, it’s an unrealistic feature to be included.
If you choose not to pedal, you can expect to reach a top speed of 15 mph on the flat. There are faster e-bikes than this, but it still falls within an acceptable range.
A bit more effort needed…
If you don’t have the power on and choose not to use the motor, or the battery is flat, it does take a little more effort to pedal than a similar standard folding bike. However, the bike still only weighs 37lbs, so it’s reasonably easy to pedal on smooth and flat surfaces.
With the power on and without pedaling, the range will vary, depending on the terrain, but a 15 miles range on the flat is again within expectations and perfectly acceptable at this kind of price.
Recharging takes approximately five hours to reach full charge. The bike comes with a charger and can be used in a standard domestic outlet.
Now let’s talk about brakes…
The SWAGTRON EB5 Pro uses V brakes at the front and rear. Some might complain that it doesn’t have disc brakes. We’re not going to.
For a bike of this weight and the kind of speeds it’s capable of, either assisted or unassisted, V brakes are perfectly adequate to bring it to a quick stop. Since you’re unlikely to be taking it on rough terrain and down steep descents in foul weather, disc brakes aren’t warranted.
For a fairly large bike, it has a decent level of portability. There are three points at which the bike can be broken down and folded. These are in the middle of the frame, halfway down the handlebars and at the seat post. The pedals can also be folded though this only has a relatively minor impact on its profile and portability.
The SWAGTRON EB5 Pro has large and easy to operate levers for folding. Excessive force isn’t needed to operate any of them. Even better, they’re sturdy enough to be used multiple times, such as twice a day on your commute, without fear of failure.
Take it anywhere…
It can be broken down into a small enough space to readily fit into the trunk of a compact sedan. It’s also small enough to be taken on public transport. However, on this last point, you’ll need to check for any specific rules that might preclude it from being allowed on buses or trains in your area.
Fully folded it measures 26” x 23.6” x 15.6”. Since it weighs 37lbs, which is by no means heavy, it’s still heavy enough for you not to want to carry it too far.
Swagtron EB5 Pro Review Pros and Cons
- Strong build quality.
- Good wheels and tires.
- Very adjustable.
- Easy to fold.
- 15 miles range.
- Twist throttle accelerator.
- Built-in battery.
- Power assist only has one level.
- Poor handling.
Looking for more Fantastic options to Scoot around on?
Yes? Then check out our reviews of the Best 50cc Scooters, the Best Electric Scooters for Adults, the Best Folding Electric Scooters, the Best Fastest Electric Scooters, or how trying out one of the Best Gas Powered Scooters you can buy.
Swagtron EB5 Pro Review – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it — the latest foldable electronic bicycle from Swagtron.
If you’re looking for an affordable foldable e-bike, we think that the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro offers plenty of good value. The build quality and the features are as good as, and in many cases better than, a lot of more expensive options.
Though it lacks some of the refinements of more expensive e-bikes, the SWAGTRON EB5 Pro is a bike we could very happily live with. The cool thing is that since it’s so adjustable, this is a bike that the whole family could live with too.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides.