Published on May 4th, 2019 | by Kyle Field0
The Swagtron EB5 Pro Makes E-Biking In The City Easy & Affordable
May 4th, 2019 by Kyle Field
We met up with the folks over at Swagtron at their offsite suite at CES to meet with their team to learn more about their new lineup of electric mobility solutions that range all the way from ‘hoverboards’ to small electric scooters to full sized electric bikes. Coming away from the show, they wanted to get us on one of their folding compact electric bikes to run it through the paces in a handful of real world scenarios.
Swagtron sent us the EB5 Pro, which is a small ebike compared to most adult-sized bikes, but is still comfortable for me to ride, and I’m 6’2″ | 188cm tall. The beauty of the bike is that it is built for utility. Swagtron bills it as a pro city and campus bike and that is spot on. This little guy is well-suited for use on campuses or in city centers where it can take you comfortably for a mile or two.
Because it is compact, when you’re done riding, it can easily be folded down into a compact 26″ x 15.6″ x 23.6″ | 66 x 39 x 60cm and stashed in a closet or trunk without being a hassle. Its compact size is also an asset if you’re looking to take it on a bus, train, or ride share as it can just be folded down and tucked away while you’re on the move. When you get to the destination, it can easily be unfolded and bam, you’re on the go. That makes it a great last mile transportation solution for so many commuters. It can handle loads of up to 264.5 pounds | 120 kilograms, so it could even make a great urban delivery bike for companies looking for an affordable urban delivery platform.
The secret to the EB5 Pro is that while its small frame and 14″ air-filled tires are compact, its seat and stem have massive travel, letting a wide range of sizes of humans use it to get around. I am very comfortable on the EB5 Pro and was able to simply drop the seat and lower the bars for my 8 year old son to ride it.
Riding The EB5 Pro
Talking about and looking at photos of bikes is great, but what’s the point if you don’t get on and ride it? The EB5 Pro keeps it simple on the biking front, with a single gear setting and a very easy to use electric motor. Pedaling the bike without the bike powered on is just like any other bike. You pedal, it goes. That’s reassuring for anyone still getting used to ebikes that may be wondering what happens when you run out of charge. On the EB5 Pro, you just keep going, just without the superhuman electric assist.
To turn it on, just tap on the red power button that lives on the right side of the handlebars. The simple LED indicator lights up and shows you how much power is left in the battery. Now that it’s on, pedaling the bike triggers the pedal assist function of the ebike. Its 250 watt motor kicks in and adds a nice jolt of energy to your ride that gives riders a bit more speed and a bit more power to go up those stubborn hills or across longer distances, up to its max speed of 15.5 miles per hour | 25 kilometers per hour.
The EB5 Pro also has a trick up its sleeve in that it has a throttle that gives the rider the ability to tap right into the motor and just throttle it up, whether you are pedaling or not. This is clutch for those who want to get to work or school on an ebike and don’t want to be sweaty from the ride when they get there. Just jump on, tap the power button and crank away on the throttle. In this mode, Swagtron says you can expect to get 15.5 miles | 25 kilometers of range per charge of its built in 36 volt lithium-ion battery.
Recharging with the included charger takes 4-5 hours, giving commuters the option of charging up at work or school before heading home. I threw my tall frame onto the bike for a 12-mile roundtrip to one of my local cafes and found that the charge held up quite nicely. I’m larger than average, and really put the thing to the test with lots of acceleration and generous use of the throttle and had plenty of battery left when I returned.
The EB5 Pro is a compact folding bike and as such, it is not built for certain tasks. For those looking to travel longer distances, a larger, more comfortable bike would probably be a better option. I rode it 12 miles in a day and the single gear and smaller crank diameter made the ride less comfortable than on a larger bike.
At $499, the EB5 Pro is a great value, but that low price point also means that it is not going to have top of the line components. That goes with the territory, but it is worth a reminder going into a purchase. At the same time, its affordable price point is also one of the things that will lure the most people to the EB5 Pro. It is a great value, at just under $500 and offers quite an impressive amount of utility for the price.
The EB5 Pro comes in either white or black and arrives fully assembled, making it one of the easier bikes to get up and running on after the simple online purchase process. To learn more about the Swagtron EB5 or to purchase one, head over to Swagtron’s site for the EB5 Pro.
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