Swagtron’s EB5 is a cool little foldable electric bike that comes with a cruising range of 15 miles and maximum speed of 15.5 mph. It’s a fun way to do local commutes or cruise about and have tons of fun Not pedaling. Guaranteed to put a silly grin on your face when you throttle up. The EB5 is power-assisted so you can pedal along with it and it can easily be tossed into the trunk of your car or squeeze it into smaller spaces for storage.
The EB5 is a very smooth riding E-Bike. Predictable, easy to operate, good speed and range with moderate recharge times. It comes near fully assembled with everything you need to plug it in, charge it up and go including reflectors and even a pedestrian bell. It’s got pedals so you can still ride it like a regular BMX or road bike.
In the box is the EB5 Folding Electric Bike near fully assembled and thoughtfully packed. Once you remove all the protective plastic, cardboard and ties you’ll just need to unfold the EB5 and lock the frame together.
Additionally insert/lock the handlebar assembly and seatpost, then pop the collapsible pedals out.
Be mindful of the cables and don’t bully them when initially inserting the handlebar assembly. The cable management is all done nice and tidy for you. You can check out our unboxing and a little ride experience below.
The neck post is proprietary but the seatpost is universal so you can use your own seatpost and saddle if you prefer.
In the box is the EB5 Electric Bike, Charging brick and cable, Allen Key, Multi-wrench and Printed User Manual. Ours was missing the Allen Key and the Multi-wrench. Not a huge deal as we have common bike tools for our mountain and road bikes handy in our riding packs.
The EB5 E-bike weighs 37 lbs so it’s heavy when compared to a regular bike, but that helps with the stability and ultimately the ride quality. Fully opened it measures 49.2″ x 21.7″ x 34.9″ and 26.0″ x 15.6″ x 23.6″ in its folded configuration. It is rated to carry up to a maximum load of 264 lbs. Not too shabby for the 250-watt motor and 36V Li-Ion battery. Built on an Aluminum frame and Mag wheels with air-filled rubber bicycle tires.
Initial charge time is 5hrs and recharging time from close to zero is about 4 hours. An LED indicator on the charging brick lets you know if the battery is fully charged. As with any rechargeable battery, once it’s fully charged, unplug it from the charger.
Swagtron has provided the EB5 Folding Electric bike to us so that we could provide first hand review coverage of the ride quality, convenience and construction with our overall experience with it to our readers.
Quick Release Heaven! The EB5 comes equipped with Quick-Release Clamps on the seatpost, neck & neck post extension for convenient adjustments. There are also 2 quick Latches; one on the base of the neck and another on the frame’s top tube that are used to fully collapse or unfold the e-bike.
The grips are comfortable though they can have a tendency to twist or rotate if you lean too hard on the palm extension. The Throttle is nice and easy and spans a little less than half the throttle-side grip. The EB5 comes with Shimano style V-brakes which we were happy about. They work well, easy to squeeze even with a two-finger grip and easy to maintain.
The EB5 is IPX4 water-resistant which covers splash resistance so we do not recommend riding in the rain, puddles, mud, or wet grass. The charge port is located on the underside of the top tube closest to the seatpost.
Be careful not to plug the charge port hole too tightly with the rubber plug or you’ll spend a few minutes battling that when it comes time to charge the EB5. It’s very difficult to get out once it’s wedged in there good.
Folding & Unfolding the EB5
Folding the EB5 is very easy but when you do, the kickstand has a tendency to knock/grind up against the front wheel mag leaving little scratches. The wheel bolt can also rub metal on metal depending when the bike is folded.
A single secure latch allows you to easily lock or unlock the frame. The battery is nestled inside the frame’s top tube and contact points allow the battery power to flow to the motorized rear hub. When the bike is folded, there’s no chance the wheel will start spinning even if the power button is inadvertently pressed.
The seatpost can be collapsed and the neck/handlebar assembly is foldable from the base of the neck. Additionally you can fold the pedals by pressing inward and then pivoting the pedal up or down.
Once you’ve positioned the seat and neck of the bike to suit your size and comfort, it isn’t particularly necessary to change the position of anything unless you need to squeeze it into a small space for storage or travel.
It is important to follow the local laws for electric bikes in your area. Be sure to double check the laws on motorized power-assisted bicycles. Always wear a bicycle helmet. You might be tempted to take a spin while you’re buzzed, don’t do it. The EB5 is categorized as a motorized vehicle. While you don’t need a license, you do need some common sense. That said, let’s get onto the EB5 riding experience.
Check out Swagtron’s article Are Electric Scooter Legal?
If you can ride a normal bike, this is no different with regards to balance. Press the power button to turn the unit on and the power level indicator will light up to let you know. You can see the 5 or less bars for the remaining battery life. Roll the throttle and you’re off. Since the EB5 is Power-assisted, the electric motor will also engage when you begin to pedal a little.
It can be done but we absolutely do not recommend riding the EB5 one-handed, especially when turning. Between the small wheels and chance you’ll goose the throttle even just a tiny bit is enough to send you off balance for a (probably) violent fall. However riding with two hands on the handle bars it’s very comfortable and very stable.
Speed & Acceleration
Out of the gate on flat ground acceleration is nice and quick. It performs at its best on flat dry ground. Swagtron states you can get the full 15.5 miles at 15.5 mph with the throttle fully open the entire time which is wonderful. We have to say that the battery life does feel really good. Acceleration is smooth, quickly starting and stopping repeatedly is crisp without degradation in performance as you’d expect.
The EB5 is designed to handle up to a 25 degree incline. Depending on your weight (and if you’ve had a running start) you may find steeper hills slower to negotiate under electric power only. You can always add in some pedal power if the incline is too much.
Even on less than 25 degree inclines the EB5 WILL scrub off a little speed but once you’re back on flat ground, it will achieve full speed again very quickly.
The bike performs best on flat asphalt but did fine over a variety of terrain. Grass, partial dirt/gravel roads, packed sand didn’t pose much of an issue, just scrubs off a little speed.
The EB5 is not made for and nor do we suggest you try anything out of the ordinary. That said, it’s a bike and it brings out the kid in you so we couldn’t help but try some bunny hops, little curb jump, a wheelie.
The frame is sturdy and it seemed to handle leaving the ground well enough as long as you’re able to land it softly and absorb the impact. On your travels you’ll probably need to negotiate your way over a curb or pot hole or something similar.
Some finer details
At some point you’ll want to carry the EB5 up some stairs or over something. However picking it up from the top tube isn’t very easy. Due to the electric hub and motor it’s not at all center weighted. Pick up the EB5 up by the front of the saddle and steady it with the handle bar.
The folded configuration is designed to make the bike shrink to it’s smallest form factor and in that capacity it works great. But it’s not very comfortable or easy to carry in it’s compressed form. The final collapsed shape is slightly odd and you’ll end up needing to lean it or lay it down. There doesn’t appear to be any way to lock the folded configuration together and once folded, it is what it is; an oddly shaped metal & rubber mass.
It is certainly possible to use the EB5 as a local commuter, just be mindful bringing it aboard a bus, train, subway; You may end up cracking someone in the knee.
The EB5 e-Bike is power-assisted so if you start to pedal even a little the electric motor kicks in. We recommend that you keep your hand/fingers ready on the brake at all times. The motor will not engage or will disengage if it was already running.
A safety feature will not allow the motor to engage when either brake is applied regardless of throttle position or pedal movement . This is helpful for both standing situations as well as decreasing speed to slow to a stop so the motor isn’t fighting against you.
That’s a Wrap
Swagtron’s EB5 electric bike is a fun as hell to ride and conveniently folds down for easier storage and transport. Immediate acceleration equals immediate fun and the EB5 is one of the smoothest, nicest and well-developed e-bikes around for the money. The cost is reasonable and the build quality is good which makes the EB5 all that much more attractive. Works great for local errands, local commutes and plenty of runtime for messin around.
Available in Black and White. Comes with a 1 Year Limited Hardware Warranty.
UPDATE Oct 2021: The battery has deteriorated and lost the ability to push the bike. The battery tops off at 3 bars but if you try to ride it or add any type of torque load, the power will just cut off. Unfortunately the Swagtron EB-5 electric bike doesn’t allow you to swap out the battery easily. It must be removed and the new battery connections must be soldered back in place. For most, once the EB-5 battery dies, you’ll be left with a pedal only bicycle. or you can try and ship it back to Swagtron to fix. With the costs of shipping involved, this doesn’t seem practical.
Swagtron EB5 Foldable Electric Bike $499.99