When it comes to folding electric bicycles used for last-mile commutes, many riders have conflicting goals. We want a bike that feels big enough to be comfortable, yet it still has to be small enough to not get in the way. And the new $699 Swagtron EB7 Plus folding e-bike might just fit into that sweet spot.
No one is going to accuse the Swagtron EB7 Plus of being overly large.
If you need a big, comfortable e-bike, look for something larger.
But if you’re on the hunt for an e-bike that can fold up to fit under a desk like a scooter, yet can still be pedaled like a full size bike, then check out the EB7 Plus. It’s Swagtron’s latest update to an already popular e-bike format, and it could be perfect for an urban commute.
See it in action in my video below, and read on for all of the details.
Swagtron EB7 Plus electric bike video review
Swagtron EB7 Plus tech specs
- Motor: 350 W rear hub motor
- Top speed: 18.6 mph (30 km/h) with pedal assist (PAS) or throttle
- Battery: 36 V 6.4 AH (230 Wh) lockable and removable battery
- Range: 20 mi (32 km)
- Charge time: 4 hours
- Frame: Aluminum
- Suspension: Rear spring suspension
- Weight: 42.3 lb (17.8 kg)
- Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes
- Tires: 16″
- Max load: 264 lb (120 kg)
- Lights: LED headlight
- Extras: LCD display, thumb throttle, 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, removable and lockable battery, electric horn
How well does it work?
The Swagtron EB7 Plus isn’t a perfect bike. And the same things that give it some unique advantages also lead to some disadvantages. But by and large, the EB7 Plus is a potent little e-bike with some serious potential as a great last-mile commuter e-bike.
For starters, the ride is quite good for a small folding bike. The 16-inch wheels give it great portability and help it fold into a small package. But 16-inch wheels also aren’t known for creating the smoothest ride. And while there’s no front suspension on the Swagtron EB7 Plus, you do get rear suspension to help smooth out bumps that the smaller wheels can’t smooth on their own.
This isn’t high-end mountain bike suspension that we’re talking about here. It’s fairly simple, almost primitive, but it does help when you hit sidewalk cracks or potholes. I even hopped it off curbs a few times (which it is really not meant for) and found the suspension could help absorb the shock. Most people will never find both their wheels leaving the ground on a standard commute, but the bike did handle it pretty well, for what it’s worth.
Next is the power. The little 350 W motor has its limits, but the small wheel size means bigger torque, and that torque is noticeable. The bike gets up to speed fairly quickly on throttle alone and can actually climb some smaller hills without dropping much speed. Don’t expect to fly up large hills without having the help pedal, but smaller ones can be tackled on throttle alone.
When it comes to pedaling, the gear ratio is what you’d expect on any small-wheel bike. Even in the highest gear (you get seven speeds in the rear, thanks to the Shimano drivetrain), I found it difficult to add any meaningful pedal input above around 12 or 13 mph because my feet would be spinning too fast. There’s just no way to gear a small wheel e-bike high enough to pedal at 20 mph without adding a dual stage reduction. So if you’re someone who prefers to pedal for exercise and use the pedal assist for boost, just know that you’ll be sticking to around 12 mph or 20 km/h top speed. If you’re like me and you want to use the throttle most of the time, then this is a non-issue for you.
Speaking of the small size, the Swagtron EB7 Plus is rated for riders between 4’10” to 5’10”. At 5’7″, the bike felt great for me.
But even with the long adjustable seat post, I can see how riders above 5’10” might find the bike a bit small.
One of the extra features I really like about the Swagtron EB7 Plus is that the hidden battery is actually removable, meaning it can be swapped for a fresh battery if you want to go on longer rides. I like to keep a spare battery around at home anyways. They aren’t just good for longer rides — they’re also convenient for those mornings where you wake up to find that you forgot to charge your bike. Having the option to swap in a fresh battery is a big plus in my book.
So while the Swagtron EB7 isn’t perfect, there’s a lot to love. It’s a quick, torquey little e-bike that is nimble enough for slicing and dicing in the city, but can fold small enough to be easily carried onto a subway train or stashed under your desk.
It could be a good step up from a folding scooter by providing similar utility in a more stable and comfortable package. And at just $699, it’s hard to ask for much more than that. You can find the Swagtron EB7 on either Amazon or directly on Swagtron’s site.
What do you think of the Swagtron EB7 Plus? Let us know in the comments below.
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