This is best value ebike on the market. I did a full in depth review and road test (including San Francisco hill climb). As compared to the already well-reviewed EB-5, this $100 upgrade is a no brainer. See detailed review:
350W vs 250W motor
18.6mph top speed vs 15.5mph top speed on battery power only
Disc brakes vs standard brakes
16 inch wheels vs 14 inch wheels
Rear suspension vs no suspension
Swappable battery vs fixed battery
Trip computer and digital display vs battery meter only
Key to lock/unlock battery vs no key
Headlight vs no lights
43lbs vs 37lbs
$600 vs $500
15.5 mile range vs 15.5 mile range (TIE)
ASSEMBLY AND UNBOXING:
It comes 100% fully assembled (no need to pay for the bike assembly service). Just unfold. Remove some cardboard, foam, and zip-ties. Since it comes folded, the box is much smaller than most bike boxes.
SPEED AND POWER:
Pretty strong. Gets to a top speed of 18.6pmh on flat ground. Definitely take a bit of time to get there with a heavier rider. I’m able to tackle 15+ degree inclines with light pedaling and without breaking a sweat. As a commuter in a hilly city that’s the most important thing for me and it does it well. Most ebikes are 250W. This one is 350W. Does it feel stronger and faster, yes, doe it feel 40% stronger and faster, hard to say. The EB-5 has a 250W motor and tops out at 15.5mph for comparison.
Very just ok. Strong but not that smooth. With pedal assist there’s a slight lag and it noticeably kicks in when the motor starts. Like all e-bikes under about $1500, the motor controller seems to be using a speed sensor rather than a torque sensor to regulate power. I.e. the faster you pedal the more power it gives. Works fine on flat ground but not for hill climbing when you want full power but are moving at a lower speed. Basically you’re better off just manually using the twist grip throttle which overrides the automatic pedal assist. The other benefit of the throttle is you don’t have to pedal at all.
There are power 4 modes (0-3). Mode 0 is pedal assist only. No throttle. Not really worth using unless you are trying to get some exercise. Modes 1,2,3 all seem to supply the same amount of power, but limit the top speed for battery assistance to about 11mph, 14mph, and full 18.6mph. If you are comfortable riding this, just leave it on mode 3. If you have kids, leave it on 0 or 1 and lie to them about what 2 and 3 do…
There’s also cruise control, which basically keeps providing power as long as you are at constant speed for about 7 seconds. It’s fine but unnecessary, and sometimes confuses me as to why the bike isn’t slowing down. The brakes deactivate it automatically.
Surprisingly good. Check out my video for braking tests and going down steep hills. It can stop in a couple meters from top battery-only speed. The rear brake whined a little when I first got the bike but seems to have cleaned itself off now. But basically they’re good enough that you don’t want to use full braking power because its too hard and you might go over the handlebars if you’re not prepped for it. Personally this is the #1 reason to get this vs the EB-5. Braking ability is crucial for safety, and being comfortable riding fast/aggressivly.
BATTERY AND RANGE:
Rated at 15.5 miles range. I’m big (6’2”) and I ride mine very aggressively – up steep hills, lots of stops and starts. I’ve never killed it but I try to recharge after 7-8 miles. Similar to other ebikes, the power level reading seems to be based on voltage. When the battery is pushing hard (like while going up a hill) the voltage drops and the trip computer display a low battery level. Then it bounces back on flat ground.
The removable battery is convenient. You can leave the bike in a garage and charge the battery indoors, or the bike itself has a charging port if you want to use that. It takes about 3 hours to charge. The power brick itself, not the bike, has an LED indicator that changes from green to red when fully charged.
WEIGHT AND SIZE:
It’s about 43lbs. Fine for me. Easy to move around. Not so much for my girlfriend or a child. As with other folding bikes I’ve had, its easier to move around while things are rigid and its not-folded. The handle is pretty well positioned relative to the center of gravity so its really quite maneuverable. I carry it up and down a flight of stairs regularly without issue. It easily fits in a car and can go around tight hallway corners. It does have an aluminum frame and small wheels which is about the best they can do for this price.
SUSPENSION AND RIDE COMFORT:
Pretty damn comfy for a bike of this size. Might have more to do with the comfort seat than the rear suspension. I usually notice front suspension more, which this bike doesn’t have. I’ve had folding bikes in the past with 20” wheels (this is 16”) and honestly I don’t notice a difference.
Legit. Folds and unfolds in about 15 seconds each. Just the pedals, handle bars, and frame (and seat post if you want). Easiest folding mechanism, and the best quality latches components i’ve seen on a bike anywhere near this price. Handlebars and frame are particularly impressive with little safety latches and no wobble or rattling whatsoever.
The key is a little disappointing. Rather than locking the bike itself, it locks the battery in or out. The key hole itself is only accessible when the bike is folded in half. You can’t just park and lock the bike. If you want to disable it, you basically have to fold the bike, unlock the battery, remove the battery, and then take it with you…
Personally I just take the whole bike with me when I go in places so I dont have to risk it getting stolen. It’s small enough that it looks like you’re trying not to be rude, so coffee shops (and maybe restaurants) won’t complain.
RIDER HEIGHT AND WEIGHT:
I’m 6’2” 170lbs and comfortable but close to the upper limit for the seat post. The handlebars are not adjustable but they are perfectly fine for me, and my friend who is 5”3.
Shows current speed, power mode, and battery power. Has a cool white backlight. It also has a trip timer and odomoter which is pretty neat. Also controls the headlight by holding it in for 2 seconds. Some basic setting are available like backlight brightness and miles vs km.
Unbeatable. Just how good value is this bike? I paid $570 after the $30 amazon coupon. It’s the exact same bike as the $850 Jetson Metro, just a different body kit, and this one has the stronger 350W instead of 250W motor. In fact the original Swagtron EB-7 announcement at CES showed it with the same body kit as the Jetson.