The Swagtron EB7 Plus is rare in that it’s actually fairly portable as electric bikes go. At 42.3 pounds it’s not exactly a featherweight, but it is much more manageable to lift than the typical 60+ pounds of many other folding ebikes. If you’re looking for an electric bike that takes up less space, has decent features and can be lifted into the back of a car, then this is a good one to consider.
Model : EB7 Plus Folding Electric Bike
Available in 1 Color:
Ebike Style: Folding
Ebike Class: Class 2
Sizing: Not listed
Motor: 350 watt rear hub
Battery: 36 V 6.4 Ah (230 watt hours)
Weight of Bike: 42.3 lbs
Weight Capacity: 264.5 lbs
Frame Material: Aluminum
Brakes: Mechanical disc (front and rear)
Wheel Size: 16″
Max Speed: 18.6 mph
Range: 20 miles
Riding Style: Upright
Where to Ride: Pavement, Light Off-Roading
Where to Buy: Swagtron.com, Amazon
The 350 watt rear hub motor and 36 volts 6.4 Ah battery help keep the bike both lighter and more affordable without slowing it down too much. You can expect a top speed of about 18 mph using the throttle and a range of about 20 miles. That’s not too shabby for a $700 bike that can be tossed into a trunk.
The one feature that most impresses me is the rear suspension. It eats up the imperfections in the road to produce a comfortable ride. The lack of front suspension isn’t too noticeable since most of the rider’s weight is on the back tire. This type of suspension seems to be ideal for ebikes. I’m digging it.
The bike is also a head turner. The bright orange glossy paint, black belly, and unique frame design gives the bike a punchy edge. My 16-year-old son was drooling over it and I have to admit that I like the look too.
Although it’s a small bike it doesn’t look or feel like a circus clown bike like some small folding ebikes do. I didn’t feel silly riding it on my local bike path with other bikes.
So who is this little bike for?
The attraction of such an ebike is the portability. It is convenient to not have to attach the bike carrier to go riding somewhere else.
Sometimes it’s more ideal to have a bike that can fit inside a car too. There’re no worries of being caught in bad weather or fearing someone stealing it.
It’s also ideal for RV’ers who want a bike to zip around a campground or resort town. It’s a very approachable bike that’s not too powerful for someone new to ebikes. The low step over height is safe for mounting and balancing the bike when stopped. The EB7 is also a fun ride for college campuses and small enough to bring into a dorm room.
The top speed of the EB7 Plus is advertised at 18.6 mph, and I was able to get up to almost 18 mph on a flat road but that was on a cold January day with the tires slightly underinflated. Ebikes perform the best in warmer conditions. Lithium-ion batteries just aren’t fond of cold weather. You can ride an ebike in the cold but the range and top speed will likely be reduced.
My first impressions of the EB7 Plus were mixed. The 3 riding modes are different from every other ebike I’ve ridden. It delivers power more like a moped than a traditional ebike.
Pedal slowly in level 3 or pedal quickly in level 3, and you’ll still go pretty much the same speed.
Level 1 will take the bike up to about 10-11 mph. It’s impossible to go faster than about 12-13 mph even on level 3 when pedaling. This is due to the limits of smaller wheels and gear ratios.
The EB7 Plus is equipped with a 7-speed transmission, which differentiates it from the regular EB7 model, but don’t expect a drastic difference in performance. Much of this has to do with the small wheel size and gear ratio. It just can’t be pedaled over about 12 mph but don’t forget it has a throttle than can go about 18 mph.
Pedaling the bike without the motor is doable on flat ground but wouldn’t be enjoyable on hills. That’s common for most electric bikes. You don’t want to run out of battery far from your destination.
The more I have experienced the EB7 the more I like it. It’s surprisingly good off-road, the rear suspension, seat, and handlebar grips make it comfortable to ride. I can really picture myself tossing this in the car to go for a ride by the lake. It’s more convenient than getting the bike carrier in the hitch, lifting a heavy bike onto the carrier, tying it down, and worrying about an expensive bike being exposed to the weather and who knows what.
Okay, it’s not really a horrible experience to transport an electric bike on the back of a car, but it’s much less work to have a folding bike that doesn’t weigh a ton for those impromptu rides you’d like to take.
Riding it along a hilly bike trail was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Yeah, it’s not the same experience as a full-size ebike, but it was still a good experience. The bike handled well. It’s a very approachable bike for new riders.
One thing I noticed is that the bike kind of goes into a cruise control mode once you’ve been pedaling at a certain speed for some time. Stop pedaling and the motor keeps going, until you put on the brake. The brakes are equipped with motor inhibitors for safety.
The mechanical disc brakes are okay but not anything to brag about. They did get better once they broke in some. They do the job, and they’re certainly better than rim brakes. Just make sure that they are adjusted properly.
The battery is housed inside the frame and can be removed and locked by the included key(s). Of course, you’ll have to fold the bike to get to the battery, but it’s not terribly difficult once you get used to it. The battery can be charged while inside the bike and can take up to 4 hours for a complete charge.
A big plus of the EB7 Plus is its removable battery. Many ebikes in its category don’t have removable batteries. Swagtron sells replacement batteries which is a very important consideration when choosing an ebike. Who wants an ebike that they can’t find replacement batteries for?
The build quality of the frame seems to be quite good. There are no welded parts. It’s very solid and tracks well, especially considered the 16″ wheels. The clamping mechanisms for the folding parts felt very secure. The bike is rated for a load capacity of just a little over 264 pounds which is quite a bit.
It would have been nice to have an adjustable handlebar stem for height. Taller riders might have to slump more than they like. Speaking of rider height, this bike is good for short riders, like me. I’m a towering 5’1″. Swagtron doesn’t list a range for recommended rider heights but probably those up to 5’10” or so could ride it fairly comfortably.
I didn’t notice any creaking or frame flex. I definitely appreciate the short step-over height and nimble steering due to the short wheelbase.
Overall, the bike feels balanced well, with much of the weight centered low and center for good stability. Even though the stem is quite a bit higher than the frame, I didn’t notice the bike being squirrelly when steering.
The reach is shorter than most bikes due to the short wheelbase which makes for an upright riding position. The ergonomic grips are fairly comfortable and do offer a surface for your palms to rest.
The bike uses a half-twist throttle on the right grip. The throttle delivers full power on level 3.
Components & Value
The bike is advertised as having a Shimano derailleur and shifter, but mine came equipped with a MicroShift branded shifter. The switch is likely due to high demand for Shimano parts. They’re hard to come by due to production shut-downs due to Covid-19 and high demand. It’s a common problem in the ebike industry. It would have been nice to have Shimano, but then it might take months longer to have the bike available for shipping right now.
The tires have a tread pattern ideal for pavement or light trail riding. They even took me through snow and soft thawing ground without any trouble.
Some things that would have been nice to have included on the bike are fenders and a rear rack. So far, I haven’t had any luck finding fenders designed specifically for the EB7. The same can be said for a rear rack but there are third-party seat post racks on Amazon that should work out.
With the comfortable ride there’s little need to add additional suspension. You might prefer a wider seat or a just a different style depending upon your taste, but I found the seat just fine for me.
The front light runs from bike’s battery, so there’s no need to worry about additional batteries. It’s quite bright and will make the bike more visible to drivers. There’s no rear light and instead just a reflector but there are many cheap LED lights available on Amazon and elsewhere that are easy to attach.
The display is very bright and readable which is great during the day but distracting at night. Luckily, the brightness level can be changed through the display. I had to search for the user manual online to figure out how to do this. The bike also has an electronic horn which is loud enough to get people’s attention but not so loud you’ll feel obnoxious using it around pedestrians.
The Swagtron EB7 Plus is a good-looking little ebike designed for short commutes. It’s more moped than ebike in riding style, but it’s still fun and gets the job done.
If you’re looking for an ebike with the traditional pedaling experience of a full size bike, you’ll want to consider something else like the Ride1Up 700 Series I’ve reviewed. Another option is the new Jupiter Bikes Discovery X7 that I will be reviewing. It has a longer wheelbase, a very similar frame style with rear suspension, and 20″ wheels that will work well with its 6-speed transmission. But if portability and affordable price is of higher concern, then the EB7 and EB7 Plus are worth a serious look.