I don’t know a whole lot about bikes. I grew up on a single speed. As an adult, I had no need or desire to own a bike. But, now that my kids are old enough to ride bikes, and gas prices are through the roof, owning a bike makes a lot of sense to me. There are two outcomes I defined before seeking out a bike: I wanted to reduce my use of gasoline and I wanted a way to enjoy bicycling with my kids. There were constraints, however: budget and my own physical capabilities. I exercise and eat well but I do not have the requisite leg strength to bike up the hills in the town where I live. That led me to my friends at Swagtron who previously provided me with a hoverboard for review. A hoverboard my kids are still using a year later. With that first-hand experience, and the constraints mentioned before, I had a strong feeling Swagtron’s EB series would be a good fit.
Following a brief conversation with my press contact, the EB11 was selected as the best fit. Fortunately, they were kind enough to provide me with an EB11 for the purposes of this review and other coverage I’ve created. It’s a 7-speed electric cruiser-style bike that retails between $800 and $1500, depending on promotions. At time of writing, its on sale for just $800. An absolute bargain.
Considering I know very little about bicycles, let alone eBikes, I’m happy to report I was able to unbox and assemble the EB11 by myself. The only issue I had was with the kickstand, which I bent because I could not figure out how to attach it to the bike’s frame. Admittedly, the included instructions were not particularly clear and I could not find other instructions online. So I took the bike to a local Trek store where they completely reassembled the bike (per my request) and installed a brand new kickstand. With parts and labor fees, plus a one-week wait time, I had fantastic brand-new eBike ready to go for under $130. Had I paid $1000 or more for the bike, knowing what I know now, I would have taken it to the store before I even opened it. It’s a small price to pay, as someone who has no experience assembling bikes, to ensure I have a safely assembled bike.
Getting around own, without my truck, is an outcome I expected by owning a bike. I needed a cruiser bike. Using the EB11 is pretty straightforward. You turn the right-handle to engage the motor, which has 3 levels of support. Appropriately named “1” “2” and “3”. The traditional bike portion has 7 gears that function like a norma, bike, from what I can tell. I grew up on a single-speed but I asked a friend who knows a ton about bikes. On the left is a computer which tracks your miles, electric output level, and battery life. Riding is smooth but handling took some getting used to. Going up a hill still requires you to use your legs, but the motor support is incredibly helpful and provided perhaps less assistance than I was hoping for. But, I was able to take my steep hills with maximum motor support and hardly get my heart-rate to the danger zone.
The bike itself benefits from being heavier than I expected at 50.7 lbs with 26 inch wheels. This made handling curves easy, even with the motor engaged. My 190-195 lbs body could lean into the curves to assist with stability and not force the bike to the ground.
The EB11 has a black frame with yellow accents and lettering. It looks like a hornet! The frame appears to me as a standard bike frame. It’s very well built with comfortable handles and a stiff but supportive seat cushion. These are removable if you feel the need to make an adjustment.
Right now the EB11 is just $800. I think that’s one heck of a deal. The battery can be replaced so don’t worry about long-term wear on that battery. I’ve also found the broader eBike community on Reddit is awesome. There are a lot of good people there who have posted so many great tips you can pretty much find an answer to any questions you may have. If you’re looking for a bike to ride with your family and get you around town for errands, I highly recommend the EB11 by Swagtron.