When you think of an eBike, you usually think of those goofy-looking bikes with the tiny wheels and odd proportions, or you think of those city bikes that resemble something Pee-Wee Herman would ride. You don’t usually think of a tough-looking, fat-tire bike as an eBike, but that’s exactly what we have here with the Swagtron EB-8 Outlaw. This is a rugged, all-terrain 7-speed eBike with a huge 36V battery and 350W motor for the ultimate in speed and distance that will take you anywhere you want to go, whether it be on pavement or the dirt trails.
DESIGN & FEATURES
The Swagtron EB-8 Outlaw isn’t your average eBike. This is a fully aluminum alloy frame bike riding on some 20″ wheels with fat 4″ rubber tires. The huge tires allow the bike to go almost everywhere while the reinforced aluminum frame keeps things rigid and strong. To keep things running smooth, the EB-8 also runs a full suspension setup, with what appears to be gas shocks up front and an adjustable coilover setup in the rear.
For the most part, the Swagtron EB-8 resembles a normal bike similar to that of a mountain bike or BMX style bike, but the large fat tires give it a much tougher look. The all-matte black painted frame and wheels give it a sinister feel and won’t make you feel like a dork riding an eBike. This looks like a bike that can handle getting thrown around and a little dirty.
Let’s start with the handles. Mostly everything you’ll need to operate the bike is located on the right handle. you have your gearshift, your alert bell, an on and off switch, and the accelerator. Both handles have a brake lever. All the controls are easy to reach and operate so you can concentrate on riding the bike and less on wondering where all the buttons are.
The middle of the frame houses the 36V battery that can be removed and recharged on its own. You can also recharge with it still installed on the bike if you choose to do it like that. There is a battery lock included which ensures that you can not turn the bike on unless you insert a key and lock it into place. The keyhole is located under the frame and is quite well hidden.
The 350W motor is located at the rear wheel hub making this a rear-wheel-drive bike. The rear hub also houses a Shimano 7-speed gearbox and an MF-TZ21 Freehub. Stopping power is provided by two disc brakes, one located at each wheel. The brakes on here feel pretty good. They aren’t too firm and the bike comes to a gradual stop and is not so abrupt. Also when braking, the bike shuts off the electric motor to aid in slowing down.
Lastly, let’s talk about the folding mechanism. It’s very sturdy, has a really strong locking mechanism, and seems like it won’t open up accidentally while riding. If you want to pull the battery out, you will have to fold the bike to pull it out of the frame. What’s cool is that you do need the key to unlock the battery from the bike, this way I guess no one can steal it without a key. Also, when folded, it does take up a tiny bit less space and makes it easier to haul around in your trunk.
So I thought the Swagtron Swagger 5 was scary because of the speed, and while this Swagrton EB-8 Outlaw is technically faster, it doesn’t seem as scary. I’m attributing that to the fact that this rides on much larger tires and frame so it feels more planted and firm. It doesn’t seem quite as sketchy to ride around on when going over 18mph. This thing absorbs most of the bumps and imperfections on the surface you’re riding on whereas a scooter really doesn’t. It’s a much smoother ride and if you have to ride fairly long distances, it’s more comfortable.
The Swagtron EB-8 Outlaw is a huge bike though. It might not look it in photos, but this is way bigger than a BMX bike and probably just as big as a mountain bike, despite having smaller wheels. The seat doesn’t quite go as low as I want it to, so me being about 5’8 had to tiptoe it to reach the ground. Not a big deal. This isn’t really meant for kids though, but there is a more kid-friendly version available.
Riding the eBike is super easy though. You can use it as a regular pedal bike, but if you switch it on, peddling will activate the motor as will the accelerator on the handlebar. The brakes on the bike are perfectly tuned in my opinion and are not overly sensitive.
If I had any complaints about the eBike, it would be the lack of an LED light on the front and brake light on the back. I’d also maybe ding it for not having a digital speedometer so I can see how fast I’m going. There is a power meter though.
Aside from that, the rest of the eBike is very well made and I really love the look of it. Not only that, it really can go where most other bikes can’t. The fat tires really help it go offroading and it helps cushion what would otherwise be a really rough ride.
I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be riding around on an eBike. I love regular bike riding and though I haven’t done it in a while, I always found it to be great exercise and kind of relaxing. With an eBike, I get that same type of feeling, but now if I get tired, I don’t have to stop and can have the electric motor take over. I also like the safety features it has, such as automatically shutting down the motor when the brakes are engaged and having a locking mechanism for the battery.
So with that said, I really like the Swagtron EB-8 Outlaw All-Terrain eBike. It’s super fun to ride and I like that it doesn’t look like your average eBike. If you’re going to get an eBike, this is as good as any to get. If you’re looking for a slightly smaller version that might have a lower seat, you could also check out the Swagtron EB-6 which is very similar.
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