Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.
Swagtron Swagger 5 Review
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We think the features of the Swagger 5, its built-in LED information display, and its design make it an attractive entry-level scooter for a lot of riders beginners. The scooter is easy to use, durable, but still very fun.
The electric motor accelerates quite quickly up to about 10 mph, then it takes quite a bit longer to reach its top speed. For a short commute to work, even 16 mph feels quick and is about all you'll need.
The Swagger 5 took 24.3 seconds (5.6 mph average speed) to complete our standardized 200 feet, 10% grade hill climb test with a 165 lb rider.
All our range tests are performed on the same test loop by the same 165 lb rider. The loop has frequent stops/starts, hills, and rough terrain. The scooter is ridden as fast as possible in its quickest (least energy-conserving mode) mode. The test is a rigorous simulation of fast, real-world riding.
The Swagger 5 has a 216 watt hour lithium-ion battery pack, which is a good size for such an inexpensive scooter. It's nearest-priced competitor, the Gotrax GXL V2 has only a - battery, yet gets 10.1 miles of tested range. However, due to its higher top speed (the GXL V2 tops out around 14 mph), the Swagger 5 depletes its bigger battery much quicker.
If you ride it in one of the lower-speed modes, you'll get a significantly greater range.
The brake lever doesn't feel amazing — it feels cheap and has some drag when you pull down on it. We noticed that the brake cable is encased in a long and tortuous long housing -- the likely cause of drag in the brake cable.
Out of the box, the brakes were quite loose, and the tension screw needed some adjustment. Due to the tortuous brake cable, there is a lot of tension on the adjustment screw. This made adjusting by hand a bit difficult, but otherwise not a problem.
The Swagger doesn't have a mechanical suspension, so the only cushioning you'll get comes from the tires. Its combination of a pneumatic (air-filled) front tire and rear honeycomb (airless) tire provides a surprisingly smooth ride.
The rear tire has an internal polyurethane honeycomb structure that acts as springs and provides a much better ride than a typical solid rubber tire. The outer rubber of this tire is actually quite supple --it provides good traction compared to other solid tires we've tested.
Swagtron Swagger 5 Features
The Swagger 5 weighs 28.0 lb. When folded, it is 45 inches by 17 inches by 19 inches. It's compact enough to fit into the trunk of most cars.
The folding mechanics are identical to the M365 and a handful of other scooters -- including both the folding and latching mechanism. This folding mechanism is solid when locked into place, and the handlebars feel stable.
Folding is quick and simple -- you simply rotate a safety plastic collar, then pull down on a lever. A mechanism on handlebars engages with a hitch on the rear fender, securing the stem for carrying. When folded, most people will have no problem carrying it up a flight of stairs.
We consider this an advantage over the more expensive Xiaomi that only displays battery status and requires the Bluetooth phone app for everything else.
The handgrips screw into the side of the stem. They have a tendency to loosen spontaneously, which is an annoyance. One trick we discovered is that unscrewing the handlebars was super useful when loading into a packed car. If you do this, be careful that a plastic ring that slips into the side of the thumb throttle doesn't fall out when the right handlebar is off.
The Swagger App connects your smartphone with the scooter over Bluetooth. It is not needed to use the scooter, which is good. Many people don't want to have a phone out while cruising around. The Swagger 5 comes with a free phone holder in case you want to do this.
Like the M365, the app adds little value to the scooter. The main benefit is that it allows you to control the lights, change gear modes, or lock the scooter without having to tap out morse code on the power button.
The app also allows you to deactivate the powered start mode. Turning this off (which will require you to kick start the scooter) will help to extend range significantly because it takes a ton of energy to get you rolling.
For anything but very occasional riding at night, we recommend additional lighting to improve your safety.
We universally favor pneumatic tires on all scooters, because they provide better traction in wet conditions and a better ride. However, they come with the risk of flats. Most tire flats can be prevented or easily repaired with slime.
Because the rear tire more often gets flats, by making it airless, the scooter has reduced maintenance concerns. The front tire is also able to smooth out the ride on rough roads and will have better traction.
We also tested the scooter in moderate rain and found that both tires performed very well. The rear honeycomb tire never lost its grip, unlike some airless tires we've tested previously.
Overall, build quality is good when you take into account this is one of the least expensive electric scooters.
Some components, like the brake lever, feel cheap. The brakes needed some adjustment, and the cable routing isn't the best design. The brakes are also a little noisy. Despite this, they are still very functional.
However, things that really affect the overall scooter experience: the frame of the scooter, folding mechanism, motor, and stem all feel very solid. The powder-coated frame and welds, in particular, seem to be nearly identical in design and quality to that of the Xiaomi Mi M365.
Swagger 5: Review Conclusions
The Swagger 5 isn't a powerful scooter by any means, yet taking off on it feels fast. We love the zero-start mode.
Finally, it is a good scooter for the price. We've been riding this scooter for more than a year and think this is a solid purchase at the low-end of the electric scooter market.
If Swagger 5 isn't appealing, look at our suggested alternatives. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.