schwinn monroe 250 review schwinnmonroe250disc ry 4

Schwinn Monroe 250 evaluate: Making me a fan

“Schwinn’s Monroe 250 ebike cuts the suitable corners, making it as succesful as it’s reasonably priced.”

Variable pedal help


Glorious vary

Disc brakes

Naked-bones LED show

Uncomfortable over lengthy distances

Common element set

I’m not a fan of electrical bicycles.

As an avid bike commuter, I clock a wholesome 2,000 miles on my Specialised Diverge in a any calendar yr. It’s a pleasant bike — although, it’s definitely not Tour-caliber — and I’ve steadily grown accustomed to its jet-black body and abundance of gears, which permit me to traverse the damp hills of Portland, Oregon with ease. The mere considered ditching versatility for an electrical single-speed appears pointless, if not ridiculous. 

The factor is, the Schwinn Monroe 250 (I reviewed the disc mannequin with an MSRP of $1,35) is a tough bike to hate. It sits on the cross-section of performance and affordability. It cuts corners, however principally the suitable ones, and hits the marks that matter most in vary and maneuverability. Just like the Swagtron EB12, it’s aimed toward box-store dominance. But a number of key options assist it stand out.

Nostalgia, reinvented

The Monroe 250 isn’t the enduring Schwinn Corvette your grandfather continues to wax poetic about over Thanksgiving dinner. In contrast to the aforementioned three-speed of ‘55, the Monroe is considered one of a number of comparable fashions constructed to capitalize on the burgeoning ebike market in america.

The Monroe 250 isn’t the enduring Schwinn Corvette your grandfather continues to wax poetic about over Thanksgiving dinner.

Contours and colours are not the promoting level right here. As a substitute, the Monroe’s legacy rides on a 250-watt motor connected to the rear hub which, at the side of a single-speed drivetrain, permits the bike to achieve a high pace 20 miles per hour. That’s normal fare at this level — the like-minded Propella and Pedego Metropolis Commuter Lite Version each obtain comparable speeds — however it’s a lot quick on your on a regular basis bicycle owner. Leisurely cruising by at 20 mph is sufficient to make even probably the most seasoned commuters really feel sluggish.

Although it lacks gears, the Monroe options 5 ranges of pedal-assist, every of which provides you with a little bit extra oomph once you want it most. The mere act of pedaling prompts the motor, and it’s adequately subtle to not be jarring. As soon as transferring, the bike tracks and turns properly, making on a regular basis commutes on flat pavement a breeze. Just like the Swagtron EB12 and Propella, the Schwinn Monroe 250 advantages from its easy body. It feels very similar to a mean mid-range bicycle.

schwinn monroe 250 review schwinnmonroe250disc ry 12Riley Younger/Digital Developments

Due to a pair of 32c tires and disc brakes, it may even deal with the type of gentle trails you may discover in a metropolis park or suburb, regardless of Schwinn billing it solely as an “city ebike.” You wouldn’t wish to take it in your native singletrack, however hey, it may deal with the occasional bump within the street or bout of dangerous climate. Bigger and costlier bikes just like the Specialised Como will provide higher consolation at any given pace, nevertheless, due to bigger tires.

Partaking pedal-assist is simple. A easy, three-button LED show positioned on the left handlebar permits you to regulate the quantity of help although, sadly, it provides little in the best way of metrics. 5 LED lights showcase the present stage, whereas one other 5 point out the remaining battery life. No speedometer. No odometer. No frills.

Not that I’d thoughts a frill or two. Opponents to the Schwinn Monroe 250 typically embody small black-and-white LCD shows that supply fundamental data. They’re not stunning, however they’re higher than nothing, which is what you get with the Monroe 250.

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You wouldn’t wish to take it in your native singletrack, however it may deal with a bump within the street or bout of dangerous climate.

Schwinn makes good on its declare that the Monroe can enterprise 45 miles on a single cost, at the very least beneath preferrred circumstances. Terrain, temperature, and the extent of pedal-assist all have an effect on efficiency, however 45 miles is possible, and locations the Monroe within the higher echelon for this worth level. Bikes just like the Specialised Como can go journey additional on a single cost — as much as 60 miles, in some situations — however value considerably extra. The Monroe provides ample distance at a fraction of the worth.

Low value, at a price

Schwinn has by no means been an organization related to high-end parts. From the get-go, it was involved with mass enchantment, choosing big-box consumption over the impartial bike shops scattered throughout the nation. Within the ‘90s, Schwinn bikes appeared in choose Goal and Walmart shops. Within the aughts? Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Items.

schwinn monroe 250 review schwinnmonroe250disc ry 11Riley Younger/Digital Developments

As a part of its push for the mainstream market, Schwinn has made an effort to maintain prices low. The Monroe initially retailed for $1,350 on Amazon, however can now be discovered for as little as $900 in choose shops (word that there are a number of fashions, and a few don’t have the disc brakes on my evaluate bike). Value has lengthy been a barrier for entry on the subject of ebikes, however decreased prices typically result in high quality considerations, which is the case with the Monroe, Swagtron EB12, and plenty of bikes inside this worth bracket.

The aluminum, three-tone construct gained’t win any awards, however it’s serviceable and nondescript, with flat handlebars and a fixie-style body that feels each slick and strong. It’s not an actual looker, as a result of the digital parts aren’t built-in into the design or body and most twine runs are exterior.

The aluminum, three-tone construct gained’t win any awards, however it’s serviceable and nondescript.

Different parts don’t really feel as forgiving because the body. The platform pedals appear brittle, as if they could break in the event that they have been to make contact with something apart from your ft, and the “comfort-ribbed” BMX grips, paradoxically, present little in the best way of consolation. Actually, neither does the road-style saddle, which isn’t a lot of a respite on longer rides. You’ll wish to price range $50 for a saddle improve for those who purchase the Monroe.

My most major problem was a high quality management challenge. The stem that shipped with my Schwinn Monroe 250 evaluate bike wasn’t constructed to the right specs. It was barely too massive, which meant the handlebars moved freed from the wheel even with all screws totally tightened. This wasn’t revealed till a Digital Developments staffer took the bike to a store to seek out out what was flawed. Schwinn rapidly shipped a correctly manufactured stem, which fastened the issue.

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Our take

The Schwinn Monroe is the definition of bang on your buck. It’s not probably the most high-tech ebike in the marketplace, however it nonetheless provides ample vary and ferries you from level A to level B with out breaking a sweat. Regardless of lackluster hardware, it stays an acceptable contender for these seeking to expedite their commute with out taking out a second mortgage on their mortgage.

One vital word. I reviewed the disc mannequin, which is not accessible new. Solely the rim-brake fashions can be found. They’re a lot cheaper, as little as $900 at Wal-Mart, and that dramatically sweetens the deal. Simply do not forget that rim brakes aren’t the most effective in rain.

Are there higher options?

Producers resembling Nakto and Ancheer provide extra reasonably priced options that always dip beneath $650 on Amazon, however their choices are considerably heavier, lack vary, and don’t include a long-term guarantee. Swagtron’s EB12 is even cheaper, and has extra options, although its general construct high quality is much more, ahem, ‘price range pleasant.’

The Propella is at the moment our favourite price range electrical bike, and the Schwinn Monroe 250 can’t high it. Although the 2 bikes provide comparable efficiency and specs, the Propella has a extra eye-catching design and feels extra sturdy.

In the event you want extra suggestions, our information to the most effective electrical bikes has you lined.

How lengthy will it final?

I’ve considerations concerning the pedals and different minor parts, together with the stem, however they are often swapped out with out a lot challenge. Schwinn provides a lifetime guarantee on each the body and fork. The battery additionally comes with a 2-year guarantee, which is double what most producers provide.

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On the plus aspect, the Monroe 250 isn’t a fancy piece of hardware, neither is it one which’s reliant on future software program updates. With a little bit repairs and a few small additions (assume: fenders), it ought to simply final an upwards of 10 years. Will probably be simpler, and cheaper, to repair than electrical bikes with extra advanced, high-end parts.

Must you purchase it?

Sure. The Schwinn Monroe 250 makes compromises, however it’s reasonably priced, succesful, and needs to be simple to keep up.

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