Schwinn Constance Review

Schwinn Constance Electric Bike Review
Schwinn Constance
Schwinn Constance Quiet Bafang Max Drive Electric Bike
Schwinn Constance 36 Volt Bafang Downtube Ebike Battery Pack
Schwinn Constance Bafang Dpc07 Lcd Ebike Display
Schwinn Constance Steel Fork Quick Release Skewer
Schwinn Constance Very Comfortable Cionlli Plush Saddle
Schwinn Constance 7 Speed Shimano Altus Derailleur
Schwinn Constance Painted Alloy Rear Rack
Schwinn Constance 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger
Schwinn Constance Electric Bike Review
Schwinn Constance
Schwinn Constance Quiet Bafang Max Drive Electric Bike
Schwinn Constance 36 Volt Bafang Downtube Ebike Battery Pack
Schwinn Constance Bafang Dpc07 Lcd Ebike Display
Schwinn Constance Steel Fork Quick Release Skewer
Schwinn Constance Very Comfortable Cionlli Plush Saddle
Schwinn Constance 7 Speed Shimano Altus Derailleur
Schwinn Constance Painted Alloy Rear Rack
Schwinn Constance 2 Amp Electric Bicycle Charger

Summary

  • A comfortable, cruiser style electric bicycle with classic styling Schwinn, made only in the approachable step-thru frame style and one frame size, but you get four bold color choices, matching fenders, and a rack
  • The Bafang Max mid-motor is efficient, extremely quiet, and capable of climbing steeper hills if you switch gears thoughtfully, the controller listens for multiple pedal signals to operate responsively and feel in control
  • Comfortable oversized sprung saddle, taller quill stem with adjustable height, mid-rise swept back handlebars, and slightly fatter tires that absorb cracks while increasing stability, the steel fork also dampens vibration
  • Many entry-level parts help to keep the price down and should perform alright in the neighborhood for easy riding, simple kickstand, less grippy plastic pedals, basic Shimano Altus derailleur, steel fenders that could rust if scratched

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Schwinn

Model:

Constance

Price:

$2,499

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame and Fork

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20172018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

51.3 lbs (23.26 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.8 lbs (2.63 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16.5 in (41.91 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

16.5" Seat Tube, 24" Reach, 18.5" Stand Over Height, 25" Width, 71.5" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Clear Sky Blue, Chartreuse Yellow, Black Onyx, Rosewood

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Speed Shimano Altus Derailleur, 11-28T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano RevoShift Half-Grip Twist on Right

Cranks:

8Fun Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Lenght, 40T Chainring with Alloy Guide

Pedals:

FPD Plastic with Rubber Grip

Headset:

Threaded, 25.4 mm Diameter

Stem:

Adjustable Height, Quill Style, 70 mm Length, 25.4 mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Mid-Rise, 630 mm Length

Brake Details:

Generic Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Three-Finger Levers (Integrated Motor Cutoff Switch)

Grips:

Semi-Ergonomic, Faux Leather, Stitched

Saddle:

Schwinn Branded Cionlli, Oversized, Sprung, Gel Pockets

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Pipe Type Separated Saddle Clamp

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, Reinforcement Eyelets

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front and 13 Gauge Rear, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Innova, 26" x 2.125"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.75 to 4.5 BAR

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Paint-Matched Steel Fenders, Paint-Matched Aluminum Alloy Rack with Spring Latch, Mid-Frame Alloy Kickstand

Other:

Locking Removable Mid-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.3 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang Max Drive

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours hours for a full charge from empty

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Bafang DPC07, Fixed, Adjustable-Angle, Backlit LCD (Double Tap i for Settings Menu)

Readouts:

Battery Level (10 Bars), Speed, Light Icon, Trip Distance, Total Distance, Max Speed, Average Speed, Assist Level (0-5)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad (+, -, Light, Power, i)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (8 Pole Cadence Sensor, Torque Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

EBR charges a service fee to manufacturers to produce ebike reviews and videos, this began in 2018. It’s the same flat fee for each bike, and it helps us to keep the site going while limiting ad clutter. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with our opinions and data but respect your right to know that we receive compensation :)

The Schwinn Constance is an approachable, stylish, and relatively quiet, cruiser style electric bike. With seven speeds, an intuitive grip shifter (verses triggers), and a large comfortable saddle, it works well in neighborhood and casual bike path environments. The Constance only comes in one frame size and one frame style for now, a wavy step-thru, but there are four beautiful colors to choose from. And, the rear rack and fenders match the main frame color perfectly. While the colors do match, it seems that the rear rack is a bit tipped forward and the material for the fenders is steel vs. aluminum, which is more prone to rust over time. I was impressed by the relatively light weight of ~51.3 lbs, and appreciate that much of the motor and battery weight is positioned low and center vs. up high and back. This electric bicycle handles fairly well, but does suffer from a bit of frame flex if you pedal hard, stand up, or simply weigh more. In short, I appreciate the Schwinn styling, brand name, and dedicated support (for a two year warranty), along with how comfortable and upright the geometry is. Notice how the seat post angles back… this allows taller riders to fit as the saddle is raised but keeps shorter riders closer to the ground when it is lower. So close to the ground in fact, that many riders can sit and touch the ground, then lift their feet and get decent leg extension forward as the crank arms are positioned further forward vs. directly below. This is a design that Electra patented and calls “Flat Foot Technology” but many competing cruisers imitate it by angling their seat tubes back a lot vs. actually moving the bottom bracket.

Driving this bike is an efficient 250 watt mid-drive motor from Bafang, called the Max Drive. It’s one of their quietest models and relies on pedal cadence and torque, for smoother stops and more responsive feedback. This is a Class 1 electric bike with pedal assist only, you have to pedal to get it going… but that makes it legal on more bike paths and reduces clutter and confusion up at the handlebars. When set to the highest level of assist (level 5), the motor is zippy and very capable. To really maximize performance, you need to shift gears like on a normal bicycle. The cassette range isn’t super wide, but seven speeds gives you enough options to climb moderately steep hills without straining your knees and hips. The component group used here is Shimano Altus, which is one step up from the very base level, called Turney. It suits this bike well, but seems a bit basic for the relatively high price of $2,499. This is my biggest question mark about the Schwinn Constance. To me, it seems a bit expensive compared with all of the new competing products that have even nicer derailleurs, fenders, racks, some even have integrated lights, and nicer brakes. What you get here are no-name 160 mm mechanical disc brakes. Compared to hydraulic brakes, with adjustable levers, or even mechanical brakes with motor inhibitors built in, these leave a bit to be desired.

Powering the bike is a beautiful, slightly higher-than-average capacity, mid-mounted battery pack. It runs at 36 volts and offers 11.6 amp hours of capacity and should allow you to ride upwards of 25 miles (even in the highest level of assist). Of course, range depends on a lot of different factors, like rider weight, terrain, even tire pressure and wind. However, mid-drive motors tend to be very efficient if you shift those gears thoughtfully. I mentioned that the motor controller relies on two input signals (cadence and pedal torque) but it does not have shift sensing… so it’s best if you sort of ease off when shifting gears, to reduce mashing. Getting back to the battery, this pack mounts from the right side of the frame and can be charged on the bike or off. If you live somewhere that experiences extreme heat or cold, it’s best to keep the battery in a cool, dry location to maximize the life of the cells inside. The charger you get is an average 2 Amp design, it plugs in easily and there’s even a little LED infographic light-up display on top of the pack to let you know how full it’s getting, without having to mount it to the bike itself, and power it up. This battery is black but has matching accents to help it blend into the frame. It’s positioned in such a way that the Aluminum alloy frame tubing mostly protects it, especially from kicks above as you mount the bike. I like that it has a small handle built into the top and get the sense that Schwinn is using a standardized pack size for many of their new e-bikes to make replacement simple.

The motor, battery, and display panel are my favorite parts about this electric bicycle, and the main justification for the higher price point in my view. It’s expensive to custom design a frame with a mid-motor interface vs. just using a simple hub motor… but this motor is so quiet, smooth, and efficient, that it raises performance, range, and lifespan significantly. Once you have charged and mounted the battery (make sure you hear it click, and double check that it’s secure), just press the power button on the rubberized control pad, near the left grip. The display comes to life quickly and shows a bunch of readouts, fairly large, so they are easy to see. At the top, there’s a 10-bar battery infographic. This is much more precise than the majority of other displays I see, and that makes it easier to plan rides and get home without running out of juice. Next to that is a speedometer, and the lower portion shows a light icon (you can make the screen backlit by clicking the light button on the control pad for easier viewing at night), and things like trip distance, odometer, and average speed. This display unit can angle forward and back, to help reduce glare and make it easier to read. It feels solid and is mounted right in the center for easy viewing without straining your neck. However, it is not removable and does not have a USB charging port built in. It does have quite a few settings built in for brightness and units, and you can access those easily by double tapping the i button.

I had a good time test riding this bike at the Ebike Expo event in Philadelphia. It handled the sidewalks, city streets, and bumpy sections pretty well. The fork is made of Steel, which tends to be strong but also vibration dampening, and the softer saddle with big springs felt better than I thought. It almost doesn’t need suspension, and that would add to the weight and cost of the bike while possibly adding even more flex. There are a few little upgrades worth appreciating, including the alloy chainring guide, which protects your pant leg or skirt while reducing chain drops. But, this is one area where a full chain cover would have been even better and cleaner. The quill stem offers some adjustability but isn’t as sturdy as the new 31.8 mm standard used on mountain bikes and some overbuilt cruisers. The mid-rise handlebar and semi-ergonomic grips produce a comfortable upright position and reduce hand fatigue, even if the brake levers themselves are a bit basic and require more hand strength to use. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it bugged me to see the rear rack angled forward, the plastic pedals weren’t especially stiff or grippy, but I loved the reinforcement eyelets on the rims, which improves strength and durability. This bike has smaller 26″ wheels, which lower the entire frame, making it easier to mount and more stable… but the tires that come stock appeared very generic. I didn’t see any puncture protection or reflective sidewall stripes. If you never ride in places where thorns are present, and tend to only go out during the daytime, that’s probably not a big issue. Both wheels do have quick release skewers, so changing flat tires will be easier than on some other ebikes… and even moreso because of the mid-motor vs. a hub motor which would have extra wires going to the wheel. Depending on your desire for a middrive motor and the Schwinn branding, this could either feel like a great deal or a bit expensive. The support team I met was very enthusiastic and a two-year warranty is above average. If you could find one of these at a local shop, it would be worth test riding. I’d like to thank the Ebike Expo and Schwinn for partnering with me on this review. I’ll do my best to field comments below or you could connect directly with other owners and enthusiasts in the Schwinn forums here.

Pros:

  • This bike looks beautiful, I only saw the metallic blue paint job but was really impressed, not only did Schwinn match the fork, rear rack, and fenders, but they also included a decal on the battery and a patch on the saddle so everything ties in visually
  • Useful in a wide range of neighborhood and urban environments, you could ride in the rain and stay relatively dry and clean, pick up some supplies or groceries at the store with the rack and a basket or simple trunk bag, or commute daily to work with some panniers
  • Seven speeds is decent for getting around town and managing the 1 to 20 mph assisted speed range here, even though it’s still a bit basic, I appreciate that Schwinn opted for the Shimano Altus component group here vs. entry-level Tourney and I love the sturdy alloy chain guide that will protect your pants or dress and keep the chain from dropping
  • Sometimes trigger shifters can be confusing if you’re new to cycling or more of a casual rider, I think the half-grip twist shifter here makes perfect sense for cruising and is very intuitive
  • Even though the Schwinn Constance only comes in one frame size, the seat tube is angled back to accommodate taller riders very well, I appreciate how low the saddle can go too because the rear rack doesn’t get in the way
  • It would be great to have hydraulic disc brakes here, but the mechanical disc brakes are still a step above rim brakes and should stay cleaner and stop you faster
  • Both wheels and the seat post collar use quick release, which makes servicing and fitting easier… just make sure you run a cable through them if you’re locking up overnight
  • For me, the battery pack is one of the best features of this bike, it’s great that you can charge without removing it from the frame for convenience or take it off and bring it inside for protection, the battery slides out to the side which allows the top tube to be lower and it’s protected and really low here for improved stability

Cons:

  • The rear rack is versatile because it has a spring latch and uses standard gauge tubing that’s compatible with more bags and panniers, but I wish the bike had bottle cage bosses on the seat tube or downtube so you could store water within reach, consider a trunk bag with a bottle holster like this or a front basket like this
  • The fenders look great and feel solid, but could rust over time if they get scratched up because they are made from steel vs. aluminum or plastic
  • I really appreciate the chain guide because it’s sturdy and should keep your pants or dress from getting messy as you pedal, but it would be nice if there was more of a chain cover
  • The kickstand is mounted near the bottom bracket which means that the left crank arm can clank into it if you walk the bike backwards… it would be nice if the stand were just a touch further back to be completely out of the way
  • Mechanical disc brakes don’t usually have adjustable-reach levers and just require more hand strength to actuate, this bike is using the smallest 160 mm disc brake rotors so you don’t get as much power, and there are no motor inhibitors built into the brakes, so you could be fighting the motor for a moment when braking depending on the situation
  • Minor complaint here, the plastic pedals weren’t especially grippy or stiff, they won’t scrape your shins up as bad if you slip, but they could be worth upgrading to something like this if you ride in wet conditions a lot

Resources:

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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

Alan Stevens
9 months ago

The sub 2k Comfort/Commuter Mid Drive market is definitely underserved, and Dorel Industries has fallen short of the mark, especially at the $2500 price point. A quill stem was okay on my Stringray or Varsity. 160 mmmechanical disk brakes, w/o motor cutoffs? the only redeeming feature is the alloy chain guide. Ignaz Schwinn should be turning in his grave.

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Hey Alan! I try to be constructive and always look at these ebikes from different angles… though I still have some bias and opinions mixed in. I agree that the price is a bit high here, the motor and battery are quite good but the bike itself is using some low-quality parts. That’s okay if the price reflects lower quality, but $2.5k seems high. I believe that Schwinn was sold to a bigger company and is now more of a branding tool. I guess it’s part of the circle of life? New upstarts get to make a name for themselves by addressing the gaps left by larger or fading companies, and bigger corporations with good reach and distribution channels search for branding tools to help reassure customers. The goal of my reviews is to be objective and help people make informed decisions so that their lifestyle and budget needs are met and they can enjoy these products.

  Reply
Mike
7 months ago

Court, With respect to your comment about ‘priced high’, the only way that has some merit is if you are comparing this ebike to hub drives. A quality mid drive is typically only going to be found on ebikes priced with an MSRP above $3000. Good Mid-drives are typically adding at least $800 to $1000 per copy, versus hub drives when you compare more apples to apples on the rest of the components. Another $500 is a lot, and in particular when you look at Cruiser style bikes from Kalkhoff, Piaggio, Cube, etc you are getting up closer to $3500 MSRP. Yes those ebikes have better components, but you can do a lot with another $500 to $1000 on top of the price of the Schwinn.

Yes, Schwinn is new to e-bikes, and they’ll likely refine the components and price points as they get further in. But they got a LOT right with this e-bike, and the other e-bikes in their line up, and the primary aspect to get more people ebiking (in the US) is first price point, then comfort. For example, many e-bike OEM’s ship bikes with super hard seats for example, but your average mainstream recreational bike rider, wants comfort, and the boomer market is the target here. These people over 55, are also doing most of the ebike purchases. So if E-Bikes are going to go more mainstream here in the US, and get past that chasm of going from early adopter to mainstream, its way more important to get the price point right and components matched for the recreational type user (not hardcore enthusiasts, or regular commuters). Now versus Europe where the buyer is entirely different, including most who use their ebikes and regular bikes for primary commuting and transportation, then certainly you want more reliable and higher quality brakes, gearing, lights, etc. But European Ebike OEM’s are trying to shove that onto the US buyers and its not working very well, when you look at the evidence (i.e. such as Haibike, who has had such a large inventory back up, you see many dealers selling them for close to 50% off MSRP’s that range from $3500 to $4500). And with E-Bike sales numbers estimated at only around 150,000 to 200,000 annually here in the US, and for would-be buyers who are likely to be more recreational in order to get those annual sales numbers a lot higher, the Schwinn offers plenty. Compare Schwinn to Pedego’s that are mostly hub drives, and Pedego’s designed mostly for that recreational buyer, are typically priced higher than Schwinn is with this mid-drive. Plus they are a LOT heavier ebikes.

Generally I think you are fairly objective, if not sometimes overly generous on some aspects to some OEM’s, but this video seemed to be just a wee bit nit picky versus your other reviews of hub drives, that come in at similar price points.

Personally I like that Schwinn has put their emphasis (money) on the drive, and in particular has not gone with either Bosch, Shimano, or Brose. For example, Bosch charges very high prices for their package, and forces their own battery on you, where their after-market prices are rather steep. Plus they tend to be less supportive to ebike dealers than others, more snobbish, and require many special tools. Bafang has the advantage of selling massive quantities of motors they make for all ebikes, and it’s awesome for the ebike market, what they are now doing with more tier levels of quality drives, including this higher end Bafang. I could be wrong, but it seems to me Bosch is shooting for an aire of exclusivity, and forcing their product and buyers into higher price points that really doesn’t do anything to grow the market beyond commuters (of which there are few here in the US vs other countries, or hard core enthusiasts). Its like they want to dominate it, so they can charge higher prices, and would be happy with a small pie, as long as they ‘own’ most of that pie. It’s sort of that ‘old school’ mind set, that many IBD’s have fallen into that trap, to where they sell higher end regular bikes, and many of the average regular bike purchasers don’t even feel comfortable going into IBD’s because of that (i.e. feel like they don’t even know enough to ask right questions, and the dealers make them feel sort of unworthy or won’t give them much time – Hence the massive decline in IBD’s here in the US, since the year 2000.)

Besides back on this Schwinn, its not hard for someone to upgrade brakes, change cassettes, or other components (if they really want to do that) later on.

I’m merely going by most of the people I see buying ebikes today who when they come into an ebike store, largely have not ridden a bike for years. Thats the largest percentage of this market right now by far, and probably why Pedego sells so many more ebikes than other OEM’s. Pedego strategically makes themselves ‘approachable’ to the masses. (they’ve targeted the buyer who has the decent disposable income to buy one of these, but is also a very average rider who hasn’t ridden for years, and there are tons more of those, than regular riders. In fact, listen to the folks at GEO-Orbital, who cite facts that 95% of the market is riders who don’t ride (though they own regular bikes that are sitting unused in their garages or basements), and have dispensed with riding largely due to all the inadequacies of regular bikes, that ebikes actually address in many cases.)

Schwinn appears to be going after that 95%, which the regular bike industry has pretty much lost over the past 2 decades here in the US. The other major E-Bike OEMS (mainly those selling only mid drive ebikes) seem to be going after the same small 5% pie, that are the regular bike riders and commuters, or people who know what they want in a bike and what they want in higher performance, which is in part why overall Ebike sales numbers remain low here in the US vs Europe or other countries. The industry really can’t use the excuse anymore that we are at least “10 years behind Europe”, because ebikes are high enough quality now, and there are over 100 brands creating awareness. The 150k to 200k annual ebike numbers are not where sales should be by this point, here in the US. Schwinn’s efforts are likely to help really move the needle on that. (nit picky comments are not)

My two cents, FWIW.

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Awesome feedback Mike! I thoroughly enjoyed your insights and agree with a lot of the points made. It sounds like you really know the space well, thanks for the Pedego, Geo-Orbital, and Haibike sale insights. My feeling is that the Schwinn Constance compromised on some important parts (tires, fenders, stem) that might actually compromise the ride and ownership experience… and that because people tend to ride more with ebikes, and because they are so much heavier, there is potential for a frustrating experience at what is still a relatively high price point. Yes, the motor and battery are solid, but the cost for a few key upgrades here is negligible and would probably still fit within the budget. The bike seemed cheaper than it needed to be with such a great name and buying power that Schwinn should have. Instead of being average or a delighter, it felt cheap and very basic, below average in many ways. That’s just my opinion, I am excited about the company getting into ebikes and thankful for the opportunity to cover some of their stuff, but feel that there were a few important and noteworthy compromises on parts that are not reflected in the price.

  Reply
Thomas Jaszewski
5 months ago

SCHWINN has been a big box store -sub $200 bike for a couple of decades. Sad to see. I bought two PARAMOUNTS in 1972. Total COMPAGNOLA and butted 531 frame with sew up tires. A real machine. By 1979 the end was near. Just a few decent models were made when the factory moved from CHICAGO to the deep south. A well known name with a great logo, but completely cheap. Sad, very sad for a fella that had 8 of their bikes from 1959 till 1983.

  Reply
Court
5 months ago

Hi Thomas! I see it as rebirth… that big companies and even influential people eventually pass, and that creates room for innovation and new people to thrive. I’m glad that Schwinn is not a monopoly, but I still appreciate their rich heritage… even their current generation bikes offer something that can be useful and practical for people with the right needs and budget. There are new trendsetters out there, and maybe Schwinn is banking more on their brand name now than a couple of decades ago, but it’s all okay :)

  Reply

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