At a speed of more than 25–30 km / h, a fall from an electric scooter is fraught with abrasions, dislocations and fractures.
During the first half of 2021, the demand for renting electric scooters in Russia increased 5 times, Urent kicksharing analysts calculated. According to them, customers of electric scooter rental services make millions of rides every month. If you decide to buy your own electric scooter for walking or commuting and choose the right model, our detailed review is for you.
The design of the electric scooter is simple and reliable. Models of modern scooters vary greatly in power, weight, power reserve, and maximum speed. Let’s take a closer look at each category.
Engine power and maximum speed of the electric scooter
First, let’s find out how to choose an electric scooter for an adult for the city, given the power of the vehicle. It is she who affects the maximum speed, and according to this parameter, all models can be divided into two large groups: with a maximum speed of up to 20–30 km / h and up to 50–60 km / h.
Maximum speed 20–30 km/h
Good for driving through parks, city sidewalks or well-worn paths. If you plan to ride primarily in areas with pedestrians, you definitely will not set speed records. By the way, in Moscow in crowded places at the legislative level, the speed for two-wheeled vehicles was limited to 15 km / h.
In parks where vacationers walk, children ride roller skates or bicycles and young mothers walk with strollers, the average speed of movement on an electric scooter will be no more than 10–15 km/h. So, in Moscow, the speed of electric scooters near and in parks and in areas with a dense flow of pedestrians has already been limited to 15 km / h.
On straight sections without obstacles, 30–35 km / h can be considered a safe maximum. If you accelerate more, it is easy to lose control — for example, if a pebble or a pothole in the road gets under the wheel.
Wear protective gear. A helmet and gloves are required. It would be nice to get knee pads and elbow pads.
Max speed 50–60 km/h
Scooters from this category are full-fledged road users. Within the city on public roads, the average speed of cars is 55 km/h. On such a scooter, you can confidently stay in the general flow of vehicles.
To move around the city streets, you need to know the rules of the road and be able to drive an electric scooter well. As a rule, most motorists behave correctly and predictably in relation to cyclists and scooters. It must be remembered that it is absolutely impossible to maneuver between cars — it is so easy to find yourself in the driver’s blind spot and get into an accident. When driving in a stream of cars, you need to take a place in the convoy without trying to overtake.
A mandatory item for owners of high-speed electric scooters is to take care of the equipment. Life and health may depend on it. The minimum kit should include a helmet, a “turtle” (a rigid frame on the body that protects the back, elbows, chest, shoulders) and motorcycle gloves. When buying a scooter that develops a speed of 50–60 km / h, be prepared to pay 10–15 thousand rubles for protective clothing — it’s better not to save on it.
How much power do you need a scooter
That speed indicators depend on the rated power of two-wheeled vehicles. If we draw a parallel between the two parameters, we get the following:
|Electric scooter power, W
|Maximum speed, km/h
The ability to overcome steep climbs depends on the power. For urban conditions, the optimal power of the electric motor with a user’s body weight of 70 to 90 kg is 350–500 watts.
What should be the diameter of the wheels on an electric scooter
The smaller the wheels, the lighter the scooter. But there are drawbacks: a scooter with small wheels is less maneuverable and overcomes bumps worse. For example, driving on paving stones or old cracked asphalt is uncomfortable due to strong shaking. A scooter with small wheels has a lower landing, and you can easily catch a small curb or step on the bottom. This is dangerous for models that have a battery in the deck (bottom of the frame).
The average for city scooters is 8 inches (18 cm). There are scooters with a diameter of 9–10 inches (22–25 cm). They are more massive, but they “swallow” shocks better and cope with shaking on any surface. There are models with powerful shock absorbers and with a relief tread that are adapted to off-road.
The wider the wheels, the better the stability on the road. Wheels with wide tires are more confident on sand, gravel or loose earth.
The more embossed the tread, the better the grip. It tends to wear off, so tires have to be changed periodically, but this is more true for rental scooters, on which tens of kilometers are wound daily.
Choosing the type of electric scooter wheels
Which electric scooter should an adult choose for the city or off-road, so that it would be comfortable to ride on it? The stores sell models with two types of wheels: polyurethane (cast) and pneumatic (inflatable). Both have strengths and weaknesses. Let’s start with the advantages of pneumatic wheels:
- have good shock-absorbing properties;
- suitable for driving on wet roads;
- provide better braking;
- better swallow bumps;
- almost silent.
The main advantages of polyurethane wheels:
- reliable and durable;
- have good grip on dry roads;
- wear out slowly;
- do not pierce;
- not afraid of sudden temperature changes.
Polyurethane wheels are not well suited for driving on wet roads due to poor grip, so you need to be careful after rain. On cast wheels, the rider feels all the joints, cracks and bumps encountered on the way if there are no shock absorbers on the scooter.
Inflatable wheels have to be periodically pumped up or lowered. When the ambient temperature rises, the pressure in them increases, and when it gets colder, it decreases. They can be punctured if you drive over broken glass or other sharp objects, and then the tire will need to be repaired or replaced.
How to choose an electric scooter by weight and size
The models presented by modern brands vary greatly in size and weight. These figures depend on several factors:
- frame and handlebar material;
- the presence of shock absorbers;
- battery size;
- wheel diameter.
The lighter the scooter, the more convenient it is to use. You can carry it in your hands, transport it in public transport, effortlessly lift it to your apartment or take it to the office. Dimensions also play an important role. A large scooter will require a lot of storage space, and it is also inconvenient to travel with it on public transport.
If you plan to carry your scooter in the trunk, make sure before buying if the new thing fits in the car. On average, the trunk width of most sedans is 90–100 cm. Keep this in mind, but rather measure your own car.
Almost all city models have a folding design — they break in half in the area of \u200b\u200bthe front wheel (the steering wheel drops and is combined with the deck). For example, the folded Ninebot Kickscooter Max is 113 cm long, so it fits easily into the trunk of a midsize sedan.
The mass of a two-wheeled vehicle is affected by the size of the battery and the diameter of the wheels. For example, a scooter with 8‑inch wheels and a 12,000 mAh battery weighs about 13 kg. A model with 10-inch wheels and an 18,000 mAh battery will be almost twice as heavy — 21–24 kg.
When choosing a dream electric scooter, you can pick up the model you like and walk with it a little. If the scooter seems too heavy, look at a more compact version.
How big should an electric scooter battery be?
There are two types of batteries — lithium-ion or lead-acid. The second option is rare. Manufacturers refuse it because of the greater weight with less capacity. Lithium-ion batteries have many advantages:
- minimum self-discharge when the scooter is not used (up to 4–6% per month);
- long resource (up to 6–8 years);
- more than 1000 charge-discharge cycles.
But they also have disadvantages. They are afraid of sub-zero temperatures, so riding electric scooters is not recommended even at ‑5 °C. Under such conditions, the battery loses charge twice as fast as usual, and its life is reduced. Lead-acid batteries are not afraid of sub-zero temperatures.
Battery capacity affects the range of trips on a single charge. You need to find a middle ground for yourself so that the scooter is light enough and can be lifted to an apartment or office, but at the same time so that the power reserve is enough to overcome the required distance:
- 5,000 mAh — 8–10 km run. Lightweight and compact scooter for short walks near the house or in the park;
- 8,000 mAh — about 15 km. Suitable for longer walks or trips to work if it is close to home;
- 12,000 mAh — up to 25 km. An option for those who want to ride a scooter around the city for longer distances;
- 14,000 mAh — about 30 km. This power reserve is enough for one and a half to two hours of riding a scooter.
The battery discharge rate depends on conditions. When climbing a hill or driving over bumps, the battery drains faster. Rider skills are also important — you need to smoothly accelerate and stop slowly, allowing the scooter to recharge the battery (braking energy is converted into battery charge).
Even if you do not ride the scooter in freezing weather, the battery life will expire over time. Gradually, its elements lose capacity, which negatively affects the range of travel. The average battery life is about 500 charge cycles. With active use (trips up to 3–5 times a week), this can reach 3 years. At this point, the capacity will drop to about 70–80%. The maximum distance covered will decrease by the same 20–30%.
To prolong battery life, you only need to charge the battery with the original device. For the battery, a discharge to 0% is harmful. Store the scooter or the battery removed from it at a temperature of 0 to 25 ℃. The ideal charge level for long periods of inactivity (for example, in winter) is 50%.
Which electric scooter to choose: with shock absorbers or without
Thanks to the shock absorbers, the scooter overcomes pits, potholes and even small steps more easily. They improve ride comfort and ride comfort. Even the simplest spring dampers are still better than none.
But it is important to remember some nuances.
If the owner of the scooter weighs more than 110–120 kg, the usual model with shock absorbers will not suit him. You need to look for a scooter with a full cushioning system that is designed for high loads.
Models with shock absorbers on the front wheel and a rigid rear suspension weigh an average of 2 kg more than usual. If the depreciation is full — on both axles — the weight will be 4–5 kg more. Shock absorbers increase the length of the scooter when folded — a difference of about 10 cm. This is not much, but it can create inconvenience when transporting an electric scooter in the trunk.
We rated the comfort level on a 5‑point scale depending on the type of wheels and suspension. This is the rating:
|Shock absorbers + pneumatic wheels
|Shock absorbers + polyurethane wheels
|Pneumatic wheels without shock absorbers
|Polyurethane wheels without shock absorbers
Braking system of electric scooter
A good option is a conventional hand lever on the left, which controls the brake mechanism on the rear axle. Unlike disc brakes, it provides smooth deceleration and is more reliable — it is not afraid of shock during falls, water and sand.
Disc brakes on both wheels look aesthetically pleasing and slow down well, but are inferior to drum brakes in practicality. It is enough to fall unsuccessfully once or catch on the curb so that the front disc bends. In this case, repair is indispensable.
Optional equipment and features
Many electric scooters have an on-board computer with a display, a headlight and taillights, but there are other small details that you should pay attention to when choosing an electric scooter. If this is a model for a child, all these aspects are less important, since children usually do not ride at night and do not need to monitor the speed or other indicators of the onboard computer. It is better for adults to take into account everything on which the comfort of operating the vehicle will depend.
The speed control lever and brake levers are sometimes so small that they are simply inconvenient to use. In order not to be disappointed later, it is better to initially pay attention to these details.
Models with a trigger accelerometer and an easy-to-read display that displays the current speed, distance traveled, and battery charge are more convenient to use. On monochrome screens, it is better visible under the bright sun. For colored people in such conditions, some kind of visor is required.
Fenders on wheels for splash protection
If you prefer to ride a scooter in any weather, including after rain, be sure to pay attention to the wings. Some models do not have them at all, and it is not always possible to install them additionally (like on a bicycle), since this is not provided for by the design.
The wings may be too short or narrow, which is why they do not cope with their main task. In this case, driving through puddles or just walking after the rain will not only lead to the fact that the scooter frame will be splashed with mud and will have to be washed, but the rider’s clothes will also be soiled. To prevent this from happening, the wings should be at least slightly wider than the wheel tread and have sufficient length so that the dirt does not fly out from under the wheels in all directions.
On-board computer and display
All electric scooters have a screen that displays the main indicators: current speed, mileage, battery charge, speed mode. Some manufacturers, such as Xiaomi, even offer mobile applications for connecting to an electric scooter and making certain settings or viewing various indicators.
Some electric scooters have a telescopic steering rack that extends to the desired height within a certain range. For riders with a height of 170–175 cm, even the regular height will do. But for people 180–185 cm and above, it will not be enough and push the steering wheel higher. The telescopic steering wheel makes the structure bulky and weighty, so if there is no need to adjust it, it is better to refuse it altogether.
The deck of the electric scooter is quite narrow — on average from 15 to 20 cm. But the steering wheel is much wider — 40–45 cm. This may cause inconvenience during transportation. Some models have the ability to fold the handlebar to the width of the deck. There are different design options that allow you to make the folded scooter as compact as possible:
- handles are foldable;
- rotate vertically;
The mechanism itself is not so important, since they are all quite convenient. The main thing is that this possibility exists at all, although not everyone needs it. If you transport two-wheelers exclusively in the trunk of your car, this may not be necessary. But for those who plan to combine trips on a scooter and public transport, this feature will come in handy.
If you only ride during the day, you won’t need a headlight. But if you prefer to go for evening walks, it is better to take care of the lighting. Having a headlight at the front makes it easy to recognize obstacles in the way, while a taillight and reflectors on the sides make you more visible. This is especially important if you are driving on public roads in traffic.
Not all scooters on the market have a good, really useful headlight. Quite often, it does not shine on the road, but forward — into the eyes of oncoming passers-by. The angle of its inclination is usually not adjustable at all.
Is there a universal scooter?
Unfortunately no. You will have to figure out on your own how to choose an electric scooter for an adult, and take into account all the nuances. Everyone should choose a model for personal goals, preferences and budget. For leisurely short walks in the park and for driving on public roads, completely different models are designed.
The main criteria that should be given priority are the power reserve, maximum speed and compactness. The presence of a headlight, an on-board computer, shock absorbers on both axles increase the level of comfort, but affect the price.