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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.

At a speed of more than 25–30 km / h, a fall from an elec­tric scoot­er is fraught with abra­sions, dis­lo­ca­tions and frac­tures.

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
50–100 5–10
200–300 15–20
350–500 30–40
1000+ 40–80

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).

Ninebot KickScoot­er Max has large 10-inch wheels that con­fi­dent­ly over­come many bumps.

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.

The pop­u­lar Ninebot KickScoot­er Max scoot­er weighs 18.5 kg, so it is incon­ve­nient to trans­port it in pub­lic trans­port.

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).

For rental mod­i­fi­ca­tions of scoot­ers, bat­ter­ies are always larg­er — from 20–25 thou­sand mAh

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.

Front shock absorbers and a 10-inch inflat­able wheel pro­vide max­i­mum com­fort when dri­ving over bumps.

We rat­ed the com­fort lev­el on a 5‑point scale depend­ing on the type of wheels and sus­pen­sion. This is the rat­ing:

Equip­ment Com­fort lev­el
Shock absorbers + pneu­mat­ic wheels 5
Shock absorbers + polyurethane wheels 3
Pneu­mat­ic wheels with­out shock absorbers 3
Polyurethane wheels with­out shock absorbers one

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 mod­els of scoot­ers have a stan­dard phone hold­er.

Telescopic handlebar

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.

Folding handles

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;
  • unscrew.

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.

Lighting

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.

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