WHY CHOOSE AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER?
Electric scooters are growing in popularity. And it is not just a passing trend. We can expect them to stay and become part of everyone’s life. Just as smartphones and personal computers, they are here to stay and they will change our lives. The reasons are more than obvious – electric scooters are an ingenious means of transportation, a way we can save space, trees, and money and look cool at the same time.
But you already know this. If you are here it is probably because you have already decided you want to purchase an electric scooter and you want to make the best decision possible. So, simply put, the first and most important question you should ask is “What is the right electric scooter for me?”
START WITH YOU
Our first and most important advice is this: start with you. “You” is the keyword here. Because you are the person who will be riding this electric scooter you must put yourself first, your safety, your needs, your preferences. Don’t let yourself be convinced by an enthusiastic friend or by a cool commercial on YouTube. This is going to be very important.
Obviously, electric scooters are not a
Think about your weight, your height, your capacity to carry more or less heavier objects, the distances you intend to cover every day, the type of roads you’ll use on your commutes, the size of your car trunk, your budget, and so on. In other words, you have to know your side of choosing the best electric scooter before finding out what different manufacturers have to offer.
So, start right now by making a list of personal traits and specifics of how you’ll be using the electric scooter. Make sure you write down as many details as you can. It will only help you use the information we are about to give you in the following paragraphs.
TEN KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER
There are three sizes you need to consider.
First, there is the deck size. The larger the electric scooter’s deck the more comfortable the ride. Part of the comfort is given by how well your feet stand on the deck. The deck needs to be large enough so you can have room for both your feet. That gives you stability when you ride.
Second, the handlebar size. You might be taller or shorter than average. That might influence your posture while riding. Make sure to check each model’s specifications to find out the handlebar size and estimate how high or how low it will be for you.
Thirdly, the tire size. Most of the electric scooter models on the market right now are equipped with 8 or 9-inch tires. While you may go for even smaller size of 6 inches I would not recommend that. Even if you plan on riding most often on smooth roads, there is a good chance you will reach more rough areas where the riding comfort will be dramatically influenced by the size of your tires (and weather the electric scooter has a suspension or not – more about this later). Our suggestion: go above the regular tire size; be ready for the inevitable cracks and bumps in the road.
Most manufacturers aim at making the electric scooters lighter. Still, the more power you want the more weight will be added because the motors will be heavier. For example, we have reviewed electric scooters that weigh between 26,5 lbs and 59,5lbs. Some people might consider 59, 5 lbs to be quite a big load but if you know you won’t have to carry it too much that might be fine with you for a little workout every now and then. And there are electric scooters like Glion Dolly that are designed to be folded and carried around using a retractable dolly handle and roller wheels. You won’t even feel the actual weight.
Also, keep in mind another aspect: the electric scooter’s weight might also make the difference in quality, meaning that strong, lighter materials are more expensive.
Your weight will definitely influence the range of your future electric scooter along with the road inclination. Your first concern though should be if that electric scooter can hold you. Is your weight between the manufacturer’s given limits? Better check that important detail before you hit the “buy” button.
When it comes to wheels electric scooters can differ a lot. On one end of the spectrum, you can have 10″ high profile pneumatic tires, dual disc brakes, 45° double shock protection, while on the other end you can have tubeless rubber tires, disc brakes with no suspension whatsoever. Some people prefer the bigger wheels with lots of suspensions because they can ride on gravel tracks but if you ride mainly in the city bike lanes you should be ok with no fancy wheels.
If you are like most of the riders out there, charging time will be important for you. If you will use the electric scooter to commute to work, for example, you will probably have at least two charging times in 24 hours – that is one at home, overnight, and one at the office/workplace. You will want your batteries full by the time you leave the office. That is in an 8-hour time frame. Luckily most of the best electric scooters have an average charging time of 3 hours. If you know you’re aiming at a less charging time because of your schedule or lifestyle, you should pay attention to this detail in particular.
The range is another important factor to consider when buying an electric scooter. For some of us, it is the most important. Why? Because the range will determine the length of your commutes. Most of the electric scooters on the market offer a range above 10 miles with some of them going even beyond 30 miles, which is really good. But, as you already know, the power and range is given by the battery capacity, so to get a bigger range you might have to accept extra overall weight. You might want an optimal balance between these two features – medium weight and medium range.
Power & Speed
What kind of rider are you? Will you be using the electric scooter for daily commutes or you plan on doing some recreational “adrenaline rides”? Are you a beginner or an expert rider? The answers to these questions will help you choose the right electric scooter for you in regards to power and speed. If you are looking for an agile and easily manageable electric scooter and your daily route does not include too many steep hills, 250 to 500 watts should be ok for you.
Off-road rider? 1000 watts or more would be your target. There are even stronger motors out there but it all depends on how you want to balance power and price and all the rest of the features we discussed here. One thing to keep in mind is that with stronger motors, with higher torque, you will need a chain drive. And don’t forget that safety always comes first and fun second. Wear a helmet and stay under the legal speed limits.
Electric scooters are meant to increase mobility. That’s why top manufacturers make lighter and foldable electric scooters so you can pick them up after you are done riding and either stores them in your car trunk or carry them with you on a train or a bus. Look for electric scooters that fold easily and are designed to be handled with ease. As we mentioned above, weight plays an important role here but not necessarily crucial. There are foldable electric scooters like Glion Dolly that are designed to be strolled around when folded.
And the inevitable issue – the cost. While it can be a very relative problem, the cost of an electric scooter may tell you upfront what you are dealing with. In most cases, the more expensive the electric scooter, the higher the quality. Still, as we all know, consecrated brand products will always cost more, even if there are other products that almost equal them.
Simply put, if you want to buy an electric scooter your teenage kids can ride as well, you will pay between $200 and $500. If you want an electric scooter for daily commutes, you will have to be more generous and spend between $500 and $1500. Whatever goes beyond that would be considered extreme rides reserved for the bravest. If you asked us, we would tell you to consider your budget first and set aside something for a helmet and any other protective gear you might want to use. You will also want to leave something for spear parts, just in case you break light or have a puncture.
Last but not least, customer service plays an important role in your future electric scooter experience. You need good reliable customer support, especially if you are a beginner. How can you know? First, the manufacturer will give you this information. It’s in their best interest to let you know what customer support and technical support you should expect from them. Another way to find out about the level and quality of customer support is by reading what others that bought that product have to say. You’d be surprised to find valuable information just by reading reviews. We’re doing it all the time as part of our research and it has proven more than helpful.
To wrap it up, let us just say we wish you all the best in finding the right electric scooter for you. We hope this information was helpful at least to motivate you to thoroughly do your homework before making a purchase. And don’t forget – stay safe and enjoy the ride!