Electric scooters have a longer history than most of us realize but, undoubtedly, have become a great alternative to personal cars and public transportation. Why? Well, there are plenty of reasons for that.
First of all, they are fun to ride. Most of the riders, young and old, find joy in riding street-legal electric scooters to school, work or just around the park. You can see it on their faces.
Another reason why electric scooters are gaining popularity is that…well, they’re electric. That means no fossil fuel, less environmental impact and more money in people’s pockets. In other words, they are cleaner and more cost-efficient.
And last but not least, you know how nerve-wracking traffic jams can be, right? People realized they can get from one place to another a lot easier using electric scooters. In the big cities that in itself can be a very strong reason to leave your car at home or at least a few blocks away and ride your “electric horse” to your destination.
So you might be curious to find out what are the best street-legal electric scooters for adults on the market right now. We want to make it easier for you so we picked 5 we think are worth your time and attention.
Our list of 5 best street-legal electric scooters.
|GOTRAX GXL V1||250W, 15.5 mph||12.5 miles/charge|
|Xiaomi Mi||250W, 15.5 mph||18.6 miles/charge|
|Segway Ninebot MAX||350W, 18.6 mph||40 miles/charge|
|Hiboy MAX||350W, 18.6 mph||17 miles/charge|
|Swagger 5 T||250W, 18mph||11 miles/charge|
Specs of the GOTRAX GXL V1
- Best Use: Commute & casual riding, leisure, fun, recreation.
- Size & Weight: Weight 26.5 lbs
- Folding size: 39.4″ x 6.3″ x 14.4″
- Load Limit: 220 lbs
- Wheels / Tires: 8.5” pneumatic tires
- Motor & Speed: 250W hub motor, up to 15.5 mph
- Battery & Range: Lithium-ion 36V, up to 12.5 miles per charge
- Charging time: 4-5 hours
- Extras: Can tackle slopes up to 10 degrees, IP54 waterproof
Since Gotrax already made a name in the industry with the very popular self-balancing hoverboards, bringing the GXL electric scooter on the market had a very good response – people already knew the level of quality they could expect.
Gotrax GXL is the Gotrax version of a well built mid-range electric scooter. With a sleek, stylish look and a balanced configuration, Gotrax GXL is a very serious option when it comes to personal transportation and fun rides.
Because it is quality constructed Gotrax GXL is a little bit heavier but that extra weight also ads a solid feel to it. You will not find a cheap or flimsy part of this fun machine. The overall look and design details are excellent.
When it comes to speed and range, Gotrax GXL is similar to other street-legal electric scooters in the same category. The 36V lithium-ion battery provides a ride of 12.5 miles per charge with a recharge time of about 4 hours. The 250watt front hub motor can propel the GXL and its rider at speeds up to 15.5 mph.
The set of wheels on Gotrax GXL is an extra great feature. These are 8.5-inch pneumatic tires which means you get more comfort when you ride on rough surfaces, over bumps or cracks in the road.
The led-display piece is well integrated into the top of the handlebar and it shows your current speed and battery level. The throttle is on the right handlebar and the rear brake controller is on the left – very easy and comfortable to reach. The front led-light is also positioned in the center of the handlebar.
When it comes to the braking system, Gotrax GXL brings a surprising solution to the table. While the front brake is a regular, handle break, the rear one is a disc brake controlled by a small pedal at the back of the deck. The rider can reach and activate it with less effort while maintaining the grip on the handlebar.
The GXL folds down smoothly and locks on the rear mudguard which makes it easy to carry upstairs, put it in the trunk or hide it under your desk…or use it as a doorstopper ☺
Specs of Xiaomi Mi
- Best Use: Commute & casual riding, leisure, fun, recreation.
- Size & Weight: Weight 26.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 42.5″ x 16.9″ x 44.9″
- Load Limit: 55-220 lbs
- Wheels / Tires: 8.5” pneumatic tires
- Motor & Speed: 250W brushless hub motor, up to 15.5 mph
- Battery & Range: 30 x 18650mAh lithium battery units, up to 18.6 miles per charge
- Charging time: 5 hours
- Extras: Can tackle slopes up to 10 degrees, IP54 waterproof
The Xiaomi team has done a great job combining design and practicality on this scooter. Keeping the rider’s needs in mind, they made sure the modern design does not lack practical features like a locking mechanism in folded mode. You will love the simplicity of the steering column integrated battery display and the ease with which you can access it. The braking system – which is so important every time you ride – is very responsive and adjustable.
You’ll get the Xiaomi e-scooter with an extra set of tires and an adapter for your inflating device, whether it is a pump or an air compressor. Not only that, but you’ll also get a kickstand and headlights and brake lights.
When it comes to customer support, the Xiaomi team is setting a positive tone doing their best to respond to issues of every kind. You want that with your hard-earned cash investment.
One more thing about the design. It’s good to keep in mind that the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter was granted the “Good Design Award” in 2017, RedDot award in 2017 and the “Design Award” in 2017. That tells you something very important about the way this e-scooter was designed and built. It’s more than intelligent!
Last but not least, the price tag for this machine tells you you’re getting a very good balance between quality and value. Not to mention that you have to keep in mind the much higher costs of the traditional commuting. Yes, there’s an initial investment but that will definitely pay off down the road.
Specs of Segway Ninebot MAX
- Best Use: Short daily commute & casual riding, leisure.
- Size & Weight: 45.9″*18.6″*21″, about 42.1lbs
- Folding size: 46″ x 19″ x 21″
- Load Limit: MAX 220lbs
- Wheels / Tires: 10-inch self-healing tire, anti-lock braking system
- Motor & Speed: 350W, 18.6 mph
- Battery & Range: 551 Wh battery, up to 40 miles
- Charging time: 6 hours
- Extras: LED display, Bluetooth capabilities, cruise control, select riding modes, and mobile app connectivity for additional security, firmware updates and more
It’s important to know that Ninebot Max is an upgraded version of one of the most popular street-legal electric scooters ever – the Xiaomi Mi M365. The range it offers is great, improved hill climbing ability and larger wheels with pneumatic tires.
Are you are a consumer ready to trade weight and size for longer range, minimal maintenance, and viability? Then Ninebot Max is for you.
Even though Ninebot Max comes after two pretty similar models – ES2 and ES4 – there are some notable differences that are more than added cosmetic details. One of them is the range – 40.4 miles – which makes it the best long-range electric scooter ever made by Segway.
Other improved elements are the 10″ tire wheels and the 20-degree climbing rate. As a rider that likes to take up steeper hills on more stable wheels, this should take your attention. Couple that with the range and battery life and you got yourself a pretty neat ride.
Specs of Hiboy MAX Electric Scooter
- Best Use: Short, daily commute & casual riding, leisure, fun.
- Size & Weight: 44.5″ x 18.8″ x 44″, 34lbs
- Folding size: 44. 5″x18. 8″x15.7″
- Load Limit: 55-220 lbs
- Wheels / Tires: 8.5″ solid tires, front suspension
- Motor & Speed: 350W 18.6 mph
- Battery & Range: Lithium-Ion 36V 7. 5Ah, 270Wh, 17 miles
- Charging time: 4-6h
- Extras: wider foot anti-slip pedal for larger feet support, dual headlights for safe night riding, and clear LED display for relieved riding
This electric scooter is getting more and more popular as the [riding] days go by. That tells you that it’s not just another scooter on the market but it brings something solid to the game. We’ll just highlight here the main features that make Hiboy Max stand out.
The reinforced aluminum PC-ABS chassis gives Hiboy Max the strong body it needs to provide you with the reliability you are looking for. This feature comes in play especially if you are above average in terms of weight and riding style.
Riding at night? Hiboy Max is equipped with an LED display and LED front and backlights. Not the strongest in the neighborhood but good enough to give you that comfortable vision during late-night strolls.
The locking mechanism is positioned at the base of the stem along with the brake wires and the front wheel shock absorbers.
The 350W motors will give you the power you need to easily take on 15-degree elevation slopes, no lagging whatsoever. Add to that an average range of 17 miles and a speed of up to 18.6 mph and you are above many competitors on the market.
#5 Swagger 5 T
Features of Swagger 5 T
- Best Use: daily commute & casual riding, leisure.
- Size & Weight: 41.5″ x 17″ x 45.3″, 26.5 lbs
- Folding size: 41.5″ x 17″ x 19“
- Load Limit: 320 lbs
- Wheels / Tires: 8.5″ tires, airless honeycomb, disc brakes
- Motor & Speed: 250W front hub motor, 18mph
- Battery & Range: Lithium-Ion 36V 6Ah, 11 miles
- Charging time: ~3.5h
- Extras: 3-speed modes, cruise control, iOS, and Android app via Bluetooth, anti-theft lock, bell, headlight, kickstand
A descendant of the M365 itself, the Swager 5T will deliver a good balance between quality and price.
Thanks to the new Swagger 5T app you can unlock additional features right from the start. You’ll have the cruise control, GPS, and headlight control right at your fingertips so you can keep your attention focused on the road.
Folding will be easy with Swagger 5T. There are three quick steps you need to follow and you’ll be able to stow it tightly until the next ride. Safety is another important factor the manufacturers had in mind so they equipped the Swagger 5T with an Anti-Theft Lock that will block the wheels once you activate it.
Most of the riders want to know if the electric scooter they are about to purchase has the strength it needs in the real world. Bumpy roads, cracked bike lanes, and uneven terrain will be almost everyday challenges. Thanks to the aluminum alloy frame the Swagger 5T will be able to handle that. The airless honeycomb rear tire is taking away the frustration of having to fix the inevitable punctures on the less-accessible wheel. The braking will be as smooth as possible, due to the front wheel ABS e-brakes and rear wheels disk brakes.
If we’d have to choose one word to describe the experience of riding the Swagger 5T, the word would be, satisfying. The up-to-date technology, the user-friendly design and, of course, the affordable price will keep this electric scooter rolling for a long time.
How Do I Choose the Right Electric Scooter?
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 – street-legal 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, street-legal 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.
10 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 an 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 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 street-legal 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 are 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 store 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!
Andy is an urban survivor passionate about recycling, clean energy, and micromobility. He loves nature and people and peacefully militates for a balance between the two. When he’s not writing on Noble Urban you’ll find him riding his bike, fishing, or reading a good book.