With an electric scooter you can move up to five times faster than walking and, unlike a bicycle, when you arrive at your destination you are not sweating. Here’s how to choose the best electric scooter for your needs.
Not all electric scooters are built to carry the same load, and you should be aware of this. Electric scooters generally tend to have a maximum load of 100kg; if you weigh more this will void the warranty, and could even be dangerous. In fact, the performance will be lower, as will the safety of the vehicle. Driving an electric scooter beyond the permitted weight limit will mean that you will not reach the maximum speed declared by the vehicle, but above all that your safety could be put at risk.
It is highly recommended to avoid wheels with a diameter of less than 10 inches. Smaller wheels give a more unstable ride, and are more sensitive to potholes.
Normally you need large enough wheels with an air chamber. And if you plan to do a lot of off-roading, you will need tires and suspension with an even larger tread.
Inner tube yes or no?
Tires are available with or without an inner tube.
Tubed tires offer a better ride: they have the advantage of absorbing shocks and causing much better handling, but they are prone to punctures and require maintenance. You will need to check the air pressure regularly: a correct tire pressure is essential for safety, braking effectiveness and grip. Underinflation will cause wear, cut battery life in half, prevent you from reaching top speed, and make you even more susceptible to punctures.
On the other hand, scooters with solid tires require virtually zero maintenance, and offer a solution to punctures if you ride regularly where there are lots of glasses, pins or nails. However, the ride is less smooth, so you will feel more bumps and vibrations.
The suspension of an electric scooter works like a car, reducing shocks. If you are planning to ride off-road or on rough terrain, suspension could be a key point when buying an electric scooter. Without them you will feel vibrations in the handlebars, which can be uncomfortable on longer journeys.
Your safety should always come first, and brakes are very important when choosing an electric scooter.
There are three main types of brakes on electric scooters:
They are low maintenance brakes, but less effective at stopping you quickly – they are typically the least expensive.
Disc brakes and drum brakes
Drum brakes are enclosed within the wheel hub, generally require less maintenance than other types of braking, and have consistent performance in wet conditions.
Disc brakes have maximum stopping power and are lighter than drum brakes, which is also very important.
Foot brakes are activated by pushing your foot on the rear fender. Unless you are used to using a children’s scooter, it takes time to master them. They have slightly more stopping power, but are not as comfortable to use, or as effective as drum or disc brakes.
Speed: how fast do electric scooters go?
Most electric scooters reach a top speed of 20/25 km/h. Trust me, that’s more than enough: going 20km/h on a scooter feels like going 60km/h by car. It is also worth remembering that going too fast with relatively small wheels is not recommended, and faster electric scooters require larger batteries and more powerful motors, which are generally much more expensive.
The speed of an electric scooter is determined by several factors, including the power of the engine, the weight of the driver, the pressure of the tires, and the terrain on which you ride. The manufacturer’s claimed e-scooter speed is generally based on a 70kg person riding on a flat, smooth surface with properly inflated tires.
It is also advisable to always wear a helmet when riding the scooter, at any speed. Electric scooters are safe to drive, but accidents can still occur.
Dimensions and weight
It should always be considered whether the electric scooter is the right size, and if it’s small enough to stow away comfortably when folded. A folded scooter should be small enough for easy storage, but not all electric scooters fold; it is therefore worth checking before purchasing, especially if you have tight spaces.
And if you often have to travel with the scooter on the shoulder, taking into account the weight is also fundamental: think about all these things before your purchase. Some scooters have foldable handlebars, which makes them even more comfortable and extra compact.
Helmet: Your electric scooter will go faster than a bicycle, so we strongly recommend that you always wear a helmet.
Padlock: Your scooter is a precious object, and a portable padlock will ensure its safety.
Phone holder: allows you to concentrate on driving, and with some models to use the phone as an extended display.
Anti-puncture liquid: If you have an inner tube it is worth using a liquid to reduce the risk of punctures.
Lights: it is possible to connect extra lights to your electric scooter, for night driving and safer visibility; some electric scooters have built-in lights.
Finally, here are the best models of electric scooters that we would like to recommend, both for safety and for performance and construction solidity.