Are you buying your first electric scooter? Needless to say, e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular as a convenient mode of transport as they provide the usefulness of a bicycle, but in a smaller package and without the need to push.
If this is an important factor when buying your e-scooter, stay on the lookout for a lightweight, foldable e-scooter that can be easily stored. Although there are e-scooters available in a wide range of sizes, the right choice for you depends on what you want to use them for. Before you part with your hard-earned money to buy your next electric scooter (or your first), best to consider these pointers:
Height. What a lot of people fail to take into consideration is deck length and stem height. Choose an electric scooter with the right height dimensions to suit your height – avoid budget scooters if you are tall, as most budget scooters tend to have shorter steering stems. If you are tall, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is battling to find a comfy riding position or “stance”, equally if you are tall with a scooter that has a short steering stem as you’ll find yourself in an uncomfortable riding position. If you are tall, you’ll want to opt for a bigger scooter with a longer stem (steering tube). A longer stem height will mean you need to lean down when riding.
Now, if you’re on the light side, of average height or shorter, you will mostly be okay with almost any scooter stem height as a rider.
On the ride quality, the deck and stem are vital, mainly because the amount of deck space you have will dictate how you can ride with agility and overall comfort. The same goes for the steering column size it will ultimately determine whether you can ride in a comfy position.
Avoid e-scooters with steering column wobble /play issues like there is excess forward and backward movement at handlebar level. Take note too, scooters will have a clamp system that locks the steering column up and this is expected from an e-scooter — to have a reinforced folding clamp, to be able to fold the steering tube up and down. Test several times to make sure it isn’t weak. Avoid budget, unbranded, clone scooters that tend to be smaller, as they’ll typically come with a narrower deck and without a rear footrest.
Weight. You have to consider your size, potential standing position, and whether you will be using it for speed, commuting, or all-around use.
If you are heavy, then you’ll want a scooter that offers a rigid steering column – the same goes if you intend on riding at high speed. Tall, heavy-built riders are better off with robust and sturdy e-scooters like MEARTH GTS, a high-performing on-and-off-road single motor electric scooter. Also, if you are a rider with a larger build, don’t ever get a budget /lower-end scooter. They come with a narrow deck width (5-10 inches) and the battery isn’t that big. Worse, such budget scooters have lower manufacturing costs and therefore do not have a larger deck.
Take note that electric scooters only support a certain weight. This is typically between 100 and 120 kg. So if you weigh more than this, choosing a scooter with a higher limit is important. It’s possible to ride a scooter regardless of what you weigh but going over the limit is not recommended. An overloaded scooter won’t reach the highest speeds, won’t accelerate properly, and may have difficulty breaking.
Are you a last-mile commuter? Do you need to carry your scooter at different points in your journey? Electric scooter weight is also a factor for people who live in flats and hard-to-access locations. You need to determine whether the scooter needs to be carried long distances or up the stairs. This will mean a lightweight e-scooter that weighs 15-20kg or less is the best option as it is more practical.
Storage Space. Consider the actual size of the scooter you may want to purchase if you plan to store your scooter in your home or garage but the available space is small. You’ll want a small scooter then. and if you live in a small apartment or flat, you’ll need something portable and compact like MEARTH S and S PRO which has a smaller set of folded dimensions. If you have a larger living area or garage space, a bigger scooter is fine. Again, it depends on where and how you intend to use your new scooter.
Speed, Power, Range. one of the first things you, as a new scooter owner need to know. Speed is pretty self-explanatory – does the scooter go fast or slow? Power – can the scooter accelerate quickly and does it offer sufficient torque? Range — how far can the scooter go?
Speed. All scooters have a maximum speed which is around 15 mph and are fast enough for most city riding purposes. If you are traveling in a city, you will probably spend a lot of time driving slower than that. Why spend more money and get a scooter that goes up to 40 kph, as most cities have a speed limit for scooters? Higher speeds usually aren’t practical. The faster you go, the easier it is to fall off.
Power or “Torque” is ultimately how much power the motors can put out, based on several factors. Torque is important because it will determine how capable the e-scooter is to rev or go faster. If your buying decision is based on speed and power, and acceleration is a must, then you’ll want a scooter with much higher power output (with better controller capabilities). Torque/power output will assess how quickly your e-scooter accelerates. This also applies to heavier riders looking to buy a lower-wattage scooter.
Motor Size. Electric scooter motors are measured in watts. They start at 200 watts and increase to over 5000 watts. The size of a scooter’s motor is important because it dictates how much power the scooter has. This affects its ability to accelerate and climb up hills. For example, 250 watts is usually sufficient for traveling over flat ground. But you should aim for a more powerful motor if you plan on going up hills regularly.
Range. It is the distance that a scooter can cover on a single charge. If you intend to ride further, then you will need a higher range. An electric scooter’s range is based on the distance traveled over flat ground. You need to know that the battery is holding a full charge. Keep in mind that speed is a factor that needs to join with battery capacity – the faster you travel, the shorter your range will be. Know too, that speed and power are down to the motors, controllers, and battery.
Brakes. They are a very important safety feature on electric scooters. While there are many different types, disk brakes are usually the most effective option. Disk brakes consist of a metal disk attached to the tire. To activate the brake, you simply press a hand lever on the handlebars. Disk brakes are recommended because they are reliable and allow you to stop quickly.
Electric scooters come in all different sizes, from entry-level like MEARTH S if you’re a beginner. When you are more experienced, you can move up to MEARTH RS, a long-range e-scooter. And much later, as you gain more confidence riding your electric scooter, you may wish to be adventurous and go with the large MEARTH GTS or GTS MAX on-and-off-road electric scooter. Always remember, that choosing one with a spacious deck size is important.
Reliability. Scooter reliability is a hugely important factor when it comes to any purchase – you’ll want to know that your e-scooter will be ready for ride after ride – and that you don’t end up stranded miles away from home. Scooter reliability also extends to safety. Don’t buy a scooter with known or obvious defects because the e-scooter’s performance is already dubious. Your safety must come first always.
Buy known and established brands of scooters and avoid unbranded or clones or cheap, fake imported brands, and even hard-to-find electric scooters, and parts; buy a model that’s been around for more than 2-3 years and don’t buy electric scooters with recalls or many online complaints, or persistent negative customer feedback; opt for manufacturers with better warranty terms and avoid non-reputable online sellers; buy a scooter that’s suitable for what you want to use it for.
Given all this practical advice, if you are a commuter and not at all someone who seeks out and desires thrilling speeds and/or activities to get a rush of speed, then a small deck will likely suffice, and even if you are taller, if your commute time isn’t overly long you won’t need to worry too much about finding a comfortable riding position – it will come down to your budget or what you can afford.
Interesting Related Article: “Standing Vs. Folding Electric Scooters“