Electric scooters vary widely in price ranges and features. There are those that only cost $100 with a modest set of features, and there are also scooters above $2,000 with various extra features, powerful motor, and huge battery capacity.
So, how should you make your choice? This is why understanding the right factors that affect the electric scooter’s quality is important, as we will discuss below.
The Triangle of Ride Quality
Above anything else, ride-quality is the most important factor in choosing between different electric scooters. In e-scooters, we are generally looking for more comfort rather than speed, and there are three (the triangle) of main factors that are going to affect ride quality:
- Wheel Size: smaller wheels will translate to a rougher ride, and it’s going to be more susceptible to getting stuck. You should get wheels that are at least 8 inches in diameter.
- Suspension or no suspension: some electric scooters offer suspension (essentially shock absorbers) which can drastically improve ride quality on rough terrains. If your daily ride involves difficult terrains and a lot of bumps, you should definitely consider getting an electric scooter with suspensions. However, tire type, which we will discuss below will play an even bigger role here.
- Tire types: in general, we have two different choices: air-filled tires and solid tires. Air-filled tires definitely will give you a better ride but are harder to maintain. It’s better to choose a scooter with air-filled tires but without suspension than a scooter with suspension but solid tires. Use a puncture protection fluid id you are using air-filled tires. However, if your daily rides involve a lot of glass, nails, or thorns, then solid tires might be a better selection.
More about Tire Types
Tires, as established, come in two different varieties: solid and air-filled:
- Solid tires or airless tires require very little to no maintenance but are inferior in virtually every other aspects
- Air-filled tires, or also called pneumatic tires, offer better handling especially in wet conditions and bad weather. They loo also offer the advantage of shock absorption. However, they require much more maintenance since they are prone to punctures. You’d also need to fill them with air when they have low pressure.
Air-filled tires, as mentioned, will give you a much-improved ride quality especially on even minimally rough terrain where vibrations can cause discomfort on your feet and legs.
Also, air-filled tires come in different durability levels. If your ride is mostly on cobblestone sidewalks and tar roads, then you can get slicker tires with medium durability. If you mostly ride off-road, you will need thicker tires that are more durable. Also, some tires offer special surfaces to avoid slipping in the mud and wet surfaces.
So, invest in a tire according to your riding habits and needs, and even though they need maintenance, air-filled tires are always better than airless tires.
Range refers to the distance the electric scooter can travel with a full charge of the battery. In most cases but not always, the electric scooter manufacturers exaggerate the range. In the 2018 Electric Scooter Survey, most manufacturers exaggerate their range claims by 30% or more. So, in general, you should take the number the manufacturer advertises and then divide it by two.
There are many different factors that can determine your ideal range. If your daily ride involves steep climbs or longer average distances, then you’d want an electric scooter with a longer range.
However, since range will usually dictate price, then if you only use the e-scooter for short rides, you don’t really need an expensive electric scooter with a longer range.
It is, however, worth noting that as time goes on, your electric scooter’s range and battery capacity will decline. So, you’d generally want a scooter with a range that is longer than what you actually need.
The weight limit obviously refers to the maximum weight that the electric scooter can hold before it breaks down. When, for example, the manufacturer stated that the scooter’s weight limit is 250 lbs, then you should definitely avoid riding on it if you weigh more than 250 lbs.
Yes, you might not destroy the electric scooter right away as you step on it, but you will disrupt its overall performance, burden your braking system, and simply put, your electric scooter won’t last as long as it should. Also, if you catch speed with the electric scooter on a slope while surpassing the weight limit, it may cause an accident.
Read the manufacturer’s weight limit claim and simply respect it.
Above, we have discussed the most important factors to consider when choosing between different electric scooters. In general, you should first figure out what you’ll need in an electric scooter: specific features, cruising range based on your daily commutes, maximum speed, ride quality, and so on. Then, the basic principle is simply to choose the most affordable electric scooter that can cater to your needs.
Guest Post by: TekTrendy