Most Essential Tips To Know For Choosing Your Electric Scooter
Electric scooters are a fantastic way of getting around. They are fun, fast, convenient, and low cost. In addition to this, you can arrive at your destination looking as fresh as when you left home.
Many people are choosing electric scooters as a viable way of getting around. So in this guide to buying an electric scooter, we will go through everything you need to know so you can buy the right one for you.
Wheels And Suspension
Wheels and suspension make a huge difference to the ride quality of an electric scooter. Some electric scooters have such poor ride quality, you won't ever want to ride them for long unless the surface is perfectly smooth.
There are a few things that make a difference to how a scooter rides:
Wheel size - Small wheels create a poor ride quality. So you should avoid an electric scooter with wheels smaller than 10". Small wheels get stuck in ruts and holes all the time, giving you a bone-shaking ride.
Wheel choice - Electric scooters come with either inflatable or solid tires. Air-filled tires are much more forgiving on bumpy roads and give your scooter great handling. However, the disadvantage is that they are susceptible to punctures. But, you can fill your tires with a sealant that protects you from flats.
If you ride where you are likely to get punctures from thorns or nails, solid wheels may be a better choice. Solid wheels are not as forgiving, nor do they provide as much grip as inflatable tires. But, they require no maintenance, and you won't suffer from punctures.
Suspension - Electric scooters with suspension give you a much more plush ride. It works in the same way as your car suspension by soaking up the bumps in the road.
If you are going to ride your scooter on bumpy roads, or even off-road, you may want to buy one with suspension. If you opt for a rigid electric scooter, you will feel all the vibrations through the handlebars, making your ride very uncomfortable.
It is worth noting that an electric scooter with large inflatable tires is smoother to ride than one with suspension and solid wheels.
If you plan on riding off-road, you should consider buying an electric scooter with suspension and inflatable tires. You will see that there are electric scooters with suspension on either the front or rear wheel or on both.
Different Options For Brakes
When riding your electric scooter, your safety is a priority. One of the most critical components of an electric scooter is its brakes. There are three different types of electric scooter brakes.
Regenerative brakes - The advantage of these types of brakes is that they are low maintenance. However, they are not the best solution for stopping quickly. So if you ride fast, a scooter with regenerative brakes may not be the best one for you.
Disc and drum brakes - Electric scooters with disc brakes have discs fitted to their wheels. When you apply pressure on the brake levers, brake pads grip the disc via a mechanical or hydraulic system.
Disc brakes give you the most stopping power, especially hydraulic ones. Therefore, they are the safest ones you will find on an electric scooter.
Drum brakes are located inside the wheel hub. These require less maintenance than other braking types and perform well in the wet.
Disc and drum brakes are the most effective ways of stopping an electric scooter. However, the pads wear out, as do the discs, so you will need to change them before the braking material gets too low.
Foot brakes - Some electric scooters use footbrakes. All you need to do to brake is put your rear foot on the rear mudguard to apply pressure to the rear wheel.
Foot brakes can be tricky to get used to unless you ride a kid's electric scooter. You will find that once you have mastered the foot brake that it has lots of stopping power. However, foot brakes are not as effective or as easy to use as disc or drum brakes.
Power And Riding Up Hills
The higher the Wattage, the more power an electric scooter has. Electric scooters with higher power motors climb hills easier and accelerate faster than ones with smaller motors.
Most entry-level electric scooters have motors with 250W, which gets them up to a 15mph top speed. You will notice that these scooters struggle with climbing hills. Also, if you are a heavier rider or carry heavy stuff in a backpack, it is unlikely that they will reach their top speed.
Adults who want to get around on an electric scooter should buy one with at least 350W. However, if you live in a hilly area or are heavier, you may want to look at more powerful models.
Riding In Wet Conditions
Most electric scooters are not waterproof. Therefore, if you ride certain scooters in wet conditions, your scooter may break down.
You need to check the warranty of your electric scooter, as it may be void if you ride it in the rain.
To understand if you can ride your electric scooter in the rain, you need to look at its IP rating. The IP rating is an international standard for ingress protection. It indicates how well-sealed an electrical enclosure is from dust and moisture.
The IP rating of an enclosure is indicated by two numbers. Higher numbers let you know that the item has more protection.
The first digit ranges from 1 to 6 and indicates how well it is protected from dust particles. The second number ranges from 1 to 9 and refers to moisture protection.
When it comes to electric scooters, one with a rating of IP54 will be fine for riding through shallow puddles and in light rain. You may come across manufacturers that describe their electric scooters as waterproof. These are high-quality and expensive, thanks to IP ratings of up to 67. Something like this could actually be thrown in a swimming pool without being damaged. However, these scooters are also very heavy, which reduces their range significantly.
You will see many scooters that have a rating of IP55. This is a good amount of protection from jets of water from any direction. You would have no problem riding one of these electric scooters in light to medium rain. You may want to avoid riding in heavy rain, though.
When looking at electric scooter specifications, and the manufacturer doesn't state its IP rating, you should never ride it in the rain. When excessive water gets into the electrical components, it can damage the scooter beyond repair.
We touched on weight earlier, but it is worth emphasizing that you need to note the maximum weight an electric scooter can carry before you buy it.
If your weight exceeds the rated weight, your warranty may be invalid. But more importantly, it may be unsafe for you to ride. Remember to factor in the weight of a backpack or anything else you carry during your scooter rides.
Exceeding your scooter's rated load will also mean that it won't perform as it should. It will struggle with hills, won't reach its top speed, accelerate slowly, and have a reduced range.
How Far Can An Electric Scooter Go?
Manufacturers always state a range figure for their scooters. However, you need to be aware that the figures they state are "best-case." For example, the figure will be determined by a lightweight rider, on flat ground and with a new battery on a warm day.
Lower-end electric scooters use lower-quality batteries. You need to be aware that each time you charge one of these batteries, their ability to hold charge reduces slightly.
You can expect to get somewhere between 15 and 20 miles on a single charge. Many electric scooters can give you 20 o 30 miles before they need to be recharged. However, more expensive models can go up to 50 miles before you need to plug them in.
To go further, you need to buy an electric scooter with a large battery. But, you need to be aware that larger batteries add weight to your scooter and make it more expensive.
Most people can get away with an electric scooter range of 15 miles. You could also buy an additional battery to extend your range. You can carry the spare battery with you in a backpack. Alternatively, you could buy an extra charger to keep at work. This way, you can charge your scooter up for your return journey.
How Fast Can An Electric Scooter Go?
Most electric scooters can reach a top speed of 15mph. This may not sound that fast, but you will probably change your mind when you experience it for yourself. 15mph is fast enough to have fun and is significantly quicker than sitting in inner-city traffic.
Of course, you can buy speedier electric scooters; some even reach 40mph! But, you need to be aware that high speeds and small wheels increase the risk of riding an electric scooter. Hitting a pot-hole at speed with small wheels can cause you to lose control easily.
These faster electric scooters are also more expensive and heavier due to the more powerful motors and batteries. More powerful scooters need to use higher-quality components to cope with the speed, which increases the cost further.
How fast an electric scooter can go also depends on your weight, tire pressures, and the surface you are riding on. Therefore, manufacturers state their electric scooter's top speed based on a lightweight rider riding on a smooth road with properly inflated tires.
An electric scooter's top speed shouldn't be a deal-breaker when buying one. For general riding around and commuting, you will likely be happy with 15mph. When you think about it, most people walk at 4mph, and the average speed of a car in the city is 7mph. Also, a commuter riding a bike around town will reach 14mph. Therefore, a scooter is a fast and effortless way of getting around.
When you are looking at buying an electric scooter, you should get the right size for you. But, you also need to consider how portable it is.
Some electric scooters fold into a compact size. This is ideal for storing it and carrying it onto public transport. If you need to stash your electric scooter away at home or work, make sure you get a foldable one.
It is also worth taking the electric scooter's weight into account. If you need to haul it up many stairs or place it on a shelf, make sure you buy one that isn't too heavy.
There are many things to consider when buying an electric scooter. But need to keep in mind what you intend to use your electric scooter.
The main things you need to take note of are power, wheels, brakes, and portability.