Electric scooters, or e-scooters, represent a convenient mode of electric transportation with benefits that exceed mechanical alternatives. E-scooters are becoming increasingly popular and there are several things you should consider before choosing one. Compared to cars and motorcycles, electric scooters are environment friendly and affordable. You’ll travel faster and potentially farther on an e-scooter than you would walking or cycling and have fun doing so. Unlike bicycles, riding electric scooters requires little exertion, and you’ll arrive at your destination fresh for work or play.
This comprehensive electric scooter for adults buying guide explains the different classes and models available. Besides the cost, there are key factors to consider. Features to look for when comparing different models include design, maximum speed, motor power, scooter weight and weight limit. Also, depending on your intended use, you'll want to know the mileage you get on a full charge.
1. E-scooter design.
When choosing an electric scooter, pick a design that’s appropriate for your weight and personal style. Brightly colored kids' electric scooters are appealing to children and teenagers, but adults may prefer models with muted colors. The design of an e-scooter goes beyond its aesthetic appeal and includes build quality and convenience features. These mostly determine the quality of your ride, as well as the cost and frequency of maintenance
To find an electric scooter that’s the right fit for you, pay attention to these design features: wheel size, tire type, suspension and brakes. Understanding the importance of these parts helps you understand how electric scooters work.
Large scooter wheels fit tires with diameters measuring 10 or more inches. Compared to small wheels of between 5 to 8 inches, bigger wheels have better grip, and many feature integrated hub motors that deliver additional power.
An e-scooter may use solid (airless) or pneumatic (air-filled) tires. Pneumatic tires offer smooth rides over uneven surfaces. However, they require maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and tread wear. Solid tires give e-scooters a longer distance range, as their pressure stays consistent. The choice of tires relates to choosing an e-scooter with or without a suspension system. Air-filled tires increase comfort on scooters without a suspension system, as they provide some cushioning.
The three types of suspension systems to consider when choosing an electric scooter are spring, rubber and hydraulic/air piston. For comfortable long rides, look for a model that uses a combination of spring and hydraulic/air piston systems for its suspension.
Like with any vehicle, the ability to stop quickly is a priority. The four main types of brakes used in e-scooters are foot, drum, disc and electric. Disc brakes provide the most reliable stopping power, but electric versions offer regenerative braking and require no maintenance.
2. Top speed.
The maximum speed of an e-scooter is an important consideration if commuting is a priority. The top speed of an e-scooter describes how fast it’ll go at full throttle. Most electric scooters have top speeds between 20 and 30 mph. The actual top speed of a scooter depends on several factors, including the overall weight of the rider and scooter as well as the machine’s suspension and tires. To find out how fast a model goes, check the electric scooter manual.
Consider your regular routes for work or exercise. Riding uphill, over rough terrain or in varying speed zones affects the top speed of different models. While going uphill requires a fast e-scooter, you may not need the fastest scooter for your daily ride. Look for a model that’s just fast enough to qualify for the bike lane and not so fast that you’ll require a license to ride it. Remember that no matter how fast your e-scooter goes, you should always wear protective safety gear during your ride
3. Motor power.
Motor power is a key consideration for those wondering how electric scooters work. Most scooters have brushless DC motors attached to the wheels. A scooter may have a single- or dual-motor design. Generally, dual-motor scooters are more powerful and, therefore, faster.
Manufacturers list the motor power of electric scooters in watts. For an adult electric scooter, the minimum motor power to look for is 250 watts. A scooter with this wattage can ride comfortably over flat ground and small hills. Those planning to ride their scooters to places with steep inclines should consider motors with 400 to 500 watts. For the fastest e-scooters available, look for performance models that have dual motors with a combined power of 1,000 watts or higher.
It’s important to note the scooter weight and rider weight capacity of the models you’re considering when choosing an electric scooter. The weight capacity of a scooter is the maximum load it can carry. Most e-scooters have weight capacities between 220 and 275 pounds. Riders that weigh more should look for models built for their weight, as it factors into the e-scooter's performance. Note that the more weight an e-scooter carries, the slower it will be.
The weight of an electric scooter determines its maneuverability and portability. Heavier scooters are harder to turn when riding but feel more stable. However, heavier models can carry more weight than lighter models. Consider a foldable lightweight model when choosing an electric scooter if carrying and storing it is a factor.
The range of an electric scooter is the maximum distance it can cover before running out of battery power. Other factors that can affect the range of an e-scooter are its weight, the average speed you're traveling and motor power. The weight of the rider and weather conditions also determine the real-world range of an e-scooter.
Manufacturers quote e-scooter ranges under ideal conditions. It's unlikely your machine will run for as long as the rated range, but in perfect conditions, it is possible.
Once you know what to consider when choosing an e-scooter, it's much easier to find the model that is best for your specific needs. However, before making a purchase, check your state and local laws to ensure that you'll be able to get the most enjoyment out of the scooter you choose.
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