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Man on electric scooter

The CYCL Electric Scooter Buying Guide

Electric scooters are a great way to get around whether you want to make your commute a little quicker or just like to feel the wind in your hair! Not only are electric scooters reliable and low cost, they’re environmentally friendly and can be a lot of fun!

If you’re looking for a sign to buy an e-scooter - this is it! If you need more convincing, check out our blog on the Top 5 Reasons You Need an Electric Scooter.

This is a guide to buying your first electric scooter: we’ll cover some factors you may want to consider before purchasing such as price, range and weight as well as any extras you might want so that you feel secure in your purchase and at the end we’ll tell you our top picks!

fleet of Zero 9 electric scooters


Range

This is the distance a scooter can travel before it runs out of power. It can be impacted by things such as rider weight, scooter weight, speed you travel at and weather conditions. It’s worth noting that manufacturers are advertising the max range and you may not achieve that distance for each charge.
Battery life will decline as time goes by however you’re looking at about 300-500 charging cycles before this really sees an impact.
Consider what you will use your electric scooter for, for example, if you are using it for your commute, how far is it on a typical day when considering the range you want from your scooter.

Weight

If you are commuting, weight can be a particularly important factor if you have to pick the scooter up and carry it part of the way, get on and off of public transport or walk up stairs. A shoulder strap or handle can help however, most scooters weigh over 11kgs so bear this in mind depending on how you are expecting to use it.

Two women with helmet on electric scooters

Laws

It’s important to check your country’s laws when it comes to e-scooters.
In the UK e-scooter trials are still taking place with ruling on the legality of the vehicles expected in 2021/22. That means that it is currently illegal to ride an e-scooter in the UK on public roads and can only be used on private land with permission from the landowner.

In Germany, a license for e-scooters for use on public roads is available if:

  • Their maximum speed cannot exceed 20kmph
  • Front lights and side reflectors are fitted
  • Two brakes that work independently are fitted
  • A bell or a signal that can be used to warn other road users of an approach is fitted.
In France
  • a minimum age (children as young as 8)
  • not using them on pavements, 
  • speed limited to 20kmph 
  • mandatory helmets for children under 12 years old.

    In Italy:

    • the minimum age is 14
    • wearing a helmet is mandatory for those under 18.
    • E-scooters can be driven at a max speed of 25kmph on carriageways where bicycles are allowed and 6kmph in pedestrian areas. 

    In Belgium:

    • Speed is limited to 25kmph (same as ebikes)
    In the USA: In most states electric scooters are classified the same as e-bikes.
    • Top speed of 20mph and a motor no larger than 750W.

    Speed

    Whilst you may be looking for the fastest scooter out there, remember that many countries have speed limits and you also want to consider where you will be using the scooter and what other road users you may be sharing the space with. A max speed of 15 mph can make that commute fly by, especially considering the average walking speed is 4mph.

    Weight

    The more weight the scooter is carrying the slower the scooter will be - that’s not just your weight but anything you are carrying. Consider that for most scooters the max load/rider weight is around 100-120kgs. Over this you may want to consider an electric scooter that will support your weight.

    Man on electric scooter

    Suspension, Brakes and Tyres

    Depending on how you will use your scooter, you may want to consider the inclusion of suspension. Just like in a car, suspension can help with riding over bumps in the road. This can be especially useful if you have a long commute or are riding your scooter on mixed terrain. Be aware that suspension will help with the bigger bumps, but larger, air-filled tyres can still give just as smooth a ride than a scooter with suspension but small solid wheels.

    Electric scooter tyres are either solid (airless) tyres or pneumatic (air filled) tyres. Air filled tyres are preferred as your ride is likely to feel a lot more bumpy with solid tyres, the only real difference is that solid tyres require little to no maintenance. Opting for slightly bigger tyres (9+ inch) will also help with a smoother ride and help survive potholes and general obstacles that may be on the road. With pneumatic tyres there may be inner tubes (similar to bicycle tyres) that will need to be replaced if damaged. They are prone to punctures and need to be pumped with air if they have low pressure. You can check out our Electric Scooter Maintenance Guide here.

    A variety of brakes are available on e-scooters. Preferably you would like an independent brake on each wheel (front and rear wheel brakes) as single wheel braking will mean a slower stop and the risk of losing traction when braking in wet conditions.
    Luckily, most scooters come with a front and rear wheel brake which are either mechanical or electronic. Mechanical brakes include disc brakes, drum brakes and foot brakes. Disc and drum are a far safer bet than foot brakes with a shorter stopping distance compared to electronic or foot brakes. Find a full brake breakdown at ElectricScooter.Guide

    Quality of ride

    A more powerful motor will mean better acceleration, making hills easier to climb and adding to the overall quality of the ride. The same goes for better quality brakes, having both suspension and pneumatic tyres will all help for a smoother ride.

    Whilst the electric scooter may look good on a website, seeing and test-riding a scooter before investing can be worthwhile so you can see the quality of the ride.
    There are plenty of electric scooter specialists where you can test this out. Some models may look slick but may be difficult to ride long distances which is why use is so important to consider the main use. A quick google for a local specialist and a visit may save you money and a headache in the long term.

    Lighting

    All e-scooters come with a front and rear light, however, you may want to invest in additional lighting depending on what conditions you’ll be riding in and how powerful the standard lights are. Since the rear lights on scooters are low on the base it’s recommended to have additional rear lights such as WingLights handlebar mounted position lights or a rear light clipped onto your backpack or helmet.

    Man with helmet on electric scooter

    Let’s get down to the scooters!

    Price

    While maintenance and upkeep is relatively low, buying an electric scooter is a large initial investment. Price points range from around £300 - over £1000+ ($400-$1400, €350-€1200+)
    We’ve rounded up our favourites for each price bracket so there’s sure to be something suitable for your needs and budget.

    Under €500

    SoFlow SO2 - RRP €499

    Stylish and compact, the SoFlow has an impressive motor for its price. It also packs decent range and along with the pneumatic tyres, this scooter is a perfect commuter ride and one of our favourites. It’s a little on the heavy side so consider how many flights of stairs you would have to carry it up before purchasing.

    SoFlow SO2 Electric Scooter

    Weight: 14.5kg
    Max Speed: 12 mph / 20km
    Max Range: 18.6 Miles / 30km
    Approx Charge Time: 4 hours
    Brakes: Front disc brake and rear wheel electronic brake.
    Power: 400W
    Tyres: 8.5inch pneumatic tyres
    Worth noting: Don’t ride it in the rain.
    Pure Electric (UK)

    Xiaomi Mi 1S - RRP €424

    One of the most popular rides out there and a step up from the original Mi M365. It’s popular for a reason; on the lighter side but with a decent motor and enough range to get you to work and back.

    Xiaomi Mi 1S Electric scooter

    Weight: 12.5kg
    Max Speed: 15.5 mph / 24kmph
    Max Range: 18.6 Miles / 30km
    Approx. Charge Time: 5.5 Hours
    Brakes: Front electronic and rear disc brakes.
    Power: 250W motor power and 3 speed modes.
    Tyres: 8.5 inch pneumatic tyres
    Worth noting: Don’t ride it in the rain.
    EU: RideFatDaddy
    FR: Pure Electric FR
    UK: Pure Electric

    Pure Air Pro - RRP €499

    With a powerful motor and 10 inch pneumatic tyres, the Pure Air Pro is a comfortable and quick ride. It also has a larger maximum weight compared to other scooters of 120kg. What’s more, it has a waterproof rating so it is safe to ride in the rain.

    Weight: 16.5kg
    Max Speed: 15.5 mph / 25kmph
    Max Range: 22.4 Miles / 36km
    Approx. Charge Time: 5.5 Hours
    Brakes: Front KERS and rear drum brakes.
    Power: 350W motor power and 3 speed modes.
    Tyres: 10 inch pneumatic tyres
    UK: Pure Electric
    FR: Pure Electric FR

    Under $800

    Ninebot Segway Max G30 - RRP: $699 / €649

    With slightly larger wheels, a powerful motor and good range - this scooter is impressive. However, at 18kg it’s a bit of a beast if you’re going to have to carry it up any stairs.

    Ninebot Segway Max G30 Electric Scooter

    Weight: 18kg
    Max Speed: 15.5 mph / 25 kmph
    Max Range: 40 Miles / 64km
    Approx. Charge Time: 6 Hours
    Brakes: Drum front brakes and KERS rear brakes.
    Power: 350W motor power and 4 speed modes.
    Tyres: 10 inch pneumatic tyres
    Worth noting: Don’t ride it in the rain and avoid puddles.
    UK: Halfords
    USA: RidePanda
    FR: PureElectric FR

    Over $1000

    Inokim Light 2 - RRP $1200

    An updated version of the Light, the Light 2 has an upgraded 350W motor and dual drum braking system. Why we love it is that the handlebars also fold down making it a little more compact when carrying it around.

    Inokim Light 2 Electric Scooter

    Weight: 13.7kg
    Max Speed: 21 mph / 33 kmph
    Max Range: 24 Miles / 38.6km
    Approx. Charge Time: 5 Hours
    Brakes: Front and rear drum brake
    Power: 350W motor power and 3 power modes.
    Tyres: 8.5 inch pneumatic tyres
    Worth noting: The handlebars fold down too!
    UK: Inokim
    US: Inokim USA
    EU: Search for a local dealership

    Zero 9 - RRP $1099

    One of our personal favourites, it’s got a whopping 600W motor, a larger deck than most, great range plus a relatively small charge time in comparison to other scooters. There is a Zero 9E option that is slightly more affordable (RRP £695).

    Zero 9 Electric Scoooter

    Weight: 17.5kg
    Max Speed: 25mph / 40kmph
    Max Range: 27 Miles / 44km
    Approx. Charge Time: 3 Hours
    Brakes: Front disc and rear drum brakes
    Power: 600W motor power
    Tyres: 8.5 inch pneumatic tyres
    US: Rev Rides
    UK: Ride and Glide
    EU: Ride and Glide

    Apollo Explore - RRP $1199

    The Apollo Explore is city beast mode. It takes hills in its stride thanks to a 1000W motor. It’s got some impressive technical specifications such as high performance dual spring suspension and a regen brake that slows down the motor and re-charges the battery while doing so.

    Apollo Explore Electric Scooter

    Weight: 23.5kg
    Max Speed: 31mph / 50kmph
    Max Range: 34 Miles / 55km
    Approx. Charge Time: 4-5 Hours
    Brakes: Front and rear disc brakes
    Power: 1000W motor power
    Tyres: 10 inch pneumatic tyres
    Suspension: Dual spring
    Worth noting: with such a high max speed you will need some decent safety gear such as a full helmet and maybe some body protection too.
    US: Apollo Scooters
    EU: FatDaddyRides

    Where to buy your electric scooter?

    In-store or online specialist distributors or manufacturers

    By shopping via a specialist distributor you will often get good warranty and customer support by buying directly from a store. They can give you hints and tips about riding and maintenance and you can always go back to ask questions, get replacement parts and repair.
    Check out:
    UK: Ride and Glide, Pure Electric, Halfords
    US: RevRides, Fluid Free Ride, Ride Panda
    Europe: FatDaddy, SXT Scooters (Germany)

    Marketplace (Amazon, eBay)

    Whilst you may be able to get lower prices or quicker shipping - you may not get the same warranty and customer support that you would in a specialist store.

    We hope that this CYCL Electric Scooter Guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to get the perfect scooter for your needs. We really recommend visiting a specialist retailer to get a feel for the different models before or instead of buying online. Happy riding!

    More...

    Want to get kitted out with the right accessories? Check out our blog on Top 10 E-Scooter accessories or How WingLights Can Help You Signal on an Electric Scooter 

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