Electric scooters are all the craze these days. You see kids and adults alike using them for their day-to-day commute. And they seem far more superior to bikes, being powered by a motor instead of your legs.
With that being said, choosing the right type of scooter can be tricky. To start with, there’s the price point to consider. Then you have to decide what motor power you want. And let’s not forget about how the suspension and brake shape your overall riding experience.
We’re here to help you with that. We have compiled a complete guide on how to choose the best electric scooters based on budget, power, suspension, and much more.
Choose A Motor Power:
Motor power decides how fast your scooter can get, and will ultimately affect your top speed. This is the second major consideration (check the full list here) when you choose the best electric scooters.
These are electric scooters with a single motor that lies below the 500-watt mark. 500-watts of power is sufficient for most low to mid-range. They are great for close-range commuting and can reach lower top speeds of 16 to 20 mph. Generally, if you want a budget option, go for the 250 watts motor for daily commuting.
High-Power Performance Scooters:
Any motor power above 500 watts is typically reserved for performance or extreme performance scooters. The main difference between these and commuting scooters is, they have two brushless motors, one on either wheel.
So a 600-watt dual motor scooter packs 1200 watts of power. There is no limit here. Some extreme performance scooters can reach a peak wattage of 3,000. Just remember; the higher you go, the more the top speed will be, and the more expensive your scooter will get.
Top speed is the speed limit on your scooter. Most commuting scooters will feature a top speed between 15 mph and 20 or 25 miles per hour. Anything above that and you’re looking at the performance category.
Some scooters let you adjust your top speed so you never exceed a certain limit. It should be noted you should only ride at speeds that are comfortable and within the restraint of local laws.
Range and Battery Capacity:
The type and capacity of the battery installed on your unit decide your scooter’s range. Most commuting scooters can run tirelessly for an hour or two. If your destination is an hour away, you should carry a charger to recharge the scooter.
Performance scooters will feature higher battery capacities, typically ones that can last you up to 7 hours. But as always, the recharging time will be impacted, as well as the cost and weight.
Suspension and Steering:
Suspension and steering systems are important as they separate the movement of your wheels from the rest of your scooter’s chassis. There are two types of suspensions you can get on your electric scooter:
This is the most common type of suspension, and even the higher-end scooters will incorporate a spring suspension.
Such a type of suspension is perfect for regular day-to-day commuting if your commute isn’t too rough. It doesn’t leak like hydraulic suspensions and cost you less, both in its initial price and maintenance costs.
Hydraulic or air suspensions are the more advanced type of suspensions, used mainly in performance scooters. This suspension has the benefit of a higher load capacity and in-ride adjustability.
However, this type of suspension will cost you more and require a lot of maintenance. The fluid may leak out, which will call for some pricey repair.
Brake Types and Significance:
The type of brake your scooter uses is important as it will decide braking power, safety, and ease of handling. Here are the main types of brakes used in electric scooters:
Drum and Disc Combo:
Drum brakes are the first brakes and have high effectiveness in many situations. However, in extreme scenarios, such as when descending a hill, they will most likely malfunction and not be able to withstand the heavy load.
This is the reason why many electric scooters use a combination of a drum brake at the rear and a disc brake at the front. Front disc brakes are better in extreme scenarios, such as steep climbs and drops, and competitive racing.
Regenerative brakes reuse some part of the braking force back into the wheel’s hub. In other words, they “recycle” the braking power to limit force wastage.
The concept may sound redundant, but regenerative brakes can make all the difference. Not only do they improve on efficiency, but also prevent overheating, and thus ensure a better brake life. You’ll find this type of brake in more expensive, performance scooters.
Decide Your Budget:
Before you try to choose the best electric scooters, you have to consider your budget. Here are your options and what you can expect within these ranges:
Scooters that cost below $300-400 are not a good choice for daily commuting. They usually have a lower motor power, so much that they can’t even travel long distances. These scooters feature lower battery power, which won’t even last you a day of commuting. And many have weak brakes with no suspension.
These scooters are only good for light recreational use and shouldn’t be counted on for daily commuting. However, you may find some that have slightly higher power and can be used for close-range commuting.
These are the traditional commuter’s electric scooters. They have a price point between $300 and $1200 and can be found in varying features depending on the exact price. At a price of up to $600, expect these scooters with a single weak motor and a slightly more powerful battery. Most of these are great for recreational use as well as for close to mid-range commuting.
At the $900 price point, you’ll start to see improvements in the brakes and the suspensions. But most models will still not use dual motors up until you reach the $1200 price point. At this range, you’ll come across mid to long-range scooters with high power batteries. These will have basic spring suspensions. As for the brakes, drum or disc brakes are common in this category, as are V-brakes.
Above the $1200 price point, you have two categories of scooters: performance, and extreme performance. Both these are mainly for either quick long-range commuting, recreational, or competitive use.
They are characterized by their intense motor powers and tubeless tires. Many may feature a hydraulic suspension and regenerative brakes. The downside is not only are they quite heavy, but expensive too.
Electric scooters are convenient, comfortable, and for the most part self-powered. And they make great companions for when you need a quick commuting solution.
When you decide to choose the best electric scooter, budget and power output should be your priority. They will shape the type of scooter you have and the usage. Suspension, brake, range, and top speed all come later.
And now, you know all about electric scooters! Use this information wisely, and buy the right scooter today.