What to consider when buying an adult electric scooter
Electric scooters are gaining momentum in the UK. It’s not surprising, they can save significant amounts of money compared to driving, and cut commute times massively compared to walking. As the climate crisis is finally grabbing people’s attention, adult electric scooters are appearing to be the answer. Trials of rental scooters across the UK promote this eco-friendly and cost effective mode of transport, and so it’s probably time you got on board too.
This brand new way to travel is exciting, but perhaps a little overwhelming. How do you choose an electric scooter that’s right for you? There are so many different aspects of an e-scooter to look at and take note of before making your investment.
It’s best to first figure out what you will be using it for. Are you going to commute every day using your electric scooter? Or are you planning on using it off-road, recreationally at the weekends? These factors are important to consider as a scooter designed to be folded up and carried for the daily commute will not be able to be used for heavy duty riding. Similarly, a performance electric scooter with the best speeds, durability and off-road capabilities will not be portable enough to get onto a train twice a day. Decide what you are purchasing your adult electric scooter for, and keep that in mind for the rest of the article.
Electric scooter motor power
E-scooters have varying levels of motor power, suitable to different types of riding. Adult electric scooter motors have an average and a peak power output - the higher the wattage, the more power it can produce. This brings improved acceleration and hill climbing ability. Most budget e-scooters start at 250 watts and reach top speeds of 15mph. These models are not able to climb hills, and if you weigh over 80 kilograms, it’s likely they will not reach their top speed.
Electric scooters above 350 watts are most suitable to tackle hills on a regular basis, or if you weigh more than 80kg.
The difference between solid and air-filled tyres for an adult electric scooter
E-scooter tyres come in two different types, pneumatic (air-filled) and solid rubber (airless).
The biggest benefit of solid, airless tyres on your electric scooter is the avoidance of punctures. They require zero maintenance and are ideal if you’re regularly riding on surfaces that are a puncture risk.
Unfortunately, they can be uncomfortable to ride on uneven surfaces - especially on e-scooters without decent suspension - as they offer no shock absorption.
Air-filled tyres often produce the best option for adult e-scooter users. These offer shock absorption and much better handling. This makes for a much more comfortable riding experience, as well as the feeling of being more in control.
Of course, the drawback to air-filled tyre e-scooters is the maintenance required. The air pressure must be checked and topped up when it’s low in order to keep riding safe and comfortable. They are able to puncture and therefore may require more repairing than solid tyres.
Brakes on adult electric scooters
Safety comes first, and braking safely and comfortably is absolutely essential to consider when buying an electric scooter.
There are four different types of brakes on electric scooters. Electric brakes, disc brakes, drum brakes and foot brakes.
Electric brakes are low maintenance, but not very effective when it comes to stopping at fast speeds.
Disc brakes have great stopping power, and perform well in poor weather conditions also.
Drum brakes have similarly strong stopping power, but they can weigh slightly more than disc brakes. They are lower maintenance than other braking types.
However, both drum and disc brakes do eventually wear out and over time will need to be serviced, similarly to a car.
Foot brakes are simple, they are activated by pushing your foot down on the rear mud guard. If you used a classic scooter as a child, you will be familiar with this system. They do have stopping power but can feel uncomfortable to use, and it can take some people a while to get the hang of it.
How fast can an electric scooter go?
Adult electric scooters vary a lot in terms of speed. The scooters currently rented out in trials across the UK tend to have top speeds of about 15mph, but you can actually purchase e-scooters with a top speed of 55mph.
The speed of the electric scooter varies depending on the weight of the rider, the motor power and the tyre pressure. Not to mention, the surface you ride on will contribute to the speed of your vehicle too.
It’s good to keep in mind that at a higher speed, e-scooters will require larger batteries and a more powerful motor. This will bring up the cost of the electric scooter.
Size and weight
The size and weight of your electric scooter will play a big part in your experience. Scooters can be quite heavy, so if you’ll be needing to carry it regularly, it’s best to opt for a lightweight model instead.
Think about storage space in your home too. Not all electric scooters fold, so if you only have a small space to keep your e-scooter in, make sure you check beforehand.
Your new electric scooter is an investment. It’s not just a fun accessory (although it is fun!) it’s also a new commute, or a new weekend activity, or a new way to travel. It’s worth really thinking about what you need to get out of your new e-scooter, and shopping carefully. Shopping with ePulse means that you are able to buy from scooter experts and dedicated engineers who understand not just the product, but the maintenance and servicing needed with the scooter you choose.