There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to buying an electric scooter. Just like with cars or bikes, there are different preferences depending on your intentions and goals, not to mention personal preferences. So how do you know what to look for and choose the right one for you?
Get out your pencils and notebooks, because we are about to answer: The 5 most frequently asked questions before buying an electric scooter!
1: Which scooter is right for me?
It’s the old question: Which scooter is right for me? Either way, it’s as old as electric scooters. First, know what your needs are.
Looking for a fun toy to play with over the weekend? A powerful commuter that gets you to and from the office, constantly navigating through traffic? Or it could be an ultra-portable scooter to store in the back of your car, or take the metro with you to complete the last leg of your journey.
That’s a question only you can answer, but it’s important to be clear from the start about what category of scooter you’re looking for.
In general, the categories are as follows:
There are inexpensive electric scooters that can cost around $500 on average, mostly smaller and lighter scooters. These scooters are compact and lightweight with minimal features and specifications. These scooters are great for fun rides around the block or as a backup for short trips. But generally they won’t take you too far or too fast and are best used on flat, level surfaces.
Then they have their mid-range category, which ranges from high-end entry-level scooters to motorized commuters that can even start at the doorstep of an entry-level scooter.
These scooters are slightly larger, with more range and speed, but are still relatively compact. They can cost between $500 and $1,500, and you can expect more features like suspension, better brakes and batteries, and bigger motors.
Finally, there are the performance scooters. Scooters in this category start from $1,500 and can go up to $3,000 or more! If you are considering this class of scooter, you are probably already well versed in scooter technology or have experience with personal vehicles and want the best.
2: What is the difference between braking systems?
Drums or records? Hydraulic? How do you know which is the best braking system? There is no right answer.
Drum brakes are mostly found on economy scooters or slow passenger scooters. They can even offer dual drum brakes. Drum brakes are great because they are low maintenance and never lose their holding power.
Then we move on to disc brakes, which can be divided into two categories: mechanical or hydraulic.
Mechanical disc brakes are less expensive than hydraulic disc brakes and are suitable for most mid-range scooters.
In practice, there isn’t much difference between the two, but hydraulic brakes provide a better braking experience and are more efficient. Although it generally requires little maintenance over time, you will need to bleed and refill hydraulic fluid from time to time, which can be tedious if you don’t know how to do it.
There are also scooters equipped with special regenerative braking that allows the battery to be recharged while driving. The Regen brakes are great because you have more control over adjusting the brake force and you don’t have to get your hands dirty.
3: What does the IP protection class mean?
What does IP54 really mean? No, we are not talking about your internet protocol. When it comes to IP rating, that means protection from intrusion. Or how vulnerable your scooter is to the elements.
The IP protection class is usually displayed with two digits. The first digit represents solids and can prevent ingress of objects as large as a hand or as small as dust particles.
The second digit protects against liquids and vertical drops, is fully waterproof and can be fully submerged for some time.
Most scooters in the industry average around IP54. You can fetch higher prices for high-end scooters that are more waterproof, but for the most part IP prices fall in the middle.
What does that mean in the real world? Because these scooters are fully waterproof, they are not recommended for riding in the rain or in swimming pools, although they can withstand wet conditions.
It’s also worth noting that most scooter manufacturers don’t cover water damage in their warranty, so be careful when riding in the rain!
4: What are the different tire types?
How many different types of scooter tires are there and which one is better than the others?
There are basically two main categories of tires: solid tires and pneumatic tires. Within each category there are different variations.
Each type of tire has different advantages and disadvantages and we will do our best to explain the differences to you.
Tubed pneumatic tires are the most common type of tire on Electric Scooters Adults and are similar to those found on your bike. The scooter’s grip against bumps in the road is perfect to make your ride more comfortable. Thanks to the softer rubber, they also grip the road better.
Solid tires are great for this because you never have to worry about tire pressure or punctures.
There are also self-healing pneumatic tires, which are tires that are filled with air but with a thick layer of adhesive gel that quickly seals any puncture in the tire, effectively “healing” it and letting you ride! These wheels are great but are generally a little pricey and don’t work on the split rim designs found on most scooters.
5: What to look for in a guarantee
A scooter is only as good as the warranty that comes with it, especially when it comes to a scooter you buy online.
While most manufacturers offer a 6-month basic warranty, look for companies and suppliers that offer a year or more plus post-purchase protection.
They are complex vehicles with many moving parts and you can expect a lot of wear and tear. Although wear and tear is not covered by the warranty, some companies offer inexpensive replacement parts.
Understanding what your insurance does and doesn’t cover can help you avoid headaches later and prepare for the worst.
It’s also a good idea to learn how to perform basic maintenance on your scooter to avoid warranty claims or costly repairs and reduce your scooter downtime.
We’ve said it time and time again, but when it comes to owning your scooter, like any other vehicle, it’s important to keep your scooter clean and well maintained.
We hope to one day be able to take our scooters to a local workshop for any necessary repairs, but after that you should at least know how to adjust the brakes and change a flat tyre.